Rockin’ Guitar Cake

Guitar cakeOne of my most exciting cake projects last year was this one – a guitar cake for a 60th birthday rock party!

The body of the guitar is malted vanilla sponge and the guitar neck is chocolate sponge. I used a printed template to get the body shape which was covered in Renshaw’s Amethyst Purple fondant. The trickiest part was covering the part closest to the neck, as it’s pretty narrow! I then sprayed the body with edible lustre spray to give it a bit of sparkle.

Pickups, switches, etc. were moulded in fondant, sprayed silver and placed on once the guitar cake neck and body were united (I had to use two large rectangle cake boards). Instead of piping the strings, I used edible shoe laces (from Tesco) to add a bit of extra colour.

One of my favourite cakes from 2013 πŸ™‚

Surprise 60th birthday cupcakes

Chocolate 60th birthday cupcakes Vanilla 60th birthday cupcakes 60th birthday cupcakes 60th birthday cupcakesA lovely lady called me up and asked about having some birthday cupcakes made as a surprise for her friend who happens to live in my village (small world, as they say).

She’d seen my coffee and walnut cake covered in buttercream roses, so it was decided that these 60th birthday cupcakes would use rose piping and be chocolate and vanilla. Indulgent and pretty was the brief πŸ™‚

The cupcakes were decorated with edible pearls and fondant discs with ’60’ on top.

So here they are… presented in a 12 hole card cupcake box, fastened with a ribbon. Happy 60th birthday Jan!

Alice in Wonderland inspired tea party wedding cupcakes

My dear work colleague Emma tied the knot with her (now) husband Dave on Friday. She was very brave in taking on the task to make cupcakes for her evening guests herself, as well as actually getting herself ready to be a bride, but asked me to make some cupcakes for her daytime wedding guests.

Their wedding theme was tea party and the couple themselves had done a fantastic job of making a lot of things themselves, so between us we decided that Alice in Wonderland inspired tea party cupcakes would be the perfect compliment to their wedding meal. I made 3 cupcake flavours:

  • Vanilla (made with goats milk and goats butter) for the bride’s mother
  • Vanilla (made with cows milk and cows butter)
  • Rose Water (also made with cows milk and cows butter)

Once the cupcakes were out of the oven and completely cool, I piped a small amount of buttercream onto each cake and topped with a circle of fondant to make a dome. The cupcake decorations were made a couple of days in advance to allow them to harden, making them easier to assemble on the cakes. Everything was made by hand and I used PME flower cutters for the small flowers on each cake (purple signifying Rose Water flavour and blue signifying Vanilla flavour).

The decorations were put onto the cupcakes using royal icing and I also used royal icing to attached the edible pearls and pipe the little white dots onto the mushrooms.

Congratulations to Emma and Dave, glad the cakes went down a storm πŸ™‚

Budweiser beer bottle cake

After constructing Stiegl beer cans previously, I was excited to take on a Budweiser beer bottle cake. This novelty cake was in celebration of a 60th birthday. The sponge was Malteaser, sandwiched with vanilla malt buttercream and the fondant used on the cake was chocolate.

This beer bottle cake also saw the first outing of my wood texture mat – I covered the cake board with white fondant and pressed the texture mat into it (gently teasing with the rolling pin to ensure an even pressure). I then mixed chestnut and dark brown colouring with a bit of gin and brushed this over the embedded texture fondant, leaving it to dry for a good few hours.

The Budweiser labels are edible icing printed with edible ink, purchased from a local company called Redbrick Print who did a wonderful job on these.

Enjoy the finished cake pic while I enjoy the bottle of Budweiser which kindly posed for me πŸ™‚Budweiser beer bottle novelty birthday cake

Baby boy building blocks celebration cake

With the birth of a baby boy, I gladly accepted the commission of a novelty cake to celebrate! I couldn’t resist using my new cutter set of tiny feet, and of course, lots of blue sugarpaste!

The sponge is chocolate with seriously chocolatey buttercream (nothing less than Green & Blacks cocoa powder). I desperately wanted to try making a little fondant train and teddy bear which were in the latest cake book I’d bought, not bad for a first attempt if I say so myself. The letters ‘B’ ‘O’ and ‘Y’ were cut out by hand from chocolate flavour fondant as I wanted the lettering to really stand out.

Congratulations to Laura and Keith on the arrival of baby Peter πŸ™‚

1400 cupcakes for Wolfson College, Cambridge May Ball 2012

After a day’s recovery after a rather busy week I thought I’d post about my 1400 cupcake marathon! Wolfson College’s choice of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mocha, ginger, banana, red velvet, chocolate & hazelnut, Oreo cookie, lemon, orange, coffee & walnut and carrot cake cupcakes went down a storm. It was a pleasure working with the committee, and President Tamara on the order and I got to use both of my acrylic stands and mini board signs for the first time.

Despite many, many, many hours of baking, frosting and decorating I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am very grateful to the guests for all of the wonderful comments and cake compliments I received throughout the night of the ball πŸ™‚

Sadly there wasn’t time to take many photos but I managed to quickly snap my cakes on their beautiful stands… if anybody reading this was at the ball and took photos of the stands/cakes, it would be great to see them – email me!

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.

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 πŸ™‚

30th birthday cupcakes!

An excellent opportunity to try out my new cupcake stand πŸ™‚ My wonderful friend Leila turned 30 this month and along with some other friends, they held a joint birthday party and I provided the sweet treats in form of cupcakes!

Chocolate cupcakes – chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream and chocolate curls

Strawberry cupcakes – strawberry sponge using fresh strawberries whizzed in the mixer, then popped through a sieve. Topped with strawberry buttercream and a blushing red slice on top.

Vanilla cupcakes – can’t go wrong with a good old vanilla cupcake! Vanilla sponge with vanilla frosting, topped with a cocktail cherry. It’s amazing how much more flavour a good quality vanilla extract gives compared to an essence – this means you don’t need to use as much either πŸ˜‰

The band ‘The Undercovers’ were really good too.

Baby’s 1st birthday cakes

In a previous post I was trialing building block cakes for a friend’s baby’s 1st birthday. We revised the idea to three cake presents instead – one chocolate, one strawberry and one vanilla. The brief was colourful with two polka dot, one plain and some butterflies landing on the cakes. Lucky for me, I’d attended a short cupcake decorating class the Saturday before where I learned how to make a fondant bow which came in super-handy here!

I used a 7inch square cake tin and stacked two sponge layers on each cake (sandwiched with butter cream). I cut down the sponges slightly to get rid of the outside and levelled off the top of the cake. I then covered the outside in a thin layer of butter cream (jam on the strawberry cake) before covering with fondant. We’d had a lot of snow and temperatures in my Dad’s catering kitchen were to say the least, chilly, so the fondant wasn’t playing ball and hard to tease into a pliable state.

I cut four 6 x 2inch strips for the side ribbons and a 12 x 2inch strip for the bow. Once I’d folded the sides of the bow to the centre (creating two bow loops), I rolled greaseproof paper and sat this inside each loop to stand them up and allowed to dry for about an hour (I would suggest leaving these a bit longer if the room temperature is above 10 degrees!).

I cut the polka dots out using the end of an icing nozzle and stuck them to the cakes with a tiny bit of water. The butterflies were cut out and sat inside the lid of an egg box to make the wings stand outwards (anything with a fold will do). I also sat a few upside down over the egg box prongs, made a little sausage of fondant, and stuck this one the butterflies under-bellies. I then stuck cocktail sticks into the fondant sausage so that these could be pushed into the cake once hardened.

Finally I make a gift tag out of fondant and piped ‘Happy 1st Birthday Lila’ onto it, threading a piece of ribbon into a hole for effect. Take a look at the photos to see how they turned out. The family were really pleased with them “…omg the cake was sooooooooooo cute and good!!!!!!! thank you so much for doing that!”