Cupcakes for all occasions

There has been a flurry of cupcakes orders received at Hours of Fun over the last few weeks.  Cupcakes for Teachers, Olympic parties, Maternity leave, Birthdays and Hen Parties.

First up we have Olympic rings and medals topping a vanilla sponge with vanilla buttercream.  Helping to celebrate the end of the Olympics at an office party.

olympic-cupcakes-3

I love buying new cake equipment and tools and these order gave me the perfect excuse to buy a new mould.  This mould is full of super cute baby items which I used to top these Vanilla, Red Velvet and Chocolate cupcakes.

baby-mould

Maternity leave baby cupcakes

Thank you gifts for Teachers at the end of the year can be tricky; you may want to stick to a budget, try to buy them something different or leave it so late it ends up being a last minute panic.  Cupcakes are a lovely way to say thank you and come in a box with a handmade tag that the child can write themselves.  We can do any flavour and also offer a gluten free cupcakes for anyone with a gluten allergy.

Teacher cupcakes

I’ve had a few hen do cake orders however this was the first time I had been asked for rude ones!  You know what this meant – time for a new mould!!  These were a lot of fun to make and when delivered to the customer’s work place, they caused a big discussion and attracted a lot of attention!  The cake toppers were made from fondant and placed on top of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, some of the toppers were even chocolate flavoured!!

Hen do cupcakes

Birthday cupcakes come in all shapes and sizes.  These were lemon and vanilla cupcakes with photos printed on to sheets of icing as the toppers.  Printing onto edible icing or rice paper is a fabulous way to personalise a cake.

Birthday photos

Last up with have bright and colourful daisy cupcakes.  A mixture of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes baked in cases decorated with daisies.  Two different colours were piped together to create the striking swirl with a fondant daisy placed on top.    These were ordered as a leaving gift at work.

Rainbow cupcakes

Cupcakes are £1.50 each or buy a box of 12 for £15.00 and are perfect for all occasions.

Punisher cake for a special Marvel fan turning 40

One of our friends has recently turned 40 (I have officially reached that stage in my live where 40 is the next big birthday for everyone!!).

He is a massive fan of The Punisher and this was to be the theme of the cake.

The main cake was chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream, baked as a 10″ square cake and cut into a rectangle.  I covered it in black icing and put it to one side whilst I did the cake topper.

The Punisher skull was made from homemade rice crispie marshmellows, covered in 2 layers of white icing with the detail made from black icing.  This was then placed on top of the cake.  I also made letters out of rice crispie marshmellows and covered them in 2 layers of white icing again.  This time the detail was created with red food colouring gel mixed with rejuvenator fluid, painted on to look like blood spilling down each letter.

For the finishing touch I used the red food colour mix to write ‘Happy 40th’ on the cake. I wanted to see if there was anything else that represented The Punisher so I spoke to my husband who is a massive Marvel fan himself.  I had identified a skull, blood and guns.  Apparently that is it and I didn’t see how a gun would fit into the design and be something I could write Happy 40th on!

Happy Birthday Dan, hope you had a super fantastic day 🙂

dans 40th birthday cake punisher (2)

dans 40th birthday cake punisher (1)

Bing Bunny birthday cake for a special 2 year old’s birthday

I was asked to make a Bing Bunny cake which meant it was time to tune in the telly and watch an episode or two – with us not having children I’m not always up to date with the current favourite programmes and love it when a cake theme comes along which I need to research!

This cake was made from a 10″ square vanilla sponge cake with a jam and buttercream filling.  The cake was carved into a shape of bunny, with pieces of icing rolled out and cut to size to create Bing.  I used a piece of netting I have in my cake kit to give texture to Bing’s dungarees.  I love making cakes like this, it would be my preference to shape the cake rather than model something for the top of the cake.

Bing Bunny
Bing Bunny

 

Make up, hair dryer and stars bursting out, perfect for a special 14th birthday party.

It is always nice to be asked to do family birthday cakes and this one was for Meghann who was turning 14 and having a birthday day and night with friends.  Her mum had kept the cake a secret from her and we delivered it the day before her birthday and Meghann didn’t even know we had been up to Blackpool at that point!

Meghann had seen a cake I had done previously with make up and stars and had talked about it being similar to this.  I even printed 2 pictures of my own cakes out for reference.  This was rather exciting as it showed my portfolio of cakes was growing well and they also came up on the google images search yeay!

I checked in with her mum on any specifics for the cake decoration and colours, flavour was to be vanilla sponge with buttercream filling.  I then set to work as I had 4 cakes due all for last week so I had to be organised.

I had recently spotted a gorgeous way to decorate round the side of the cake by using a design wheel modelling tool and was keen to try it out.  The one made by PME has 3 different textures you can produce and one of them looks like stitching.  Using this wheel you can pattern the cake and then place edible silver balls as the finishing touch.  This method however, does require some practice and more preparation before commencing wheeling.  I started out well but I then lost the angle of my line and the pattern went slightly askew.  I need to try this again soon using a more appropriate straight line tool and maybe a template I can use to ensure the size of each line and shape remains the same.  It still looks effective even with a wonky pattern, and it is a very simple way of dressing up the cake so I am keen to master it.

Happy birthday Meghann.  Sorry we missed you on Thursday but SURPRISE!

Exploring gluten free sponge cake recipes then we get to eat them too yeay!

I am doing a wedding cake in a few weeks which includes a gluten-free sponge layer as part of the tiered cake.  I have made a couple of gluten-free cakes before but I had not made one for a while and hadn’t really explored recipes.  I also wanted to learn a bit more about a gluten-free diet and coeliac disease to understand more about the symptoms and causes.  This would help me take every step necessary to ensure my gluten-free cakes are actually gluten-free!

This also meant that I needed to bake cakes that we could then eat yeay!  This doesn’t happen very often as the cakes I make are often for others so getting some all depends on being in the right place at the right time!!  So off I ventured on a gluten-free exploration.

I found a number of recipes – most of which were very similar using plain flour or self-raising flour, all gluten-free.  One of the recipes included rice flour and tapioca flour, along with xanthan gum and mayonnaise – this was something totally new.  unfortunately I have been unable to source any tapioca flour in Liverpool – if anyone knows where I can pick some up please let me know.  I don’t really want to order it online and so I have added it to the ‘things to get list’ and will keep my ears and eyes open for some.

I didn’t take pictures of all the cakes and also didn’t decorate them other than maybe a sprinkle of icing sugar.

The first cake tasted delicious but the bottom feel apart when i took it out the tin.  This occurred for 2 reasons – I didn’t use a layer of grease proof paper to line the bottom of the tin and I tried to take it out the tin before it had cooled a little.

The rest of the gluten-free baking went fab.  The cakes turned out the tin nicely, tasted lovely and I picked out my favourite recipe.  It produced a light cake with a slight crumble to its texture when pieces were cut from it.  This gluten-free recipe does produce a different type of sponge cake to my normal recipe, but it is just a delicious and easy to make.  When using it as part of a tiered cake it is definitely worth baring in mind that a gluten-free sponge like this does not hold the same strength as a sponge containing gluten, so make sure you are not putting too much weight on top of it.

Gluten free sponge cake recipe

225g Caster sugar

225g Margarine

3 drops of vanilla extract

3 eggs

225g Self raising flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder – ensure it is gluten-free and made with maize starch.

4 tbsp milk

Cream the sugar and margarine, then beat in the egg and vanilla.  Next fold in the flour and baking powder and beat.  Finally beat in the milk.  Cook in an oven heated to 170 degrees C for about 15 mins if splitting across 2 shallow 8″ tins, or about 40 mins at 160 degrees C if all in one deep 6″ tin.