Autumn Leaves Wedding Cake with Matching Cupcakes

autumn tree and leaves wedding cake with matching cupckaes custom built marble paint effect stand

Regular readers may remember our visit to New Zealand last month, for my brother’s wedding in Christchurch.

Blogged back from the wedding was the cake itself – and, this week, as we held a UK celebration whilst they visit on their honeymoon, I was delighted to have the chance to recreate it. Of course it’s not Autumn here as it was back in NZ – but, well, with this weather, it could be almost any season!

The original wedding cake:

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I absolutely loved the idea at the wedding to have a big cake for the couple to share, and individual cakes for each guest to either enjoy on the day, or take away and savour.

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As we were going to have around 50 guests at the party, and I only had a day to bake and ice everything, individual cupcakes seemed a great way forward. I stuck with the original lemon flavour that had been chosen for the wedding – the large cake was a lemon madeira sponge with a vanilla buttercream centre and coating, and the cupcakes were a vanilla victoria sponge with lemon filling/icing.

Baking done remarkably quickly, I set on the task of coring, filling, and icing 50 cupcakes. No mean feat! I wasn’t watching the clock but reckon it must have taken me a good couple of hours.

48 cupcakes big order for wedding party covering in white fondant

Step by step: coring (with a sharp knife); filling with buttercream and trimming the core to create a thin lid; a top layer of buttercream and a white scalloped fondant finish.

the cake decorating company plastic cupcake carrier six with lid review

I used leaf cutter/plungers to create to toppings, colouring the fondant orange first, and adding a little tylose powder so they would set firm. To get the crinkled autumn leaf shape, I placed them on various curved surfaces to set – around a pen, and in the corners of a mini cupcake tin.

making curled fondant leaves orange harden with tylo tylose powder leave to dry on pen or in mini cupcake tray

Before adding to the cupcakes, I coloured the edges with a little gel food colour, and finished with a sprinkle of gold edible glitter. Then with a little dab of edible glue they simply stuck to the centre of the cupcakes.

embossed autumn leaf fondant icing orange with red paint effects and gold edible glitter

orange and red autumn leaves cupcakes in silver foil cases wedding

For the main wedding cake, I covered in white fondant and formed a tree out of black fondant. By rolling the black icing into thin strips, I slowly built up the tree outline adding smaller and smaller branches as I went on. A few carefully placed leaves around the tree, and some having fallen to the ground, I was really pleased with the look of what was actually a very simple design to construct.

autumn leaves orange tree wedding cake chocolate fondant white base lemon and vanilla

Such a special cake couldn’t sit (or fit!) on an ordinary cake stand; Rob kindly offered (or was ordered, I forget which…) to custom build me a three tier stand for the wedding party centrepiece. He used the cake tin I used for the main cake to measure the top tier, then added a couple of inches to each of the lower ones to get the increasing sizes.
I feel like this is our homage to Cupcake Wars where they show all of 30 seconds of their amazing carpenters constructing these fabulous carts, tables, stands and anything else thrown their way.

custom built three tier cake stand for wedding party marble paint effect on wood

And if Rob says he didn’t enjoy making it – well, I beg to differ. It gave him great oppourtunity to practice his paint effects; white marble for the top of the tiers, and bronze paint with crackle glaze for the copper piping centre. Believe it or not, the stand was constructed entirely out of wood!

marble paint effect on wooden custom built wedding cake stand

The centrepiece of the wedding party table, the cakes looked absolutely fantastic on their stand:

congratulations banner orange autumn leaves tree wedding cake with matching cupcakes

– and we kept the cupcakes replenished throughout the day. They didn’t last long and everyone complemented how great they were 🙂

autumn leaves cupcakes white fondant with orange curled leaves tylo powder

And as the party continued on into the evening, the newlyweds cut the main cake, which was equally as yummy.

bride and groom cutting wedding cake autumn leaves red theme

Congratulations to the happy couple it was such a pleasure to make this for you and share two special wedding celebrations! x

Strawberry & White Chocolate 30th Birthday Speed Sign Cake

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Wow, that’s one helluva name for a cake! One of my best friends asked if I would make a cake for his brother’s 30th birthday party at the weekend. He even knew what he wanted – a 30 speed sign as the naughty boy had been caught speeding a few weeks ago!

I decided this wasn’t going to be a plain cake – I wanted another case of what’s on the outside reflecting what’s on the inside, so red – strawberry, and white – white chocolate of course!

Using the same original recipe as my Tardis cake (this one from allrecipes), I adapted slightly to replace some of the sugar with strawberry jam for an extra fruity flavour. My only regret is that I just used the jam we had in the fridge, I wish I’d bought a more expensive one with higher fruit content to really boost the strawberry taste.

Ingredients

  • 220g butter
  • 100g strawberry jam
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 375g plain flour + 1 extra tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 200g white chocolate, broken into small chunks
  • 180g dried strawberries (I use Urban Fruit which you can buy from most supermarkets)

I was going to cut the strawberries into smaller pieces, but actually liked their big, chunky texture alongside the chunks of white chocolate:

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Method

  • Cream together the butter, sugar, jam and vanilla until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the eggs, with a spoonful or so of flour to the curdling
  • Sieve and fold in the remainder of the flour and the baking powder
  • Mix the strawberries and the white chocolate, coat in the tablespoon of flour, and lightly mix into the batter (don’t over-stir)
  • Pop into your tin and bake for 60-90 minutes at 180 degrees. Timing is very dependent on your oven, size and shape of tin, etc, so after an hour check back every 10 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out relatively clean. Remember there will be melted white chocolate so it won’t be completely clean, you just want it to be free of cake batter/dough

I opted to slice mine in two (once cool), so I could add a filling to the middle.

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Look at all the chocolate and strawberries! Yum yum!

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Filled with vanilla cream cheese icing…

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…and then completely covered.

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Finally I got chance to try out my new silicon mat, after months of lusting I finally made it to Ikea to get one, thanks to the lovely Emma’s recommendation. How cute is it, especially that little knife with the heart shaped end! And such a bargain, perfect for rolling out fondant.

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Because I needed a really bright red for the speed sign, I cheated and bought some pre-coloured fondant/ready-to-roll icing. 3x 250g packs were more than enough, and I have a sneaky plan for the leftovers already… 🙂

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Boy how I underestimated that little heart-shaped knife! It was a one-stop-wonder for tucking and chopping the fondant under the bottom of the cake. It made finishing the edges so wondrously easy!

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Next up, for the white inner of the sign, I scouted around my kitchen for something that would be the right size of circle, and this saucepan lid fitted the bill perfectly.

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For the 30 numbers, I simply coloured some black fondant (using chocolate fondant to start with so I was halfway there already), and cut around some letters I’d printed off to the right size.

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Finally, how could I resist, a finishing of edible glitter!

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The finished cake:

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And, being such a monster of a cake, we even managed to fit 30 candles on top!

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