Looking for a fun, easy way to add some variety to your child’s lunchbox? Try these delicious and healthy lunch box cakes! They’re perfect for any occasion, and kids will love them! With just a few simple ingredients, you can bake a delicious cake that will brighten up your child’s day. Plus, they’re the perfect size for packing in a lunch box.
What Are Lunchbox Cakes?
A lunch box cake is a type of cake that is designed to be packed in a lunchbox and eaten as a midday snack. These cakes are typically smaller than traditional cakes, and they often have a more robust flavor that can satisfying hunger pangs. Lunchbox cakes are often made with whole grains, nuts, and other healthy ingredients, making them a sensible choice for a midday snack. However, there are also many recipes for delicious and indulgent lunchbox cakes that can provide a sweet treat during the workday. Whether you are looking for a healthy snack or a decadent dessert, there is a recipe to suit your needs.
How Big Are Lunch Box Cakes?
Lunch box cakes range in size from miniature cupcakes to full-sized sheet cakes. You can choose the size that works best for your needs, depending on the appetite of the person who will be eating it and how much space you have available in their lunchbox. Miniature cupcakes are great for a single serving, while larger cakes can be easily split between multiple people.
How to Make Lunch Box Cakes
Lunch box cakes are quick and easy to make, and there are endless flavor combinations to suit every child’s taste. Best of all, they can be tailored to meet any dietary restrictions. Here are five steps to make it:
Bake the Chocolate Cake Layers
- Preheating the oven is an important step in baking a perfect cake. The ideal temperature for most cakes is 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 175 degrees Celsius.
- Before you add the batter to the pan, be sure to grease and line the pan with non-stick spray or homemade cake release. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and making a mess.
- Once the batter is in the pan, use a spatula to evenly distribute it. Then bake the cake for about 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. If the toothpick comes out clean, that means the cake is overcooked and will be dry.
- Removing the cake from the oven and letting it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, flip the cake onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once it’s cooled, use a serrated knife to carefully cut through the cake, creating four thin layers. Be sure to go slow and steady, and you’ll end up with perfectly thin cake layers that are sure to impress.
Make the Buttercream Frosting
- One of the most important steps in making a perfect cake is getting the frosting just right. Too thick and it will be difficult to spread, too thin and it won’t hold its shape. The key to achieving the perfect consistency is to take your time and add ingredients slowly, until you reach the desired consistency.
- When making buttercream frosting, start by mixing together the butter and powdered sugar. If the frosting seems too thick, add cream (one tablespoon at a time) until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Or if the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time) until it is of the right consistency. With a little patience, you can easily achieve perfect results.
Stack and Crumb Coat the Cake Layers
- Place a square sheet of parchment paper on top of the cake board. Tape the parchment paper down to keep it in place.
- Then, spread an even layer of vanilla buttercream on top of the cake layer with an offset spatula. Be sure to smooth out any bumps or air bubbles for a flawless finish.
- Placing one cake layer on a plate or cake board. Spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting on top of the cake, being sure to reach the edge of the cake.
- Then, stack the next cake layer on top. Repeat this process until all of the cake layers have been used.
- Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream frosting. Smooth the frosting using a bench scraper and/or small offset spatula.
- Chill the cake again in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until frosting is firm to touch.
Add a Second Layer of Frosting
- Once the crumb coat is set, it’s time to add a second layer of buttercream frosting. Using an offset spatula, spread a thick layer of buttercream evenly over the entire cake.
- Smooth out any bumps or air bubbles with the same bench scraper and/or small offset spatula used in the previous step.
- Chill the cake again in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until frosting is firm to touch.
Decorate as Desired
- Lifting the cakes off the cake boards using parchment paper helps to prevent them from sticking and makes it easier to transfer them to the containers.
- Buttercream can be colored using gel food coloring, which is available in a wide range of colors.
- Small piping bags can be used to pipe the buttercream onto the cakes, and this technique is often used to create decorative designs on the top of the cake.
- Use a toothpick or scribe to sketch out your message on top of the cake. Then, use buttercream to pipe the message on top of the cake. If you want to get really creative, you can also decorate the border with remaining buttercream.
Watch Video How To Make Lunchbox Cake
Substitutions and Swaps – Chocolate Cake Layers
The same instructions used to make a classic vanilla cake can also be used to make a chocolate cake. Simply substitute the white sugar with dark brown sugar and add cocoa powder (2-3 tablespoons) to the dry ingredients.
For richer flavor, you may want to consider adding semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (1/2 cup) to the batter before baking.
You may also use melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate (1/2 cup) instead of the vanilla extract in the buttercream frosting.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can create a marble cake by swirling light and dark batters together before baking. This will give you a unique look and a delicious flavor.
Substitutions and Swaps – Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
The same instructions used to make a classic vanilla buttercream frosting can also be used to make other flavors.
Simply substitute the vanilla extract with almond extract for an almond flavored frosting, or use other extracts like coconut, mint, or lemon. You may also add different colors and flavorings such as matcha powder, fruits, spices, liqueurs, and jams.
You may also add butter or cream cheese to the frosting for a richer flavor and texture. Cream cheese will give the frosting a tangy taste that pairs well with carrot cakes and spiced cakes. And if you want a vegan version of this frosting, simply use vegetable shortening (such as Crisco) in place of the butter.
Tips for Making the Perfect Cake
– Be sure to use room temperature ingredients. This makes mixing easier and helps avoid lumps in the batter.
– Always measure your ingredients carefully for consistent results every time you bake.
– Grease and line the pans before baking, so that the cakes come out cleanly.
– Ensure that the oven is preheated before baking the cakes.
– Check the cakes for doneness using a toothpick or cake tester. If it comes out clean, the cakes are done baking.
– Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting them.
– Make sure to properly chill your cake between each step of assembly and decorating. This will help ensure that the cake doesn’t collapse or have crumbs in the frosting.
– If you’re making multiple cakes, it’s best to work on one at a time for ease of assembly and decorating.
Once cooled, cakes should be covered with a cake dome or in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If storing for longer periods of time, freeze the cakes for up to 3 months. To thaw them, simply allow them to sit at room temperature until they reach a desired texture.
More Similar Recipes:
- Castella cake recipe
- Butterscotch Cake With Caramel Icing
- Strawberry Oreo Crunch Pound Cake
- Pumpkin Roll Recipe
Making a cake from scratch may seem intimidating, but it is actually quite simple. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create delicious cakes that are sure to impress your friends and family. Be sure to follow the Liliana Kitchen instructions carefully and make substitutions or swaps as desired for different flavors and textures. And don’t forget to have fun!
- THE FROSTING
- Unsalted butter: 125 gr
- Vegetable shortening: 125 gr
- Powdered sugar: 500 gr
- Evaporated milk: ½ tbsp
- THE CAKE BASE
- Eggs: 2
- Sugar: ⅓ cups
- Ovalette: ¼ tsp
- Vanilla essence: ½ tsp
- All-purpose flour: ¼ cup
- Cocoa powder: 2 tbsp
- Baking powder: ½ tsp
- Vegetable oil: 2 tbsp
- Milk: 2 tbsp
Chocolate Cake Layers:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, dark cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the hot water, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until combined. Finally, stir in the egg and vanilla extract until well incorporated.
4. Divide the batter evenly between both cake pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, vanilla extract and salt until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and heavy cream and beat until smooth, 5-7 minutes. If desired, add a few drops of gel food coloring and mix until combined.
Assembling these Lunch Box Cakes:
1. Once the cakes are cooled, level them by removing any domed tops using a cake leveler or large serrated knife.
2. Place one of the cake layers onto your serving plate or cake stand.
3. Using an offset spatula, spread a generous layer of frosting over the top of the bottom layer and top with the remaining cake layer.
4. Coat the entire surface and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting, this is known as a crumb coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to let it set.
5. Frost the top and sides of your cake with the remaining frosting and decorate as desired using sprinkles and other candies.
6. Cut into small slices, and serve or store in an airtight container for later! Enjoy!
7. Finally, cut the cake pieces into individual servings. Place each slice inside a small snack-size bag or container to keep it from getting squashed in the lunchbox. Pack some extra frosting in a separate container to top off the cake later. You can also make lunch box cakes ahead of time, store them in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months.
- To make sure your cakes will fit inside a lunchbox, be sure to measure it beforehand and adjust the size of the cake accordingly.
- For extra flavor, add mix-ins such as chopped nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit to the batter before baking.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute with a mixture of equal parts milk and lemon juice or white vinegar.
- For the perfect crumb coat, use a thin layer of frosting to cover the entire cake before adding on more for decoration.
- If you’re short on time, store-bought frosting can be used in place of homemade.
- To achieve the perfect swirls and decorations on top, use a piping bag or a small spoon to add the frosting.