by Mireille Bourgeois
I love babysitting. It can be exhausting to keep kids entertained, especially since my friend’s kids sometimes come to our house instead of me going to theirs, and they are far away from their beloved toys. But I try to keep them occupied with some activities while I’m spending time with them and we always seem to have a good time.
As a busy-body myself and a babysitter, I try to keep two activity “stations” going so that no one gets bored. These kids are pretty easy to please though, as very creative souls, so that’s fun.
I have a drawing and painting station set up with plastic tablecloth of course, and today, I decided to make a cake with them. Making a cake with two kids is tricky. I’m not a mom and I know this. Basically, everyone wants to measure and pour and if there are two kids, there has to be enough tasks for all. Messes will ensue.
I found this marbled cake (from the Crosby Molasses recipe book: you can write to them to get a free one) a really great activity to do with two kids, since there are two sections that have to be prepared separately, and then both kids can help with putting the batter in the cake pan. I took one kid at a time in the kitchen to mix their section and when they were done I sent them out to paint. They seemed to have a lot of fun and well.. I did too. For both sections I had already measured all the amounts and put them in separate mini bowls so that the kids could each pour and stir. I did the heavy stirring and helped just a bit with holding the bowls when they poured.
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 shortening (room temp.)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup molasses
1cup cold water
2 cup flour
1tso baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Personally I like a nice spicy spice cake. The above ratio of spices did not satisfy. I recommend doubling just the nutmeg, cinnamon and clove for this recipe. If you like a mild molasses cake, go with the above recipe.
1cup white sugar
1/2 shortening (room temp.)
2 egg whites
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
1tsp cream of tartar (I replaced this with 1tsp of baking powder and decreased baking soda to 1/2 tsp)
1tsp baking soda
(Side note: do you like that you can see the line up of knives in the background?? Yeah, I promise they are out of reach. I was standing to their left the whole time… other than taking this picture that is…)
ok… on with the recipe: Mix ingredients for each section separately. For both sections, cream shortening with sugar (I asked the kids to put the ingredients in the bowl and then mixed it myself to get all the lumps out. This is a tough part to mix but not too bad if you leave your shortening out at room temperature). Beat in the egg whites for white section and the yolks and molasses for the dark section. Mix dry ingredients for both and add alternately with milk for white and with water for dark section. The kids loved this part, lots of helping with the pouring and mixing. Once both sections are mixed and you’re ready to pour, I suggest bringing in the kids to help with the next part together.
Place batter into 9″x13″ pan by tablespoons in checker board fashion one at a time, dark and then white, etc. Marble by dragging a knife from left to right and through all rows of squares. Cook at 300F for approximately 45 minutes (My pan was deep and square (9X9) and I had to leave it in for an extra 30 minutes or so.). Anyhoo. This was fun, I’d do it again, look at those smiles too, they had fun. Yeah. Totally. Oh right: AND the cake was pretty tasty too, moist and delicious! You could add icing if you’d like, but it’s great as is. You can add a bit of icing sugar sprinkled on top for extra pretty. 🙂