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 🙂

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!

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.

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.

Movember cupcakes charity auction – bidding extended!

It’s 1st December – the month of Christmas, and I’m feeling extra generous resulting in the bidding period for the Movember cupcake charity auction being extended until 6pm (UK time) today.

Please pop in your bid on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/getcakedin all proceeds are going to Prostate Cancer UK!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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 🙂

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.

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 🙂

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!

Madeira birthday cake (covered in roses)

Today is my Nan’s birthday, and I’ve been planning for a while to make her a surprise birthday cake – one of her favourites is Madeira cake so naturally I went with that. I had quite a few ideas for decoration, but decided to cover the whole cake in buttercream roses (she loves flowers and gardening).

Here’s the ingredients for the Madeira cake I made:

200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
200g self-raising flour
100g plain flour
zest of 1 and a half unwaxed lemons

I use a fan oven so pre-heated to 160C and prepared my 8 inch round, springform cake tin with baking paper on the base and butter on the sides – this cake will not stick!

Next, I creamed together the butter and sugar until fluffy and gradually added my eggs (one at a time, giving each on a good beat each time). I slowed the mixer to the lowest speed and folded in the flours, 2 tablespoons at a time. Finally I added the lemon zest. If you have a stand mixer – make sure you scrape down the sides of your bowl regularly with a spatula to make sure everything mixes in thoroughly.

The batter was then poured into the tin and gently smoothed before entering the oven for 1hr 10 minutes (the time will vary depending on your over, basically until an inserted cake tester comes out clean).

My recipe recommended waiting 24hrs before decorating, so I popped the cake in an air tight tub once completely cooled.

When I was ready to begin decorating, I covered the cake in Raspberry jam (seedless) and a layer of vanilla butter cream and popped it in the fridge for about 20mins while I made the rest of my vanilla buttercream. To get the two-tone effect on the roses I divided my buttercream mixture into two, and coloured one half with a tiny bit of red food colouring. When my piping bag was prepared with a 1M nozzle, I layered 1 scoop of pink buttercream, then 2 scoops of plain buttercream. Push these through the nozzle until you see both colours coming through – it’s an unpredictable result but it creates a nice three dimensional effect, it can be very subtle or quite dramatic (depending on the colour strength). Finally pipe rose swirls (starting from the centre and working out) over the whole cake, filling in gaps with smaller swirls. I chose to decorate the roses with a edible pearls and a sprinkling of edible glitter but it’s completely up to you!!

Enjoy 🙂

30th birthday cupcakes!

An excellent opportunity to try out my new cupcake stand 🙂 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 😉

The band ‘The Undercovers’ were really good too.