Happy Birthday to Me!

It was my birthday this week. As the world is still on lock-down I decided I wanted to make my own cake.

I have some small cake tins so I made 2 small rounds the weekend before that I froze to keep for decorating this week. I wasn’t 100% sure what my plan was – at first it involved Jammy Dodgers and Party Rings, but ended up only using the latter.

I wasn’t feeling adventurous on flavour, so I went with the good-old Vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam combo. I smeared some random pink colours around, and used a white chocolate drip. The gin was just as it was colour co-ordinated and made the cake more grown-up!

The top of the cake was decorated with some of the pink buttercream and Party Ring biscuits.

A shot of the inside of the cake

Finally, when I baked the cake layers, there was a bit too much cake mix. I didn’t want to over-fill the cake pans so I decided to make 2 x cupcakes with the remaining mix. I decorated these to match the cake:

Even with a smaller cake, there’s still 2 Party Rings worth left even though I also gave some to friends on Monday! I miss being in work where I could force cake upon my workmates… I love making it, but there’s only so much I can eat myself.

Social Distancing Baking

It’s a struggle to try and pretend that everything is normal at the moment, but I still wanted to do some baking and spread some joy to people (whilst keeping my distance, of course).

Cupcake baking

I had two people to make some cakes for and do a doorstep drop & run (cakes on doorstep, knock on door, run away).

The first batch I made were Red Velvet Cupcake Baileys cupcakes. This was made using the limited edition “Red Velvet Cupcake” Baileys, and resulted in some pink cakes (no food colour used, this was solely the colour of the Baileys).

Red Velvet Cupcake Baileys
  • FOR THE CAKES
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Baileys (red velvet)
  • 1/4 Cup, + 1/4 of the 1/4 cup Self-Raising Flour
  • 1/4 Cup + 1/3 of the 1/4 cup Plain Flour

FOR THE ICING

  • 1/4 block butter
  • Red Velvet Baileys
  • Icing Sugar
Red Velvet Baileys Cupcake

The second cupcakes were for my Sister-in-law and these ones were chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

For the Cakes

  • 1/2 Cup Sugaer
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup Coffee

For the Buttercream

  • 1/4 block butter
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Icing Sugar
  • Milk
Chocolate batter and Red Velvet Baileys batter before baking
Straight out of the oven

First Cake of 2020

It’s my niece’s birthday on the 4th January and she sent me a video in December asking me to please make a “Unicorn Cake with all the colours” because “I love unicorns”.

I hadn’t been asked to make a unicorn in well over a year, but it seems 5 year olds still like them.

The inside was 5 coloured layers to make it rainbow-esque and these turned out a bit brighter than I thought they would be.

Glass Stabbed Cupcakes

Another idea I had when making cakes for Halloween was to try making some “stabbed” cupcakes. I’d seen the idea on Instagram and thought it would be a good one to try. I had obviously made cupcakes before, but never tried anything with sugar work.

I had to begin by making the sugar mixture for my “Glass” – 2 cups of granulated sugar, some water, and a tube of liquid glucose. I had to heat this to 300 degrees F, whilst constantly stirring. It took nearly an hour!

Once the mixture was heated to the necessary temperature, I poured it out onto baking parchment and allowed it to cool down and set for a few hours

After setting, I hit it with a knife to get it to break up into the “shards”

I already had some cupcakes baked, and some leftover buttercreams. I used chocolate buttercream first, then added a vanilla swirl to the top mwhich i “stabbed” with the sugar shards

Finally, I added some red coloured icing drizzles to make the “blood”:

Peppa Pig Birthday Cake

Another family birthday means another cake. This time around the spec was “Peppa Pig” and “Normal cake” (I always assume people just mean vanilla and strawberry jam when they ask for “normal”.

As I don’t like making fondant covered cakes anymore, the below is what I came up with…

Peppa Pig Cake. Without Candles

I took the above photo then remembered I’d bought some candles too.

Peppa Pig Cake – with candles

I cheated on the cake making as I couldn’t be bothered to make my own pigs. Instead I spent £3.99 on the set from eBay.

Toppers Close-up

Finally, the obligatory cake insides shot. The cake rounds were 7″ each, so that’s quite a chunk of icing for the outsides!

Rainbow Birthday Cake

Rainbow Cake – pre delivery

My niece turned 4 at the start of January and her request was for a “Colourful rainbow” cake. I asked if she wanted the inside to be the same, and the response was “purple and yellow”.

I clearly do as I am told!

insides of the cake
a nicer shot of the cake with candles on top

Small Birthday Cake

Another bake this month was this “Mini” cake for my Grandma’s 80th Birthday. We made a hamper for her full of nice things, and the cake was a small addition.

It’s just vanilla cake, with jam and vanilla buttercream. The daffodils are fake.

Goth Unicorn Cake

This was a small change from a “normal” unicorn cake in that they wanted more black on it. Queue the black, pink and purple swirls & a black horn.

I also added some silver lustre dust to the horn and ears which made them look a little more gun-metally.

I didn’t snap a photo this time around, so here’s a link to the instagram video instead:

 

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Brain Cake

I feel really into Halloween this year. I’ve got plans to carve two bulldog pumpkins (One for work and one for home) and I’ve just spent today decorating mini pumpkin cakes made from mini bundt cakes.

Yesterday, we went to our friends’ house for a Halloween gathering.

Although we went Day of the Dead style (thanks to some half price outfits purchased last year), they had a “mad science” theme so I decided to have a go at making a brain cake.

 

I started earlier in the week by baking some vanilla cake layers and dyed them with red food dye. I had ran out of gel colour though and had to resort to liquid – this resulted in pink cakes and not red. I covered in a buttercream coating, and shaped it as best as I could work out freehand…

Prepping the brain cake

I used fondant (dyed ivory and pink) to make the “brain tissue”. I then just attached it in swirly patterns to make my brain.

Starting the brain tissue

Half a brain

After completing the first half of the cake, I continued the “twizzling” with the other side of the cake until it was fully covered.

To finish the cake, I covered it in a seedless strawberry jam which gave it a shiny, bloody glaze:

Finished brain cake

Everyone told me that it turned out well – I was really impressed with it as it was quite a low effort cake!

At the party, knife inserted!

 

New York Cake

I love New York. It’s one of my favourite places I’ve been on my travels and I’ll happily go there again (I’ve been there four times and counting). There’s jut something about the place that makes me smile.

Earlier this year I got asked to make a fortieth birthday cake for my friend. The spec was “red velvet, and maybe USA themed”. I used it as an excuse to make this New York themed cake.

I used some sugar paper cut outs for NY themed decorations (Big Apple, Statue of Liberty, I <3 NY, etc). I then topped the cake with USA Candy to finish it off.