These cakes were for a joint Superhero birthday party. Alex and Apollinaire chose their favourite superhero from the selection on their party invitation and I duly iced them onto their respective cakes though Spiderman and Ironman looked cute rather than scary on this occasion! Mini cupcakes with superhero masks and details from the invitation completed the order. The cakes were vanilla sponge with jam and apparently they went down very well.
4th birthday cake
Superhero mini cupcakes.
I’ve been doing a few cakes of late with free hand decoration providing the background and representing a theme. Sleeping Beauty, Under the sea and this Jungle cake amongst them. The lion, elephant and monkey peep out from amongst the leaves and vines to make a fun and pretty cake for a 6th birthday party!
Birthday cake with jungle theme.
I’m as fond of brightly decorated cakes as anybody but I have always felt that the more natural the cake the better. Fantastic ingredients and cakes covered with delicious and beautiful Italian meringue buttercream have always been the signature offering at The Lavender Bakery. I happily put colouring in the piped decoration – it can be removed easily before eating – and occasionally in the cake or frosting by request (hello Red Velvet cake lovers!) but I just love the idea of nothing but natural, fresh ingredients in a cake and these edible flowers make beautiful cakes that are perfect for a special birthday, a tea party or a summer wedding. They can be ordered in an array of bright colours or in a single colour of your choice. The price will depend on the exact design but do get in touch to discuss your ideas and requirements. A combination of flowers and fruit would be wonderful too!
Cake with lavender and cornflowers.
Cake decorated with real flowers.
This cake was part of a tradition not so much observed these days with cupcake towers and sponge cakes so widely embraced for weddings; it was the top tier of a wedding cake which was saved for a Christening. The old covering was peeled away and the little fruit cake (can you tell the size is from the photos? It was small!) re covered with fresh marzipan and rolled fondant icing. White roses and blue and purple flowers complete the decoration. Did you save your wedding cake for a Christening? I’ve heard fruit cakes keep for 25 years though why you would keep one so long I couldn’t say!
Mini Christening cake.
I have been making cakes for a while now – about eight years professionally and six and a half of those at The Lavender Bakery. Trends come and go – I don’t make half as many cupcakes as I used to and there is a definite move towards more simple and natural designs. Some things stay the same though; people like swirls on cakes. And they love vanilla sponge with jam in the Summer and chocolate cake come the cooler Winter months. I love the seasonal ebbs and flows of the cake business; the mad rush to squeeze in birthday parties before friends and family depart on holiday as July ends and the crazy Christmas and Valentine’s seasons. Currently I am having a surge in Christening cake orders – August must be the time for Christenings though I can’t quite put my finger on why. Swirls though, good for Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries and every occasion in between. Here are some recent cakes with swirls on:
Cream swirls on a cream cake.
Pretty pastel swirls.
Any thoughts on whether it is better with or without icing sugar? I can’t decide. I love the natural look of this cake but after years of trying to get the icing on cakes perfectly smooth I have to hold back and force myself not to keep going with the palette knife when working in this style. It looks like it is made to be eaten though, and a perfect cake for a June wedding!
It has been a good year for raspberries so far – the fruit and flowers are all from my garden. The advantage of raspberries is that I can save a few of them for the rest of us from my three year old who adores them – they are too high for him to reach. The chives, radishes and strawberries don’t fare so well! I love to see him eating food straight from the garden and identifying herbs and various plants by sight and smell. This would make a lovely birthday cake too – and forgiving enough with its natural style to be attempted by any enthusiastic baker who can make a Victoria sponge but hesitates with a piping bag!
Strawberries, raspberries and lavender.
Perfect summer cake!
6 o’clock for a 6 year old!
I’m very excited to be attending and speaking at BritMums live later today. There is a fantastic range of speakers and I’m hoping to put some faces to blogs and twitter profiles that I have long enjoyed. Do come and say hi if you are there. Whilst preparing I also made a clock cake for an Alice in Wonderland themed party, and baked challah (I finally got my challah with sourdough starter recipe written for my other blog if you’d like to have a go!) and created a recipe for orange blossom sourdough ‘yeast’ cake. Wild yeast is still yeast, of course but it isn’t the traditional type for this style of cake. It was wonderful with strawberry jam and coffee!
Braiding the challah!
My panel at Brit mums is on how to make a recipe your own and I’m speaking with the inimitable Kerstin Rodgers aka Ms Marmite Lover and Sarah Trivuncic of the wonderful Maison Cupcake blog. We have a lot to discuss and the recent furore over Lola’s cupcakes appropriation of Kerstin’s words for their launch of a range of Marmite cupcakes should provide interesting material for the discussion.
A simple and pretty birthday cake for a special birthday (no number included in the inscription though!). It works really well to have all the family names around the edge, it can look a bit cluttered to list them in the center of the cake. It is important to space it so one doesn’t run out of room with names still to go! Raspberry sponge with raspberry syrup and covered with vanilla Italian meringue buttercream.
Fireman Sam and Dinosaur cake.
Fireman Sam and his pet dinosaur (apparently!) Four layers of chocolate sponge with cookies and cream filling. For a special little boy; my 3 year old son’s closest friend! They are so lovely together and it was my pleasure to make him a tall and beautiful cake!
Fireman Sam and Dinosaur cake.
I decided to experiment a bit with this Engagement cupcake order; I thought an engagement ring made from royal icing in the same style as the tiaras would look good! It’s like it is displayed in one of those little ring boxes!