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

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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

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!

Festive Fairy Light Cupcakes

christmas fairy lights festive cupcake ideas cake decorating fondant icing on white buttercream base silver edile ink metallic decoration

Happy New Year readers! The last of my Christmas posts, I promise. Now that we’re into January it’s nearly time for the tree to be packed away for another 11 months (well, 10 1/2, if I can get away with it!). But before the festivities finish completely I wanted to share these cupcakes that I made as a Christmas present at the start of last week.

My inspiration came from this brilliant silicon mould, that came as a free gift with the Christmas issue of My Cake Decorating Magazine.

christmas fairy light silicon mould for fondant cake decorating small medium and large

As you can see it had 3 different sizes of fairy light, and I honestly wasn’t sure if they would pop out in one piece, my previous experience with silicon moulds and fondant icing has been somewhat mixed to say the least!

Nevertheless I was very pleasantly surprised when they all came out really well. The key I found was to start with quite a dry fondant, fill up the mould, use a knife to scrape off any excess, and leave to air-dry for about 5 minutes (I found this worked quite well in between making the cupcakes themselves, and clearing up afterward!). The flexibility of the silicon meant it could be completely bent around itself to pop each little light out. I made all the lights from bright colours of fondant, and left them to air dry for about an hour before using, so the colours wouldn’t run into the buttercream.

multicoloured fondant icing fairy lights pressed from silicon mould my cake decorating christmas baking

During one of my many rounds of Christmas shopping, I accidentally stumbled across this lovely little present for me – a metallic silver edible ink pen from Rainbow Dust. It’s called a Click-Twist Brush, I’d not heard of these before but was obviously eager to try. I found it really easy to use as you can click out as much or as little ink as you need to get the desired effect.

rainbow dust metallic dark silver click twist edible ink brush review and use in christmas cake decorating

It took a couple of layers to build up the brilliant silver on the fairy light ‘sockets’, but I’m sure you’ll agree the effect was absolutely fantastic:

red yellow and green fairy lights made from fondant icing with silver edible ink decoration

Using a plain white buttercream I stuck the fairy lights onto the cupcakes in my planned patterns, and again used the silver pen to dot on a silver ‘wire’, connecting the lights up.

rainbow fairy lights christmas cupcake fondant pressed from silicon mould finished with silver edible ink

A final spritz of silver shimmer and light dusting of edible glitter later (if you can’t at Christmas, when can you…?) …

christmas fairy light cupcake red and blue with silver edible ink wire finished with silver shimmer spray

The finished festive fairy lights! A Christmas cupcake treat 🙂

fairy light fondant decorated cupcakes yellow purple red blue christmas gift ideas

Allotment Retirement Cake

happy retirement dad allotment celebration cake garden soil pumpkins courgettes carrots and cabbages easy fondant leaves

A couple of weeks ago my lovely Dad finally left his job of many, many years. As we’re still working through the great glut of pumpkins he gave us, what better than to make a cake with his own home-grown produce! He is an avid gardener and I’m sure will be spending a lot more time on the allotment from now on.

I used the same recipe as my Halloween Spiced Pumpkin Cake from a few weeks back, covering it in chocolate buttercream to imitate the soil. The vegetable patch I actually found quite easy to make – colouring up fondant in different greens and an orange, shaping, slicing, scoring the pumpkins, and shading the courgettes with a fine paintbrush.

fondant allotment vegetable patch cake pumpkin courgette carrot cabbage

fondant vegetable patch on allotment cake cabbages carrots courgettes and pumpkins autumn harvest

The finished vegetable patch – with the fondant simply ‘planted’ into the allotment by pressing gently into the still-wet chocolate buttercream.

allotment vegetable garden cake chocolate icing for soil and fondant decorations pumpkins courgettes carrots cabbages perfect for retirement fathers day dad ideas

For the personal message on the cake, feeling less than confident with free-hand writing onto the cake, I used a matching piece of chocolate fondant, pressing in letter stencils before piping over with a light green icing.

happy retirement allotment gardeners cake stencil lettering

And to finish, matching ‘Dad’ personalisation on green fondant leaves set onto the cake board.

happy retirement dad cake with stenciled lettering personalised gardener with fondant leaves chocolate icing

A simple but pretty quick idea that I’m really pleased with the result of, and of course a very Happy Retirement to my Dad! I’m sure there’ll be more garden-produce bakes coming this way as he spends more time nurturing the allotment…

happy retirement dad allotment cake with vegetable patch personalised fondant details

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.

20130407-123334.jpg

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

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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Mother’s Day Tulip Cookie Pops

cookie pops flower bouquet biscuits hand decorated orange and yellow sugar glitter sugar royal icing

Happy Mother’s Day to my lovely mummy!

My Cake Decorating magazine came a couple of weeks ago with a lovely tulip biscuit cutter and this nifty little cake / cookie pop ‘vase’. I waited patiently and knew mother’s day was the perfect opportunity to use them – not your usual bunch of flowers!

mothers day tulip flower cake pops orange and yellow in cardboard polka dot vase mycakedecorating

After baking the biscuits on the sticks (use paper ones not plastic, and push gently in to at least halfway across the biscuit, before they go in the oven), I decorated in two different ways.

The first – as you can see above, are hand decorated in orange and yellow icing. I covered the large flower surfaces in pastel royal icing, allowing to dry before using a paintbrush to add the finer details and edging in darker orange/yellow. Finally, they were topped with gold soft pearls.

orange hand decorated tulip cookie pop with gold soft pearl decoration

The second – and quicker – used a pastel orange icing and dipping in pink and yellow sparkly/glitter sugar. The icing dried pretty quickly so I did the yellow fronts first, then the pink top, before using the icing alone for the sides. I again used a thin paintbrush to apply all the icing so that it only went on the areas needed.

glitter sugar tulip cookie pops biscuits on sticks flowers for mothers day

Tied with a bow for a beautiful bouquet!

flower bouquet tied ribbon bow tulip cookie pops for mothers day

Christmas Candy Cane Peppermint Macarons

If you are one of those people who completely shuns Christmas until December, please, look away now. I shamelessly admit to loving Christmas and (almost) everything that comes with it. Yes, I confess, my tree went up last night a whole 5 days before the start of advent – shock horror!

I’d originally planned these macarons to take to cake clubs Christmas gathering (also held yesterday, so it’s not just me!), but time just wasn’t on my side this weekend, and I couldn’t make it back over to Nottingham. I decided to make them anyway, much to Rob’s delight, and we happily munched through rather too many, in front of a good Christmas film last night.

You can find my macaron recipe on this previous post. I followed it exactly as is, adding a tiny blob of gel colour in at the egg beating stage, saving the majority of green colouring to right before piping, painting lines of green gel colour inside the piping nozzle before adding the macaron mixture.

In hindsight I should have piped a bit through first, as the first shells came out rather uncoloured:

But, as I piped on, they got more swirly and candy-cane like, and when the piping bag needed refilling, I streaked in some more good, solid lines of colour (using a cocktail stick).

The result – some great swirly shells! I love how they got little circles in where the air bubbles rose up and popped (during the slamming on the worktop stage), no two were the same.

I left them for their skin-setting period and baked, and for reasons which fail me, they just did not rise up as much as my previous macarons. Answers on the back of a postcard please. Nevertheless they still had all the elements of good shells: shiny, crispy outsides, and soft chewy middles, all encompassed by great festive green swirls. (Yes, size-consistency is still on my to-do list 🙂 )

For the real candy cane element – the sweet mint flavouring, I whipped up some light, white, mint buttercream.

Using approx. 50g lurpak (good for white colour buttercream), 110g icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of peppermint essence (available easily in the supermarket), I beat the butter well, to add lightness in both flavour and colour, using an electric whisk on high for about 3 minutes, before adding in the icing sugar and mint flavouring.

I paired the shells up on the cooling rack ready, then sandwiched each pair together with a very generous dollop of the peppermint cream.

Ensuring it was well spread out from all sides (a cocktail stick came in handy here), I then rolled the whole macaron in red sparkly sugar, which stuck to the wet buttercream.

Half an hour in the fridge and they were soon ready to eat – a crunchy treat with a soft, sweet, sticky mint outside. They won’t be around for long!

Flash Bang! Firework Pinwheel Cookie Pops

Happy bonfire night! Remember, remember the 5th of November…

I’m happy to say we got the whole bonfire and fireworks thing out the way on Friday night, leaving me to enjoy a Monday evening curled up on the sofa, munching happily on these pretty cookie pops I made over the weekend.

Originally I was going to make some iced cookies, but stumbled across pinwheels on the brilliantly named Rock ur Party. They are brilliantly simple to make, and I adapted slightly this recipe from bbc good food. The last link I have to share from you is the delight that is Sweetapolita – who reassures me that baking biscuits on sticks is perfectly normal!

Recipe
100g butter
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
150g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg

– cream together the butter and sugar
– beat in the syrup, vanilla and spices
– add half the flour, beat well
– add the remaining flour and mix to a stiff dough. You will need to roll your dough into balls so if it’s sticky, add a bit more flour)
– colour, decorate, sprinkle… and bake at 180 for 8-10 minutes (don’t over bake or the biscuit will be too crunchy and the bright colours will start to brown).

I chose to colour mine in all the shades of the rainbow, using and mixing all my gel colours to create 10 different colours.

I rolled each colour into little balls (about the shape of a small grape), and popped them into the fridge for 1/2 hour as they were getting a little sticky.

Next step was the most fun, combining the tiny balls into larger multicoloured ‘beach balls’ to make the coloured fireworks.

Mostly I used 4 colours per ball / cookie, but I experimented with some using 2 colours, and some using more. Honestly I found the less colours the better, it was a simpler but more well-defined firework pinwheel effect. (Don’t they remind you of the everlasting gobstoppers from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?!)

Rolling the beach balls out into a thin sausage, and twisting…

…then curling the sausage around on itself to create the pinwheel (or catherine wheel if you are thinking in firework terms!)

Insert a paper lollipop/cake pop stick (not a plastic one as they’ll melt it the oven)

Than roll the edge in sprinkles, and too with more before baking, if desired. I used a mixture of sugar sprinkles, non pareils, sugar stars, and glitter sugars.

Once baked, I finished with a little shimmer spray and quick brush of edible lustre where needed. Ready to eat straight off the stick – yummy!

PS – it’s bakes like this when I’m very glad we have a dishwasher…