“ Brand: Green's / Type: Cakes „
We had the pleasure of babysitting my niece this weekend and she is adorable but extremely challenging. She is almost 4 and has more energy then she knows what to do with and gets bored extremely quickly. Although she has a mountain of toys whenever she comes to stay with us, the one thing she loves doing and stays quiet long enough to concentrate on is baking cakes. She will stand on a chair in the kitchen with me and my mum absolutely stunned in silence as she helps whisk the mixes and pour things in and out of bowls. So on my way home the other day I picked up this cake mix. I know they are not the healthiest things to give children but as a one of treat I decided to get it for her.
* Green's Cakes *
Green's cake mixes have been going for over 100 years and was originally founded by a man called Horace Green. The companies aim is to get as many people as possible into baking. From the young to the old they want to make it easy for everyone. They have a range of mixes from large sponge and chocolate cakes to mini fairy cakes and are one of the popular cake mix brands around. You can easily spot the Green's brand because the box is either green or they have their large 'Green's' logo on the front of the box in, obviously bright green.
* Green's Marshmallow Sheep Cake Mix *
I bought this mix purely because the picture on the front looked great for children. The finished cakes in the picture are small cup-cakes with a sheep face using the included marshmallows. I also only needed to add 1 medium egg and some butter or hard margarine which I had at home anyway. The fact everything is included means you won't get home to find that you have to go back to the shop!
The packaging also tells you how long it takes for the whole baking process to be complete which is great as my niece is so impatient. The prep time is 10 minutes which is fine as that is when my niece can be involved, the cakes take 15 minutes to bake during which time we can start to make the topping and then the decoration takes as long as you like so overall a really short time but enough to keep her occupied for a while.
In the box is a packet of cake mix which my niece mixed up with the help of the egg and water. It wasn't too messy and although I obviously had to whisk it properly it was easy enough for her to do. The mix makes 4 quite large cup-cakes. She was a bit disappointed as she usually has the 6 cake mix and she kept asking where the rest were but the cakes do come out pretty big so her disappointment was not for long. But if you are making cakes for a birthday or something then keep in mind this mix only makes 4. Then after her trying her best to scoop the mix into the large cases we put them in the oven for 12 minutes. Simple!
Then on to the second packet which is the topping mix. It is basically icing sugar mixes with the 30g of margarine. I have to say this is extremely unhealthy with almost 10g of fat per cake it is hardly a healthy choice. But as a one off I think it is ok, plus the face my niece will probably only manage to eat half of it anyway. So she managed to mix the topping fine with a bit of help and then we waited for the cakes to cook and cool down.
Obviously the best part of baking cakes is the decoration. The sheep on the box look extremely well made and I doubted ours would replicate a sheep at all. You get 4 large Marshmallows and a small bagful of small marshmallows. In order to make the face and the ears I had to cut the large marshmallow in half and once the butter cream is spread on the cake the marshmallow sticks quite well. The larger ones were quite hard for me niece to place on the cake but the smaller ones were easy and she really manages to associate what part of the sheep was on the cake. She started by what she called doing 'the sheep's hair' and then the 'sheep's jumper'. Inside the box was also a squeezy tube of blackcurrant get which we used to make the face. You only need a tiny bit so there is almost a whole tube left so when we make more cakes we can use this as decoration. I have to admit, the sheep turned out quite well. It looks how it looked on the packet all be it slightly messier and it was really fun to make.
The cakes turned light brown and they had managed to rise, which means the cooking instructions work well. The cake is advertised as having a vanilla flavour. I am not sure about this, as to me they just tasted like a light sponge cake. I suppose that is light vanilla of some kind. The topping is almost impossible to eat and is so sickly sweet I had to take it off. My niece managed to eat the marshmallow and the jam like topping and left the cake behind. But she had a great time making it and showing it to everyone after the sheep were finished.
* Price & Where To Buy *
I bought my cake mix for 99p from an independent corner shop, but they are sold in all major supermarkets and can be priced anything from £0.79p to £2.49 so please shop around!! If you are looking for a particular cake mix from Green's then you can use their website http://www.greenscakes.co.uk/products/ and type in the cake mix you want and it will tell you what shops sell it. A great tool if you have children or a taste for a particular mix. It saves you shopping around and you can keep everyone happy.
The cakes are easy and quick to make and my niece could really get involved which for me is the most important part. It wasn't as messy as some cakes we have baked together but then again the cake was also less edible. Because the cake ends up being so big she couldn't eat it, which is a blessing in disguise as the calories and fat content is far from what a 4 year old should be consuming on just one cake. But as I said, a one off treat is ok. The sheep idea was good as my niece could really picture what a shape looked like rather then just sticking on some sparkles and the decorating was fun and easy.
I would recommend this as a cheap and cheerful baking mix that involves the children and bakes quickly so it does not lose their attention. Although not the greatest tasting cakes, for only 99p I would definitely buy these again. My niece was over the moon when the sheep was finally made and ran around the room pretending to be a farm animal. She even said to my mum 'Nanny.... Does it smell like sheep?' these little things really help the family have some bonding time and give you some small memories that you will never forget.
Thank you for reading!
I purchased this whilst out shopping the other day. I am not usually a fan of these ready cake mix things but my daughter spotted this one on the shelf and asked if we could buy it. Ithought it looked quite fun, a bit different to the other cake cake mixes I thought I'd give it a go.
We purchased it in Home Bargains (or HB's as I like to call it - its so much classier!) for just 79p. These type of things are usually around £1.50 in Tescos I think although I haven't seen this particular mix in there. It is available on the official Annabel Karmel website for a whopping £2.29 and also from Ocado (waitrose online)
Although the mix is made by the well known 'Greens' Cake mix people is is endorsed by Annabel Karmel. I didn't expect her to endorse a product like this to be honest as she is all for kids not eating rubbish, cooking from scratch and the such. There are a good few E numbers, stabilisers and a few other things I've not really heard of to keep it fresh presumably. The box does boast that they are natural flavours and preservatives though so it can't be all bad.
The box is just as the picture above so it would appeal to small kids and the sheep cakes (don't look much like sheep) appealed to my daughter.
We got it home and opened the box. There is a small tear off panel with the instructions on so you don't have to have the whole box out cluttering your workspace. There were 2 packets in the box, 2 packets of marshamllows and a tube of something.
Packet one was the cake mix itself - all you need to do is add one egg and 2 tablespoons of water. Give it a good old mix (do not taste the mixture - it's nothing like a cake you make yourself!! When the mixture is light and creamy just dollop into the cake cases and put in your preheated oven (190 degrees). I will warn you - there is only enough mixture for 4 cakes. However they are a decent size unlike most of these packet mixes. The 4 cake cases are supplied. They are quite thick as well not as flimsy as usual. After 12 mins take your cakes out and leave them to cool.
Once cool tkae packet 2 and make your topping - this is a buttercream type topping so add 30g of butter and whisk. When its mixed, top the cakes and stick your marshmallows on as per picture. Squeeze the blackcurrant stuff on to make your sheeps face. -This blackcurrant stuff is like jam! If you don't want to make a sheep, there are instructions to make a snowman on the back!
I wouldn't say these are the best cakes for you to eat - they are quite high in calories and fat but ok very occasionally I suppose. Each cake contains 269 calories, 41.2g of carbohydrate and 9.9g of fat.
So most importantly how does it taste..... The cakes and the topping are both vanilla flavoured. To be honest the cakes are quite bland and taste pretty synthetic but what do you expect from one of these!?! The topping is very sickly sweet but it does hold the marshmallows in place well. They tasted ok but my daughter loved making them and had fun so they were worth the 79p I paid although I think at full price they are pretty poor value.