I imagine if you have a birthday that falls on or around Valentine’s day you probably end up with roses or heart shaped gifts quite frequently! This chocolate cake was for a very sweet four year old and I enjoyed the opportunity to get the heart shaped cake tins out! The chocolate Italian meringue buttercream is always nice to work with – it is easy to get a lovely, smooth finish and the resulting cake was pretty and perfect for a birthday in mid February!
I was pleased to make this Charlie and the Chocolate factory cake for two reasons. The first being that I have been making cakes for Amara and her family since she was a baby and I can’t believe she is 6 and old enough to enjoy the delights of Charlie and the Chocolate factory! The second is that I’m a fan myself; I remember having it read to me at school when I was about the same age (and reading it myself numerous times since then) and adoring everything about it – I can’t wait to read it to my boys.
The Golden ticket on the cake is edible – it is made with royal icing and painted with edible gold paint. I don’t buy Smarties (Nestlé is evil) so these sweets came from M & S and actually I prefer them – the muted colours were pretty without being too bright and flourescent! It is a chocolate cake covered in vanilla Italian meringue buttercream and the matching mini cupcakes were vanilla with swirls and not-Smarties!
This cake had to travel to Kent via public transport and I’m pleased that it made it in good condition! It is a vanilla cake filled with jam and decorated with flowers for a 50th birthday surprise party.
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.
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 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!
Another order for a tiara cake, this time on a red velvet cake. Lately I have been enjoying the scale of double height cakes – it is possible for them to have just as much cake in them as a cake that is larger in diameter when there are lots of people to serve – so you go up instead of out to increase the quantity. This was for an 18th birthday party at the Clissold Arms for the daughter of one of my local customers in East Finchley. She wanted red, sparkles, swirls and a tiara. The cake was four layers and was filled and covered with vanilla frosting.
This cake was a collaborative effort and we were very pleased with it. My fellow baker and neighbour needed a birthday cake for her sweet boy and with a party to prepare for asked me to help out with some baking. I can’t tell you how handy it is to have a fellow baker next door. We split egg deliveries from Rookery farm, flour orders from Shipton Mill and borrow the occasional cup of sugar over the garden fence when the need arises. The bunting came from Sew sweet violet. I baked the cake and put some buttercream on it. It is extra tall with four layers of sponge because generous cakes are wonderful! Chocolate sponge with vanilla Italian meringue buttercream.
This birthday cake was inspired by the story of Sleeping Beauty; the vines with flowers representing the forest that covered the sleeping princess! The birthday girl asked for a pink number 4 that she could eat and I worked that into the design for the cake. I love trying to find a way to express a theme or idea in a more understated way that best utilises the royal icing as a decorating medium. Disney style princesses can be extraordinarily hard to replicate in royal icing and I think this is a great alternative; it looks pretty and satisfies the preference shared by many for a Princess themed cake. Especially when it is combined with tiara cookies for the guests!
The other part of this order was 50 mini cupcakes. I decorated them with royal icing flowers to match the flowers on the main cake. They were dried in advance on silicone paper which makes the process of finishing the cakes quicker and also gives a more uniform appearance as it is easier to get them all the same size than icing freehand directly onto the frosting. The mini cupcakes were baked only a few hours before the party – they dry out too quickly to do them too far in advance – so having the decorations ready to go helped with getting them out the door for delivery to Islington! I really enjoyed this order – nice to do cakes, cupcakes and biscuits with a single theme all for one event!
These tiara cookies were made for a recent 4th birthday order with a princess theme. The cookie cutter was easy to find and they are fairly simple to decorate – a background of white icing and various shades of pink for the dots and swirls to make pretty tiaras. Vanilla cookies with royal icing decoration.