Friday, October 19, 2012

Puppy cake - woof!

My friend's daughter just turned 6!  I have been making their cakes now for the last 3 years and I have to say this is probably one of my favourites.  I loved making this cake!  And I am so pleased with how it turned out.  This is a Debbie Brown design and I changed the colours around to suit the little girl's request.  The cake is made with the Wilton sports pan (for the head) and Wilton's soccer pan (for the body).  The checkerboard pattern took ages to do but I was quite happy with how it turned out and brightened the cake as well.  The letters are cut from FMM funky alphabet cutters, which I love using.  I added some bling to his collar using blue cauchous.  All in all, a very easy cake to make.

Isn't he adorable?  Woof!  :)

Giant cupcake

I finally got to try out my new giant cupcake pan from Baker's Secret.  After reading all the recommendations online on whether to bake the top and bottom half of the cake at the same time, I went with the 10-15 minute gap by baking the bottom half first for 10 minutes then adding the batter to the top half after that.  Both halves baked almost to the same time after that.  The only issue I had was trying to get it out of the pan all in one!  I should have greased and floured the pan but decided to go ahead and not do it.  Big mistake!  Always grease and flour your pans before adding the batter and the cakes with pop out with no issues.  Anyway I did finally get most of the cake out in one piece, thank goodness. 

This cake is carrot cake with loads of cream cheese icing on top as well as in between the top and bottom halves.  Bottom half is covered in strips of fondant and the top is sprinkled with giant sprinkles made from fondant circles.  I did try rolling a large strip of fondant around the bottom half but it came out looking like a bowl instead, hence the individual strips.  Will have to try again, maybe with buttercream icing as cream cheese is rather soft and doesn't give a good undercoat.  Tasted yummy though! :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

'Taylor Swift' birthday cake

My dear friend's daughter turned 11 a few weeks ago and requested a 'Taylor Swift' cake for her birthday.  She specifically wanted a 'Taylor Swift' figurine playing a guitar in a red dress so this is what I came up with.  The main cake is an eggless vanilla cake covered in vanilla buttercream.  I decided not to cover the cake with fondant so I had to spend a bit of time smoothing out the buttercream before piping musical notes on the side with black buttercream icing.

The name and stars are made with fondant, as is the figurine.

The birthday girl really liked her cake, as did her other friends at the party.  Glad that went well!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lemon poppyseed cupcakes {Recipe}

These lemon poppyseed cupcakes are from the book, Bake Me I'm Yours... Cupcake Love, by Zoe Clark.  It is such a good book and I love the ideas she has given for decorating cupcakes as well as all her recipes.  These cupcakes are yummy and very light and fluffy.  You can also switch the lemon for orange, which is equally tasty. The only thing I have changed is not soaking the poppyseeds in milk as I found the texture a little too crunchy, but that is my personal preference.

Recipe for Lemon poppyseed cupcakes (makes 12)

1 1/2 tbsp poppyseeds
200ml milk
100g butter
120g sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
2 eggs
240g self-raising flour

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time.
  4. Sift flour and add poppyseeds to the flour.  Add flour mixture to egg, folding in til just combined.
  5. Add milk and fold into mixture.
  6. Spoon into cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  7. Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack.
Happy Baking!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Angelina Ballerina and Tinkerbell figurines

A while ago, I was asked by one of my students if I could help her make a couple of figurines for her niece's birthday.  I jumped at the challenge to make Angelina and Tinkerbell and I was really happy that she liked them.  Angelina was pretty easy to do, but Tinkerbell was a challenge.  I guess it's harder to try to sculpt a  'human' face than a cartoon (for me anyway) and it was my first time doing both.  I was really pleased with how Angelina turned out and Tinkerbell came out alright as well I guess. 

I used a long bamboo skewer as a head to toe support for both figurines as well as thin florist wires to help hold the arms and legs up.  If you've ever watched Cake Boss, you will see they do something similar so I was trying to go with that in mind.  I think they use modelling chocolate for their figurines as it is easier to sculpt with and perhaps even more forgiving, but I used fondant.  Certainly something to try in the future with modelling chocolate.  I started of making the wings for Tinkerbell with gelatine but they didnt turn out too well (too many bubbles) so I will have to work on that.  As they did not have to be edible, I finally went with plastic transparency and I painted them with silver dust. 

For a basic tutorial on how to make a simple fondant figurine, please click here.

Happy decorating! :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Stargate cake

If you are a fan of the show, you will (hopefully) recognize this cake.  Otherwise, you may be forgiven for thinking it is a swimming pool with a man jumping in :)

I made this cake for my hubby who is a fan of the show.  It didn't start off as a stargate though.  We had a long discussion (as we usually do) about what he would like for his birthday cake this year, and it always comes down to these themes: Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate or Lord of the Rings.  Well, the original plan was Minas Tirith from LOTR but I wasn't sure about making a 7 layer cake.  Then we decided on the Enterprise from Star Trek, which then changed into a hobbit hole (LOTR again) and finally into Stargate.  That was straightforward enough, I thought.  And with so many wonderful ideas on the net from people who had made a Stargate cake (yes there are quite a few!), I started on the cake.

The cake is a chocolate mud cake covered in chocolate ganache.  It has 3 layers, and for the top layer I cut out the centre before placing it on the cake.  Then I cut into the inside of the ring to make it dip a little.  There is an excellent video on You tube by someone who made a Stargate cake.  She shows you how to cut into the ring, which I found very useful. 
Here is the cake already iced with some ganache.

Next I covered the cake with light grey fondant and made some markings around the cake using a small star cutter and a knife.  You could use a triangle cutter if you had one.  I also used a larger star cutter (or a triangle cutter) to cut out the chevrons (triangle markers) around the cake.  Cut the tip off each triangle and space them apart around the cake. 

I then made some markings on each triangle with a spatula and added some red fondant to complete it.  I struggled a little with the event horizon (middle bit).  I thought of using blue jelly, marshmallow icing or piping gel and I am sure it would have looked great but in the end I went with something I had which was royal icing.  I filled the centre with white icing and piped a border of blue around it.  Then using a toothpick and brush, I blended them together till I got the effect I wanted.  On hindsight, I could have made the lines more wavy than straight.  To complete the cake, I used the rest of the royal icing to pipe the letters on the cake as well as some of the symbols from the Stargate.

Of course, hubby had to decide that it would look more exciting to have one of the characters jumping into the wormhole so Teal'c was made, carrying his staff weapon. :)  I made him using my basic tutorial on "How to make a simple fondant figure".

I did use some wire support for the arms as it was made last minute but luckily he stayed upright ok. 
Here is the cake lit. :)

Pretty cool, huh?  Well hubby thought so, thank goodness!  Are you a fan of the show?

Happy Birthday, sweetie, I am looking forward to our discussion about your next cake. xxx  :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Baseball cap cake

 My friend's son was turning 15 last week so his mum asked if I could make a simple cap cake for him as he was into collecting caps.  She wanted it to match his favourite navy blue cap.  It was quite straightforward to make and since she wanted more servings I suggested a sheet cake underneath to make up for that.  Here is the cake all ready to go.

The cap itself was made up of 2 cakes - top was from half of the Wilton sports pan and the bottom was a 6 inch round.  They fit perfectly on top of each other and the only carving I needed to do was at the back to make it look like the 'material' was folded in.  I covered the whole thing in navy blue fondant and used my PME quilting tool to make the stitches, mimicking the real stitches on the actual cap.

The brim of the cap was made a few days in advance with fondant mixed with a bit of gum tex so it would dry hard.  I made a template using the real cap and copied that onto the fondant.  (Do make sure to check that the part of the template where the brim meets the cap body fits snugly around your 6 inch cake pan, you may have to adjust it a little.) 

To give the brim a curved look I rested the fondant template onto a kitchen towel roll insert.  You can use anything you have to make it curve.  I also added a small piece of cardboard underneath the fondant to give it some support whilst it was drying.  Alternatively, you can leave the brim flat.  Again I made stitches following the real cap using the quilting tool.  It really is a handy tool to have in your cake decorating kit!  The eyelets were made using a Wilton tip 12 to get the outer ring and the back of a paintbrush for the hole.

Assembling the cake was very straightforward.  I used large straws inserted into the bottom cake under the cap to hold it up.  I also used a straw under the brim as it was not completely dry and needed a bit of support.  For the star border I used a Wilton tip 21 as the sheet cake was fairly large - 12 inches!  For the writing, I used a Wilton tip 3.

The 'V' initial was drawn free-hand onto cardboard then traced onto fondant and cut out.

His mum was really pleased with the cake and so was the birthday boy.  Always a good thing! :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting {Recipe}

The last few months has seen me trying out a healthier lifestyle.  All this baking has not been very good for the waistline!  However, I could not stay away from my oven too long, so I decided to make something a little healthier and satisfy my craving for cake.

This carrot cupcake recipe is from the book 'Bake me I'm yours...cupcake love' by Zoe Clark.  There are some delicious looking recipes as well as the prettiest cupcakes you could find in this book.  So I decided to try out the carrot and pecan cupcakes.

I tweaked the recipe a little, substituting some of the ingredients I had in my kitchen.  The cakes turned out moist and nutty, with a hint of cinnamon. I topped them off with a cream cheese frosting.

Recipe for Carrot cupcakes (makes 12)

125g soft brown sugar
120ml canola oil
2 eggs
190g self raising flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
280g grated carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
50g chopped pecans (add more or less to your taste)

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
  2. Line cupcake tin with cases.
  3. Whisk sugar and oil together.  Add eggs, one at a time, and whisk til combined.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
  5. Mix in grated carrots.
  6. Fold in pecans.
  7. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes or until skewer inserted in the centre of cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe for Cream cheese frosting

60g butter, soft
120g cream cheese
1tsp vanilla extract
400g icing sugar, sifted (add more or less according to taste)

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
  2. Add sugar, a little at a time, beating well between each addition, until smooth and creamy.
  3. Frost completely cooled cupcakes.

I used a 1M tip for the three designs in the photo.
  • The rose swirl in the front is done by starting in the middle, and working your way around until the edge.
  • The high swirl starts at the edge, working your way around, overlapping round and round until you get to the peak.
  • The stars are done simply by squeezing the tip once, stopping and lifting up. Repeat stars all over the cupcake.
I made the little carrots out of fondant, shaping the orange fondant into long tear drops, and sticking some green fondant on the top for the shoots.

Happy baking! :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cake Decorating Classes

If you love baking and would like to pick up some new skills on how to decorate your cakes, then come join me for a fun-filled class!

My classes are designed for beginners as well as those with some experience in cake decorating.  Here are the details of the first two classes:

Class 1: How to make beautiful fondant roses
Date: 16th Feb 2012
Venue: Stonefields School (next to Mt. Wellington domain)
Time: 10.30am -12.30pm
Cost: $45

Class 2: How to make a sweet fondant teddy bear
Date: 18th, 25th Feb 2012
Venue: Stonefields School (next to Mt. Wellington domain)
Time: 10.30am -12.30pm
Cost: $45

 All tools and materials are provided for use in class.  Bring along a container to take your decorations home in.

I hope to see you there! :)