With half term holidays almost here and the Queen's Jubilee on the horizon, what better excuse to get into the kitchen with your kids?
This simple veg-packed tray bake is big enough to feed a crowd (street party anyone?) and a great cake to make with little people. There are plenty of opportunities to mix, measure, grate and stir, it's a forgiving single layer and the flag provides them with an opportunity to hone those decorating skills as well as sparking a discussion about countries, the queen and more.
My son asked if next time we bake this cake we can make a Ukrainian flag - he suggested pineapple and blueberry to top which would also be delicious!
For the cake
300g self raising flour (we use a mix of half plain white, half wholemeal)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking powder
200ml sunflower oil
50g greek yoghurt
175g soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
zest & juice of 1 orange
200g courgette, coarsely grated & excess water squeezed out
150g carrot, grated as above
For the icing
50g unsalted butter, really soft
250g cream cheese
1 - 2 tbsp maple syrup, to taste
1 punnet strawberries, sliced
1 punnet blueberries
Preheat the oven to 150C fan. Lightly grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin with baking paper.
Sift together the flour, spice and baking powder. Set aside.
Whisk together the oil, yoghurt, sugar, eggs, orange zest and juice until thick and well combined. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by the carrot and courgette, then scrape into your prepared tin.
Bake 35 - 45 mins or until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, whisk together all the ingredients, adding the extra maple syrup if your icing is too thick or you'd like it sweeter. Spread over the cake.
Use your strawberry slices to create a cross two slices thick across the cake. Place a single line of strawberries at each diagonal to mimic the Union Jack then fill in the blank spaces with blueberries to complete your Jubilee flag.
Serve at room temperature. If you have any left over at the end of the day, store in the fridge because of the cream cheese icing.