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.

April – Lockdown Baking

I can’t believe that it’s the end of April already. I was looking back through Google Photos and saw a number of things that I’d baked this month but not posted about, so here goes:

First off, the mountain of cookies I made after learning to bake soft, gooey cookies. I had some “pumpkin spice baking chips” from our USA trip last year, and used these for the cookies.

Next up, was the cupcakes I made for James’ birthday that I left on his doorstep. Chocolate cake with PB icing, PB drizzle, and chopped up nuts

Whilst sorting out my kitchen cupboards, I also found out that I had 2 bags of vegetarian marshmallows left. They were a few months past their best before dates, so I decided to make these into a combination of Rice Krispie treats, and White chocolate Rocky Road:

And the final bake to post about, was a chocolate banana & rum bread that I made when I had a couple of ripe bananas that I’d not got around to eating yet

Worryingly, we’ve eaten all of these bakes between the two of us this month (well, except for the cupcakes). Maybe I should avoid baking anything for myself in May!

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

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”:

A Cake Buffet atWork

It’s been a year since I got some software in work that I never thought I’d get, so I used this as an excuse to bake a load of cakes and share them with my work colleagues…

The Blue theme was literally because I bought a Dr. Oetker sprinkle-mix that I liked the colour of. Some more details on each item follow:

Cakesicles. These had a chocolate cake and salted caramel  centre with dark chocolate coating
Chocolate cupcakes: Chocolate cake with a chocolate buttercream swirl
Vanilla cake with strawberry compote and vanilla buttercream
Lemon Cupcakes: Lemon cake with lemon curd filling, topped with lemon flavour buttercream
Vanilla Cupcake: Vanilla Cake with vanilla buttercream
Cakesicles: Blueberry muffin filling mixed with jam and buttercream, coated in white chocolate
Not on theme, but I made a gin bundt cake too!

Last Minute Wedding Cake

This post was originally on my old website, but figured it was another good one to share on here….

In November, my parents’ friends were let down by their cake maker and I got asked around a week before if I’d be able to make something for them. I could do anything – their theme was poppies as they were getting married on Remembrance Day. This was the results of my labour:

I spent most of the evenings in the run up to their wedding making things for the cake. Due to the last minute request, I had no time left to book any leave from work. I ended up making over 100 cupcakes (red were vanilla and white were lemon). I made the poppy toppers by hand cutting out and shaping fondant, and topping with glitter.

The top of the cake tower was a three layer vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream. It was not quite as neat as I would have liked, but the fondant tore three times when I was trying to decorate it, and this was the best I could manage at 10pm the night before their wedding!

It didn’t turn out too bad though – and the bride and groom were very happy with the result:

Chocolate Courgette Cake

We have a big garden and last year my husband started to grow our own vegetables. This year it seems that the courgettes are taking over & growing into giants so I have been trying to find recipes to use them all up.

The bottom one would usually be considered a “large” courgette – just to give an idea of the size of them

Last year, I used a recipe from Shugary Sweets for a Chocolate Courgette Cake. I decided to do this again this year to use up one of the behemoth vegetables!

As I was making the cake, I realised I didn’t have the full amount of cocoa powder in my store cupboards (I ALWAYS have this in so no idea how that escaped me). I tried to make do with some ginger chocolate morsels from Hotel Chocolat, but it wasn’t quite right so was slightly less chocolaty than the last time I made this.

Also, I should have let it cool in the pan a bit more. Due to the moistness of the cake, it didn’t hold shape when I turned it out.

It was a bit moist when I removed it from the pan

Inside of the cake

I had spare batter too, so I made some cupcake sized cakes too

Some Cupcakes

So far, all that I’ve shared are some drip cakes. I do make other things too, as the below cupcake examples will show.

I find cupcakes to be “easy” in regards to making the cakes – they are a lot quicker as naturally less cake = less cooking time. They still look good though if you put the effort in.

Eid Cupcakes
I made these for our neighbours to wish them Eid Mubarek.

Rose Swirl CupcakesI don’t recall why I made these, but they weren’t the best rose – swirls I’ve done. I think the icing was a little wet on these ones.

Oreo CupcakesI made these after we moved house two years ago. I was desperate to get baking to feel “normal” and these were a quick and easy bake. Funfetti cakes with pink icing & funfetti Oreos, and then red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and red velvet Oreos

Thank YouI made these to thank some neighbours for their help when bad winds blew our fencing down. The style was inspired by an amazing Instagram baker – Cakes n Sprinkles

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
These were for my friend’s birthday. Chocolate cupcakes, peanut butter icing, and various Reeses sweets on top!