Archive for Kid-friendly
It was such a busy summer that I never got around to sharing this birthday cake idea with you. My son loves Hot Wheels! His love of cars started at a very early age, and by the time he was three years old could tell me which cars were Hot Wheels as opposed to any other brand of toy car. I created a Hot Wheels monster truck cake for him when he turned 5, so I wasn’t expecting to make another Hot Wheels cake for him this year. But, two days before his birthday, he insisted on a Hot Wheels cake. And not just a Hot Wheels cake, but a Hot Wheels race track cake. Huh? Has he been watching Ace of Cakes when I wasn’t around? I loved the creative challenge, but with only two days to figure it out, I figured he’d have to accept whatever I could come up with.
I started going through his Hot Wheels tracks for ideas. I found a fun little track that I thought would be fun to incorporate with it. But, I couldn’t remove all the track pieces from the base and support structure. As I discussed the idea with my husband, he suggested that we just use the regular flexible Hot Wheels track pieces to make our own race track. Well, they seemed a little big for it, but he convinced me he could make a support structure for it. OK. But to be a Hot Wheels track it has to have a loop, right? And wouldn’t it be fun if it went through a tunnel in the cake? So, that’s how the thoughts flowed to come up with this idea. Crazy, I know. But the kids loved it!
I didn’t get pictures of the building process. I was too busy trying to figure out what to do to stop and take a picture. And, I’m really sorry I never got a video of it working. We had to enlarge the tunnel a little, and find the right, low-profile car to make it through the tunnel. The kids at the party all enjoyed giving it a try before we cut the cake. It worked most of the time, though the car got stuck in the frosting a couple times.
I baked two round 9″ cakes. I used Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mixes and followed the baking directions.
For the top layer cake, I cut out another path for the tunnel. Then, I placed the cake on top of the bottom layer. I had to make some adjustments for the tunnel, by cutting a little more here and there so that the cake becomes like a ramp down the middle. After testing it with the track, I frosted the top, sides and inside the tunnel.
For the side of the cake, I tried to keep the decoration simple. I used a plastic chop stick to make indentions along the side of the frosted cake to resemble tire tread.
For the flames: I used simple icing made with powdered sugar and water. (I start with 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp water and adjust as necessary.) Then I separated it into three small bowls and used food dye to create red, orange and yellow frosting. I used Wilton’s small round #3 decorating tip to outline the flames. Then, filled in with the different colors as shown in the picture. I used a small knife to spread the frosting to fill in the flames.
For the support of the track, my husband used a yard stick and a dowel rod secured with a nail. The track and clamp are all Hot Wheels pieces I drug out of the toy bin at home. The track had to be high enough to make the loop successfully. It also needed a little support in the middle of the track, so we used a straw taped to the underside of the track and top of the yard stick.
More Great Birthday Cake Ideas:
- Heidi made a show-stopping Monster Truck birthday cake at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom.
- Heidi also made a fabulous Star Wars Clone Trooper Helmet cake you should check out.
- And, don’t miss Andrea Meyer’s Lego Star Wars Stormtropper Cake at Andrea’s Recipes.
- If you’re looking for a Cars cake, Andrea also built a great Lightning McQueen cake.
I’m also linking this post to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker, where you’ll find lots of wonderful gluten-free recipes, reviews and ideas.
I’ve recently learned that pizza is a great way to use up leftover ingredients. I’ve been wanting to try Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s “Chebe” bread recipe for a pizza crust for a while. I use the recipe frequently for rolls and hamburger buns, but never tried it for pizza. Well, I finally did it! I baked the first pizza a little too long — pre-baked it for 15 minutes. It was crunchy. I added pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, sliced black olives and sliced mushrooms. Although the crust was a little too crunchy, it was still tasty. My son ate two big slices, which is a lot for him.
The second pizza, I pre-baked for only 10 minutes. The crust turned out much better. I decided to use up some leftovers to make a Mexican Pizza. Instead of a traditional tomato pizza sauce, I used salsa. Then I topped it with leftover shredded chicken, black olives and a mixture of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese. The best part about the pizza was the fresh tomato and avocado slices. We placed them on top of the pizza after we removed the pizza from the oven. It was really nice to have the added fresh, raw vegetables on it. Perfect for a summertime pizza.
Mexican Pizza Recipe
Pizza Crust – Use your favorite or try a Cheese Bread Recipe.
1/2 Cup Salsa – Use your favorite recipe or jarred gluten-free salsa.
1 – 2 Cups Shredded Mexican Chicken
2 Cups shredded cheese (Try cheddar, Monterey Jack, and/or mozzarella.)
1/4 Cup sliced black olives
1 Avocado, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
- Pizza Crust – For the Cheese Bread recipe: Combine the ingredients in a food processor (or mixer), then turn out onto a large piece of parchment paper. Top with plastic wrap and roll or press into a 10-12″ round crust. Remove the plastic wrap and slide the crust (and parchment paper) onto a pre-heated pizza stone. For best results, I pre-baked the crust for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and add your chosen ingredients. Start with spreading the salsa (or pizza sauce) on the crust. Then add the chicken, cheese, olives, jalapeños etc. Return the pizza to the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool slightly while you slice the tomato and avocado. Then, top the pizza with the avocado and tomato slices.
- Slice, serve and enjoy!
- Recipe for “Chebe” bread or Pao de Chejo from Gluten Free Gobsmacked
- Try The W.H.O.L.E. Gang‘s Quick and Easy Mexican Pizza recipe at GingerLemonGirl.com.
- For more Slightly Indulgent recipes, visit the roundup at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.
- You’ll find more gluten-free recipes and ideas at The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays.
Earlier this year, while visiting family in Omaha, we celebrated three different birthdays. Both my mom and sister bought gluten-free cakes at the Cupcake Island so we could enjoy their birthday cakes with them. The gluten-free cakes and cupcakes were delicious and decorated perfectly for the occasions. I hadn’t really investigated getting gluten-free cakes from local bakeries in Virginia. But when I came home, I thought I’d see if a local bakery could make a gluten-free cake for my daughter’s birthday. Surprise! Cakes by Happy Eatery in northern Virginia makes gluten-free cakes. Unfortunately, my daughter was having a lot of friends at her party, and the cake large enough to accommodate was going to cost $85-100. I just didn’t think that would fit into my budget. So, I made the cake myself.
I enjoy decorating cakes, but I was short on time this year. Rather than make the cake from scratch, I took the short cuts: Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mixes and frosting. I used four cake mixes. For the bottom layer, I combined two yellow cake mixes and baked them for about 50 minutes in a 9″x 13″ pan. For the top layer I did the same thing with two chocolate cake mixes. I used chocolate frosting between the layers, and vanilla frosting tinted green to cover the top and sides.
Now to decorate. My daughter wanted a Princess and the Frog birthday cake because Tiana is her new favorite princess. I bought the little Princess Tiana dress-up doll set that came with the frogs and firefly to help decorate the cake. That way I could quickly create a swamp and lily pads for the frogs. My daughter was pleased, and I got it done without too much time and drama.
Some of the tools I used to decorate the cake:
- Wilton Color Mist spray – blue and green for the swamp
- Disposable Decorating Bags
- Wilton frosting tips – Open Star Tip to decorate the edge of the cake, Leaf Tip and multiple-hole tip for grass to define the edge of the pond, and round tip for writing.
Want to purchase a gluten-free cake or cupcakes, instead?
Give these bakeries in the DC/MD/NOVA area a try:
- Cakes by Happy Eatery in Centreville and Manassas, VA
- Cherry Blossom Cakes in DC
- Free For All Cupcakes available by special order
- Mallow Drama in Reston, VA
- Sweet Sin Cupcakes in Baltimore, MD
More Notable Links: