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 🙂

Backpack cake for a travelling adventure

Backpack cakeBackpackers cake paradise! This rucksack cake and travel-themed cupcakes were made for a young man embarking on a 7 month adventure around Asia. The backpack cake is modelled on the Osprey Farpoint 70, the exact bag the traveller would be using.

I baked 4 x 30cm square vanilla sponges which were then stacked and shaped, it was important to make sure all corners and edges were rounded like a real backpack. I then coloured the fondant to match the green Osprey bag by using Sugarflair’s Holly Green and ChestnutBrown with a little of Melon (yellow) to achieve the olive green. The most challenging task was covering the cake with the fondant – due to the height of the bulging pockets, the fondant had to be well rolled!

I added a bit of Wilton’s Jet Black colouring to a small portion of the olive green fondant for the strap and flap details. Buckles were shaped out of white and painted with edible silver paint. The map and passport

travel cupcakes

were handcut and decorated (passport coat of arms was hand-piped – don’t think I’ll be forging these any time soon!).

Accompanying red velvet cupcakes were decorated with fondant discs resembling globes, this was achieved by

travel themed cupcakes

rolling country shapes of green fondant onto blue (place cling film over the fondant when rolling to avoid it sticking the to pin). I cheated slightly by buying a mould for the aeroplane, fondant was pressed firmly into the mould, then placed in the freezer for approx. 30 minutes. These were sprayed with Dr Oetker silver spray to give them a metal-like sheen. The passports and maps were again hand cut and decorated freehand.

Very envious of such an exciting adventure! But I enjoyed the challenge of this cake and all of it’s little details.

Pink Floyd LP Cover Cake

Rockers rejoice and celebrate a special birthday with a legendary LP cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon!

A square vanilla sponge sits beside a half a circular sponge, a simple but very effective structure. Now, black isn’t the easiest colour fondant to work with, plenty of icing sugar the keep it from constant bad behaviour (sticking to everything it can). With a blast of edible glaze spray you’d never know how dusted in icing sugar this cake was during construction!

The prism design was hand cut, the edge dusted with black edible powder to soften the edge.

The perfect novelty cake for any crazy diamond cake fan 🙂

Pink Floyd LP Cake

Chilli Chocolate Chilli cake!

It was quite an easy design choice of cake for restaurant supervisor Aye. She runs my Dad’d Thai restaurant in Hitchin (www.sukawatee.com), and eats A LOT of chilli!

I’d just bought a copy of Cupcake Heaven magazine which contains a chilli chocolate cupcake recipe, perfect! I used 1 x cupcake quantity per 30cm square tin, I used 2 square tins. Each layer was filly with chilli chocolate ganache.

After cutting the sponge into a thin block, I used a cut out chilli shape as my template. I then smoothed the sponge over with a layer of ganache, before covering with bright red fondant. Using an aerosol edible glaze by PME I lightly glazed the red fondant to give it a glossy chilli appearance.

To make the green top, I added an extra layer of fondant over the red and hand cut a zig-zag pattern to look like the leaves.

Red Chilli Chocolate Cake

Knitters paradise cake – aka a ball of wool birthday cake

ball of wool cake 1 ball of wool cake for knitting 2ball of wool cake 3

When I decided to make this birthday ball of wool cake, I thought to myself “this won’t take long, just a few sausages of fondant” – I was yet to learn that there were plenty of sausages of fondant to make!

I baked two strawberry sponges using pyrex bowls and sandwiched these together with fresh strawberry buttercream. I then covered the cake with a layer of fondant in the same colour as the ‘wool’ and started making the sausages to lay vertically and horizontally, filling in the edges afterwards. Some five hours (or so) later the ball was covered.

The needles were made by covering two drinks straws in grey fondant and shaping the ends and stamped the size number into the top to resemble actual knitting needles. One dry I sprayed a little PME glaze spray over to give them a shine.

I made one last extra-long sausage of fondant to lay around the back and over the top of the cake, draping the end slightly over the message, and among the buttons to bring all of the elements together. For the buttons I used a silicon mould, greased with Trex, inserted the fondant and popped in the freezer for 20 minutes!

Birthday girl Louise was one surprised knitter! 🙂

Hitting the books birthday cake

book birthday cake 1birthday books cake birthday book cake spine book cake pages

A friend of mine has just finished a bunch of exams for her psychology degree, it was a relief when her birthday came around and she could finally relax and celebrate – so I thought not that she’s done with the books, she can eat them instead – the book cake idea was born!

Using a 30cm square tin I baked a vanilla sponge and sectioned it up to give me a two layer large oblong, and a smaller two layer oblong. I covered these in vanilla butter cream and fondant, then made impressions using the back of a knife for the pages. The larger book, I washed the pages with a little colouring to make it appear ‘old’.

For the covers, I cut pieces of fondant to fit the top and side (spine), but slightly overhang all the way round (like a real book cover does). I used a textured rolling pin for the bottom book and applied artwork of the book ‘After Freud Left’ on the top book (using a stamp set and carefully painting in the lettering).

The larger book cake has a black fondant seam and a few gold edible pearls for effect. My final task was the bookmark – I left this to dry while draped over an egg box to give it a curl, then inserted it into the cake at the last minute.

Retro computer birthday cake

Retro computer cake Retro computer cake with keyboard and post-it notes Retro birthday computer cake keyboardLooking at a computer everyday isn’t half as exciting as making a cake resembling one!

This retro computer and keyboard cake was a commissioned surprise 30th birthday cake for a friend at work. It’s made up of 3 x 30cm sheets of malted/Malteaser sponge, sandwiched together with malt and vanilla buttercream.

Once cut to shape I covered the screen, keyboard and mouse with Regalice Ivory fondant. I pre-made the keys (copying from a real-life PC keyboard) a couple of days before to allow them to firm up – this makes the fondant easier to write on with edible pen.

The edible start-up computer screen was printed by a local company called Redbrick Printing Solutions onto icing which was then (extremely) delicately transferred to the cake screen.

I then attached the keys to the keyboard (securing with a little blob of buttercream) and asked my caking assistant to write the birthday message and draw the keyboard icons while I made the black fondant USB cable connecting keyboard to computer screen.

You can’t have a computer desk without post-it notes! Perfect for an extra birthday message 🙂 cut out, curled around baking paper and left overnight to firm up.

The perfect birthday cake for techies and computer whizz kids!

Alfa Romeo GTV birthday cake

Following on from my best friend Lisa’s Alfa Romeo Spider birthday cake earlier in the year, I simply had to do her boyfriend’s Alfa Romeo GTV car as a cake for his 30th!

A little more experienced with car cakes this time around I made the fondant details such as wipers, lights, spoiler, reg plates and alloys (sprayed with PME silver spray) a couple of days in advance to firm up. Rob’s Alfa is an unusual colour – pearlescent light blue, therefore I used Sugarflair Ice Blue colour for the fondant (the tiniest amount) and sprayed the ‘bodywork’ with PME Pearl spray to try and match the real-life effect.

The sponge is chocolate malt made with malt extract, Horlicks, Malteasers and belgian chocolate. Once constructed and sandwiched with vanilla/malt buttercream, I covered the whole cake in belgian chocolate fondant, then the ice blue fondant prepared earlier. Windows were cut out of the fondant (to reveal the chocolate fondant beneath) and tyre rounds for the alloys to fit into.

I painted the Alfa badges using food colouring, a steady hand and a very small paint brush! The grass is buttercream, coloured green and piped using a multi-hole nozzle – perfect for grass and hair.

Birthday boy was pleased with his Alfa Romeo GTV 3.0 V6 24v (I know this detail as I had to pipe it on the back) and a fab time was had by all HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROB!

Tyler’s football birthday cake

You can’t have a football party without a football cake! So for my friend’s little boy’s 3rd (hat trick) birthday, a football cake was created and served on a very, very hot September Sunday afternoon.

I baked two vanilla sponges in a pyrex bowl and added one on top of the other (making almost a ball). This was then covered in white fondant. Having to improvise a little with the football’s black pentagons, I printed out a few templates to cut around and (using a picture to guide me) placed each pentagon on carefully, making sure the black fondant didn’t smudge the crisp white fondant of the football! I then marked out the hexagons (all very technical) to finish off the football.

For the grass I used a #233 Wilton grass and hair nozzle to pipe green buttercream (coloured with Wilton’s Leaf Green gel) over the whole board and slightly overlapping the football to blend it and hide the base.

This was the first outing for my Wilton lettering cutters (which saved me many hours of hand cutting). These were placed on small fondant fringed scarfs, being closely guarded by two ladybirds (hand-sculpted by my Mum!).

Enjoyed by all party-go-ers (but reduced to crumbs within ten minutes)!

Sally & Adam’s Wedding cakes (including a Groom’s cake)

What a complete honour to be asked to make my friends Sally & Adam’s wedding cakes! Not only that, but I was a guest at the big day too – and what a wonderful day it was 🙂

Their wedding cake was 3 tiers of belgian chocolate Sachertorte cake, covered in vanilla butter cream roses. With the wedding theme being ‘secret garden’ I also added belgian chocolate ivy leaves around the bottom. There are many Sachertorte recipes out there, but I used the Mary Berry recipe (from the Great British Bake Off) which was practised a few times before the real thing!

After a bit of deliberation, we decided on 3 flavours of cupcake; vanilla, strawberry and Malteaser. For the strawberry cupcakes I popped a spoonful of strawberry jam (from France) into the centre of each baked cake and piped strawberry butter cream over the top.

The Groom (Adam) has been working hard restoring a beautiful early 70’s bay VW Campervan which was the couple’s wedding car, it is stunning! So what better groom’s cake than a celebration of this gorgeous camper. The cake was a light fruit cake, covered in Anton Berg marzipan (which is super difficult to roll out by the way!). I did my best to model their cute little pooch ‘Lily’ to sit beside the van.