#11 Make a cake

A bit random I know and this one was already on the list before my ex-wife threw down the gauntlet. Just like the “nobody puts baby in a corner” moment from Dirty Dancing, when it was suggested that I would be outsourcing my son’s birthday cake making it became akin to a red rag to a bull and within minutes I was searching internet images for construction themed birthday cakes that would delight any 5 year old.

For anyone who needs a quick cake here is the low down courtesy of the good people at Nestle (other recipes are available):

Chocolate fudge cake

Serves – 12

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cook time – 20-25


175g self-raising flour

2 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of bi-carbonate of soda

150g caster sugar

2 eggs

150ml corn oil

150ml milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 x 397g tin Carnation Caramel

125g dark chocolate

1 tablespoon icing sugar

To Garnish (this is all my own work)

JCB digger pack to include digger, crane, cement mixer and various signage. Flakes chocolate bars for logs and Maltesers for boulders.

Candles x5 (adjust accordingly!)


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan 160 degrees C or gas mark 4). Line the base of two 18cm sandwich tins with baking paper and set aside. Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate and sugar into a bowl. Set aside. Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla along with 2 tablespoons of Carnation Caramel, until smooth. Combine wet and dry ingredients, pour into the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until springy to touch. Cool then turn out onto wire racks.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate, add the remaining caramel and beat until smooth. Sift the icing sugar and combine. Sandwich the two cakes together with a third of filling then spread the the remainder over the top and sides.

Once the cake is built  its ready for some freestyle decorating. I chose to add a JCB digger pack with hole gouged out for Flakes, Malteser boulders and candles (no. as required).  For best results, exhibit at a 5 year old’s birthday party at a local play barn before letting aforementioned 5 year old devour.

One point of note, it is probably easier to make the cake without the mother of all hangovers and two very excitable children as helpers (particularly after they have energized themselves with chocolate cake mix)!

#11 Make a cake…done. Happy days!

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