Monday, 14 March 2016


This cake was for my dear grandmother, who although likes many different flowers the Peony is one of her favourites, knowing this I especially bought a Peony cutter for her cake, as this was the first time for me attempting a peony I went for the all in one cutter set as I have been told it is easier. You can find the tutorial I used here.

To make the peony I cut out a few of each size of the cutters and I used my smallest ball tool to soften the edges. I need to get a larger flower pad as I just have the small Wilton one and for these larger flowers its just not big enough and I had to keep moving the petal on and off. After frilling the edges I used various sized Glasses and mugs with tin foil in the top of them to use as shapers. (Note to self I must buy some shaping cups) With the centre petal I closed it in tight, the same as shown in the video tutorial. I placed all the different petals inside and let them dry over night.

 I just wanted to make a small cake for my grandmother as I guessed she would probably not eat the cake and there was more than enough cake to go around with all the other cakes, I used my new Fat Daddios 6" pan, after the caked had cooled I levelled it and then sliced it into 2 tiers using my Wilton Cake Leveller. I iced the layers together and crumb coated the cake and placed in fridge to set. After setting I got my fondant ready to cover the cake, I used the same pink as with Emily's 2 cakes.

Before I made up the peony I dusted the edges with lustre dust concentrating the colour more so on the smaller petals and centre of the flower.

I didn't end up using all the petals as some did not quite fit into each other, but the flower looks full anyway. The night before when I set the petals to dry I placed a piece of floral wire in the very centre petal. Then when it was time to attach the petals together I threaded them together on the floral wire, this meant that I could attach the flower to the cake securely using the wire. I am not convinced that the flower looks like a peony, and as I was up late making these things the overnight portion was not as long as normal so the petals weren't quite as dry as I would like and that's why the bottom petals wilted a bit, but I do think it looks lovely anyway. Although I do wish I could have matched the lustre dust to the fondant better.

As predicted my grandmother wouldn't let anyone cut or eat the cake and she took it home with her, I just hope that she eats the cake and enjoys it.

Smash the Bug Emily

Of course no first birthday is complete without a "Smash" cake so of course I had to make one for Emily. I decided to go away from the mostly used giant cupcake and instead went for a large ladybug.

This was an extremely quick cake to make, and one of the quickest to be eaten also. I used a hemisphere cake pan (which is half of a sphere) to make the body of the ladybug. after cooling the cake I crumb coated it and placed it in the fridge to set. While the fridge was working its magic I coloured some fondant using my newly acquired and favourite Americolor food colourings, and made up some more pink and purple matching to the colours I made up for Emily's first birthday cake (the one for the adults as it turned out) and I created the head and face of the ladybug. Pink for her head and purple as her antennae. I also made some purple spots for the body of the cake. I made the eyes using plain circle tipped piping nozzles as punches in white and black fondant and then used the fondant tool which has the clam on one end and the semi circle on the other end the latter being the side I used, pressing it gently into the fondant and creating a smile. 

Once the crumb coating had set I coloured up some buttercream frosting, the idea was to match up to the pink fondant but I added a bit too much colouring and it was darker, but still a lovely colour. Using the Wilton 1M piping tip, I piped rose buds onto the cake, I piped straight out to fill any empty spaces. I put this is the fridge over night to set.

The next day I added the head and the spots to the body finishing the cake, although this cake was one of the quickest cakes to finish, it was still my favourite and I think it looks great.

We placed it down in front of Emily and all the other kids, she pretty much just looked at it while all the other children rammed their fingers into the icing and made quick work of the cake, not much was left in the end and all the kids had a ball, I even think Emily got a little of the icing.

Happy First Birthday My Darling Daughter

Not just a busy week for me, but a busy couple of days. Those of you that know me, know that my beautiful son, darling daughter and my beloved grandmother all share the same birthday the incredibly lucky St Patrick's day 17th March. This is my sons 3rd birthday, my daughters 1st birthday  and my Grandmothers 74th Birthday so we decided to have a joint birthday party this last weekend and William would also have a party next weekend with all his wee friends from preschool. So this weekend I had to prepare 4 cakes, busy, busy, busy!

I have long had an obsession with ladybugs and knew that I ever had a daughter that ladybugs would be a big part of her life and any decorations,  I had already been researching on Pinterest for ages for different cakes in Red colouring and Pink colourings.
 When I found Ladybug 1st birthday decorations in Pinks I was ecstatic and the cakes came to me immediately.

This cake gave me a chance to try out some new some new techniques and a new mould. While the cake was in the fridge to set the crumb coating. I rolled out some pink fondant which I coloured with Americolor Gel food colouring, normally I would always use wilton, but the only purple available in New Zealand is the violet and I don't like the colour that it makes so I bought some Americolor Gels in Pink and Purple ,and I have fallen in love with them so much that my latest order from The Cake Shop I have ordered even more of them I am inlove! I rolled out this beautiful pink and using my Ladybug plunger cutters I cut out hundreds of ladybugs and embossed them as well. Of course I didn't need as many as I cut out but you never know I like to be prepared.

 Using a lovely pre coloured green from Renshaw fondant, I rolled out very thin layer of fondant and using my Wilton Ribbon cutter I cut out 1/4" ribbons and cut them down to 2" in length and rolled them around some straws, I left these to dry over night and the effect is like curling ribbon. I also plunged out some wee stars for also for the side of the cake in the same colour.

Then using some purple fondant, which I coloured using Americolor food colouring, I rolled out nice and thin and again using my Wilton Ribbon cutter with the wavy blade I cut 1.5" wide ribbons then I shortened them to 4" strips. Using a very small about of water I "glued" the 2 ends of the strips together and threaded them onto some spare irrigation piping I had 15mm diametre. I left these on the pipe over night to dry this meant they kept their shape. 

Up the next morning far too early for my liking I was ready to add all my decorations to the cake.
The wee ladybugs around the side with trailing stars. I also decided that the cake needed a border so in the same purple as the ribbons I used my new Pearl rope mould, which I have had for a while but never used. This was the first time and I have to say I love it will definitely be using it again!!

Now for the top the idea was to make a ribbon bow like we use on presents, and to add a little something more I added the green "curling ribbon" randomly placed.
I used some left over butter cream to attach the ribbons, I evenly placed 6 wee ribbons in a circle and then I layered the rest until I ran out of space, I then went around and randomly added in the Green curls. For my first go at this I am pretty impressed with how it came out. Definitely something I will try again.

Happy First Birthday My Darling Daughter, this year has gone too fast hopefully the next year crawls by I need time to recover after making all these cakes.

Saturday, 6 February 2016


The second cake I made for Sophie, cause big girls need more than one cake, was a "Smash" cake and I thought the best thing her would be a giant cupcake, fairly easy to make and looks really effective, I had made one of these before and really enjoyed making it so was excited to make it again while at the same time trying to get it to look different. I decided to give my Wilton Colour Swirl coupler another try but this time I would use it with 3 colours, pink, purple and yellow. I also wanted to make a wee Badger figurine as badgers are very special to my sister and her husband and one of Sophie's nicknames is Badgelet. 

I used Wiltons Vibrant Green Candy Melts for the Patty case of the cupcake, and using what I learnt last time I made this cake I used the Fridge rather than the freezer to cool between coats and once I brought it out of the fridge I waited for it to come up to room temperature before adding the next coat. I did still get one crack not sure where that one came from but I didn't worry too much as it was going to be a "Smash" cake.

After baking the cake, one half at a time, I cooled them and then cut down the bottom part of the cupcake so that it would fit into the chocolate patty case. The cake recipe I used this time was a devils food but a different to my normal and it didn't rise as much so it wasn't quite as tall as the patty case but this was alright as I needed a layer of butter cream to stick the top of the cupcake on anyway. I tried to match the butter cream to the Vibrant Green candy melts using Wilton Lemon Yellow and Leaf Green. Then I crumb coated the top layer. and into the fridge to set overnight this time as I was running out of time.

I worked on the Badger figurine while the crumb coating was setting, try as I did I couldn't find any tutorials for a fondant Badger so instead I just had to make it up from looking at pictures but I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, I also gave her a "Thug life" hair ribbon as Sophie often wears these.

On the morning of the party I got my 3 colours of butter cream ready and into my piping bags, sadly I was all out of my 20" piping bags so again I was dealing with small piping bags so I could only put a small amount of icing in and had to keep refilling it, however the Colour Swirl Coupler did work much better using it with 3 colours rather than the 2 colours I tried last time. Every now and then I would rotate the colours within my hand so that a different colour would be more predominant. I piped roses again using the Wilton 1M piping tip and I filled any empty spaces with a straight on angle and just piped a small amount of icing, I also then went around the under edge of the cake and piped under there as well.

Then it was time to add the badger and the all important number 1 candle.

I  had wanted to make Sophie a "Smash" cake so she could just dig in of course being the perfect little lady she didn't quite dig in as expected but rather very delicately with her fingers she slid them into the icing and into her mouth and then the big smile came across her face. Then she looked at her mother and said "Mum seriously this is good stuff can we have this every day?"

So the cake didn't quite end up "Smashed" however all the kids enjoyed wiping all the icing off lets face it that's always the best part.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Happy First Birthday Sophie

My beautiful little niece has been touring around New Zealand on holiday from Perth and finally she has made her way to Christchurch, of course her parents are here too but they are not quite as important as my little Sophie Jean. During her travels she turned the big One so of course we had to have a party for her and of course this party means cake, or two.

I had known pretty much since I found out my sister was pregnant that no matter what I wanted to make her babies first birthday cake and I also knew that it had to be The Very Hungry Caterpillar. When my sister was younger, very young she had a very special relationship with our Great Grandmother Jean Brodie, so much that she even named her daughter after her. Sadly she passed away while we were both still very young, I myself have no memories of her but I know my sister has a few and one of them is that book and them reading it together, so it has always been a special book to her, I really wanted to honour that with Sophie's first birthday cake as I am sure it would mean a lot to my sister but also to my Great Grandmother, who we always referred to as Special Nana, who I know watches over us and who I also know would have been at the party.

I had taken a class at The Make Cafe probably over a year ago in preparation to make this cake, it was just to show how to make the caterpillar and some of the food decorations. But I also spent many a hours on Pinterest looking at the different ideas that people had come up with for their cakes. I had planned on making a 2 tier cake, but by the time I stacked up the first tier I started thinking this is just too much cake for our wee party and it might be a tad wasteful so I had to work on my design a bit but I am happy with how it turned out.

After watching a couple of  cakes shows this last week I noticed that some of the bakers roll their fondant a lot thicker than I have been doing so I decided with this cake to give it a try and it was brilliant, ok I know my cake is a bit bumpy but that is due to a wee disaster in the removal of the cake from the pans, normally I remove the cakes about 5 minutes after I take them out of the oven but I put them to the side and forgot and they sweated and I had an issue taking them out but despite that this is the first cake in a long time that I have covered and the fondant has not ripped along the top so I am very happy with how it came out and now I am excited to cover my next cake.

I cut out some leaves with a plunger cutter, this cuts the shape and also embosses the leaf so you don't need to use a veining tool or mould to get the texture. Then I cut out the letters for Sophie and "glued" them on with a little bit of water. To make the caterpillar I made up a few different coloured greens and made different sized balls and then I squeezed the end of some of the balls to make a tear drop shape. Using some water I "glued" the pieces together and to make the "hump" to make the caterpillar look like it is moving I used the tear drop pieces and placed them one on top of the other with every second one upside down, I made a smaller caterpillar than I had originally planned as I was only making a single tiered cake. Then I made a larger ball in red and shaped for the head. 

I spent a very long time creating all the wee decorations for this cake, but I had so much fun making it that it didn't seem like an arduous task. I know that traditionally The Very Hungry Caterpillar is very bright colours but I wanted to make it a little more feminine so I used some pastel colours. I used a very small round cutter, which actually came from one of my number cutter sets, to cut the coloured circles which I used as a border for the bottom of the cake.

Then I used a larger circle to cut out for the oranges and the apple, using some more of the small purple circles I grouped them together to make a bunch of grapes, to make the pear I used an oval cutter and then shaped the top again using my wee circle cutter and then I smoothed the edges. For the cheese I just cut a triangle and again with my wonderful wee circle cutter, I made random cuts to make the cheese Swiss. The ice cream, I rolled a sausage with the purple and then shaped it and the cone again I just cut a triangle and then used my blade tool to create dents to make it look like a waffle cone. The cupcake was just a cutter, the cake was probably my favourite and that was just cutting a square and then I rolled some thin sausages out of a darker brown and "glued" them on with a small amount of water and rolled a wee circle for the cherry. The lollipop again just rolling sausages and then "glueing" them together then rolling it up. 

I used all my leftover coloured fondant and put it altogether and rolled it to make the multi coloured butterflies, but I didn't end up using them as there wasn't room on the cake.

Now it was time to put it all together, this is always the best part! I randomly placed all the circles around the base of the cake, in no particular order and I ended up having enough to make 3 rings. I placed the number 1 right in the middle of the cake and then had fun placing the different food items around the cake, and the wee caterpillar on top.

So for you Special Nana the end result from all angles, I hope you enjoyed watching me make it and then watching everyone and the party enjoy it, we saved you a piece.