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

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Ruby Wedding Cake

john and claire ruby wedding anniversary cake red fondant decorations flowers edible glitter

This weekend just gone, Rob’s parents, John and Claire, had a celebratory lunch for their upcoming ruby wedding anniversary. 40 years – what an achievement!

Claire had asked me months ago to make a cake, and specifically the Tropical Fruit Cake with coconut icing that I made for CCC last Christmas. Coincidentally it was exactly a year since I last made this cake!

I used 1 1/2 times the recipe to make a huge square cake, and a good thick layer of coconut icing, which set in the fridge before I started decorating.

Using red fondant throughout, I personalised the cake with a sparkly name plate, and ‘Ruby Wedding Anniversary’ lettering on the edge of the plate. To finish – some sparkly ruby-red flowers.

ruby wedding anniversary winter christmas tropical fruit cake red floral glitter john and claire name plate personalised ruby wedding anniversary cake red fondant festive flowers on coconut iced cake decorated with edible glitter john and claire ruby wedding anniverary cake tropical fruit christmas cake with coconut icing and red decorations

Rob had mentioned that his parents wanted to give some of the cake to friends who couldn’t be at the lunch – so | made some matching cupcakes to ensure there was plenty to go around. Sticking with the theme, they were a (ruby) red velvet chocolate cake base, topped with a swirl of vanilla butter cream, and coordinating red flowers.

winter floral ruby red flower cupcakes with vanilla icing swirl for wedding anniversary ruby flower cupcake for wedding anniversary party ruby red flower cupcakes with edible glitter vanilla buttercream swirl for wedding anniversary celebration

It was a great lunch and lovely to be able to celebrate with them. Happy Anniversary John & Claire!

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

Celebratory Baileys Cheesecake

celebratory baileys cheesecake easy dessert baked recipe and method chocolate topping extra alcohol baileys irish cream

I’d originally planned this cheesecake after Christmas, but this weekend a perfect occasion sprung up – Rob and I got engaged! In the middle of a snow field on a glacier in Iceland, with a big sparkly ring, of course we are very happy 🙂

engagement ring snowmobiling iceland engagement ring black sapphire and diamonds

Rob asked what he would get out of the engagement, I had a shiny new ring, could he have… a guitar? Not really seeing the romance in a guitar I offered to make us a celebratory cheesecake on our return home, one of his favourite desserts.

I looked online for quite a few recipes but was quite disappointed by the lack of alcohol in most of them! 25ml of Baileys? It would barely even touch the sides, let alone add a good flavour to the cheesecake! So this recipe is of my own making, it was perfect in an 8 inch square tin, you could easily use a round or slightly smaller square as long as it had high sides.

Ingredients250g digestive biscuits, crushed
100g butter, melted
300g cream cheese
200g creme fraiche
100ml Baileys irish cream
20g sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs

Chocolate and edible glitter to decorate, if required

Method– Mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter, and press firmly and evenly into the bottom of a loose-bottomed or springform tin
– Beat together the cream cheese, creme fraiche, Baileys, vanilla and sugar until completely smooth
– Add the the eggs and stir in until just mixed – don’t over-mix at this stage.
– Pour the mixture over the top of the biscuit base
– Bake at 180 degrees for around half an hour, until the top is set, and not liquid. It should still have a slight wobble, like jelly
– Run a knife all the way round the edge, so the cheesecake can ease away as it sets. Leave to cool in the tin.
– When cool, top with grated chocolate and edible glitter, if required

grated chocolate topping and edible glitter on baileys cheesecake

baileys cheesecake with chocolate heart topping recipe baked method

And to taste…  I’m not sure if it was the use of creme fraiche instead of yoghurt, or the Baileys, or some special engagement magic, but this was one of the lightest, fluffiest cheesecakes I have ever tasted! Yum!

inside super smooth baileys cheesecake recipe simple baked

In answer to the many questions we’ve had since getting back… no we haven’t set a date yet, or found a venue, or even thought about a cake! For now we are happy to celebrate in our own sweet time 🙂

DSCN0755

Birthday Afternoon Tea Party

Ah yes, the week of my birthday, where, once again, friends and family gather to eat their own body weight in cake. There is a definite theme to all my birthday presents and the respective celebrations at which they are received – cake, cake, and more CAKE! Take for example this amazing 3d patisserie card – will definitely be finding a permanent home for this little lovely in my kitchen.

patisserie 3d birthday card cake lover

This year Rob and I hosted a birthday afternoon tea at home; we moved house in September and still love our new bolthole, as today proved it’s perfect for parties!

A windy Sunday afternoon in Derbyshire didn’t deter the party goers, and we made sure the house was well decked out for an afternoon tea party – balloons, banners, and of course bunting, zig-zagging across the hallway. I’m wondering how long I can get away with having this up for, the cats seem to have designs on pulling it down though…

pastel bunting and cats hosting traditional afternoon tea party at home

Starting with sandwiches, served with champagne, we tucked in to the veritable feast in front of us.

birthday afternoon tea champagne sandwiches and cake

afternoon tea party at home derbyshire happy birthday

Enjoyed freshly baked from the oven, delicious fruit scones made by Al…

afternoon tea party freshly baked scones

… and topped with home-made (by t’other Jen) blackcurrant jam, and whipped cream. Yum!

afternoon tea party fresh scones with homemade blackcurrant jam and whipped cream

Offerings from my kitchen included strawberry swirl meringues, and gluten-free brownie bites (both recipes now posted & linked up!) home afternoon tea birthday party chocolate brownie bites strawberry swirl meringues finger sandwiches

And and experiment with one of my brilliant birthday presents, a cake pop maker, little white kitty cat cake pops! They are not my finest work of art but not a bad testament to my battle with the evil that is candy melts.

kitty cat cake pops white chocolate candy melt birthday party ideas pink glitter sugar ears

cat cake pop white chocolate in place of a nose birthday party fun

And what else could you finish a birthday party with, other than a big sticky birthday cake?!

birthday girl blowing out candles afternoon tea party

Made by the lovely Jen this was one brilliant birthday cake:

chocolate swirl birthday cake with candles

– that just got better and better when I cut inside. Look at the chocolate checkerboard!

checkerboard chocolate happy birthday cake

Some more fun and games…

fun and games birthday afternoon tea party host at home derbyshire

… before waving guests off with full tummies and little party bags! Who doesn’t love a party bag, at any age?

mini afternoon tea party bags chocolate freddo cat toy

Thanks to all my lovely guests for a great afternoon, helping to make (and demolish) all the yummy food, and of course my fabulous presents! All that remains now is for me to get baking and start using some of them…

Leopard Print Speedo Cake

leopard print speedos swimming trunks pants cake good luck hand made painted hidden design

Today is a sad day in our office, as one of our much loved colleagues is leaving to take up a new role. She is moving to a popular swimwear company, jokes about budgie smugglers have been rife since the news broke, and I wanted to bake something to send her off in style!

I stumbled across a video tutorial the other week from Woodland Bakery for a leopard print cake – inside, not just out, and my mind was firmly set.

Using a classic Madeira cake recipe for firm-ness, I split it into 1/3:2/3 to add the colours and the flavour. The large portion, two thirds, I flavoured with lemon (and left without colour), to the remaining third I added a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Dividing the now chocolate portion in half again, I added a second tablespoon of cocoa powder to one half, giving a darker brown. They all then went into piping bags ready to go into the cake tin.

piping bags filled with cake batter lemon and chocolate flavour tutorial making patterns in cake

I used my number and letter cake pan to create the shape of the trunks – using a paper template to block out the sections that weren’t needed, so I’d not have to carve too much off to create the final shape. First to go in was a whole layer of the base colour / lemon cake:

leopard print cake how to and tutorial lemon flavour madiera piped base shaped tin

Then the start of the leopard print – thick swirls and stripes of the dark brown chocolate batter, spread across the area of the cake, to give each slice a little bit of ‘leopard’!

leopard print inside cake tutorial pipping dark brown lines into light batter

Over the top of this, a smaller, thinner line of the lighter chocolate batter:

leopard print cake tutorial light brown and dark brown chocolate batter piped into swirls on lemon base

Sealing in the light brown with a layer of the dark chocolate:

tutorial to make cake with leopard print inside piping lines and swirls

Then filling in around the sides and in between the chocolate mixtures (so the whole cake was level at this point):

leopard print cake tutorial how to pipe shapes and pattern into the cake batter

Another complete layer of lemon:

leopard print cake tutorial pan tin filled with batter hidden pattern

Now the tutorial only had one layer of leopard spots, but I wanted mine to be vertical in the cake as well as horizontal. Plus I had quite a lot of batter left in the piping bags! So I added another layer of the chocolate mixtures:

leopard print swirls hidden baked into cake how to tutorial

And finally one last layer of lemon filling in the sides and across the top. Without a doubt the longest time it has ever taken me to fill a cake tin!

leopard print cake tutorial pan tin filled with batter hidden pattern

It only took about 40 minutes to bake as the pan is relatively shallow, coming out a lovely golden brown and nice and firm for carving.

freshly baked leopard print hidden design inside cake

Then onto the carving – and I was so happy to see the first signs of leopard print as I sliced down the sides. Success!

leopard print inside cake tutorial first cut into pattern hidden design

A little more carving around the sides and top (the irony of what I was carving was not lost on me!)…

speedo swimming trunks pants shaped cake

… before covering with a lemon buttercream and light orange fondant. A minor disaster occurred just after I’d finished – a rouge packet of fondant fell out of the cupboard, landing right in the middle of the cake and causing a huge dent! Screaming ensued, Rob helped me peel the damaged fondant off and I started again. Groan! Hence why the fondant looks a little dry and cracked – it didn’t really appreciate being worked and rolled twice (nor did I appreciate doing it!)

speedo shaped cake tutorial covered with sugar paste fondant icing in orange

The leopard print decoration was seemingly simple but a little time consuming. Using watered-down food colours, I painted abstract circle and round patterns all across the cake in a darker brown…

hand painting leopard print spots dark brown onto cake using food colouring

… before filling in the centres with a lighter, tan brown.

leopard print spots pattern hand painted onto cake using food colouring dark brown and tan on pastel base

Once this was dry I piped a (slightly shaky) speedo logo using plain white icing.

piped icing white speedo logo on personalised leopard print cake

The finished cake – a true pair of budgie smugglers if I’ve ever seen one!

speedo swimming trunks leopard print cake inside and out tutorial hand made

leopard print speedos swimming trunks pants hand made cake tutorial with hidden design

I added a final finishing touch with a piped chocolate message (shaky again, must practice my piping!):

hand piped in dark chocolate message on cake good luck toni

good luck toni personalised leopard print speedos cake hand painted hidden design

Cutting into the cake – not quite as leopard-y as I’d hoped? But still sticky and spotty, and as always in our office very quickly devoured.

inside leopard print hidden design cake spots pattern

Take care Toni, we really will miss you!

toni with speedo leopard print cake leaving day

Update – May 2014 – I’m so pleased to say that this cake came runner-up in Renshaw Baking’s Cake Catwalk Competition. A classic leopard print never goes out of fashion!

Personalised Champagne Bottle Celebration Cake

lauren personalised champagne bottle celebration wedding hen party cake pink and gold

Last weekend we went to a beautiful wedding of a good friend of ours, at the absolutely stunning Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester. She is such a good friend in fact, Lauren is the one who actually introduced Rob and I!

I’d not had time to make a cake for her hen party a couple of months back, but an invitation to dinner with the bride the night before the wedding was a perfect opportunity for me to make this up. Champagne is one of her absolute favourite things, and pink, and sparkles, so it didn’t take long to decide on this one.

To start with, I baked a rectangular madeira cake, using a printed template of a Moet bottle to ensure it would be big enough. I used the same recipe (and tin, in fact!) as my grandma’s 80th cake, which you can find here.

moet & chandon champagne bottle cake recipe adjustable size ink

Once the cake was cool, I used a sharp bread knife, and the same paper template, to cut the cake into the bottle shape:
trimming madeira cake to make champagne bottle shape for celebration party wedding

I also thinned down the neck of the bottle, to give a more realistic and 3D effect.
bottle neck of champagne celebration cake

Next up, and one of the most amazing revelations in my kitchen for a long time, champagne butttercream. Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds. And so incredibly simple as well. Simply beat together:

– 100g butter
– 250g icing sugar
– 4 tablespoons of champagne

I had a mini bottle of rose champagne which worked absolutely perfectly, and didn’t affect the colour as well. I covered the whole cake in the buttercream, and put in the fridge for about 45 minutes to firm up (and give me time to lick the bowl of champagne buttercream completely clean!)

champagne buttercream on bottle shaped personalised cake recipe dirty iced crumb coat

Transferring the cake over to its presentation board, I covered in a dark green fondant. Because I didn’t want food colouring-stained hands for the wedding, I bought some pre-coloured fondant – the colour I used was Regalice bottle green.

bottle green fondant icing regalice champagne personalised cake recipe instructions how to

A quick bit of trimming later, the rest of the bottle of champagne came into play as I took a few minutes to admire my work so far, and decide on how to decorate next.

rose champagne with covered bottle shaped cake green fondant black cake board regalice

First up was to colour some fondant for the label and foil neck. As I mentioned pink is a big favourite (and I had insider information that it was part of the wedding colour scheme), so I followed suit from the Moet template with a hot pink colour.

For the main part of the label, I wanted to keep it quite simple, with just Lauren’s name. Using some letter stencils, I carefully imprinted the name across the pink fondant, before filling in with an edible ink pen – the one I use is a Rainbow Dust Double-Ended pen – having both the thick and fine nibs was a great help with this cake.

adding personalisation to champagne bottle pink label cake americolor black edible ink writer pen

lauren personalised cake champagne bottle filling in letter stencils with black edible ink americolor writer pen

On the top of the label, I carefully printed the champagne name, finishing with a yellow heart dotted with gold edible glitter. I also used a scalloped edge tool to carefully print a tiny dotted line all the way around the edge.

champagne tiny writing on pink fondant edible ink personalised champagne bottle wedding cake gold heart

The finished label:

lauren personalised champagne label cake heart wedding pink

Next up was the neck section of the bottle. Using the same pink fondant, I covered the top section, and added an extra layer around where the cork would be, using a fine knife to create lines to look like foil.

Again my not-so-steady hand got to some writing, isn’t it funny how you can look at a word for so long and it doesn’t seem to be spelt right any more? Thankfully my second set of champagne lettering turned out ok too 🙂

champagne bottle neck pink foil made out of fondant and edible glitter gold spray pearls and 2013 seal

Following the design of my template, I also added a gold-edged black ribbon, and golden round seal. As a memento of the year of the wedding, I printed 2013 onto the gold seal.

champagne bottle cake neck pink rose with ribbon and seal all made from fondant

2013 vintage champagne bottle for wedding gold seal made out of fondant and edible glitter

2013 vintage champagne label made out of gold fondant edible glitter and edible ink

You may also spy rather a lot of sparkle – to look like real champagne foil a lot of edible glitter was needed!

champagne bottle cake with edible ink written label and pink edible glitter

For a finishing touch, I added some stems of gold spray pearls (non-edible), coming out the top of the cake, to look like champagne bubbles.

lauren personalised champagne bottle heart wedding cake

Well I thought it was a pretty good cake, but I’d no idea the bride would love it quite so much! She promptly whisked it away for use in the wedding, alongside their main wedding cake! With the promise that a helpful family member would add the groom’s name; I hadn’t expected her to put it into the wedding at all, I’d have added it myself if I’d even thought…!

But it all made sense when I saw the setup of the wedding breakfast – of course pink did feature, but the tables were also named after champagne brands, how fantastic! And wedding favours as pink fondant fancies, such a lovely idea.

wedding favours pink and purple fondant fancy champagne table names bollinger rose petals

I was a little apprehensive when I heard how the cake had fared – but actually a great job had been made of adding Ian’s name:

personalised champagne bottle cake pink label glitter ian & lauren

Look closely, yes that is actually a post-it note! But I think it looks better and more in keeping than adding on writing icing any other way.

And next to (half of) the main wedding cake – a match made in heaven 🙂

wedding cakes giant fondant fancy and personalised champagne bottle pink

Lovely cakes for such a lovely couple – congratulations again Ian and Lauren! Long may you enjoy the finer things in life together – cake and champagne being a great start 🙂

personalised champagne bottle cake pink label glitter ian & lauren

 

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:

20130407-123343.jpg

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

IMG_3130

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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