- Serves: 12-14
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Prep Time: 50 minutes plus 10 minutes cooling
- Effort: easy
For the medium sponge
- 175 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 175 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 175 g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp milk, at room temperature
For the large sponge
- 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 250 g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g plain flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 3-4 tbsp milk, at room temperature
For the buttercream
- 350 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 700 g icing sugar, sifted
- vanilla extract, optional
For the decoration
- orange food colouring
- 2 green fruit pastille sweets
- small liquorice sweets
- 1 large strip liquorice
- black writing icing
Tips and Suggestions
Variation: you can use brown or black food colouring to make a tabby or grey cat instead of the ginger cat. Alternatively, ice the cake with chocolate fudge frosting.
1. For the sponge cakes: preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease one 18cm and one 23cm round springform cake tin with butter and line the bases with greased baking parchment.
2. Make the medium and large sponge cake batters separately, following this method. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale, light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Very gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula from time to time. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3. Sift together the plain flour and baking powder and add to the cake mixture in two batches, mixing until smooth. Add the milk and mix until smooth.
4. Pour your medium sponge mixture into the 18cm cake tin and the large sponge mixture into the 23cm cake tin. Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the middle of each one comes out clean the smaller cake will take about 30 minutes and the larger cake 35-40 minutes. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack. Turn the cakes the right way up and leave to cool completely.
5. For the buttercream: Cream the butter in an electric mixer until really soft. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until pale and smooth. Add a few drops of vanilla extract, if using. Reserve 4-5 tablespoons of the buttercream in a small bowl. Tint the remainder with the orange food colouring paste, adding it a little at a time and mixing well between each addition, until you have the colour you desire.
6. To decorate: use a long, serrated knife to level the tops of the cakes and make them the same height. Remove about one-third off the top of the larger cake by cutting it in a leaf shape and fit the smaller cake into the space created. Cut the leaf shape in half to make 2 triangles and position them at the top of the smaller cake to make the ears.
7. Cover the cake with the orange buttercream, spreading evenly with a palette knife. Carefully spread the reserved plain buttercream to make a tummy shape and the insides of the ears.
8. Position the fruit pastilles on the cats face for the eyes. Slice the liquorice sweet into thin slices to make the nose and position the liquorice strip as the tail and the mouth. Use the black writing icing to make the whiskers and the pupils in the eyes.
Recipe from Birthday Cakes for Kids - by Annie Rigg published by Ryland Peters and Small
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