Fluffy Bunny Pancakes

Tomorrow is Pancake Day! It’s the perfect excuse to have a fun dinner or a sweet treat.

Since this is the first Pancake Day Olivia can take part in, I was trying to think of ways to make it fun. I always love pictures of people making animal pancakes for their kids. There are no rules. You can make teddy bears, butterflies and everyone remembers the pancake art trend. Olivia is still too young to appreciate full blown pancake art but I wanted to practice a simple design that I can make her on Sunday mornings or a grey day to cheer her up and I thought one of the most simple (and cute) designs would be a bunny!

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Although I had a lot of fun making these, I can’t wait until she’s a tad older and can decorate her bunny how she likes. Whipped cream tail? Chocolate whiskers? Strawberry teeth? Banana eyes and blueberry nose? If you do make these, please share your designs with me! I would love to see how you (or your children) decorate them.

Not only is this adorable, but they actually taste so good. I had some left over batter, after making these, and decided to have some for breakfast (as it was just there, and honestly, they’re so delicious!). I topped mine with strawberries and honey (how grown up am I?) but I kind of wanted to cover it in Nutella, whipped cream and sprinkles. Not gonna lie.

The recipe is perfect and you don’t need to run to the shops to get anything ‘special’. Chances are you’ll already have everything you need in the cupboard. So, without further adieu…


Fluffy Pancake Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Lightly whisk the milk and egg together in a seperate bowl, then add the olive oil.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the flour and whisk with a fork until completely combined.
  4. Leave batter to rest for a few minutes.
  5. Heat up a frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil to stop the pancakes sticking (you’ll need to add oil as you go).
  6. Add a ladle of batter to the heated pan. For the bunny you will need 1 large (body), 1 medium (head), two small (feet) and two ear-shaped pancakes. You’ll want to make several of each so you can practice and pick the best ones.
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  7. Once the top of the batter begins to bubble, flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown on both sides.
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  8. Arrange into a bunny shape and decorate!!!
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And that’s it! It’s literally that simple! These are perfect for a spur of the moment pancake craving or a spontaneous weekend breakfast.

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Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you all have a very yummy Pancake Day!

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Minecraft Cake Tutorial

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This weekend, my younger brother turned 12 and he requested a Minecraft themed party. I volunteered to make him a Minecraft cake and he was so excited. It only occurred to me later on that I was going to have to figure out HOW to do it.
So, if like me, you want to make a child’s birthday or you’re just wondering how to do it, I’m here to help!
My brother told me he wanted a chocolate cake but you can make any flavour cake you’d like. I used a 10 inch (25cm) square cake pan.

 

1. Make the Cake

Ingredients
For the cake:

  • 280g (10oz) butter, room temperature
  • 280g (10oz) caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) self raising flour
  • 25g (1oz) Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan, Gas 4) and thoroughly grease a square 10 inch (25cm) cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, and add 1/5 of flour mixture after each egg.
  5. Pour in vanilla extract and mix until combined and pour into cake tin.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until a skewer, inserted in the centre of the cake, comes out clean.
  7. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out on a wire rack.

2. Assemble the Cake


For the filling:

  • 200g Cadbury dairy milk (or your favourite chocolate), melted

Method

  1. Once the cake is fully cooled, level the chocolate cake by cutting the top until flat then divide the cake length ways through the middle. Put the shaved off chocolate cake to one side to use later.
  2. Pour over 3/4 of the melted chocolate on the bottom half and sandwich the other half on top.
  3. Cut out a section of the cake. You can use my template below or create your own (but remember to make the shape out of squares, like Minecraft!).
  4. Layer the cut out piece on top of the cake using the remaining melted chocolate to fix it to the cake.
  5. Place cake onto a cake board (you can also use some melted chocolate to fix the cake to the board).

Template

16.5cm

3. The ‘Dirt’

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • 225g butter
  • 175g melted chocolate, room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl. I used the microwave, heating it at 30 second intervals and stirring in between to avoid burning the chocolate.
  2. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar in a mixer until smooth.
  4. Add the chocolate and mix until thick and creamy.

For the ‘dirt’:

  • 15 chocolate digestive biscuits
  • left over chocolate cake

Method

This will be used to pat on the side of the cake to give the soil look of the grass square in Minecraft.

  1.  Put chocolate digestives into a zip lock bag and close it up. With a rolling pin or a mallet, beat the biscuits into crumbs.
  2. Crumble the left over chocolate cake shavings into the bag and mix until it looks like soil.
  3. Pipe the chocolate buttercream on the sides of the chocolate cake using a piping bag and a round nozzle. Then, pat the ‘dirt’ mixture onto the sides.

4. The ‘Grass’

For the vanilla buttercream (the grass):

  • 110g butter
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 60ml (3tbsp) semi-skimmed milk
  • 2tsp vanilla essence
  • green food colouring (preferably gel)

Method

This will be dyed green and will be the grass on top of the ‘dirt’ squares.

  1.  Mix together, butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla essence in a mixer until combined.
  2. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and add green food colouring (I use gel food colouring as it gives a stronger colour and doesn’t add extra liquid to the mixture).
  3. Mix in the food colouring until the colour is even throughout.
  4. Put buttercream into a piping bag with a star tip.
  5. Pipe small spikes all over the top surfaces of the cake in neat rows to look like grass.

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Finishing Touches

I piped more of the green buttercream onto the cake board to give the effect of layered grass. It also allowed me to secure fondant figures from Minecraft to the cake board. These figures were bought online but if you have time and the skill, you could make them yourself ahead of time. I added the element of sand to the cake board by crumbling plain digestive biscuits and securing it using edible glue (you could also use water icing). Similarly, I used edible glue to secure blue fondant to the cake board to add water to the scene.

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I was really proud of this cake, mostly because my brother was super happy with it and was so excited to see it. This is a really simple design for Minecraft. If you have the imagination, you can create different scenes using this basic technique.

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I own all the images in this post.

Olivia’s 1st Birthday

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So, my baby turned one year old this week. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I’d feel the way I did. I thought I would be excited to throw my little girl her first ever birthday party and have a great time with friends and family, creating a memory that would last a life time. I did not see it this way.

Instead, the week leading up to her birthday, filled me with dread, heart ache and reminiscence. I couldn’t believe that a year ago I was holding this precious, tiny baby that was all mine and depended on me for everything. Now, she crawls around the house at speed, wants to feed herself and doesn’t need me to rock her to sleep at night. I felt like time was already slipping through my fingers and I wanted it to slow down. I got quite down about it, to the point where I didn’t want to throw her a party but the fear of regret forced me to power through.

I teared up in the middle of HobbyCraft buying decorations, I cried putting up pictures of her monthly milestones and the night before, I laid in bed thinking back to my labour I was in a year ago. The first time I saw her face.  I sobbed like a baby. I felt ridiculous. “She’s only 1! It’s only the first year of many. I have 17 more! Oh… I only have 17 more. This last one went so quick and let’s face it, she’s not going to want me to throw her birthday parties when she’s a teenager so maybe I only have 12 at most?” is what I thought to myself. It was that moment I realised, I’m not going to have many chances to throw her birthday parties so I need to grab every opportunity and go all out!

We had a party at our house and only invited family (as that is all we could fit in our house). I would have loved to invite all our friends too and have Olivia surrounded by as many people that love her as possible but we struggled for room as it was. I decorated the whole of the downstairs, the day before. As well as baked cupcakes and a separate cake for Olivia to destroy. I even made a fondant duck, as we have a bit of an obsession at the moment, in hopes it would encourage her to destroy the cake. I spent 4 hours cooking and preparing party food and organising how to display it (I’m a bit OCD when it comes to parties).

So, the big day arrived. I felt fine. Steven got Olivia out of bed in the morning and we all sat in our bed talking about the day ahead and then he hands me a card. I assumed it was for Olivia but he said it was for me. Puzzled, I opened it and on the front was a picture of all of us and the words ‘Happy Birth Day’. Upon opening the card, I couldn’t stop the floods of tears as I read the words ‘Thank you for being such a good Mum’. Any Mum out there knows, there’s nothing more rewarding than someone telling you, you’re a good Mum or that you’re doing a good job because that’s all you hope for and you don’t really know if you’re doing a good enough job for your little ones. So there you go, my plan to hold it all together was thrown out of the window before 9am.

Afterwards, we took Olivia downstairs to show her the present from us. The night before, Steven and I had spent the evening building an IKEA play kitchen so she could play with it the morning of her birthday. It filled us with joy to see she immediately was smiling and trying to open the doors and move the tap.

The party started after Olivia’s nap and afternoon bottle. Soon, the house was filled with family and a serious amount of presents for Olivia. She was very spoilt. I loved seeing people’s faces when they saw Olivia. She just lights up a room and makes everyone smile. Everyone wanted to hold her and speak to her and as a Mum you can only hope that she continues to be surrounded by such love.

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After opening presents, we stripped her down to her vest and sat her on the dining table. We sang happy birthday (which she hated as she is not a fan of group singing) and let her go to town on her birthday cake. I’m so glad I decided to do this because the pictures are ones I will treasure forever. She was in her element (she’s more like her mother than I thought) grabbing chunks of cake and eating them, making a mess and just enjoying herself.

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One of the many lessons I’ve learnt this past year of being a Mum is how to sacrifice your own feelings to make your children happy. I know this was only a small thing, a birthday party, but it’s made me more comfortable to do the best for her and create as many happy memories for her as possible, even if it breaks my heart. In the end, seeing her happy will mend it again.

Happy Birthday, sweetheart xxx

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Thank you for reading!

I am the owner and creator of all images in this post.