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Baking a Dairy Free Birthday Cake - now feels like running a marathon!

Many years ago, my first career was a chef, something that I wouldn’t now be able to do.

Standing up for hours on end, dealing with the heat of an oven and lifting heavy objects isn’t within my capabilities. But I still love the creativity and challenge of baking a masterpiece for those I love.

It’s Vali’s 4th Birthday, my support workers little girl. However to me, she’s more like family. Throughout the Covid19 lockdown her mum has been my only support worker, so it hasn’t been easy on her. I decided I wanted to make a very special birthday cake, on her choosen rainbow theme that she could share with her friends and family after her small at home party.

Although I still love to bake, it does take 3-4 times as long as it used to, and I always recruit some help.

Cake toppers can be made ahead of time, making assembling the cake easier.

Vali is also Dairy Free, but I do prefer the taste of a dairy free cake anyway, so most of the cakes I make are, making them way more inclusive.

I generally start by looking for inspiration, so I log on to google and look at some rainbow cake inspiration.

For a dairy free cake I use stork block instead of butter, for the cake and for the icing. The tubs of stork contain dairy, so make sure you use stork block.

for the cake I used:

18oz Stork Block

18oz Self Raising Flour

18oz Caster Sugar

10 Small/Medium Eggs

1 table spoon of Baking Powder.

I actually made up 3 batches of this cake batter for the massive cake!

I decided our cake would be Rainbow coloured, so also needed 6 colour of gel food colouring.

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue & Purple. Sugar sprinkles hide my reduced ability, so I purchased 7 tubs.

I dont even attempt to mix cake batter by hand anymore, so an electric mixer is essential, and I always use my stork block at room temperature.

All the ingredients get poured into the mixer and it does its job.

I used a large 10” and a medium 8” cake tin for my two tier cake.

For the bottom tier, I used 10” cake pan with 18oz of cake mix, adding a different colour to each. cooking at 180 degrees for 16-18minutes.

The top tier I used the 8” cake pan with 14oz of cake mix, adding a different colour to each. cooking at 180 degrees for 14-16 minutes

Test the cake by inserting a Knife into the centre, if it comes out clean, it’s cooked!

Once I’ve made all the cake batter including adding colours, I rest while my help cooks all the layers.

once the layers are cooked and fully cooled, it’s time to assemble!

Vali doesn’t like Jam, so I filled the cake with butter cream - Dairy Free of course!

I actually used about 5kg of Icing Sugar for this massive cake! Along with 80g — 100g of stork block. Again in my electric mixer!

I always add butter icing to the cake board before sta to make sure it sticks.

once all the bottom tier is stacked, I ive round the outside, refrigerate and ice again.

sprinkles really do the job when it comes to hiding my very messy attempt at icing!

Harrison had a go at making a cake too!

I secured the cake with metal straws, but you can also use skewers instead.

all in all, it took me about 3 days to make this magnificent cake, and I’m so glad I achieved it. Although I couldn’t do one every week, sometimes it nice to use those skills I trained so hard to obtain. I’m aware of my limitations; asking for help allows me to achieve and end up with an outcome I’m proud of.

having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t do something, it’s just finding ways to adapt, income and achieve Your goal.

Pip xx

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