Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Happy 4 Year Old!

My son, Timothy, just had a birthday. He is my boy who has been most into cars, trucks, planes, and motorcycles. Last year he wanted a motorcycle cake for his birthday. This year he requested an airplane. My mom had been given some copies of cut-up cake patterns from my Grandma Ormond when I was a little girl. I remember looking through the patterns every year to choose my birthday cake. I borrowed those tattered pages a few years ago and made copies for myself. I've found a color version of some of the patterns that has been posted online. If you are interested you can look here. We've found it to be best to make a "from scratch" cake instead of using a mix. There are far less crumbs that pull into the frosting with a "from scratch" cake.

Timothy asked for a spice cake with cream cheese frosting. I used my Any "Old Fruit" Cake recipe and pureed apricots to add to the batter. The recipe follows.

I also added white bean puree in place of all the oil. The recipe says to add 1/4 cup oil and 3/4 cup bean puree. I thought I'd try it without any oil.

It baked into a beautiful fat free healthy cake!

Once it had cooled, it was time to get creative. The pattern is pretty specific telling me just how many inches wide to cut the different pieces.

We put it all back together to form the airplane. At this point, I had to put Tim to bed. We had stretched him too far already. I frosted it after the kids were all tucked in for the night.

I cheated this year and just used Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting. It took a little more than one tub.

I added cut gumdrops to create the decorations. We actually ate his birthday cake for breakfast the next day since we were leaving on a trip and it wouldn't travel well in the car. The kids had no objections to eating cake for breakfast, and I knew it was quite healthy, or so that was my reasoning. Tim was one happy little 4 year old! It was a fun project to work on together, and it cost lots less than a custom cake from the bakery.

Any "Old Fruit" Cake

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 quart any bottled fruit and its juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup oil
4 tsp baking soda
¾ cup mashed white or pinto beans (or
1 tsp salt
additional oil)
2 cups sugar
Caramel Topping:
2 tsp cinnamon
½ cup margarine
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ tsp cloves
½ cup evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Puree fruit in blender and add to dry ingredients. Add oil and mashed beans. If batter seems too runny, you can add up to ½ cup more flour. You can stir in chopped nuts, raisins, or coconut if desired before baking. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch pan and bake at 350° F for 40–45 minutes or bake as muffins for 15–20 minutes or until it tests done with a toothpick. To make topping, mix margarine, brown sugar, and milk together and boil until thick, stirring constantly. Add 1 tsp vanilla when done. You can stir in powdered sugar to gain a frosting consistency if desired. We love to serve this cake as muffins with caramel topping drizzled over the top and a dollop of whipped topping or vanilla ice cream. It actually is quite a fancy dessert served this way.

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