Coffee and walnut birthday cake (covered in roses)

A scorching week of beautiful sunny weather really helped soften the butter for this birthday cake, celebrating Gary’s nans (Peggy) 85th birthday.

On finally finding a trustworthy recipe (the link to this recipe is below) the cake was baked in two 8 inch sandwich tins and prepared for decoration.

http://www.awtonline.co.uk/recipe.php?recipeid=369

Firstly I made a batch of coffee buttercream for the centre of the two sponges and then continued all over the outside of the cake. Using a cake smoother, I went around the edges two smooth it off, and then chopped up more walnuts to gently pat around the sides of the cake (a messy job, but worthwhile for all those walnut fans). The excess plain coffee buttercream was then kept to one side while I prepared a second batch of coffee buttercream, this time adding a few teaspoons of red, (mixed with a little blue) food colouring to get a soft vintage pink tone.

A dollop of each colour was added to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M nozzle, I then piped a number of roses onto the top of the cake. Start in the middle of the cake and pipe from the centre outwards (unlike the way you’d usually pipe onto a cupcake, where you would start from the outside and work towards the centre). Ensuring that all areas were covered with rose swirls, I popped an edible pearl into the centre of each rose and lightly sprinked with white edible glitter.

I also decorated a few chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream roses to accompany the main birthday cake.

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Vintage inspired decorated cupcakes

Last night I thought I’d have a play with my texture mats and other various tools by decorating cupcakes with cute vintage themed fondant pretties.

Trex is a cupcake girl’s best friend! Spead a small amount of Trex on your surface to roll out your fondant – this won’t make your fondant dry out like icing sugar does. I used normal biscuit cutters to cut the rounds and made the bows by rolling a long thin piece of fondant, cutting it into a strip then folding each end into the middle and placing another small strip over the middle (where the two ends meet) to make the knot.

A silicone mould was used to create the cameo (free with Cake Decorating magazine issue 8). Once the fondant was pushed inside, I popped it in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden the fondant.

Simple techniques and a great way to spend an evening decorating cupcakes…

Hen party cupcakes

This week I was tasked with 12 cupcakes (6 lemon and 6 Malteaser) for a hen party which was a surprise visit to Royal Tunbridge Wells for some spa pampering. With this in mind I decided to have a bit of fun with chocolate and piped the name of the bride-to-be onto baking paper along with a little chocolate crown. I used Wilton Candy Melts, popped them in the microwave for short intervals until completely melted, popped a small writing nozzle in my piping bag and traced over some printed lettering.

Once the lemon cupcakes were iced with lemon buttercream, I prized the hardened chocolate decorations from the baking paper and gently sat them on each cake.

Hope the ladies had a super relaxing time on the hen do 🙂