Last weekend I volunteered myself to make a cake for my mums 50th birthday. Along with 50 cupcakes. Yes crazy I know.
But i’m going to let you in on a little secret. The cake I made for my mum was from a packet mix. I know you might be thinking what a massive cheat, but seriously, this was the best decision had made.
it was a time saver, a mess saver and without a doubt a stress saver. my go to packet mixes are Greens and this time I used 3 of their Vanilla Cake Mixes. The flavours are always spot on, the sponge was light and fluffy and its almost impossible to screw up. Below is my recipe, incorporating the standard recipe from the Greens packet mix. The best way to make yourself one fancy looking cake for less than $12.
“as if this cake came from a packet mix” birthday cake
the ingredients listed are for ONE layer of the cake. I had three layers so make sure you triple the ingredients. I baked them all individually so that’s why I have listed it as they are.
3 layer vanilla cake
1 packets of Greens Moist Vanilla Cake
2 free range eggs
2/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons (60 grams) soft margarine. I prefer the original stuff.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius, 160 degrees for fan forced.
Lightly grease a 20cmx7cm round cake pan and place baking paper on the base to prevent sticking.
Place cake mix, eggs, margarine and milk into large mixing bowl. Combine with a electric mixer on low until all ingredients combined. Once combined, mix on medium speed for approx 2 mins.
Pour into prepared cake pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden. My favourite way to test to see if its cooked is to insert a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean, its ready to go.
Leave for approx 5 minutes before carefully removing and place on a wire rack to cool.
Repeat process with 2 remaining cakes. Clean and use the same cake pan to keep the sizes of the cakes consistent.
2 tablespoons (40 grams) of soft margarine
1 tablespoon milk
Once each layer of the cake has completely cooled prepare the icing.
Combine icing mixture with milk and margarine on low speed until combined. Mix on high speed for a further 2-3 minutes. Repeat process with each packet of icing mixture.
When the icing is ready to go it’s time to prepare your cakes. If you cake has raised higher in the middle you will need to level it out. Using a sharp knife start from the side of the cake and run it straight along the top so you cut it evenly, leaving the top of the cake to be flat. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect, you can always use a bit more icing to even it out. Do this for all the cakes.
Ice the top of the first cake (bottom layer). I like the icing about .5cms thick but use whatever you feel works. Put your next layer on and ice the top of that cake. Put the last layer on top, making sure that all the layers are in line with each other.
Using a spatula, place blobs of the icing around the outside and top of the cake. Roughly smooth it out so the whole outside of the cake is covered. Dip a blunt butter knife in warm water and use it to spread the icing around the outside of the cake evenly, making sure the whole cake is covered. You may have to fill some of the gaps with extra icing where the cake joins together. It doesn’t matter if it looks a bit rough, the look for this cake is rustic so it adds to that.
Lastly, ice the top using the same technique. Get your succulents and wash them thoroughly. Pat dry. Trim the stalks so they are short. Arrange your succulents on the cake. I arranged mine in a cluster that followed the edging of the cake, but still kept them close together.
Leave it in the fridge until its ready to be served.
Note: Before icing the cake I played around with the succulent arrangement to find the perfect look. I then photographed it on my phone and transferred the arrangement on a plate in the same shape so it made it easy to remember what it looked like.