Friday, 7 February 2014

out with the old cake, in with the new...

Happy New Year…I’m not sure how it can be that we are hurtling towards the middle of Feb….I still haven’t packed away the Christmas decorations yet..!

The past couple of months have been a veritable cakefest of buttercream layered proportions.

All of my immediate family {husband aside} have birthdays in December or January. It’s exhausting, to say the least. Especially as this time round, two of those birthdays were sorta special ones. A 40th and a 70th. Mine was not the 70th {although it’s beginning to feel a lot like it was}.

The kids are less than two weeks apart and with birthday cakes and parties to prepare for it’s a bit of a stress …

The little lady had requested an Ariel cake. 
I made a vanilla sponge cake {Peggy Porschen recipe} for the bottom tier and a chocolate sponge {Brooklyn Blackout cake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery} for the top tier.

I’ve never really had a lot patience with the decorating bit of cake making, it all just seems like too much hard work!!! Only to then be eaten…

Last year I left the beautifying of the cake to the very last minute. 
Having spent the entire evening stitching an Aurora costume for the princess potty birthday girl,
frantic and covered in threads, I called out whimpered to granny of the icy north {who, luckily, was just in the kitchen} at about midnight to see if she could take over the rolling out and laying on of the incredibly important pink fondant icing.

Earlier, in a haze of supermum big headedness, I had just assumed that at some point I would take on the persona of Jane Asher, and that I would find myself {obviously not at some ungodly hour} daintily sculpting figurines of all the Disney princesses my little poppet was so enamoured with out of fondant icing…

But in reality, I found myself, at about 2am ish, creeping into her room in the dark dead of night searching for small plastic figures that I could plonk on top of the cake.
I lucked out and found Sleeping Beauty with the three fairies…I got away with it. 

But this time round I didn’t have granny waiting in the wings, so I just had to bite the sugar paste bullet, as it were.

It helped enormously that this year I didn’t have a costume to make, and that the husband took the kids out to the aquarium for the day. 

What began as a neccessity to cover up some cracks and lumps and bumps in the icing, ended up becoming a tour de force of sugar paste sculpture. And the thing was, once I relaxed, took my time, realised that simple shapes and strips of fondant could be simply twisted and shaped  to look like seaweed and coral, that little balls of white fondant and shimmer powder could look like bubbles and simple circles could be placed to look like a mermaid tail scales …..
I   HAD   FUN!   I   REALLY   DID!!*

Although it hadn’t occurred to me, that when it was all finished, it would require a fork lift truck to shift it….

I really didn’t plan on creating such a beast of a cake. It just sort of happened. With 35 kids coming to the new 5 year olds party, I panicked. I thought, 
‘What if there isn’t enough cake…?’
I don’t know what I was thinking….We were still eating that cake two weeks after her birthday.

In fact right up until I had to start making the next kids birthday cake….!

Alfie’s rainbow sponge dino cake.

If you invite dinosaurs to a party, they will come.
{and when you put little party hats on them, they just instantly look so happy!}

* But won’t be rushing into creating another quite so soon...


  1. Awesome cakes! Hope the parties were great.

    P.s. I'm giving away 2 tickets to the London Knitting and Stitching show, thought you might be interested ;)

    1. Thanks Becca! I’ll be sure to pop over to yours x