I continue to contemplate why there seem to be more Christening cake orders in August. Here are a couple from last week; one with animals and swirls for the Christening of two slightly older boys and another for a little girl.
This is a salted caramel cake; vanilla cake with a layer of homemade salted caramel inside and folded into the buttercream. I made extra and had some on ice cream the next day! A cake for someone with varying interests, it doesn’t get more personal than this. A rugby ball, a TV, bottle of whiskey, pint of lager, dark green Mini and a tent to represent various aspects of the recipients interests. I kept the images simple and had to do a bit of juggling to make sure they all fit on the cake but was pleased with the overall effect.
I hadn’t attempted sunflowers in royal icing before; I’m not quite sure how I have managed to avoid it. I think they would look fabulous on mini cupcakes as well. The Sunflower cake was a lavender cake with a touch of lemon and the cake below was another rendition of the popular Spring cake for a 40th birthday.
Are they still called video games? Every time I get an order for these types of design I turn to Google images and double check with my customer to make sure I have identified the right ones. I have no frame of reference for such things but get the impression they are hugely popular amongst boys under ten. I also have a feeling that Sonic and Minecraft will become familiar to me beyond images on cakes in a few short years as my boys get a little older…
TNT Minecraft cake for Louis and Sonic Hedgehog cake for George; both chocolate cakes with vanilla buttercream.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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:
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!