I started making fruit ‘cakes’ for my son’s first birthday. It was important for me that we continue with a sugar free diet as long as possible. I have since discovered they are a lot of fun to create (definitely a challenge too) and are always a hit with kids and adults. It has now become a bit of a tradition and with two children I get creative every 6 months. Here are my fruit creations so far…
This one is the latest and was for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. We hired the local community centre so needed to transport this (only 900 metres away). It was handy to have it flat and I was able to take it in a large plastic container in the boot of my car.
Here are my tips on making the butterfly.
Try for fruit that is not too juicy. Using the watermelon skin to create the wings helps to contain the fruit. Use wooden toothpicks to hold key junctions. These can be composted afterwards. Try to make the watermelon wing outline thick so you have a decent wall to contain fruit. This look better as you can pile the fruit more and see less gaps of the board underneath. Fill in gaps with half blueberries or currants. Start by choosing a board and finding a suitable container for it. I went with chopping board and a plastic container with a lid that I could keep out of fridge. Try to organise this well before the event so it is not as stressful on the day (lesson learnt). Put a layer of ice in the base of the container and cover with a towel so the board would not slip around in transit. It also means you can store it in the container on the day without taking up room in the fridge. I always make the fruit creations on the day. This means you have to be organised with other food and tasks. We also tend to do our parties in the afternoon (as one of the kids is having a midday nap). Allow 2 hours uninterrupted. You may find it quicker if you have a photo as a guide. Chop off the base on fruit so they sit flat (passionfruit). Keep ‘off cuts’ of fruit and add to a bowl and make a fruit salad as you go. Skins/seeds etc can go to the chooks or compost.
The echidna would be tricky to transport. I made this for my daughter’s 1st birthday which was held at my parents place. I just had to take it outside. I used measuring spoons to scoop melon balls, reusable metal skewers for the spikes and a cookie cutter for the number. The date balls (pictured right middle with melon number one) are easy – I just chopped up snack dates, apricots and currants then rolled them into balls and covered them in shredded coconut. The banana muffins are a favourite in our house and they are a result of experimenting with a number of recipes. Making small muffins helps keep them moist and they are a great size for the kids lunch boxes.
The base is made from watermelon cut into slices to create big circles. I then cut each circle into wedges. I staggered the position of the wedges so that when stacked the watermelon base had a brickwork like structure. You can use skewers to keep things in place if needed.
The next level is the honey dew and rockmelon. I hollowed these out and filled them with mixed melon balls.
Use skewers to create spires. This also helps keep things in place. Use toothpicks as needed.
The fruit castle was the first creation I attempted and was for my son’s 1st birthday. We held it at a local park and transported it on my lap in the car. We filled the moat with yoghurt when we got there.
The ‘icing’ on the watermelon cake is whipped coconut cream. Refrigerate the whole can first. Try to rest the watermelon on something as it will continue to drip juice long after it is cut. I ended up using a lettuce container spike. This cake was for my son’s 2nd birthday held at the local community centre. This was actually a bit tricky because the ‘icing’ wanted to slip off the cake. I really needed to pat down the watermelon sides so it would stick on. This was also transported on my lap in the car. I made this the night before so the icing could set a bit more in the fridge.
- Use seasonal fruit.
- Buy local.
- Support farmers markets.
- Opt for reusable napkins, cutely and plates.
- In fact, aim for a litter free party.
Happy fruity fun ~ Brooke