Leonie Hart is a gem, in fact she's quite a super woman that I met whilst working in the arts for DanceXchange.  Ma Harts Kitchen is a charming, love filled, funny, tasty blog and with permission I have a child friendly cake recipe for you. The blog has interesting ideas for Child Led Weaning too, so that may be of interest to some folks out there!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake

375g self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
75g caster sugar
Juice and zest of 1 1/2 lemons
3 eggs, beaten
240ml olive oil
675g apples

Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a bundt tin and line 8 cups of a cup cake tin with paper cases.

Mix flour, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well until smooth.

Peel, core and cube the apples and fold into the cake mixture and spoon into the prepared tin and paper cases.

Bake the smaller cakes for 15 minutes until lightly browned and the large cake for 35 minutes or until browned and a skewer comes out clean.

For the icing (enough for the cake and 4 buns)

300g full fat cream cheese
2 apples
Glug of apple juice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp maple syrup
Red and green NATURAL food colouring
Chocolates for the eyes, nose and feet (I used chocolate chips and a matchmaker)

Peel core and chop the apples. Put in a saucepan with a glug of apple juice and cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes until soft and reduced in volume. Purée with a stick blender.

Whisk the cream cheese, add the apple purée and continue to whisk. Add the maple syrup and cinnamon and whisk until light.

Take out a few spoonfuls to colour red (for the head). Divide the remaining icing between two bowls making one a darker and one a lighter shade of green.

To assemble the cake

Cut the circle in half. Place one half with the ends facing down. Cut the other half in half again and place each section on either end with the ends facing upwards.

Use the green icings alternately to create stripes and a red section at the end for the head. Use the chocolate for the features and feet.

Cut, eat and enjoy and keep the baby wipes handy!!

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