Playgroup Cake

Magical sprinkle surprise loaf cake.

Another quicky that can be measured using cups for your little baker's convenience and adapted to use up whatever you have in the cupboards / in the fruit bowl. Sprinkles are magical just by their very nature if you're 2, but what you can't see here (because I couldn't cut it before we gave it away) is that when you cut into it you can see lots of different coloured sprinkles inside. Such fun.

This bake was a total improvisation. It was our turn to provide cake for our weekly village cafe (a gorgeous affair where I get to sit on my bum each week whilst lovely ladies play with my children, feed me cake, drown me in tea and listen) with donations going towards our lovely new playgroup. Bigger small was too poorly to drag to the supermarket, so we had to make do and devise. She has been properly into magic and surprises this week. Making magic potions, surprising the post lady with scruffy cookies, reading 'Mr Cosmo the Magician' and 'Mrs Pepperpot' (magical shrinking), a rubbish attempt at magic painting (does the wax candle under paint thing not actually work?) and imaginative magician play. The recipe is loosely based on an American pound cake, but I had a bag of desiccated coconut and had run out of vanilla extract, but had almond so that's what went in. It was actually delicious. Really moist.


3 cups plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups butter2 cups caster sugar

4 eggs

1tsp almond extract

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup sprinkles

50g desiccated coconut

1. Grease and line a large loaf tin. Because of the sugar crust that forms on a pound cake the edges of this cake will catch

quickly. I would line the whole tin. Just to be

safe. Preheat oven to 170. You could easily half

the recipe and make a smaller loaf.

2. Beat together butter, sugar, coconut and almond extract. Then add the flour and milk alternately until you have a smooth batter. Fold in the sprinkles.

3. Pour into the awaiting tin and bake for 50 mins - an hour. Until a light golden colour and a knife comes out of the middle clean.

It's worth saying that you do need really good quality sprinkles to achieve the surprise effect. Cheaper ones will either disappear or, worst case scenario, turn your cake grey! Make sure you use the flat circle confetti or the coloured strands. Traditional 100s and 1000s are not coloured all the way through and won't work. As an aside, does anyone know why sugar strands are called Jimmies in America? Funny.

The coconut and the pound cake style recipe made this quite a substantial bake. It would stand up well to being carved or iced if you were after a party cake recipe. Orange zest, lemon or even honey would make good alternative flavours. Experiment with what you've got hanging about in the cupboard.

I iced this as it was for the village cafe, but on reflection I wouldn't bother. The surprise element will be greater if it looks like a normal loaf cake, plus this version was sweet enough without.

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