birthday cakes make you feel good

Cookie Monster cake

cake4kids

I’m a volunteer baker for an organization called cake4kids and I just made my first cake for them. I love baking so this is a perfect opportunity for me. Before reading about cake4kids, it never occurred to me that some kids don’t get a birthday cake or even celebrate their special day. Pretty heartbreaking, if you ask me. The organization provides free birthday cakes to foster children and at-risk youth. The idea is simple, you choose a child/cake from the monthly calendar, bake/decorate the cake and then deliver it. Easy breezy! Sometimes they’ll request specific decorations or a theme, as in my case — the little boy wanted a Sesame Street cake. I went with Cookie Monster cos everyone loves him, right? The cake was vanilla with vanilla vegan buttercream, due to the fact that the buttercream needed to be made with soy milk. Another volunteer sent me her vegan recipe, so I gave it a try. It tasted like regular buttercream to me, so it’s a recipe I’d use again if someone had dairy restrictions.

So how did my first experience go? I made the cake on a Tuesday, delivered it on a Wednesday and felt warm and fuzzy the rest of the day knowing I made this little guy happy!

polka dot sides!

Here is the Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting recipe from the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:
(Please note: the recipe as written here is made to frost a dozen cupcakes.  You might want to double it to get enough cake frosting, or at least have the ingredients on hand to make it twice.)

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (you can get Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (Whole Foods has this, too)
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer

– Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy.
– Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
– Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for 5-7 more minutes until fluffy.