Category Archives: Birthdays

Charlie’s Rainbow Sorbet Cake



Each year, I ask the kids what birthday cake they’d like, they look up cake’s in the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake recipe books, or we google ‘best cakes ever’, or they just think of ideas and let me know.    Charlie’s birthday is in the middle of January – Summer! – and she wanted  ‘rainbow sorbet cake’!  We had a look around google images but she could not find what she wanted.  So she drew it, coloured it in, thought of the fruits that we could have in each layer, and gave it to me…. and we managed to pull it off last weekend for her birthday celebrations.  The best part about this bright, colourful ‘cake’, was that it was all natural fruits giving it the flavour and colour!!!

Recipe for ‘Charlie’s Rainbow Sorbet Cake’

You need to think about the ‘cake’ a week in advance (unless you have an endless supply of cake tins!.. and loads of ice in the freezer).  It’s also handy to have a Thermomix 😉 or a really good food processor that can handle crushing a lot of ice.

Basic Sorbet Recipe

Pour 50g raw sugar into your Thermomix/food processor.

Mill the sugar on Speed 9 for 10 seconds.

Add 350g fresh or frozen fruit (peeled kiwi fruit, peeled oranges, blueberries, strawberries, banana, raspberries etc) and 1 egg white to the sugar. I added a banana to the fresh fruit for most of the sorbet layers as it makes a creamier, softer, ‘icecream’ type texture.

Mix on Speed 5 for 15 seconds.

Add 800g – 1kg of ice (4 to 6 trays of ice) to the bowl.

Mix for 1 min 30 seconds.   If the ice cubes start to get pushed to the top of the Thermomix bowl, then take the measuring cup out, and push the ice down with the spatula.  You can leave the spatula in the lid for the rest of the mixing time if you want.

Make a ‘batch’ of sorbet, and after feeding the kids a serve each, pour/plonk/scrape it out into a lined cake tin.   Flatten the sorbet into the tin using a spatula.    I used a ‘ring baking tin’ so that the layers would be thicker, so it would defrost evenly, and so that it was easier to slice up and serve everyone.  I lined the tin with baking paper on the bottom of the pan only.

Cover the baking tin with GLADwrap and put in the freezer for 3 hours, or until you make the next layer the following day.

Take frozen sorbet out of the freezer, dip a knife in hot water and run the knife around the edge of the tin to help ease the sorbet from the tin.  Turn the tin upside down and the ‘sorbet layer’ will pop out like a cake, onto your plate.  Leave the baking paper on the sorbet layer, as this prevents the layers mixing when defrosting, and it makes it easier to slice and serve.  Cover this layer with GLADwrap, and return it to the freezer.   Remember to refill your ice trays for the next layer of sorbet.

The following day, make another ‘batch’ of sorbet, and repeat the above process.

You can store each layer separately in the freezer, and put together on the day…. or you can clear out some freezer space and put the layers together prior to the day.



Above: making a batch of sorbet… this one is blackberry sorbet….


 Above: the ring baking tin I used for each sorbet layer.

Below: the blueberry sorbet layer resting on top of the kiwi fruit layer.





By the time we brought the cake out to the table (on a hot Summer’s day!), popped some candles on top, took some photos and sang ‘Happy Birthday’, it was beautifully defrosted enough to slice and serve.  If it wasn’t such a hot day, you would take it out of the freezer at least 15mins before eating, so that it is soft enough to serve.

Here are some photos of Charlie’s birthday party ….






Hills Homestead - Birthday Cakes

signed - hayley @ hills homestead


Thirty-five Things to be Thankful for … on my 35th Birthday xxx

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It’s funny how what we value changes over the years.  I am continuing to count 1000 gifts (along with everyone else and Ann Voscamp), and I would never have dreamed even 10 years ago, that I am SO thankful now for the following ….

1.  Waking up to THIS beautiful family ….

Family @ Hills Homestead

2.  Eary morning walk …

3. Seeing the sunrise, the colours… AMAZING… the fresh morning air … AMAZING …

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4.  An outdoor SHADE

5. A child’s handmade ‘happy birthday’ SIGN

6. Scrambled EGGS/TOMATO/CAPSICUM and something else!? I couldn’t guess 🙂  made by my 7 yr old

7. Hot COFFEE poured by my husband

8. Phone calls from family …

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9. Friends

10. Making MESS in the KITCHEN and girls making LEMONADE to have with dinner

11.  Kefir milkshakes in the sun

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12.  Boys occupied and HAPPY and safe

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13. New chicks hatching EVERY day

14. Life

15. Children holding life tenderly and carefully …

16. Breathtaking moments

17. The 4 yr old boy innocently and gently finding out how many chickens will fit into a tissue box …. stopped by his mother just in time!

18.  A gentle father teaching and training and leading by example

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19.  Homegrown cherry TOMATOES

20. Exuberance and ENERGY and a 1 yr old’s love of life and adventure

21. Encouragement from a fellow hills JAM maker (thanks Jenny! YOU are inspiring)

Gift numbers 22. to 34…. see the gifts pictured below.   Even a year ago, who would have thought I would get so excited over some Quinoa, an African handwoven basket (yes, I’m an OT, no, I’ve never woven my own basket!), some ‘naked’ food, Fairtrade coffee beans, a beautifully handmade bag, homemade snacks in blue and white Op Shop tins …  thanks everyone ….

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 35.  Laughing and chatting with FEET in the cool water down at ‘mum’s creek’ ….

(and I’ll squeeze in a number 36. A huge dinner with family and friends to complete a perfect day … feeling blessed and loved and glad to be alive … )