Petite, cute and the perfect way to convey charming affection to those whom you hold dear - Lunchbox/ Bento Cake💓
Delving into the deets
You can use any traditional cake frosting for covering and decorating your lunchbox cake. We used American buttercream because it is easy to make, and can be piped into pretty patterns. Other common frosting choices for lunchbox cakes include whipped cream and cream cheese frostings.
As this is a small layer cake, it presents an opportunity to stuff it with your favourite filling. For this you can use fruit jams, curds, custards, or even sweet sauces (e.g. chocolate, caramel, etc...)!
When assembling the cake just apply the stuffing over the centre of the first cake layer and contain it within a perimeter of frosting, then layer the second tier of cake on top.
- Preheat your BRUNO Air Fryer at 130 °C, for 15 minutes.
- Butter a 4 ½ inch cake tin and dust it with flour. Cut out a circular piece of baking paper to line the base of the cake tin.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside
- Warm the milk in sauce pan on low heat making sure it does not come to a boil, and melt the butter. Add the vegetable oil into the pot too.
- Turn off the heat once the butter has melted, and add the vanilla extract into the pot.
- Break an egg into a large bowl, and add the sugar to it. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer at progressively increasing speeds until the eggs are fluffy and creamy (~ 3 mins).
- Sieve in half the flour mixture to the egg mixture and incorporate it with the electric mixer (do not over-mix!).
- Sieve in the rest of the flour mixture, and mix it in as well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then briefly mix once more.
- Lighten the batter by adding 1 heaping tbsp of the batter into the milk mixture, then stir it in until it is incorporated.
- Slowly pour all the milk mixture into the batter while concurrently whisking the batter on low speed, stop whisking once all the milk is mixed in.
- Pour the batter into the buttered cake tin. Tap cake tin firmly before placing it into the air fryer.
- Bake the cake at 130 °C, for 40 minutes.
- When the bake time is up, check that the cake is fully cooked by poking it with a wooden skewer which should come out clean.
- Let the cake rest uncovered in the air fryer basket for 5 minutes. When it has shrunk somewhat, invert the cake onto a wire rack and remove the cake tin, then let it cool to room temperature.
- After the cake has cooled to room temperature, cover it and chill it in the fridge.
- Place softened butter into a large bowl and whip it with your electric mixer (~ 1 min).
- Sieve in a third of the icing sugar into the bowl and whisk on the lowest setting to mix it in.
- When it is well mixed, sieve in the next third of the icing sugar and mix it in too, then do likewise with the rest.
- When all the powdered sugar has been mixed in, progressively increase the speed of the mixer to beat into a fluffy cream.
- When the butter is fully aerated and voluminous, add the vanilla extract and 2 tbsp of the cream into the bowl and whisk it in with the mixer.
- Check the consistency of the buttercream - when you press on the buttercream with a spatula and pull it up, the frosting should form a stiff peak that curls downwards on the end. This signifies that it is stiff enough to hold a shape, while being pliable enough to pipe. If the buttercream is too thick, add more cream.
- Depending on the cake design you have in mind, separate the butter cream into different bowls and dye each portion with a few drops of food colouring, mixing these in with the mixer or a spatula.
- Transfer the buttercream into piping bags with your choice of piping tips
- Level the cake then slice into half laterally so you have two equal layers of cake.
- Take the upper layer and set it on a cake turntable upside-down, piping a dollop of buttercream under its base to secure the cake to the turntable.
- Apply a coat of buttercream on top of this half of the cake, at this point, add jams or any other fillings you'd like onto this layer to be sandwiched. Stack the other cake half on top.
- Apply a crumb coat (base layer) of buttercream onto the cake's exterior, by piping buttercream all over the cake and smoothing it out with an offset spatula, removing any excess. You should attain a thin layer of buttercream all over the cake. Return the cake to the fridge to set the crumb coat (30 minutes).
- Replace the cake onto the turntable, and pipe a thicker layer of buttercream all over it. Smooth out this layer with your offset spatula first, and then with a bench scraper.
- Decorate your frosted cake by piping on the coloured frostings in your desired designs. let the frosting set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Package your lunchbox cake in a disposable bento cake box lined with baking paper.
For perfect gifting you can decorate the inner lid of the cake box by sticking a birthday candle on with washi tape~