Master baker shares her home-style birthday menu

Cape Town chef, Grace Stevens, creates her own ‘lockdown birthday’ feast. Image: SUPPLIED

Birthdays are special occasions well worth celebrating but, thanks to the national lockdown, many have had to ditch their grand plans for a smaller intimate do at home with family.

Cape Town master baker and mother of four, Grace Stevens, is among those who have had to make the best out of celebrating her birthday at home on April 20.

To make her special day one to remember, Stevens created a delicious birthday menu to enjoy with her family, starting with a warm savoury breakfast to an easy home-made pizza for lunch and a sponge cake to top the celebrations off.

Stevens kicked off her birthday with savoury sweetcorn fritters, which pair perfectly with in-season avocados or a gorgeous soft poached egg.

Sweetcorn fritters are a delicious warm alternative to pancakes and are especially good as the weather turns chilly.

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or not, this recipe is sure to turn any cool morning into a wonderful one.

Savoury sweetcorn fritters, a more nutritious alternative to pancakes. Image: SUPPLIED


1 can cream style sweetcorn
1 egg
5ml baking powder
250ml flour
1 chopped parsley
3ml salt
250ml cheese
1 dash oil for frying


1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and drop tablespoons of batter into the frying pan.

4. Fry on each side until golden.

5. Serve warm.

Next up is a treat of home-made pizza.

Everyone the world over is missing takeout and the whole family is sure to love home-made pizza for a birthday treat.

Apart from this recipe tasting just like your much-loved local pizza restaurant, rolling pizza is loads of fun for both parents and children.

Top with your favourite pizza toppings and this lockdown party is one for the books.

Home-made pizza is just as good as a takeaway, plus the children can join in to help make it.
Home-made pizza is just as good as a takeaway, plus the children can join in to help make it. Image: SUPPLIED

750ml flour
300ml water
15g fresh yeast (10ml instant yeast)
5ml salt
30ml olive oil

1 tin of tomato and onion mix
1 mozzarella cheese or cheese of your choice, grated
Favourite toppings


1. Preheat oven to 260ºC.

2. Combine the yeast, oil and water and mix well.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.

4. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix well.

5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until a smooth dough is formed (about two minutes).

6. Divide dough into six balls.

7. Roll each ball out with a rolling pin as thin as you like your crust.

8. Place dough onto a prepared baking sheet.

9. Spread tomato mix onto the base and top with mozzarella cheese.

10. Add toppings of your choice.

11. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden.

12. Serve hot.

No birthday would be complete without a birthday cake and Stevens spoiled herself and her family with her irresistibly delicate, light and fluffy vanilla bean sponge cake.

Chef Grace Stevens shows off her light and fluffy vanilla bean sponge cake.
Chef Grace Stevens shows off her light and fluffy vanilla bean sponge cake. Image: SUPPLIED

3 jumbo eggs
250ml castor sugar
250ml milk
125g butter, at room temperature
5ml vanilla extract
260g cake flour
15ml baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 180 ⁰C. Line two 20cm round cake tins with baking paper (or 24 muffin tins with cupcake wrappers).

2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer on high for at least 10 minutes until light and fluffy.

3. Heat the milk, butter and vanilla extract in a saucepan until the butter melts. Do not boil the milk.

4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl at least three times.

5. Turn mixer to low. Beginning and ending with the flour, pour the milk mixture slowly into the bowl while spooning the flour in one tablespoon at a time. Do this part as quickly as possible to avoid over-mixing your batter.

6. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.

Cupcakes: bake for 12 minutes

1. Turn the cakes out of the tins and cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before wrapping in cling film.

  • Double this recipe to bake 3 20cm round tins or 5 15cm round tins.

Weekend Post reporter – HeraldLIVE

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