Friday, 2 March 2012

Butterless Butter Cake

When I was planning the three cakes for Sylvia's birthday last week, I kept it simple to try and keep my sanity intact.  For a cake to take to Sylvia's child care, I decided to use a cake mould.  I usually make plain cakes and slice them into the shape I want (as I did for her third cake).  A mould however seemed a great shortcut.  It was a present from Paula after I had admired her son's birthday cake.

I am always a little nervous about baking for children that I don't know.  They like plain.  I do not.  Using the cake mould presented an even greater challenge because chocolate would be too dark to show up all the details.  I have 76 cakes in my index and over half of these are chocolate.  Kids also love icing but I didn't want to cover up the details, and by the time the cake went in the oven on the night before taking it to child care first thing in the morning, I wasn't sure I had time for it.  And then there is the dilemma of wanting kids to be excited about a cake but not wanting to feed them unhealthy food.

If I had a plain cake recipe that I loved, I would have made it.  Instead I search for something that wouldn't offend kids but would interest me.  I found it in a book that I received for my birthday called Have your cake: no butter, no white flour, no added sugar.  The recipes are appetising but not as alternative as I had expected.  They use rice bran oil instead of butter, honey instead of sugar and wholemeal wheat flour.  Perhaps I have been hanging around bloggers like Ricki for too long, and expected more obscure ingredients such as carob, stevia and coconut oil.

In Have your Cake, I found a recipe for a Butterless Butter Cake.  This was perfect for me.  It was butterless because it had oil instead of butter.  What I loved was the addition of coconut, orange juice and honey.  This gave it enough added flavour and added texture to please me but not too much for the kids.

It was an excellent choice.  I was very pleased that the cake held its shape well.  I was very pleased that the cake was moist.  The honey gave it a richness and its flavour was quite prominent.  Yet it wasn't strongly flavoured.  I was very pleased that the cake didn't need icing.  I was too disorganised for such things.

I went to child care to be with Sylvia when they had the cake.  My dad was able to come along too.  We loved seeing Sylvia with her little playmates.   They were very excited that it was her birthday and that she had a castle cake. 

My dad commented on how every kid ate their cake in a different way.  It was eaten with a fork or with fingers, broken into chunks or crumbled, eaten delicately or eaten in great big bites.  Every one ate their piece.  Not one complained.  Some asked for seconds.

This is a cake I will be making again and I look forward to exploring more recipes from the book.  I am also excited by my new castle cake mould.  Paula tells me the first time is the easiest.  But I am game to try it again.  It just looks so cute with so little effort.  And most importantly, it made a birthday girl very happy!

I am sending this cake to

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Fast track pizza with sweet potato sauce
This time two years ago: PPN: Of birthdays, farewells, and noodles
This time three years ago: Welcome little one!
This time four years ago: My Friend the Chocolate Cake

Butterless butter cake
Adapted slightly from Emily Rose's Have your cake

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup rice bran oil (or other neutral oil)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1 vanilla bean
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1/2 cup white plain flour
1/3 cup dessicated coconut
3 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Grease and line a 20cm cake tin or if you have a cool silicone mould, just have it at the ready with no greasing or lining!

Beat eggs and oil until creamy (I used electric beaters).  Stir in honey until well combined.  Add in orange juice.  Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean and stir into mixture, pressing with a back of a spoon on the side of the bowl to break up any clumps.  Gently stir in dry ingredients.

Pour mixture into prepared tin.  Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Leave in tin for about 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.  NB I turned mine straight onto the cake container because I was worried the castle shape would collapse if I had to transfer it later.

On the stereo:
More Music to Watch Girls By: Various Artists

30 comments:

  1. A castle cake!! I wish I were your daughter and that was my birthday. :)
    This is looking angelic, so well baked and textured. Thanks for linking to my event.
    Hey, my blog is named 'Spice n Sugar Tales' which you have confused with 'Sugar n Spice'. :)

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    1. Thanks Anjali - what a sweet comment - just so sorry that I got your blog name wrong - have fixed it so hopefully all is forgiven :-)

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  2. A lovely cake! I cannot believe that S is now 3!

    Will you be making her 4 cakes next year and so on?

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    1. Thanks Helen - I did realise after the birthday that it seemed the number of cakes is following her years - I think 3 cakes is enough to drive me crazy :-)

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  3. That's a fantastic cake Johanna, no wonder the kids loved it. A belated happy birthday to Sylvia. The flavours sound really nice and the slice looks as though it has a lovely crumb to it. When you say coconut, what do you mean - desiccated?

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    1. Thanks Choclette - it did have a nice crumb - I thought it is a good cake to keep in mind for the novely cake shapes I do - yes I mean dessicated - when I was young this was the only sort of coconut around - will amend the recipe

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  4. This looks scrumptious! and I love that its a healthy alternative to!

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    1. Thanks Emily - I feel terrible feeding kids too much sugar and refined flour but I actually added a bit of white flour to the mix because wholemeal also makes me nervous - healthy isn't easy :-)

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  5. Aw! What a gorgeous cake! Can't wait to see all the cakes you make for her 21st :P

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    1. Thanks Hannah - maybe the cakes will get smaller and smaller until it is 21 cupcakes on her 21st :-)

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  6. This is a lovely recipe to tuck away - as you say, sometimes it's the plain recipes that are the hardest. You want plain, but not flavourless - clearly this wins. And I've never seen a cake mould but this turned out really well! My Mum tended to take your standard approach with our 'shape' cakes and cut things to the shape in question, but this would be much easier.

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    1. Thanks Kari - plain is hard! And I am not really into vanilla (much to E's disappointment) - these cake moulds sell quite cheaply in kmart so maybe they are becoming more accessible - a slice and shape cake will be posted soon for the third cake - I love them!

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  7. How easy was it to get it out of the mould. Did you oil the mould? I have always wondered how easy they were to use.

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    1. Thanks Jac - Didn't oil the mould - the cake just dropped out of the mould with no effort from me but I have been told not to expect this the second time I use it - which is why I didn't trial it before I made it for childcare. Will have to report on how it goes in subsequent use. The hardest thing is cleaning it in all the nooks and crannies

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  8. What a lovely looking cake and a really interesting recipe too - I always know I can rely on you baking something out of the ordinary! Glad the kids enjoyed it and that it was interesting enough for you too. Sylvia is going to have some fabulous cakes to look back on when she is older (I love looking at the pictures of the cakes my mum made for my birthday - but they're not nearly this interesting!)

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    1. Thanks C - very kind - I hope Sylvia will enjoy seeing her cakes - would love to see the cakes your mum made for you - ours are just a blur in photos because no one would have thought to photograph the food in my childhood!

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  9. That is a great end product ... and are you mad making three birthday cakes!!! lol. That's a lot of birthday cakes ;0)

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    1. Thanks Chele - I did feel insane when I started on the first cake but quite pleased when I had finished the 3rd - and a little relieved!

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  10. What a fantastic cake mould, the cake looks so perfect. Happy Birthday to Sylvia! :D

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  11. How gorgeous is this! And a butterless buttercake is very clever.

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  12. Congratulations to a very successful bake! Sounds almost tropical with the coconut and orange. What a great cake mould too!

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  13. I love fun moulds like that!! I don't envy you trying to find a recipe to suit kids and also yourself. I always spend so much time stressing over what cakes to make for other people. Looks like you found a winner though. :)

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  14. That mold is something else--amazing! And the cake sounds pretty yummy, too (despite not having too many outlandish, exotic ingredients-ha ha!!). Loved your dad's observations about how the kids ate it, too--kids are so funny that way. Glad they all enjoyed it!

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  15. Her 21st is going to be quite something, isn't it? Great cake - and I agree, I have a cake tin a bit like that one (though metal, not silicone) and the suspense of whether or not it will come out intact is usually more than I can bear. Am in the market for a chocolate cake for my FIL's birthday this weekend so off to trawl your index...
    p.s glad you loved the tomato squash curry - Skyge G is an Aussie!

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  16. Have you made your second castle cake yet? I have the exact same mould too but unfortunately I can't seem to get the cake out of the mould without breaking it at the 4 turrets! Do you have any tips that could help me make a castle that comes out as one piece? Thanks in advance!

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    1. Hi Meggy - sorry not to reply earlier - I hope you have worked it out - I have only used my mould once but my neighbour says you need to clean it really well and be really careful with removing the mould after the first time

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