60th Birthday Cake

60 birthday cake happy sixtieth sixty shaped homebake fondant decoration green grass flowers and butterflies

It’s been ahem a few months since my last post – what can I say, things got rather busy! Rest assured I’ve been busy baking and have plenty of recipes photos waiting to be shared. And how could I not share this wonderful excuse for a celebration. Last month was my mum’s 60th birthday (sorry mum, it’s public knowledge now!) and of course I was tasked with making the all-important birthday cake.

I used my number and letter pan to make the two number-shaped cakes. Both were madeira cake as it makes a great stable base for decorating onto. One was vanilla flavoured with a blueberry and raspberry buttercream, and one was lemon with a lemon buttercream. Even though the birthday party was only a few weeks ago I can’t actually remember which was which!

After the buttercream I covered the cakes entirely with a pale green fondant icing. Next up came the grass in a rich, fresh green. I rolled long strips before cutting the blades by hand and wrapping round the cakes. It took some doing but I was so pleased with the effect 🙂

Last but by certainly no means least, the cake was finished with fondant flowers and butterflies, in bright spring colours of orange, purple, and pink, edged with edible glitter. These took up most of my evenings in the week leading up to mum’s birthday, to ensure they were fully dry and set in time. In the absence of enough flower-forming cups, I made temporary ones out of a strong tin foil. This meant all the butterflies could set in a v-shape, and gave the flowers a rounded-3d effect. The centres of the flowers were filled with a tiny piped circle of white royal icing.

edible glitter purple orange and pink flowers handmade fondant icing

edible glitter on fondant butterflies birthday cake homemade

fondant icing edible flowers with glitter edging pink orange purple

sixtieth birthday cake garden themed fondant flowers and butterflies

As ever that’s not the end of the story – just the small matter of 50 matching cupcakes for the birthday party! These were chocolate, half of them filled with caramel, and half with nutella. To top I cut matching circles of the pale green fondant, and curved pieces of the darker green grass, before finishing with butterfly and flower toppers.

matching cupcakes for 60th birthday cake green grass with fondant flowers and butterflies garden themed cupcakes flowers and butterflies on green grass fondant topping

Surprisingly enough we didn’t fit 60 candles on the birthday cake – in all honesty we didn’t really try! It was still quite an impressive inferno nonetheless 🙂

60th birthday cake flowers and grass with candles burning happy 60th birthday mum blowing out candles on cake

The party was great fun and the cakes went down an absolute treat – it was of course a pleasure to make them for my lovely mummy! ❤ Happy birthday again!

sixtieth birthday cake garden themed fondant flowers and butterflies

Marshall Amp Stack Cake

marshall amp stack birthday cake guitar lover ideas

Last week was Rob’s birthday, and as I was going away with work I wanted to leave him a big sticky cake to devour. He asked if I’d make him a Marshall amp stack, to follow up where his Guitar Cake left off a few years ago. After my initial bewilderment, a quick Google image search later and it was an enthusiastic yes! Two square cakes? Simples 🙂

I started off by making two rectangular cakes – one in a larger long tray, cut into 3 and stacked to make the base cake, and one in a smaller, thinner square, which I cut in 2 for the smaller top cake.

chocolate sheet cake tray bake layers for birthday

Chocolate cake simply calls out for chocolate icing, so I filled and crumb-coated both cakes with a sticky buttercream.

chocolate buttercream crumb-coated square cakes for birthday

Leaving the cakes in the fridge to cool and harden, I set about making the front pieces for the amps. Starting with a base of black fondant, I used a blunt straight edge to mark out the grid of the mesh, before using some white piped icing to line the edges and add the iconic ‘Marshall’ script in the centre.

marshall amp speaker front fondant icing with piped details black and white

For the top section I used a similar approach, adding a strip of cream fondant (white chocolate flavour!) with some added ‘buttons’.

marshall amp front buttons and piped logo made from icing

marshall amp front made out of fondant icing hand piped

Leaving the fondant pieces to set overnight, I covered both cakes in black fondant, adding a matching handle onto the smaller one.

black fondant covered birthday cake marshall amps leather look handle

Assembling the cakes was just a small matter of sticking the front pieces onto each cake, before stacking one on top of the other. Easier said than done when the front pieces of fondant started to crack!
A little gentle persuasion and sticking later, the cake was ready!

marshall amps small and large stack birthday cake hand piped details marshall amp stack black and white music lover birthday cake homemade marshall small amp with buttons and handle recreated in cake fondant icing marsh

And as no birthday is complete without them – an added inferno of candles to finish.

marshall amp stack birthday cake lit with candles

Inside the cake was deliciously sticky, with chocolate oozing from the layers! The birthday boy certainly was happy, as was I – it was a fun cake to make and even more so to eat 🙂

gooey chocolate cake food porn inside of birthday cake homemade

Sprinkles & Checkerboard Birthday Cake

inside pastel checkerboard cake method and how to

This weekend just gone was the 3rd birthday of Derby’s Clandestine Cake Club, which I have proudly been a member for 2 years – doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun!

What better theme to celebrate with, than big, sticky birthday cakes. I’d been wanting to try a checkerboard cake for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity.

I started off with three different flavoured round cakes, tinted with pastel colours to match the sprinkles I wanted to use on the outside. The peach-coloured cake was flavoured with Sugar and Crumbs raspberry ripple icing sugar, the green had the juice and zest of a small lime, and the yellow a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice. I baked them in foil trays as 1) I don’t have 3 tins of the same size and 2) I wanted to minimise on washing up!

tricolour cake batter lime lemon raspberry pastel foil trays

Once cool, I scouted round the kitchen for suitable crockery to cut the circles. Posts I’d read online suggested cups, bowls, jam jars, but then had the brainwave of using my concentric circle cookie cutters. The largest and smallest were the perfect size to cut 3 even-thickness bands out of each cake.

making checkerboard cake with round biscuit cutters orange yellow and green

A quick reorganisation later and I had 3 dart-board-esque cakes:

checkerboard cake layers like target boards

Using a vanilla buttercream, I layered up the three tiers…

buttercream layering with pink palette knife checkerboard cake

… and gave the outside two good coats of icing, refrigerating in between.

butter cream on sides of checkerboard cake

After the second coat of buttercream, it was time for the sprinkles! And one of the trickier, stickier steps – rolling the sides of the cake in the bowl of hundreds and thousands. It took a bit of patching up but actually was quite effective, even if my kitchen was left covered in the sprinkles as well!

covering cake in sprinkles rolling sides in hundreds and thousands

cake covered in hundreds and thousands

The top was much simpler, a final coat of buttercream with hundreds and thousands poured and smoothed over. There were quite literally hundreds and thousands of them too – two whole packs for the entire cake!

sugar sprinkles hundreds and thousands cake topping

I’m really pleased with the way it turned out, although it does remind me a little of a giant liquorice allsort 🙂

sugar sprinkles and checkerboard birthday cake clandestine cake club derby sugar sprinkle covered cake hundreds and thousands looks like a liquorice allsort

Our cake club birthday party was a great feast of sugar and everything gooey and good, we gossiped for hours over tea and cake.

clandestine cake club derby third birthday party

And the checkerboard looked great inside!

checkerboard cake pastel layers hundreds and thousands covered outer inside checkerboard cake lemon lime and raspberry with sugar sprinkles covering birthday ideas

Or at least… what brief snaps I had time to take, before the cake-clubbers demolished the lot!

empty cake plate ccc

I’m entering this post into the #greatbloggersbakeoff2014 showstopper. This is not the last of my GBBO entries though – watch this space (and cross your fingers!) for a finale pièce montée in the next few days.

greatbloggersbakeoff2014

 
This post is also part of Celebration Cakes and Bakes – click the image for more info.

CelebrationCakesAndBakes

Gluten Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

gluten free chocolate birthday cake white chocolate stars recipe

A couple of weeks back we had a big birthday to celebrate in our office, for which it was deemed I should make a cake (no hardship really!). As there are only 6 of us, I wanted to make sure everyone could have a piece, especially our newest GF-colleague.

Google led me to no end of gluten free recipes – where to start! I’ve made gluten free brownies before, which turned out rather well, if I do say so myself, so sticking with something chocolatey seemed a safe better. With some ground almonds lurking in the back of the cupboard, and a very well-reputed Nigella recipe to boot, how could I go wrong?

I downscaled the recipe by a third, not only so it would fit in the best tin I could find, but also because it only had to feed 6 – and we were still eating cake all week!

Recipe (adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake)

Ingredients
100 ml olive oil (I used extra virgin as that was what we had in the house)
35 grams cocoa powder
85 ml hot water
1 generous teaspoon vanilla
100 grams ground almonds
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
170 grams sugar (Nigella uses caster, but I used a light brown for an extra fudgy texture)
2 eggs

Method
– Beat together the cocoa powder and hot water to a smooth paste (like melted chocolate)
– In a large bowl (a stand mixer if you have one), whisk the eggs, sugar and olive oil until they are light and aerated – lots of fine bubbles and quite thick. It should take 3-5 minutes if using a stand mixer, a little longer by hand
– Pour in the chocolate mixture, vanilla, and add the almonds and bicarbonate of soda. Mix on a slow speed until all combined
– Spoon or pour the mixture into a lined and well greased tin (I used a 7 inch round sponge tin)
– Bake for around 30 minutes at 180 degrees. Use a skewer / cake tester to check if it’s done, it should come out clean with no batter visible, maybe just a few crumbs
– Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, before turning out and cooling on a wire rack

downsized gluten free chocolate olive oil cake adapted from nigella recipe birthday with fudge icing

Whilst the cake is cooling the icing can be made – I started off making a ganache, with milk instead of cream, but quickly decided a thick chocolate fudge icing would be better!

Chocolate fudge icing
200g dark chocolate
65g butter
120ml milk
75g light brown sugar

Method
– Put the chocolate, butter and milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and heat on low until everything is melted together and smooth
– Add the sugar, stir well, and turn the heat up so the mixture starts to boil
– Allow it to boil for around a minute, stirring gently, then remove from the heat
– Stir and leave to cool until it reaches your desired consistency
– Spoon, drizzle, and generally adorn all over your cake, allowing to drip down the sides

dark chocolate fudge ganache icing recipe gluten free chocolate birthday cake

chocolate fudge icing ganache on gluten free olive oil birthday cake

I topped my icing with a mass of white chocolate stars – sprinkled liberally doesn’t even come close!

white chocolate stars liberally sprinkled onto dark chocolate fudge icing birthday cake food porn

And to finish, a homemade ‘happy birthday’ bunting banner. There are plenty of templates online which you simply print off, cut out the triangles, and loop over a piece of string – a lovely hand-made touch that takes no time at all (especially if you do it whilst watching the tv…)

homemade happy birthday bunting banner cake gluten free chocolate nigella olive oil recipe with fudge icing

gluten free chocolate cake happy birthday homemade bunting banner recipe and method

The birthday girl was delighted, as were we all on tucking in. Although I was a little dubious about the olive oil in the recipe, it makes for a dense, fudgy, chocolatey cake, only too well complimented by a dense, fudgy, chocolatey icing!

moist chocolate olive oil cake gluten free with chocolate fudge ganache icing

Despicable Me Minion Birthday Cake

despicable me minion birthday cake homemade silver goggles blue fabric effect overalls

Another year, another birthday for Rob, complete with epic cake!

This year he requested a minion – and of course I was only too happy to oblige. We are big Despicable Me fans and I’d been wanting to create one of these yellow cuties for a while.

For a bit of a change, I wanted to use a flavoured Madeira cake for the centre. I cannot rave enough about Paul Hollywood’s Coconut Madeira cake. Not only was it super easy to make (who doesn’t love a one-bowl recipe), but it came out so moist and light. Absolutely delicious!

madeira coconut cake paul hollywood recipe easy moist

I combined it with a lime buttercream, made using Sugar and Crumbs key lime icing sugar. More on this to come as it was a perfect combination between sweet and tangy, and a perfect compliment to the coconut cake.

On to the decoration – once the cake was shaped the fondant work was relatively easy. I covered the top half in a bright yellow, and the bottom in a rich blue. There was only a small overlap between the two as I didn’t want the fondant to be too thick for people to eat! The hands and feet were covered in some chocolate fondant dyed black, and pressed into shape.

minion birthday cake step by step yellow and denim blue fondant overalls

To finish the overalls, I created a mottled effect, using gel food colouring and a painbrush, to give a more realistic denim / fabric appearance. And of course the all important ‘Gru’ logo – painted on with some black food colouring.

minion birthday cake fabric effect overalls painted fondant icing gru logo in black

And the key feature – those all important goggles. I used white fondant for both the goggle rim and eyes, painting the rim with silver edible shimmer before adding to the cake.

despicable me birthday cake minion face goggles eyes silver edible paint

Of course – what minion would be complete without that cheeky smile! Did someone say ‘bottom’?!

minion from despicable me birthday cake face and cheeky smile silver

The finished cake – I was really pleased and especially so as it was all made in one night.

minion two eyed birthday cake from despicable me silver goggles blue overalls gru logo

No birthday cake is complete without candles…

minion birthday cake with candles

… and Rob was of course delighted!

happy rob with minion birthday cake

Dad’s 60th Birthday Liquorice Allsorts Cake

happy birthday dad liquorice allsorts cake homemade black cream filled tube yellow coconut and blue aniseed round

You may have guessed from the title, but today is my lovely dad’s 60th birthday. If this doesn’t call for a cake, what does!

Liquorice allsorts are one of his all-time favourite things. For as long as I can remember they have been a staple birthday / father’s day / christmas present when stuck for any other ideas. While trying to figure out what to call the individual allsorts, I came across this brilliant h2g2 guide. Very entertaining but not sure I’d agree – why on earth would you leave chocolate until last!

As I was making 3 cakes I wanted them all to be different flavours, so they truly were allsorts!

First and most time-consuming from a decorating perspective – a replica of the blue sugar ball covered allsort, which normally has an aniseed jelly inside. This one was much sweeter however – a lemon madeira cake centre, covered with a blueberry buttercream, and finished with rolled circles of blue fondant.

liquorice allsorts blue aniseed ball recreated as birthday cake fondant blueberry and lemon

To make both the round cakes I used the smaller of my Ikea Sockerkaka moulds – a perfect size so we wouldn’t be eating cake for the rest of the month! And very quick & easy to clean between recipes as well.

ikea sockerkaka silicon cake mould small

Next up, in the same circle mould, the yellow coconut covered allsort. Sticking with the coconut covering made it easy to recreate the look, and inside I used my Tropical Fruit Cake recipe. A simple circle of black fondant on the top finished the liquorice look.

liquorice allsorts birthday cake yellow coconut and black and white tube

Finally, and sneaking into the above picture, the black liquorice tube filled with a white cream, for want of a better name! This one was an easy chocolate swiss roll , filled with a vanilla buttercream. To get the outer look, I wrapped white fondant around the ends, before rolling the whole cake in some black-coloured chocolate fondant. My hands were rather black too after kneading the food colouring into that!

black and white liquorice allsort made of cake chocolate swiss roll covered in fondant

By the wonderful power of hindsight, I do wish I’d made the swiss roll a bit smaller. Putting all the cakes together on the board I realised that the planned “60” was actually rather tricky to read!

60th birthday cake liquorice allsorts black tube yellow coconut and blue aniseed round

liquorice allsorts birthday cake blue aniseed balls created from fondant yellow coconut tropical fruit cake and chocolate swiss roll with fondant covering

Still, with black hands and a bomb-site of a kitchen, it had to do! I’d bought a pack of allsorts to model the cake on, so used some of these to decorate the edge of the cake board, and the others as well-earned reward for a tired baker 😉

Trying to spell out a message with allsorts was not a big success, so a piped message in matching liquorice-black took their place. And more allsorts for me to eat!

happy birthday dad hand piped icing liqourice allsorts cake board

liquorice allsorts birthday cake tropical coconut fruit chocolate swiss roll blueberry and lemon aniseed balls made of fondant

We celebrated with afternoon tea at Perkins Restaurant in Nottingham, (as it was THAT good last time), alongside some suitably over-sized helium balloons.

60th birthday giant helium balloons afternoon tea at perkins restaurant nottingham

And of course it was amazing as always! The staff let us while away the afternoon with plenty of tea refills, and just when dad thought all the cake was gone – out they came with much, much more! One happy daddy 🙂

dads 60th birthday at perkins restaurant nottingham liqourice allsorts cake handmade

Happy 60th dad! x

Pink (Fluffy) Unicorn Baby Cake

nieve baby name cake pink fluffy unicorn silver outlines and edible glitter

Today we finally got chance to visit friends of ours who had their second baby girl about a month ago. And she was absolutely worth the wait – spending the whole afternoon asleep on my arm! Ah!

I wanted to make them a cake to celebrate and was struggling for inspiration so asked Rob. After a few nonsensical responses he came onto a Fluffy Unicorn (from the much-loved Despicable Me films), fluffy perhaps not in cake form, but unicorn I could definitely do!

I printed a template out from the internet – just some clipart – trying to make sure it didn’t have too thin legs, else they would break when the cake was carved.

unicorn cartoon paper template in adjustable cake tin

For the inside of the cake – keeping with a girlie theme – a strawberry and vanilla marble, using a madeira cake recipe as the base.

strawberry and vanilla marble swirl cake batter for unicorn cake

Once cut and carved, great not only to check the marbling but also plenty to taste test!

trimming cake into shape strawberry and vanilla pink and white marble unicorn shape

To decorate I basically used 3 ‘ingredients’ – 500g of white fondant, some pink food colouring, and an edible ink pen in silver (the one I have is a click-twist brush by Rainbow Dust).

After covering the whole cake in white fondant, I coloured the remainder into four progressive shades of pink. These were used both on the mane and the tail – graduated stripes tucked in together then outlined in silver.

four shades of pink unicorn tail for baby name cake silver edible ink outlining

For the face – simply some more silver pen to follow the outline, and a little of the lightest pink fondant for the eye and nose.

unicorn face sparkly horn pink mane silver eyes nose and smile details on baby name cake

And of course no unicorn is complete without a horn, and this one was as sparkly as they come! After experimenting for a while trying to twist the fondant around itself, I caved and just rolled a cone, creating the markings with a sharp knife. For the extra sparkle I painted it silver before finishing with some holographic edible glitter.

unicorn cake sparkly silver horn with edible silver pen and edible glitter

And to finish – the baby’s name in matching pink fondant. I cut small pieces of each colour, lightly ‘stuck’ them to the board with water, pressed in the letter stencil then carefully peeled away the excess.

baby names nieve personalised cake lettering in fondant icing with edible glitter pink

I’m really pleased with this cake – although have to say it seemed to take me much longer than imagined! The silver outlining was quite painstaking as it was so fine, but well worth it to emphasise the details and the cartoon-like effect.

pink fluffy unicorn cake baby nieve baby name cake nieve pink white and silver unicorn

All-in-One Rainbow Birthday Cake

all in one rainbow giant cupcake recipe and method one cake simple design gel colours

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of being invited to Clandestine Cake Club‘s Third Birthday. As co-organiser of the Nottingham group, this was my opportunity to meet with other cake-clubbers from around the country, pick up some tips (and wonderful free gifts) from the sponsors, Renshaw, and of course, eat cake!

Although we had to travel to Liverpool, about a 2 hour drive, I still wanted to contribute some cake to the afternoon club. This seemed like a great time to crack open my Lakeland Giant Silicone Cupcake Case, which I bought in the sale about a month ago.

lakeland giant cupcake case silicon mould recipe and how to use

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this case (the lovely pink colour is always a plus), but it’s not what I’d describe as giant. The box notes that you should use a 2 egg recipe, which is very much on the medium side to me, and comparing it to the size of a medium egg… yes, it’s not huge. But perfect for what I needed!

lakeland large cupcake mould to scale two egg recipe size and method

For a third birthday I wanted to do something a bit special. And what is more special than rainbow cake! However 6-7 layers (depending on your variations of purple/indigo/violet) all individually filled and stacked… this was neither easy nor going to travel well. However as per my previously made rainbow cupcakes, I was sure this would work all in one big cupcake. As the mould was a relatively deep, I opted for a madeira cake recipe, that would remain moist and light, without the fragility of victoria sponge.

Recipe

100g butter
135g sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (or lemon juice, if you prefer)
2 eggs
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of milk or water

– Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– Add the eggs, milk and vanilla essence, and beat again
– Sieve in the flour and baking powder, and fold until just mixed (don’t over do it)- Divide the mixture into 6 (or 7!), and colour with gel food colours only (don’t use liquid colours, it won’t work)
– Layer carefully and smoothly, don’t be tempted to spread the layers with a spoon or you’ll end up mixing the colours
– Bake at 180 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top is looking done before the inside is cooked, cover it with tin foil to prevent it browning.

I use a mix of Wilton and Home2Bake gel colours, all come out with lovely vibrant colours. First up, purple then blue… (the observant among you will notice a major baking error in this photo – not greasing the tin! Thankfully I realised quite quickly, scooped out the mix, greased, flour, and continue!)

all in one rainbow cake how to layering colours purple and blue bright from gel food colouring

And layering a colour at a time, finishing with orange and then red. In order not to mix the colours, I found a combination of pouring and spooning the mix was best to get it spread out evenly.

all in one rainbow cupcake how to layering red and orange bright vibrant colours achieved using food gels

giant rainbow cupcake recipe all in one layers of red and orange how to

And the full cupcake ready to bake. In hindsight it was a little over-full, next time I’d take a couple of tablespoons out of the mix before colouring.

lakeland two egg giant cupcake silicon mould recipe and how to

Unfortunately this was definitely too much mix – on checking the oven part-way through baking I found a big rainbow ooze coming from the side!

oozing cake overfilled giant cupcake mould recipe and how to avoid

With no time to make another cake, I crossed my fingers and carried on baking until it was done. Thankfully when it turned out of the case the damage wasn’t obvious from the outside, and the extra oozed bit of cake actually came in useful as a platform for the topping!

giant rainbow cupcake all in one purple blue green yellow orange and red birthday idea easy

Due partly to a lack of time, and partly as the cake looked so great on it’s own, I kept the topping quite simple. Firstly cutting fondant stars out of matching rainbow colours:

rainbow fondant stars decoration for birthday cake kids ideas

… and lining them round the top of the buttercream-topped cupcake. Edible glitter mandatory of course!

easy all in one rainbow birthday cake giant cupcake with vanilla buttercream and bright coloured fondant stars

rainbow birthday cake simple decorations white vanilla buttercream and fondant coloured stars

And of course no birthday cake is complete without candles!

rainbow birthday cake with candles all in one giant cupcake recipe with buttercream topping and fondant stars

I was so relieved to see the layers when it was cut open. Heaven knows where the oozy-mix had come from, but the colours lined up beautifully.

all in one rainbow birthday cake recipe sliced into the middle perfect layers the easy way purple blue green red orange yellow

Of course we had an amazing time at the birthday party. Much tea was drunk, cake was eaten, and lots of excited chatter. Happy Birthday Clandestine Cake Club, and a big thank you to Renshaw for making the party possible!

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:

IMG_3083

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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Dr. Who Tardis Lemon & Blueberry Birthday Cake

doctor dr who tardis police box birthday cake blue fondant squares

A busy week for birthdays! This cake is one for one of my best friends, who absolutely loves all things Dr. Who. He also loves all things tea and cake (and features in a fair number of my posts on the subject!) so it wasn’t hard to bake him something he’d like.

I wanted the inside of the cake to allude to the Tardis exterior, hence the blueberries. After a looking for a few recipes, this one over at allrecipes was my favourite, although I adapted it a bit for the size of cake I wanted:

Ingredients

120g butter
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
175g plain flour plus one tablespoon set aside
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g blueberries plus a few extra for the top
50ml milk

Method

– Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs
– Add the vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour (sieved) and milk and fold until smooth. For the true tarsus effect inside I also added a smidge of blue food gel colouring at this stage
– roll the blueberries in the remaining tablespoon of flour, so they all have a light coating. Add to the mixture and fold just a few more times, don’t over-mix them. (The flour coating helps stop them all sinking to the bottom)
– pour into a greased tin (around 15cm square tin or slightly large round, or equivalent), and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries

blueberry pound cake with fresh fruit topping batter ready to bake

– bake at 180 degrees for 35 – 50 minutes, dependent on oven and size of cake tin. Check it’s done by inserting a skewer or toothpick, if it comes out clean your cake is ready!

rectangle blueberry pound cake for doctor who tardis cake

I let the cake cool completely before covering the top and sides with a thick layer of lemon buttercream – a perfect complement to the fruity cake and sweet fondant covering.

blueberry pound cake covered in lemon butter icing

It took rather a while to get a dark blue for the fondant and I’m still not sure it’s quite what I wanted. Using a good amount of Wilton royal blue, with little dabs of black, it got to a point where the colour was just not improving, so I had to stop!
This cake is probably the first time I’ve used a ruler in my baking – after covering the whole cake in the blue fondant, I carefully measured and cut smaller squares out of the same blue for the door panels. They were stuck on with edible glue, and finished with a little silver edible glitter.

doctor who tardis birthday cake with blue fondant squares silver glitter measured with a ruler

One of the biggest challenges for the Tardis was the Police Box sign itself – a black base with tiny white lettering. I tried a couple of small letter stamps but they just weren’t working out. In the end I used a plastic food bag, with plain white icing, and cut a very tiny tip out of the corner for my ‘nozzle’. A bit shaky in places but it turned out ok!

doctor who tardis cake black fondant iced with police public call box in white

A few more details in place – black and white window panes with piped grey edging, a white fondant panel with writing added (using a black food pen), and extra fondant details for the small round door symbol, and yellow top light.

doctor dr who birthday cake tardis police box yellow light on top blue fondant windows and iced sign

The completed cake! Sorry for all you Doctor Who buffs that it’s not 100% accurate – I could have spent a lot longer with my ruler! – but I’m happy that the overall effect looks as it should, the important details are there, and there’s no disguising that’s one big blue Tardis!

doctor who tardis cake birthday blueberry and lemon how to fondant

The birthday boy certainly loved his cake…

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And inside – a true Tardis through and through!

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