Sometimes, an idea pops into my head, forcing me to abandon everything else I'm working on and focus on the thought that's occuping so much of my brain space.
That's what happened with these baby birthday cakes, and how they came to be.
These sweet treats are only two inches in diameter, and are my new cupcake. Forget the paper liners and muffins tins, for now it's all about the cookie cutter rounds and stacked layers.
I made these using a favourite pound cake recipe. I figured the thick and golden batter would hold up well to the cutting and moving about that happens when you decide to play around with the product. It only took one try to come up with a look I liked: three layers iced with the sides left uncovered, and the entire thing doused in some colourful sprinkles. It may sound decadent, but at less than three inches high, these allow you to have your cake and eat it too. Without the guilt.
I'm thinking the possibilities here are endless, and envision many more versions of these in my future. Not to mention, it's a great way to get your little people in the kitchen, allowing them to unleash their creativity with customized kid-size cakes.
Mini Birthday Cakes
For the Cake: (Recipe only slightly adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum)
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 recipe your favourite frosting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet (13" x 18") with butter then cover with a piece of parchment ensuring the ends hang over the sides of the pan, and set aside.
In a small bowl combine the eggs, milk and the vanilla; whisk together.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and 1/3 of the egg mixture and beat for 1 minute. Add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating each for 20 seconds in order to incorporate the ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix well.
Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and, using a spatula, spread the batter to the sides of the pan covering the surface completely. Bake for 17-22 minutes, or until the centre is set. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely before handling.
Once cool, cut rounds from the cake using a 2" wide cookie cutter. You should end up with 24 pieces of cake.
Group the pieces together in sets of three. Place one layer down on a piece of parchment paper and pipe a small amount of icing over the top. Spread it to the sides using a palette knife, making sure it peeks over the sides of the cake slightly.
Top with another layer of cake and repeat. Add a third layer and repeat with the icing. Cover the icing with a smattering of sprinkles, and insert a candle, if desired.
Repeat with the remaining cakes.