Swirl Cake - Fun Surprise for the Person with Alzheimer's
A swirl cake uses a basic white cake mix and food coloring to make the different colored swirls in the cake. You can buy a cake mix that includes the coloring to make the swirls (these photos used the Duff Goldman pink camouflage cake mix) or use a white cake mix and use food coloring. Either way, you will split the cake batter into 3 bowls and use the coloring to make 3 different colors. In this cake, there was 1 part white cake batter, 1 part light pink cake mix, and 1 part dark pink.
Once you have the 3 colors of cake batter, the fun can begin! 3 different people can participate, each taking a turn to spoon the cake batter into the pan in different places until the bottom of the pan is covered. Then continue on, adding more spoonfuls of batter on top until the batter is all used up. There is no pattern that has to be followed so no right or wrong - just spoon it in!
After the cake is baked and cooled, it can be frosted which then hides the swirled cake inside. When ready to serve the cake, you can surprise everyone with the swirled colors in the inside of the cake! There are many steps in this cake activity that the person with dementia can help with.
How the Person with Alzheimer's Can Help in the Swirl Cake Activity
- Give the person the appropriate measuring cup and ingredient and ask them to measure it. Hold the measuring cup over a garbage bowl so if the cup is overflowed, it won't go into your cake batter bowl.
- Have the person grease the cake pan with butter then sprinkle with flour. Cue the person, as needed depending on their level of dementia, to do things one step at a time and with the items that you provide.
- The person can help to add the coloring. To avoid too much being squirted in, you might fill a spoon with the desired amount of coloring and then have the person pour the spoonful into the batter.
- Have the person stir the coloring into the batter.
- The person can help spoon the different colors of batter into the cake pan, as described above.
- The person can help put frosting onto the cake.
As always, be sure this sweet treat is allowed in the diet of the person. Otherwise, enjoy this sweet surprise swirl cake!
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