Trolls and teddy bears

 

Fabulously bright and colourful teddy bear’s picnic cake for a 40th birthday, although no mention of 40 on the cake which made the birthday girl very happy!!

The family of bears were made out of Fimo so they could be kept forever and put on display alongside an impressive bear collection.  The bears were made to represent the birthday girl’s family.  The picnic was all made from fondant and all edible.

 

This was a 10″ vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream filling.

Teddy bear's picnic
Teddy bear’s picnic

teddy bears picnic cake for Ruth (3)

 

This Poppy the Troll cake was made from a tall 6″ round chocolate sponge cake with chocolate buttercream filling.  Poppy was made from homemade rice crispie marshmellow treats and covered in fondant.

 

Poppy the troll
Poppy the troll

Last few cakes made at Mill Lane

The Hours of Fun kitchen is now closed for a few weeks as we move house. Here is one of the last few cakes made in this kitchen.  I will be sad to say goodbye as this kitchen has been fantastic and has been home to lots of amazing cakes and where I have spent many hours learning new skills and trying new techniques.

 

 

A special birthday Disney cake

I was asked to make a very special birthday cake for an 18th birthday celebration.  The birthday girl is a big fan of Disney and in particular Beauty and the Beast.  Google images is a fantastic place to go for cake inspiration.  When searching for Beauty and the Beast cake ideas a lot of them are bright and colourful, with models of the various characters, however it was decided the cake needed to be a little more sophisticated and grown up with it being for an 18th.   Inspiration was taken from a black and white design that the customer had seen with a stunning red rose as the cake topper.  The design was agreed with the quote provided for the top of the cake.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

The cake was an 8” red velvet sponge cake with vanilla buttercream filling and covered in white fondant icing.  Beauty and the Beast were drawn on the front of the cake using an edible black ink pen.  This cake design would have benefited from an airbrush, as creating the smudged look surrounding the drawn design was tricky using black edible ink and a sponge.  An airbrush kit is on my wish list but it is likely to be a little while before I can invest in one unfortunately!  The quote was written onto a piece of icing, again using the edible black ink pen and placed next to the beautiful red rose.  The rose was made from red fondant mixed with Tilo powder with green wire and florist tape used for the stem.  I love making flowers so I really enjoyed making this cake topper.  I have a order coming up at the end of the month which is a cake covered in flowers which I am super excited about making!

megans-18th-birthday-cake-beauty-and-the-beast-1 megans-18th-birthday-cake-beauty-and-the-beast-3

A Technics Deck birthday cake for a superstar DJ!

I had the pleasure of making a birthday cake for DJ Seb Fontaine at the weekend.  It was quickly decided that the cake should be a Technics turn table with the record playing being Fiji – Seb’s signature tune which we all love to hear him play in a club.

 

I was really looking forward to making this cake as I have made a couple of record players and when you get the chance to make a cake design more than once you get to make improvements, step it up a little and challange yourself.

I decided this time the cake needed to be raised up from the board so the design could include feet and I was keen to use Mikado mint chocolate sticks again for the needle arm as this had worked really well last time.

Seb Fontaine DJ Technics turntable birthday cake (8)

The cake was a vanilla sponge with buttercream filling baked as a 8″ square and shaped into a rectangle.  It was covered in black icing.  I used homemade marshmellow rice crispies to make a small platform for the record to sit on and the feet for the record player, these were covered in black icing.  I commited to putting individual tiny silver balls on the cake that looked fab, but as soon as I started I realised I had a very fidly and repetative task ahead!

 

We presented the cake to Seb just as he started his set at Voom at The Studio in Nantwich.  Happy birthday Seb.  Hope you enjoyed eating the cake and thanks for playing for us on Friday 🙂

Seb Fontaine DJ Technics turntable birthday cake (1)

 

Seb Fontaine DJ Technics turntable birthday cake (6) Seb Fontaine DJ Technics turntable birthday cake (5)

 

Alouis 30 Oct 08 record player decks
Made back in 2008 before I had completed my  cake courses

 

Record player
Record player – made last year

Jimmy Choo high heel cake for a special 30 + 10 birthday girl

This cake was made for a birthday party to celebrate Trisha tuning 40 (or 30+10!).

The shoe box was made from a 10″ square vanilla sponge cake with vanilla buttercream.  It was covered in white icing and given a lid made out of black icing.  The bright pink went perfectly with the black and white and roses were placed around the cake, along with a bow and ribbon.

For the high heel shoe I used Renshaws modelling paste.  It was the first time I had used this brand of modelling paste as I have always used Squires however they didn’t have any white Squires flower paste left in stock at the shop.  I sought advice from the shop keeper and they recommended Renshaws as they use it for their models all the time and love it.

I coloured it pink using fuchsia pink edible colouring and using a shoe template I cut out the parts needed for the shoe, put it together and left it to dry.  Cake toppers can be tricky at times when trying to ensure stability, especially when it’s warm weather.  I ended up making 3 shoes before I was happy with the final look and confident it would stay stood up.

Pink and black Jimmy Choo shoe box and high heel birthday cake (4)

Hints and tips I learnt

  1. When it’s really warm use a piece of card underneath the sole of the shoe in an appropriate colour to help with the structure.
  2. Put all the pieces together as quickly as possible before letting it stand to completely set, as playing with it once it starts to set only upsets it and can cause cracks.
  3. Provide support for the shoe whilst it is setting to help it keep its shape – I made a stand out of card and tape which I placed under the arch until it was set.

I really enjoyed making this cake even with the shoe troubles in the warm weather.  I hope Trisha had the best birthday ever and enjoyed eating cake to celebrate.

Pink and black Jimmy Choo shoe box and high heel birthday cake (3)
Pink and black Jimmy Choo shoe box and high heel birthday cake (1)

A 50th birthday cake for a hair and make up girl

 

I have done a couple of hair and make-up themed cakes and they are lots of fun to do.  This order came in asking for a cake similar to a previous one I had done.  I made a few changes to the cake topper models to give it a fresh look.  They were all made out of icing and were edible, apart from the shooting stars which were made from glittery card.  With the warm weather at the moment, trying to make shooting stars out of icing, then getting them to stay at the top of a piece of wire is very tricky.  As I have a craft room full of goodies I headed out of the kitchen and up to the craft room to pick out some fab card for the stars and numbers.  These will stay in place and are not affected by the heat.

 

The cake was a vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream filling.

 

50th birthday hair and make up cake (1) 50th birthday hair and make up cake (2) 50th birthday hair and make up cake (3) 50th birthday hair and make up cake (4) 50th birthday hair and make up cake (5)

5 tier wedding cake with personalised handmade fimo cake toppers

 

This has to be, to date, my favourite cake I have made 🙂  I really enjoyed making it and it turned out to be the tallest cake I have created.

This wedding cake was 5 tiers of different flavours.  The bottom tier was Limoncello sponge cake, next tier up was Chocolate Orange with chunks of Chocolate Orange in the sponge, next was vanilla sponge with salted caramel buttercream, then a traditional victoria sponge with raspberry filling, with the top tier being fruit cake with marzipan.

Each tier was over 10cm tall.

 

Clarkee and Burkeys Wedding April 2014 (3)

The cake toppers were made from Fimo and were personalised with little traits to represent the Bride, Groom and their little girl, I also did a bunch of Fimo flowers so they can all be kept together as a keepsake.  I provided a clear box for them to be displayed in, which will also help keep them dust free.

Clarkee and Burkeys Wedding April 2014 (6)

The flowers were made from flower paste.  They were white ranunculus which were the same flowers the Bride’s bouquet was made up off.  I hadnt made a ranunculus before and they were a little tricky as the first three I made just looked like roses!  I finally realised it was the cutter I was using, so I headed to Centre Attraction in Old Swan and bought a new petal cutter set which solved all my problems and allowed me to create some gorgeous flowers.

Real Ranunculus
Real Ranunculus 

Sugar paste ranunculus
Sugar paste ranunculus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were invited to the Evening Do and it was lovely to see everyone enjoying the cake and discussing the flavours.  Chocolate Orange has since become my new favourite flavour too!

The Bride and Groom have a love of Limoncello which is why they requested a tier of the cake to be this flavour.  The sponge was made using lemon juice and rind, then once baked and cooled the cake was drizzled in a Limoncello syrup before being covered in icing.   I used a Jamie Oliver recipe for this – click here to visit his page.

For this cake I used Massa Ticino ready roll fondant for the first time and WOW!  It was tough to use at first as it was rather hard and difficult to knead, but once I started rolling it out and covering the cake I was hooked.  The fondant is very easy to use, it doesn’t tear or create any elephant skin corners and gives the cake a near perfect finish.   It is more expensive than other brands so maybe not worth using on all cakes, but I will be using it for all future wedding cakes as the finish it provides is priceless.

Wishing Clarkee and Burkey a long and happy marriage together and enjoy your fruit cake at Christmas 🙂

 

 

 

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
 

 

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

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

Miniature schnauzer birthday cake for my dad

For my dad’s birthday I knew straight away what cake I wanted to make him, it had to be a miniature schnauzer cake.  Earlier this year they got a dog called Teddy and he is absolutely gorgeous.  He seems very happy in his new home and follows my dad around the house as his shadow.  I was torn between a couple of different designs but decided to do with a 2D dog design (may save the other design for my mum’s birthday next year!)

Whilst visiting my mum and dad I spent ages trying to get a really good picture of Teddy showing his face and the colours and details, however he just wouldn’t stay still and kept trying to get close for a cuddle rather than pose for a photo!

These 2D cakes are really simple to make and are super effective.  I decided to shape the cake a little before covering it in icing, so I carved the bottom in and added cake at the top for his ears, however you can leave the cake round and simply place the design straight on top of it.

Once I had coloured all my icing I then got to work rolling out the colours, cutting out the shapes required and placing them on top of the cake.  I find using a piece of paper and a pencil is best as I can sketch out the shape and size of piece I need, then cut it out and use it as a template for cutting the icing out.

Miniature schnauzer
Miniature schnauzer

When we arrived at my mum and dads for birthday celebrations I was keen to ask everyone who it was meant to be and everyone, including my 4 year old nephew knew it was Teddy – yeay!!

This sponge cake was a no gluten cake and I have finally mastered my no-gluten sponge cake recipe. I was so happy with how it turned out and I will share the recipe on another blog to follow soon.