Kid-friendly Vanilla Cake Crumbles Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Vanilla Cake Crumbles

Recipe: Vanilla Cake Crumbles

Vanilla Cake Crumbles

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Federico Quevedo/Shutterstock.com
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
12 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Vanilla Cake Crumbles

When it comes to creating delightful desserts with a touch of fun, here's a recipe that will get everyone excited. Vanilla Cake Crumbles are not just your ordinary cake—they're the perfect, crumbly layer for parfaits! 

Layer them with your favorite treats like Poached Pears and Sweet Pastry Cream, ice cream, or chocolate mousse!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

Equipment Checklist

  • Muffin pan
  • Paper cupcake liners
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
scale
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Ingredients

Vanilla Cake Crumbles

  • 3 eggs **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 2 T flaxseeds + 1/2 C warm water—more info below)**
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 2 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free flour)**
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil **
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar

Food Allergen Substitutions

Vanilla Cake Crumbles

  • Egg: For 3 eggs, substitute 2 T flaxseeds + 1/2 C warm water. Stir and soak flaxseeds in warm water for 5 minutes or until fully absorbed and thickened.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor in pastry cream. Substitute gluten-free/nut-free flour. 
  • Soy: Substitute canola oil or other nut-free high-smoking point oil for vegetable oil.

Instructions

Vanilla Cake Crumbles

1.
measure + mix

Crack and whisk 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk this mixture for at least 2 minutes or until all the whites and yolks are combined and frothy. Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup water, and 1 pinch of salt. Whisk until combined. Finally, add in 2 cups of flour and mix.

2.
preheat + divide

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Place cupcake liners in all the wells of a muffin pan. Then divide the batter into the cupcake liners using a 1/4 measuring cup as your scoop. This will ensure all the cakes are the same volume and, therefore, will take the same amount of time to cook.

3.
bake + crumble

Bake the cupcakes for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown on top and no batter is left. Remove the cupcake liners and crumble the cupcakes in a large bowl.

4.
sprinkle + serve

Let kids make their own Parfaits! They can sprinkle the cake crumbs on the bottom of their bowls and then layer the Poached Pears with Sweet Pastry Cream (see recipe), ice cream, or another dessert on top. Enjoy!

Surprise Ingredient: Vanilla!

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Photo by Aquarius Studio/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Vanilla!

“I'm a flower, a flavor, an aroma, a spice, a seed, and a pod! Did you know that my pods come from a Vanilla orchid? For cooking, I can flavor foods by adding vanilla extract (much tastier than imitation vanilla) or vanilla paste (made from extract and ground seeds). You can also slice open a pod and scrape out the tiny black seeds to add to your dish, and steep the pod in liquid. I'm essential for baking (and ice cream)!"

History & Etymology

  • Vanilla has an intriguing history. Because of its high value over time, vanilla has been the subject of historical robbery and great intrigue. Growers in Madagascar are known to "tattoo" their beans with a knife when the pods are still green so they can identify their beans if they suspect someone has stolen them. How they find the stolen beans is anyone's guess!  
  • Vanilla is indigenous to southeastern Mexico and, in the 1500s, traveled to Spain. Initially, it was only valued for its use as perfume. 
  • For hundreds of years, Mexico was the only country that grew vanilla. Now, Madagascar, an island country off the coast of Southeastern Africa, grows the most vanilla in the world.
  • Other places that produce vanilla are Costa Rica, Guatemala, Uganda, Kenya, China, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. Find these places on your map! What do they all have in common? They are hot, tropical places where vanilla orchids can grow abundantly.
  • Why is vanilla so expensive even today? It's because growing vanilla is very labor-intensive. In fact, vanilla is the second most labor-intensive agricultural crop, next to saffron. It can take nearly three years after planting the vines before the first orchid flowers appear. Vanilla beans must remain on the vine for nine months before developing their sweet aroma. The beans are still green when growers harvest them. Then they turn brown and become richly flavored during the drying and curing process. 
  • We consume the most vanilla in the United States compared to any other place! However, the vanilla found in fragrances and foods is 98 percent imitation! This is because synthetic vanilla is less expensive than the real thing.
  • Only the Melipona bee in Central America can pollinate the vanilla flower. In other parts of the world, farmers mimic the process with wooden needles.
  • July 23rd is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day in the US. 
  • The English word "vanilla" comes from the Spanish word "vainilla," meaning "little pod, the diminutive of "vaina," meaning "sheath" or "pod." 

Anatomy 

  • Vanilla is a member of the orchid family and prefers hot, wet, tropical climates. Vanilla is also the only edible orchid (that we know of).
  • A climbing vine, vanilla grows whitish-green flowers that are hand pollinated. It requires supportive structures for optimal growth. Vanilla vines can grow anywhere from 30 to 50 feet long!
  • The fruit, when mature, is about five inches long, a half-inch thick, and looks like a bean pod.
  • The pod ripens gradually for 8 to 9 months after flowering, eventually turning black and giving off a strong aroma. Inside the cured vanilla bean pod are thousands of tiny vanilla seeds that are rich in flavor. 
  • These seeds give vanilla bean ice cream its tiny black flecks, and it is how you know your vanilla ice cream is the real thing! 
  • The vanilla orchid lasts only a day, and pollination needs to happen before it dies. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • No two vanilla beans are the same in taste, color, or aroma, just like wine grapes.
  • Store vanilla beans away from heat or light.
  • To open a vanilla pod, place it on a flat surface. Press down at the top to hold it steady, then take a knife and split the pod down the middle. Next, spread apart the pod and run your knife down its length. The seeds will stick to the knife! 
  • Use the empty vanilla pod to infuse a jar of sugar or salt. Or steep it in milk or cream to use in recipes! Or poach fruit with a vanilla bean to give it a subtle kiss of flavor.
  • A few drops of vanilla will balance a tomato's acidity. 
  • Steep vanilla beans in coffee or tea, or grind them with your coffee beans for flavored java.
  • Spiders don't like vanilla! So, vanilla and vinegar in a spray bottle will send spiders running!
  • Try chopping up vanilla beans and mixing them with Epsom salts and a little vanilla extract for a luxurious bath.
  • One vanilla bean is equivalent to about three teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • You can add vanilla to sweet and savory recipes. Try mixing some vanilla beans into a homemade salad vinaigrette or poaching a vanilla bean in butter for a delicious sauce to serve over fish!
  • Vanilla extract is made by pounding vanilla pods in a solution of ethanol and water. Ethanol is a grain alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, but it is also used as a fuel additive, often blended with gasoline (especially corn-based ethanol). However, the ethanol manufactured for drinks and vanilla extract has to follow more purity standards than the type used in petroleum products.

Nutrition

  • There are some claims of the health benefits of vanilla, such as reducing skin damage, aiding digestion, and alleviating nausea; however, there is not enough evidence to confirm these. Still, vanilla's pleasant fragrance may help calm and lift moods.

 

Let's Learn About France!

Photo by Alliance Images/Shutterstock.com
  • Bonjour (hello)! Bienvenue en (welcome to) France and the spectacular Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, and ancient Roman ruins in the Provence region.
  • France is a European country, and its official name is the French Republic. The capital city is Paris, which also has the most people. 
  • France's land area is 248,573 square miles. That is almost the size of the US state of Texas! The number of people in France is 67,874,000, about 43 percent more than in Texas.
  • The official and national language is French, which is also the official language in 12 other countries, and a co-official language in 16 countries, including Canada. 
  • France's government consists of a president, a prime minister, and a parliament and is divided into regions and departments rather than states and counties.
  • The French have a well-known motto, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."
  • In addition to the Eiffel Tower, France is known for the Louvre, the most visited art museum worldwide (the Mona Lisa resides there), the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur) in southeastern France on the Mediterranean coast.
  • France is famous for the "beaux-arts" (fine arts). Paris is still home to many artists and great painters, artisans, and sculptors. Great literature came from French authors, such as Victor Hugo's novels Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Paris has two popular nicknames. The most common is "The City of Light" (La Ville Lumière), which came about because Paris was the first European city to implement street lighting in 1860, lighting up the city with 56,000 gas street lamps. The second is "The City of Love," (La Ville de L'amour). This name is probably due to Paris being considered one of the most romantic cities in the world and the high number of marriage proposals at the Eiffel Tower!
  • French cuisine is known for its freshness and high quality. Many of the world's greatest pastries originated in France, such as the croissant, eclair, and macaron!
  • Other French foods are escargot (snails!), baguette (bread), ratatouille (roasted tomato, zucchini, and eggplant—remember the movie?!), and crepes (very thin pancakes).

What's It Like to Be a Kid in France?

  • Most kids start school (preschool) at around age three. Depending on the area and the school, students go to school 4 to 5 days a week. They often get a 1½-hour lunch break, and some kids go home for lunch. 
  • Dinner is served at 7:30 pm or later, so afternoon snacks are essential. "Le goûter" (goo-tay), or afternoon tea, often includes a "tartine," a slice of bread topped with something sweet or savory (like cheese, butter and jam, or Nutella). Other popular snacks are yogurt, fromage blanc (white cheese), and fruit. 
  • Popular sports for kids are soccer, bicycling, and tennis.
  • There are several parks in France, in and around Paris. Napoleon III even designed one of them, the Bois de Boulogne, where you can find beautiful gardens, lakes, a zoo, an amusement park, and two horse racing tracks. In addition, kids can go on pony rides, play mini-golf, and race remote control boats at many public parks.  
  • Of course, kids can also go to the most popular theme park in Europe, Disneyland Paris, which opened in 1992. While there, kids can go on a ride unique to Disneyland Paris: Ratatouille: The Adventure!

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the students eat their homework? 

Because the teacher said that it was a piece of cake.

Lettuce Joke Around

The date on my vanilla must have expired.

It just doesn't make any scents!

Lettuce Joke Around

Why did the cake go to the doctor? 

Because it was feeling crumby.

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