Ombre Flowers Gluten Free Wedding Cake

ombre flowers cascade tiered wedding cake white pink orange

Last month, in celebration of mine and Rob’s upcoming nuptials, the lovely ladies of Derby Clandestine Cake Club held a wedding and hen-party themed meet-up in my honour! You can read the full details by clicking here.

For obvious reasons (hello planning busy-ness, no more stress needed!) I’m not making our actual wedding cake, so used this an ideal opportunity to try out a bridal design of my own. Inspired by the recent Gluten-Free baking course I took, I combined and adapted a few recipes from various sources to make a gluten free fruit cake for the two layers.

Gluten Free Wedding Fruit Cake
500g dried fruit (I used a mix of dried apples, apricots, bananas, raisins and mixed peel, but anything would work)
250g light brown or golden caster sugar
250g butter
4 medium eggs
100ml milk
200g gluten free flour
75g ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa (not essential, but adds a lovely richness)
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

– chop the dried fruit into small pieces if needed (around 5mm maximum is best), and mix together with the ground almonds
– beat together the sugar, butter, eggs, milk, flour, cocoa and baking powered
– add the dried fruit and mix until just combined
– pour into greased, lined tins, sizes as needed. I used a deep 7 inch round for the base, and 3 inch round for the top
– cover with foil (to stop the top doming) and bake at 150 degrees until an inserted skewer comes out clean. The length of time needed in the oven will depend on the size of the tins you use. My 3 inch cake took around 30-40 minutes, the 7 inch around 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
– remove from the tin and leave to cool completely before icing.

dried fruit for gluten free cake recipe banana apples apricots raisins baking gluten free fruit wedding cakes foil top tip to stop dome gluten free wedding cake two tiers recipe easy

For my cakes I used a marzipan layer to give a smoother finish for the white fondant. It’s not at all necessary though, you could use jam or even buttercream. The two cakes need around 500g of marzipan, and 500g of white fondant, to generously cover both.

marzipan on gluten free wedding fruit cake easy recipe

white fondant iced two tier wedding cake fruit gluten free recipe

Once the cakes were covered and stacked it was onto the flower decorations. I’ll be the first to admit that I may have got a little carried away here! I started doing them one evening, a bit more the next night, and so on, the final count was over 500!! I started with two colours of gel icing sugar – an orange and a pink, and mixed varying amounts of these into small quantities of white fondant to create the full spectrum of ombre flowers, from dark to light.

ombre fondant flowers for wedding cake white pink peach orange ombre sugarpaste fondant icing flowers hand cut for wedding cake decoration orange pink peach white pastel

I stuck them on the cake using a little plain white icing dabbed on with a cocktail stick, and starting with the palest flowers at the top, I started sticking and curving round the cake, all the way to the brightest orange and pink at the bottom.

white and pastel peach orange pink cascade of ombre flowers on wedding cake orange and pink wedding cake fondant flowers cascade ombre flowers cascade fondant icing on tiered wedding cake spring and summer ideas

The finished cake – a little wonky depending on the angle you look at it from (not a pro wedding cake maker by far!) – but I was really pleased with it.

cascade of ombre flowers two tiered wedding cake white pink orange peach gluten free recipe for clandestine cake club pink and orange cascade ombre flowers wedding cake on white icing

Of course we had a great time at cake club devouring all the wedding and hen cakes – who doesn’t love to sit and chat over a good cup of tea and huge slice of cake?

My cake turned out really well inside too – you really couldn’t tell it was gluten free, so would be perfect to serve to any wedding guest.

gluten free wedding fruit cake slice with marzipan white fondant icing and ombre spring brights flowers

As for our actual wedding cake… you’ll just have to watch this space. Not long now!

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:

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

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

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

48 cupcakes big order for wedding party covering in white fondant

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

the cake decorating company plastic cupcake carrier six with lid review

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

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

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

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

orange and red autumn leaves cupcakes in silver foil cases wedding

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

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

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

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

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

marble paint effect on wooden custom built wedding cake stand

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

congratulations banner orange autumn leaves tree wedding cake with matching cupcakes

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

autumn leaves cupcakes white fondant with orange curled leaves tylo powder

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

bride and groom cutting wedding cake autumn leaves red theme

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

Cakes with the Kiwis

Kia Ora from New Zealand!

We have spent 1 1/2 beautiful weeks here in Aotearoa, touring from Tauranga, through Rotorua, Taupo, and Napier, crossing the islands by ferry and ending our journey in Christchurch.

Although a lot of the hotels and motels come with small, well-stocked kitchenettes, I have to say the only cooking I’ve done is to put a slice of bread in the toaster!

But of course, we have made time for cake along the way!

Hot cross buns over Easter weekend:

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– in sulphuric, stunning but very smelly Rotorua –

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Tuesday last week was my dad’s birthday, we bought him a gooey caramel slice cake and couldn’t help but top it with candles!

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Big slices enjoyed with a beach view, on the seafront in Napier.

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A 350km drive to Wellington definitely called for a midday cake-stop. Would you believe we have stopped in this cake shop on our past 2 trips as well – two and six years ago! The Olde Plum Duff tearooms in Shannon.

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What seems to be a Kiwi classic – lolly cake.

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The best way to describe it is quite dense and fudgy, with big chunks of bright squishy sweets, kind of like firm marshmallows, and rolled in desiccated coconut. Yummy! I will have to look up the recipe for this when we get back.

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A lot of the bakeries also sell another classic from this region – Lamingtons, although they do originate from neighbouring Australia. I didn’t manage to try one on this trip, but maybe next time…

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The cake shop is set in the middle of a tiny little town called Shannon, half an hour or so outside Palmerston North. There are a lot of small one-street towns in NZ, and Shannon is no exception, but really very pretty nonetheless.

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And the piece de resistance – the reason for our travel to NZ, my brothers wedding in Christchurch this weekend.

The wedding was held at a lovely little venue on the outskirts, called Sharvin Lodge. How nice to be able to hold the ceremony outside!

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The wedding cake was fab and perfect for the autumn theme – how amazing are those fondant leaves.

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And the loveliest part? There was a mini cake for everyone to have there or take away with them, such a nice idea.

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So we leave New Zealand later today with some fantastic memories, next stop LA!