This week Rock My Family turns one. So it was only fitting that we had a post about one of our favourite subjects, cake. Most of you won’t know that my original name when I joined RMLtd was ‘Charlotte Cakes’ and then just ‘Cakes’. For the simple fact that I make cakes. And a lot of them. Aside from everything else I make wedding cakes and I ended up getting to know the team here from various photoshoots.

You would therefore think I am a wizz when it comes to my girls birthday cakes. I’m not. In fact more often than not I end up frantically trying to pull something together the night before the big day. It seems I have something of a attitude to their cakes.

I feel an immense amount of pressure, mainly from myself, to create them some sort of showstopper which is silly really. They are 3 and 4 for heavens sake! Over the last few years I have come up with a few simple ideas (and quite a few cheats) to create a cake that any kid would be proud of.

The biggest thing I need to stress is that the cake does not need to be perfect. I repeat it does not need to be perfect. This is a lesson I have had to learn myself but believe me, no two year old is going to notice if the cake is slightly wonky or your icing isn’t perfectly even. My favourite memories of my childhood birthdays were some of the wondrous cake creations my mum came up with. Namely the caterpillar made from swiss rolls and the amazing castle cake that had ice cream cones as turrets. I couldn’t tell you if they were iced spectacularly only that as a kid I was in awe.

The Insider Tips

Before you get started I thought I’d share a couple of my insider tips. I always use 3 layers of sponge cake as I like my cakes to be nice and tall. I have deep tins so use one quantity of the ingredients for each sponge. You can split between two sandwich tins if you prefer and in which case I’d probably do two batches (four cakes in total).

My basic recipe is a simple one. Cream together 8oz of butter and 8oz of caster sugar with a few drops of vanilla essence. Then add 4 large eggs and finally fold in 8oz self raising flour. You can add in any flavours you like at this stage. Place in 8inch tins and bake at 180c in a fan oven for around 35 minutes (20 for sandwich tins) until a skewer in the middle comes out clean.

Once the cakes are cooled take a sharp seated knife and trim off the top dome of the cake to make it nice and flat. Then fill with your choice of buttercream. Leave to rest for a good hour or pop in the fridge for 20 minutes to help everything settle. Once this is done apply what is known as a crumb coat or a thin layer of buttercream all over the cake. This doesn’t need to be perfect but provides a good base for any further buttercream or icing you might apply.

If you are confident with icing you can use this to decorate but if not I find buttercream a much easier (and tastier) option.

Simple Childrens Birthday Cakes


I love a good ombre cake. It’s my absolute favourite. Mix up a batch of buttercream and then place around a third in a bowl. Add in your colour of choice. This needs to be the darkest shade so mix until the required colour is achieved. Using a palette knife apply around the bottom third of the cake. Then add another third of buttercream in to the original bowl to give you a slightly lighter shade. Add this to the cake above the first layer. Don’t worry if it isn’t smooth at this stage. Repeat with the remaining buttercream and spread over the top third and top of the cake. You can leave it textured or to get it smooth hold you palette knife, smoother (or even a ruler) against the cake and run it round.


Mix hundreds and thousands or sprinkles in to your cake mixture and buttercream. It gives a really fun effect. Finish with a cute topper and voila.


A good drizzle is an excellent addition to any kids cake. Melt up chocolate or candy melts and pour over the top of your cake. Don’t go too mad as it will drip down the sides a lot.

Rainbow Cake

A rainbow cake is a definite hit with kids. It may look plain on the outside but cut in to it and a myriad of colours appear. You can find my recipe here on Rock My Style.

Piñata Cake

This is a seriously fun idea. As an additional surprise cut a hole through the centre of your middle cake layers, fill with treats or fruit before putting on the top layer and icing. When you cut in all the goodies will tumble out. Decorate as required.


If Peppa Pig is the order of the day or if your heart sinks when they mention a frozen cake then fear not. I have the simplest cheat for you all. It is one I use myself frequently. Yes, I could sit and craft replica figurines out of sugar paste but they are definitely not my forte. A beautiful blooming sugar paste rose is no problem but Elsa and Anna not so much. My trick here actually gives two surprises in one for your littles. Buy the toy figurines. Yep, just buy them. When Molly requested a Tinkerbell party last year I started thinking about how long it would take me to model said fairy. I realised I had neither the time nor the inclination. Plus the modelling paste would have set me back around £10. Instead I popped to the Disney store and picked up a pack of the Pixie Hollow fairies for £12, wrapped them up as a gift for the birthday girl, then swiped them away to pop on the cake. So she got some cute toys to play with and I got all the effect and non of the hassle. I’ve done the same with Peppa Pig for Alice with a few sugar paste muddy puddles. Super simple.


My absolute favourite toy purchases for the girls over the years has been their vast collection of Schleich animals. Mainly due to their vast array of uses in my prop box and general awesomeness. You will probably have seen them grace many a Pinterest worthy cake. These cute figurines can transform any cake in to a super stylish yet super fun cake. I am known to make mini party hats for the animals to wear which is possibly my favourite yet. They have graced everything from a circus cake to a jungle Dora inspired creation.


I am by no means suggesting making your own donuts. No one has time for that do they? Instead buy some supermarket ones of your choice. You could go for pre-iced but I love buying jammy donuts or the mini variety and adding my own colours and sprinkles to match the party. The kids love helping with this too. Once the donuts are ready simply pile them haphazardly on a stand or plate. Add some bunting or a topper and voila!


For any digger mad littles out there this is a great option. Make a big chocolate cake and cover with chocolate buttercream. It doesn’t need to be neat as is meant to look like mud. Add some yellow toy diggers (yep another use for toys). Pile up some maltesers and crumbled flakes to give mounds of boulders and dirt. For added wow take a spoon and scoop out a chunk of cake from the edge.

Animal Faces

With a bit of imagination you can create some of the cutest little animal faces. Start with an iced cake and then add a few simple pieces to create the face. Use some sugarpaste in the colours of your choice to make the pieces. You can either freehand it to cut them out or draw it on to paper, lay this on the icing and then trace the lines using a blunt tool. I would normally leave the pieces to settle slightly over night as it stops them being too flimsy. If you can get hold of it I use flowerpaste (Sainsburys and Tesco sell this) for pieces like the ears as it dries firmer. The panda cake is really easy. Just cut two ovals for the eyes and two semi circle for the ears. Add a small nose and lines for the mouth. Then squish a little bit of pink icing for the cheeks. He is just the cutest.

Hungry Caterpillar

There was a lot of love for the Hungry Caterpillar cake I created for Alice’s 3rd birthday and you can actually create this rather easily (she says!). To create the fruit pieces I just cut these out freehand from coloured sugarpaste. I then created a little hole in each piece. I used a cutter but you could use a straw or similar. I then used the round cutter to create lots of different coloured circles for around the bottom. I stuck them on using edible glue or just use a small brush of water. For the topper I used modelling or flower paste and created lots of round balls which I squashed together in the caterpillar shape with a red head. I then inserted two cocktail sticks in to the bottom ready to add to the cake. Leave it to dry flat for at least a day before adding to the cake. If you fancy an easier option ice a selection of cupcakes with green icing and a larger round cake in red icing for the head with eyes and detailing added. Then simply arrange in a caterpillar shape on the table.


Flowers are not just the domain of wedding cakes. Add some pretty blooms and foliage to your cake to make a super pretty display. Do check they are suitable for adding to cakes first. For Mabel’s first birthday I made a two tiered semi-naked cake which we decorated with fresh lilacs and sweet star toppers. You can see the full party here.


A cute topper can completely transform a cake. Everything from pom poms to bunting or cute wooden wording. Have a look on Etsy for some great options.
I hope that’s given you a bit of inspiration. Please do leave any cake related questions below and I’ll do my best to help out!

All cakes by Lottie except Chocolate Bear Cake, Digger, Sheep and Whale via Pinterest.