A few more delicious, made to order cakes

It has been so busy in the Hours of Fun kitchen we still have lots of cakes to share with you.  Here are three very different cakes made for three birthdays.

 

First up a cake for a karaoke loving birthday girl celebrating her 80th birthday.  Dressed in a gorgeous gold dress singing her heart out.  The cake topper was made from FIMO (oven baked modelling clay) and came with a box for it to be kept in as a forever keepsake.

The cake was a vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream filling, covered in fondant with wires curled to shoot out the top of the cake with edible stars.

karaoke-singing-birthday-cake-1

 

Next up was a special cake for a little girl celebrating her 4th birthday.  This little girl was involved in the designn and after a few changes of theme and flavour it was decided to go for Sofia the First and chocolate sponge with chocolate filling.  Sofia the first and Clover were non-edible cake toppers which the birthday girl could keep and play with after all the cake had been eaten up.

Due to the size of the cake toppers a last minute change to the design was made, which the customer was happy to go with.  As this included a extra tier of cake for no extra charge I did a vanilla sponge as the birthday girl had been torn between the two flavours!  This was an elegant cake for a beautiful birthday girl.

sofia-the-first-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last up was a cake for a super gorgeous little boy turning 2 and he loves the Twirlywoos and he was getting the big red boat for his birthday.  The cake was a vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream shaped into the big red boat.  I modelled the Twirlywoo characters out of fondant and was super proud that the three quacky ducks perched on top of the boat stayed in place as this is often the challenge when modelling cake toppers from fondant for display on a cake!  I really enjoyed making this cake as it was so colourful and fun.

twirlywoos-cake-for-idris

 

 

 

The birthday girl’s favourite Roald Dahl book as a cake!

It was my sister in law’s sister’s birthday party and it wasn’t just any old birthday party, it was to celebrate her turning 40 so a super duper cake was required.  We had a chat about themes and ideas and my sister in law suggested The Twits as that was the birthday girl’s favourite book as a child.   Without any hesitation I jumped on this idea as it sounded like so much fun to make.

 

The party was a surprise, so in secret we swapped messages as we both did a little research and remembered how fantastic the book is with so many fabulous things in it that we could include on the cake.

I baked a square 8″ lemon sponge and shaped it into a rectangle so it was now a book shape.  I ordered some printing from eat my face who are super quick and efficient at edible printing, this was to be used as the book cover.  I haven’t used rice paper for this type of edible printing before as I have always had the printing done on fondant.  It is good to experiment and I was keen to see how it worked.  If doing it again I would probably choose a book cover to be printed on icing as the rice paper has a tendency to curl up slightly at the edges, so doesn’t want to lie flat.  To combat it’s desire to curl I made a thin border out of strips of icing to frame the printed rice paper sheet and keep it in place.

I baked a 6″ lemon sponge cake which came out with a slight dome where it had risen – this was the perfect shape for a pie, I didn’t have to do anything to it other than slice it to layer it with buttercream.  I then covered it in coloured icing, which I then painted with liquid brown food colouring to give texture and colour.  I crimped the edges using a crimper tool.  I made birds legs from flower paste and left them to go hard overnight.  I then made a few holes in the top of the pie and slotted the legs into place – this created a fabulous Roly-Poly bird pie which I then placed on the board next to the book.

 

 

The Twits

This cake was so much fun to make and the birthday girl loved it.  I wasn’t there when she cut into it, but I had requested they got a photo of her eating the pie!!

Roly-Poly bird pie

eating pie

Happy Retirement cake

I was asked to make a retirement cake for a very special person retiring from a working life of helping others, completing her final day at Marie Curie Hospice.  It was an honour to make the cake, and knowing Ana as I do I know she loves cake so would appreicate it on all levels!

I have made a few cakes on a doctor/nurse theme and always enjoy making them.  The cake was shaped as a scrubs top in the colours Ana had to wear at work.  All nursing tops need a nurses watch too, with a pen in the pocket.

The cake was a chocolate sponge with salted caramel buttercream.

Nurses top

Crown Green Bowling cake means time for a new cake tin!

My dad loves to play bowls and for his birthday this year we took this theme and ran with it (although I’m not sure if running is allowed on the green!!).

I had been thinking it must be time to buy a new cake tin as I hadn’t bought one for a while!  For this cake we needed a ball cake tin and surely this tin would get used lots so I was excited about the purchase.

Ball cake tin (2)

The 2 tins come with a stand each which you can see underneath the ball on the above picture.   I believe the next picture shows how verstile this cake tin can be!

Ball cake tin cake

I baked 2 cakes, one a chocolate sponge, the other a vanilla gluten free sponge.  Covered them both in black icing and using left over cake I make a large cake pop for the jack and covered it in white icing.

The board was covered in green icing to create the crown green, with the 2 bowls placed on top, next to the jack.

Crown green bowls cake for my dad

This turned out to be a good experiment even though I didn’t plan it to be!  I have been working on my gluten free sponge cake recipe for a while now, trying to improve the stability of the cake.  It worked well when carving a shape out of the sponge – click here for the cake pictures

However in this situation the gluten free cake started to sag and lose it’s shape.   I managed to shape it back a little with my hands, however if I did this again I would put a board in the middle where the 2 cakes meet and a couple of dowels to help it to stay strong.

We played a couple of hours of indoor bowls with the family, which had been booked as a surprise for my dad.  We then headed back to my sisters for slow cooked pork sandwiches and rhurbarb, gooseberry and blackberry homemade crumble which was all delicious and of course we ate birthday cake.

 

A sea monster cake for a double birthday celebration

 

Cake can be a fantastic present to give someone for their birthday, if you are counting your pennies, or unsure of what to get someone, a homemade cake can say it all.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy if that’s not your skill base.  Just do some sneaky digging into what their favourite flavour sponge or bake is and try your hand at making it for them.

For our friend’s two boy’s birthdays we we unsure what to get them as we knew they would get lots of amazing toys and we are saving like mad for a holiday next year.  As they were having a joint birthday party it was decided I would make the party cake as their presents.

A sea monster theme was set and I tried doing waves for the first time.  I used fondant mixed with Tylo powder to strengthen it, then piped along the top of each wave with fondant mixed with a little water to create a paste which can be used in a piping bag.  You could also use royal icing for the tops of the waves.

Seb and Harry sea monster birthday cake (2)

 

Sea monster cake
Sea monster cake

A cake for a pub lover!

The order came in for a cake shaped as a bar with the particulars being Guinness, Carling, Jack Daniels and McGinty’s Bar which is in Liverpool L13.  I had to do a fair bit of edible printing recently so as part of an order I had filled some space on a A4 sheet with mini Guinness, Carling and Jack Daniels signs.  I had also rung up the pub to ask them what colour their sign was outside as it has been green and blue but I couldn’t recall what it was at the present time.  After answering my question and being very accommodating the pub explained that this had been one of the most random questions it had ever been asked over the phone!

The model of the birthday boy was made from coloured icing mixed with tylo powder with a couple of cocktail sticks in to help keep its structure.  The pumps on the bar were kept in place using small pieces of dried spaghetti – this is a good trick to use in a cake as they are edible and you don’t need to worry about sticking them directly into a sponge cake, whereas with cocktail sticks and wire you should always use flower picks when sticking them directly into your sponge cake.  For small pieces of modelling dried spaghetti works well to help keep them in place and upright.

McGintys bar
McGintys bar

The bar was made from an 8” square lemon sponge with lemon curd and vanilla frosting filling covered in coloured ready roll icing.  The bar around the bottom was made with white icing which was then painted using gold edible glitter powder mixed with rejuvenating fluid.

Adding icing to the board often provides a fantastic finishing touch to a cake and for this cake I made it to look like a wooden floor using a knife to score the wood coloured icing and a long ruler to press the lines in to create floorboards.

 

 

Football cake for a football lover

Football themed cakes are popular and with living in Liverpool they are mostly Liverpool or Everton.  I was asked if I could make a Liverpool FC themed cake for a 70th birthday celebration.  They had originally asked for a number cake 7 and 0 which I would have been happy to do however I am keen to please all my customers and a numbered cake often works out quite expensive when you have two numbers as the tins used are equal to two cakes which is a lot of cake.  I gave them a quote for the 70 shaped cake and also gave them some prices for some other designs which they loved and decided to go for the Liverpool FC shirt cake.

This cake was a vanilla sponge with jam and vanilla frosting filling.  Shaped as a football shirt with the number 70 on the back and the birthday boy’s name.  The board was decorated in green to represent a football pitch.

Liverpool FC shirt
Liverpool FC shirt

40th birthday celebrations called for a champagne bucket cake for an Aston Villa fan

I received an order through the website asking if I could do an ice bucket cake like the one they had seen on my website but with a few changes and the additional decoration around the board based on Aston Villa Football cake.

The ice bucket was made from a 6” and an 8” round sponge cake layered and shaped to create the bucket.  The bottle was a real bottle of Carva supported in the ice bucket by a couple of dowels going down through the cake to the board and the ice cubes were foxes glacier mints.

The glass was secured to the board and the birthday girl was modelled from coloured icing and tylo powder to help keep the shape.  The glass was filled with icing coloured in Aston Villa colours with sugar crystals sprinkled around the model to give it a sparkling finish.

Aston Villa champagne
Aston Villa champagne

The Aston Villa badges were printed onto edible icing and positioned on the board as decoration with an extra one placed on the back of the ice bucket – I had a spare one and didn’t want it to be wasted!

The cake survived a drive to Birmingham and was the centre piece for the 40th birthday celebrations.  It was a lot of fun to make.

aston villa ice bucket cake (2)

 

aston villa ice bucket cake (3)

 

A whisky cake for a whisky lover

I have done a few cakes shaped as bottles and to get the best effect I would always recommend printing the bottle label as it gives the cake a fantastic professional finish.  Matching the design, detail and any logo etc by hand can be very time consuming and tricky to do and unless you are a whizz with a paintbrush it probably will not turn out how you wanted it to!  For the Bells Whisky cake I ordered the label design this time on rice paper as I haven’t used rice paper much and wanted to try it on a cake to see how it worked and looked.

Rice paper is often used for cupcake toppers so I was interested to try it out on a large cake to see the effect.  It was very easy to work with and less delicate than printed icing which can tear easily.  I am not sure if the finish for a large cake it as polished when using rice paper compared to printed icing and it does taste different.  It was a good choice for this cake though as the customer had ordered two cakes and asked for them to not have ready roll icing on, just buttercream.  With a shaped cake you need to use ready roll icing to cover the cake to help keep its shape and design and if I had attempted to put the rice paper or printed icing directly onto a thick layer of buttercream it would have started to soak it up, become moist, lose shape and the colour may have even started to run.  Using rice paper for the label meant I could reduce slightly how much icing I covered the cake with.

The whisky bottle was shaped from an 8” square vanilla sponge cake with vanilla buttercream filling placed on a 12” round board.

Bells whisky cake
Bells whisky cake

Flower pot cake, full of gorgeous flowers for a flower lover!​

For my friend’s birthday I was keen to bake her a cake as we are saving pennies at the moment and I think a homemade cake makes a lovely gift for someone rather than turning up empty handed.
My friend Charlie has recently started up her own florist business – Charlie’s flower Boutique and she is fast becoming an expert in flowers and produces fabulous bouquets and wedding packages. This therefore set the theme for the cake – flowers!
I fancied having a go at baking a cake in a terracotta flower pot so headed to Taskers to get a brand new pot, headed home to wash it and let it completely dry. I then placed 2 layers of greaseproof paper over the bottom, covering the hole, then covered the sides of the pot in 2 layers of greaseproof paper, wiped it all over with some cake release then set to mixing the cake ingredients. I went for the same mixture I would use for a 8” square cake which actually was a little more than I needed so we got 6 cupcakes from it too – bonus!
The cake baked at 160 degrees for about 1 hour and 50 minutes. It wasn’t the best baked cake it was cooked but a little heavy – it lacked the light and fluffiness I like my sponges to have. I think next time I would maybe bake it for a little longer and a slightly lower temperature.
I then set to slicing the sponge, layering it up with buttercream then covered it in pink icing. I added a stripe of icing around the top before I covered it, as the rim at the top of the pot needed defining a little more. I then grated some brown ready roll icing to over the top of the cake for the soil and started to make flowers.
When making flowers you need to let them rest overnight ideally, then you can shine them by holding them over a steaming kettle – let them rest again – then dust them using edible dust colours and shimmers. I made roses, carnations, cala lilies, sunflowers and fuchsias, along with 2 different shapes of leaves. When placed on the pot they looked fab and filled the space well.
The day before the cake was due, a friend and I had headed to the cake show at Event City and I have treated myself to a mould of alphabet bunting so I had to then try it out! I put Charlie in bunting around the board. It was easy to use and came out really well, I need a little practice but think I will be using my bunting mould a lot!

Flower pot cake
Flower pot cake
flower pot close up
flower pot close up