30th Birthday Football Cake

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I made this cake for a friend’s son for his 30th Birthday party. He is a big Cobblers fan so his wife wanted a cake using this theme. Here’s how I made it:

The first things I did were make the cupcake toppers and cover the board in fondant. These were completed a few days ahead to ensure they had time to dry.

I used readymade burgundy gumpaste but I didn’t have a shirt cutter so I drew one on card and cut around it to get them all the same size. I then used my click together letter impressions to write the name and number. Last of all I painted on the white gel colour. Unfortunately the red of the gumpaste bled into the white and it became a little pinky so I decided to stick fondant over the top instead.

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I covered the board in white fondant by partially rolling it out then placing on the board and rolling until it covered the edges. I then cut around the outside and smoothed it with my palm. I left it a few days to dry.

The next job was to bake the main cake. It was a red velvet cake and this recipe makes 4 layers but for this cake I only needed 3. To bake even layers I always measure the bowl beforehand then once mixed, I weigh the bowl and mixture and subtract the weight of the bowl. I then divide the amount by 4 and measure that much into the tin.

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As the recipe makes layer cakes I chose not to torte these but just levelled off the tops once they had cooled.

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I wanted to make this a surprise inside cake so I cut a hole out of the middle of each of the bottom 2 tiers. As I knew I would be placing the football cake on top too I also placed a support in the middle.

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I placed chocolate footballs inside then stacked the final cake on top, cutting the dowel down to size.

I then crumb coated the whole cake and placed in the fridge to set and crust. Once crusted, I placed a heavy book on top to help it settle and avoid any filling bulges. I then added a final coat of buttercream and again let it set and crust in the fridge.

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During all that time in the fridge, I baked the half sphere cake and cupcakes from chocolate sponge. I used Delia’s all in one recipe but replaced a quarter of the flour with cocoa powder and added a bit of buttermilk. I greased the tin well and placed a cross of strips of baking paper across the middle. As the tin is quite deep, I also used a greased flower nail as a heating core. This was also crumb coated, left to crust and given a final coat which was also left to crust.

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Next, I covered the sides with fondant. My skills need a little work here as I had to use a join. I then placed it on the covered board and let it dry for a while before adding the scarf, letters, numbers and stars. I also added another shirt and some modelled football boots. I also added the other 5 dowels (bubble straws) and cut each one to the same height. For a final touch I added personalised ribbon around the edge of the board with double sided tape.

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I didn’t cover all the way to the top as I knew it would be covered by the grass.

The final step was to decorate the football. I used a tutorial on the Lakeland site which explained that the pentagons and hexagons needed 35mm sides. Using the ruler in Word, I measured out the shapes. I copied the pentagon onto card but just cut out the hexagon on paper. I rolled out ready coloured black fondant and then left it to dry a little. Next, I cut the pentagon shapes out and left them to dry a bit so they would hold their shape but still be flexible. Finally, I stuck the first pentagon at the top and using the paper hexagon as a guide, I used a knife to place in the sides of the hexagons. I placed the other 5 pentagons at each join.

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Lastly I coloured the edges of the cake green with a little green buttercream and placed the football on top. After that, I used more green buttercream to hide the join and board with a knife. Lastly, I used a grass tip to pipe grass around the edge.

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I also piped rosettes on the cupcakes and placed the toppers on top.

Tada!

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Sugar roses (with the easiest rose cutter)

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The first time I tried using this cutter I thought my roses looked a bit like a cabbage!

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A few things helped me to improve them.
– using a bigger foam pad this one is about 15cm square
– rolling the modelling paste really thin
– curling the edges over

What I used:

Modelling paste
A cutting board
A large foam pad
A mini rolling pin with rounded edges
Cornflour
Brush
Edible glue
Petal dusts
Knife
Cocktail or kebab stick

1. First, dust the board with cornflour and roll the modelling paste out so thin that you can see your hand through it.

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2. Next, cut out with the easiest rose cutter. I stored any I had cut in a plastic wallet while I waited to use them. Push down hard to get sharp edges.

3. Then, place on the foam pad and roll the edge of the rolling pin with it half on the modelling paste and half on the foam pad. Roll around the petal repeatedly to achieve nicely curling edges.

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4. After that, curl the edges with a cocktail or kebab stick, making sure you curl some forwards and some backwards.

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5. Paint a line if edible glue down the middle and fold over neatly.

6. Paint a line of glue on the fold and start curling tightly from one end time create the bud. Continue to wind around loosening and pulling out petals as you go to fluff out the rose.

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7. When you reach the end repeat with the next cut out as above and place under the loose petal, securing with a little glue. Then continue to wind, fluffing out as before.

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8. For a medium rose use 2 cut outs, large 3 and extra large 4. For a bud, use half a cut out and roll tightly.

9. Finally, paint the dust on dry. I used dusky pink on the inside of the petals and yellow on the tips.

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10. Last of all cut the bottom at an angle so it will sit well on a cake.

11. Leave to dry in a fruit tray or on kitchen paper so the petals don’t droop too much.

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I watched this video tutorial and found it really helpful too.

Lucy’s Boho Birthday Cake

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I made this cake for my lovely friend Lucy for her Boho style surprise party.

It had a pink 4 layer ombre sponge base and a lemon fruitcake top tier (I will post this recipe soon).

This cake took a long time to make – just the baking was a good few hours. The other thing to note is you need lots and lots of buttercream for this cake even more than I thought. I had to send my hubby out for more butter!

They were filled with jam and buttercream and lemon curd and buttercream with stiffer icing (more icing sugar added) used as a dam and piped around the outside of each cake.

The icing was fairly easy – just a thick crumb coat of fairly stiff icing so you can’t see any cake through, followed by a thick coat of thinner icing roughly swirled and dabbed on. After each coat the cakes had a half hour in the fridge and a half hour on the counter to allow the icing to crust. I used the hummingbird bakery buttercream recipe but used about 2 tablespoons more liquid for the thinner batch.

The cakes were 9 inch and seven inch. I purchased a 10 inch cake tin to get a bigger gap between the tiers but it wouldn’t bake properly. I won’t be buying Masterclass tins again!

The decoration was summer flowers which were made ahead out if modelling paste. The tiny blue flowers used a cutter and I rolled each petal gently on a foam mat with the small end of the ball tool. I dotted a little silver lustre in the middle.

The pansies I used a violet cutter and again thinned carefully with the ball tool on the foam pad. I used various petal dusts to colour the petals, brushing them on dry. I then dried them in a supermarket apple tray so they would curve out from the middle.

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The roses I will add another post explaining how they were made. Here you go:
https://louscreabaketions.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/sugar-roses-with-the-easiest-rose-cutter/
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The butterflies were wafer paper ones I’d ordered for another cake but they were the wrong colour so I used dusts and vodka to repaint them. I dried them over a folded piece of card after gently folding.

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The small dog was also made from modelling paste coloured with gel colours or wilton colour right system. I used Trex to stop him drying out as I made him.

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The fairy door and grass were made from coloured fondant and the gold details were made from gold lustre dust and vodka painted on.

The decorations were all attached with a icing sugar and water paste.

The ribbon was burlap and I attached a strip of baking paper behind it to avoid fibres getting on the icing. It was attached to the outside of the board with double sided tape.

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Box of wine cake

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This cake was made for my boss’ husband and was absolutely huge! For this reason if I made it again I would definitely use a mini bottle of wine.

To make this I made two large square sponge cakes (using Delia’s all in one recipe) and torted them filling with vanilla buttercream (Hummingbird Bakery recipe). As they were very large, I found a flower nail useful to ensure they baked through in the middle. Next, I placed them side by side and pushed a wooden skewer dowel through to keep them together. I then carved a slight recess into the top cake to create the box. Next I crumb coated to create one big rectangle and added a smoother coat of buttercream on top.

I covered the rectangle in fondant and used a large brush with brown gel colour and vodka to create a wood effect.

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I varied the amount of gel colour used to get lighter and darker sections. Then I painted in the odd knot.

The wine bottle was made at least a week previous to ensure it had time to dry out. First I covered an empty wine bottle in cling film, making sure there was plenty spare around the edges. Then I rubbed it with shortening so it would release easily.

I coloured the gumpaste in green, red and yellow with gel colours. I covered the entire bottle in the green gumpaste and then covered the top in red.  Using a sharp knife I cut the gumpaste about half way round the bottle. I then left it to dry for a week or so before gently removing from the bottle. I also covered the board on fondant at this point.

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The final step was the decoration. First, I airbrushed (I have a Dinky Doodle airbrush) the bottle by covering the red with a little kitchen roll. I used a black airbrush colour. Once this was dry, I cut and applied the edible image (from Love, Print, Eat). If I made this cake again, I would only place the glue (water and icing sugar) at the edges you can see it through the image on this one.

Finally, I placed a strip of yellow across the join on the bottle and painted this with gold lustre dust. Then, the bottle was ready to place on the cake.

The last bits if decoration were the ivy, using bits of green and white fondant pushed together and rolled out. I then cut these with the PME ivy plunger cutters.

Once the cake was assembled, I added the wood shavings which were created with a room temperature block of white chocolate and running a knife or a vegetable peeler along the chocolate.

Dastardly Dino Cake

Dino cake side 2This year’s project for the hubby’s April birthday. Thankfully it falls in the school hols so I had time to create this. It took far longer than I expected!

I used Delia’s all in one sponge recipe doubled, the Hummingbird Bakery’s vanilla buttercream, Tesco’s finest raspberry preserve and Tesco fondant coloured with Wilton colour right System.

The head was made from Rice Krispy treats using the Debbie Brown recipe (1 1/2 times). I moulded it with my hands but rubbed Trex (shortening) on them first so it wouldn’t stick. If it began to harden before I was finished, I would give it a few seconds in the microwave then continue. Once I had the shape, I pushed 3 wooden dowels/ kebab sticks into it as supports and I let it harden in the fridge sat in a tall mug packed out with kitchen roll.

Once it was hard, I gave it a thin coat of green buttercream and put it back in the fridge. When the icing had crusted, I made sure my khaki fondant was soft by kneading with Trex and sort of smushed it on, smoothing it out with my hands until it was covered.

I added the details the next day when the fondant was a bit harder. These were all made with fondant and painted with Wilton gel colours and a little bit of vodka.

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What I would improve:

  • The mouth and teeth weren’t quite right – he had an overbite! The mouth wasn’t open wide enough so I needed to rest it in such a way that the mouth was held open while it hardened. The teeth would have been better if made a few days prior with gum paste so they wouldn’t bend.

The cake was 3 layers of Victoria sponge with buttercream and jam filling. To prevent any spill out I used a dam of thicker icing (the same batch with extra icing sugar added) piped around the outside of each layer. I then crumb coated, leaving it in the fridge to crust and did a final buttercream coat in green buttercream. I smoothed it with a metal dough scraper and again let it crust. I then added some of the leaves and details ready to add the dino the next day.

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The final decoration was the dino and all the leaves. After starting this cake I realised I didn’t have all the leaf cutters I thought I did so I used ivy plunger cutters but other leaves were made with either full heart shaped cutters or cutting a heart shape in half and adding veining with a knife. It was hard to do without cutting too far through. I used three different green fondants for variety. This took a huge amount of leaves to cover it!

What I’d  improve:

  • Use more leaf tools to get better veining.

  • Use a ribbon around the board not just leaves as you can see the silver.

  • Make the wood effect more apparent on the gate.

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