It’s not often I go mainstream but basically my eldest daughter asked me to make a Hello Kitty cake for my granddaugher Tayda’s fourth birthday party in December (this blog is well-overdue) held at St Werburgh’s city farm.
A few days before I got baking, my eldest daughter had a nightmare about the cake-making.
I said: “Good. Prepare to be disappointed.”
I felt I had to manage expectations.
However, it turned out well. The cake tasted good and actually looked like Hello Kitty.
For the latter, I must thank the opportune arrival of my middle daughter who took over cake-decorating just as I was getting bored. She talked me down from “getting creative”, insisting we adhere to its original design.
So here’s the Hello Kitty birthday cake-making story plus recipes.
I started by looking online for a clear image I could print and trace.
I ended up on GirlyBubble, a website for “girlyness and cute stuff”. Yes, I was in alien territory but fearless in my quest for a clear image of Hello Kitty.
I printed the image and traced it by hand. I admired the clever simplicity of the design, neither round nor oval, and its trademark bow and whiskers.
I owe decoration-detail to Coolest Birthday Cakes where readers have submitted their Hello Kitty cake designs. How grateful am I to the web and its culture of sharing?
Then it was time for real-life cake-decoration shopping at my local sweet shop on the independent-tastic Gloucester Road (one of the last independent high streets in the UK).
Scrumptiously Sweet is a traditional sweet shop offering attentive service and saintly patience as I agonised over icing tubes, jelly beans and marshmallow pipes.
We used bootlace liquorice to outline Hello Kitty’s head and ears, her bow, whiskers and nose.
We squeezed out Dr Oetker Designer Icing to fill in the red of the bow.
And encircled the lower base of the cake with pink marshmallow Flumps (you can see the join in the pic below).
Hello Kitty Cake and Icing recipes
I owe everything to All Recipes.com and its Foolproof Sponge Cake. It is truly foolproof for I am the fool, and here is the proof.
I made two sponges, one square, one round.
The deeper square one (above) was sliced through its middle and filled and covered with pink buttercream icing.
The smaller sponge (above) was baked in a round flan tin, requiring only some trimming with a sharp knife to become Kitty-shaped. This sponge had white icing to contrast with its bigger pink base.
Recipe for Foolproof Sponge Cake
No need to cream butter and sugar. Instead, sieve the flour and mix in the other ingredients. I used organic ingredients for health of people and planet, and butter not marge. It seemed strange to cook a sponge for a whole hour – but it worked. Brilliantly.
340g (12 oz) self-raising flour | 280g (10 oz) caster sugar | 280g (10 oz) butter (or margarine) | 5 eggs |3 tablespoons milk (or soya milk) |
1. Grease and line two 20cm (8 inch) square or round tins and set aside. I used an 8 inch square tin and an 8 inch round flan tin, and did not skimp on the greaseproof lining paper.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 150 C / Gas 2, or 140 C for fan ovens.
3. Sieve self-raising flour into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and butter, then the eggs. I used my electric hand-blender, adding one egg at a time, blending after each one, until all ingredients were amalgamated. Once blended, some extra fast whizzes. The result: a thickish smooth batter.
4. Pour into the tins, place in centre of oven and cook for about 1 hour 15 mins, to 1 hour 30 mins. All Recipes says test with skewer: if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Thank you All Recipes.com. Now a huge big shout-out to HonieMummyBlog for Perfect Butter Icing – perfect indeed! – and a genius selection of different quantities. Again, gratitude.
250 g / 8 oz butter | 500 g / 1 lb icing sugar | 4 teaspoons milk
For base (not Hello Kitty face), we carefully added drop-by-drop red colouring for a pinky effect, and mixed before adding the next drop.
I made the cakes on the Thursday, the butter icing on Friday, and assembled it all on Saturday – party day.
And did not disgrace my family.
Here is the cake nibbled down to its essential Hello Kitty-ness.
And here’s a under-1-minute video of the cake at Tayda’s party.