With the introduction of our new Cottage Toys and Interiors blog we are keen to not only showcase our latest wooden toys and beautiful children's interiors, we also want to share some of our favourite things that are non-business related. As parents ourselves we thought it would be nice to create our very own parenting and lifestyle platform, so we can connect with you guys on a more personal level too. 

So first up. The Aldi cake hack. Designed to make every parents life that little bit easier (and cheaper) when it comes to children's parties. Although not just for children's birthday cakes we must add. This is a cake hack for all occasions. (It also doesn't HAVE to be an Aldi cake you use. It can be any cake just make sure it has un-iced sides.)

The Aldi cake hack came about quite by accident, thanks to instagram. (of course) and it seemed to me like a genius idea. I wish I could claim it as my own. After sharing it with friends and family I was really surprised how few people knew about it, which is really why I wanted to share it here. Let's face it children's parties these days can be pretty expensive, and thanks to instagram (it has it's pluses and it's minuses) the steaks are set pretty high when it comes to children's parties these day. From the decor, tableware, venues, to the cake, there are some pretty inspirational parties going on out there. Thanks to the Instagram revolution it has also become a bit of a thing to make the cake. You aren't a good mum without making the cake, right? 

Joking aside, and let's be clear I am not one of these super mum bakers (and I do not feel in the least bit in-adequate for this and nor should you) I do actually quite like the idea of cake making so when I came across this hack I wanted to give it a go. It was super easy, really cheap, didn't take very long, was actually quite fun, and I have never looked back. 

Just follow these simple instructions and away you go.

1. Buy two (or however many layers you want) celebration cakes. Aldi is the cheapest, but Sainsbury's do exactly the same cake. (it's £2 more.) It comes in either Vanilla sponge or chocolate. 

2. cut off the top icing layer of both cakes to make a flat surface.

3. Place one cake on top of the other, using a wooden skewer to secure it. Make sure this is cut down if necessary so it doesn't show. (I didn't actually use a skewer but you would definitely need one if you did more than two layers to stop it from leaning..)

4. Mix your butter cream icing. (Just google 'simple butter cream recipe'. I use the BBC good food one.)

5. Separate the butter cream icing equally into different bowls, depending how many colours you want. Then mix in the food colouring for each. Food colouring gel is best as it gives a more vibrant colour. 

6. Take your piping bags (I got mine from hobbycraft) and fill with each colour. You don't need to worry about nozzles just snip the end of the bag to make a hole large enough for the icing to be piped. 

7. Start at the bottom with one colour then work your way up. You can make the layers as thick or thin as you like and it doesn't have to be neat. 

8. Then take your smoothing knife (again from Hobbycraft) and run it around the cake to smooth out the icing. 

9. Place in the fridge for half and hour to set.

10. Ice the top by piping on the icing and smooth with a knife. 

It's as simple as that. The first time it may not be totally neat, but I think that just adds to the charm. Plus if you are worried you can do a more rustic finish. It's great for Ombre cakes as they don't need to be neat anyway.

Once iced you can decorate how you want, go crazy or keep it simple.  I like to keep it simple with a cake topper and candle, and maybe a flower or two. I have a beautiful name glitter cake topper for each of my daughter's from Clara Ivy. I also love Bows Beaus for the most adorable animal decorations. When it comes to the candles it has to be Meri Meri. 

Let me know if you give it a go and how it turns out!

Love, Jess x