Dora The Explorer Birthday Cake – Apr 14

Dora

My daughter is Dora mad. When I say she loves her, I mean really loves her. She has a little Dora and Tico car that she plays with a lot, so I thought I may as well theme her 3rd birthday cake around the car.

It’s an 8” chocolate sponge covered in sugarpaste. My daughter’s birthday fell on Easter Sunday so my idea for the cake, was that Dora & Tico were going on an adventure to find the Easter Eggs that the Easter Bunny left for them.

I covered the cake in buttercream, then green sugarpaste and then the fun started. I wanted a pretty cake so started out with a curved road for Dora and Tico’s car. I then put on a few different elements, some I saw on other cakes and some I just made up. I used a small and medium blossom plunge cutter and cut out probably 30 or 40 small flowers in some pretty pastel shades. For more details on how the cake came together check out the tutorial and tips page.

My daughter loved the cake and spent ages zooming the car back and forth along the path before we actually cut it. It was a joy to decorate and even better to see her ‘playing’ with the cake :-) We did it!

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Lego Mini Cupcakes – Feb 2014

Lego MiniCupcakes
As Lego is very much the movie of the month with the little people in Ireland, it was the perfect time to attempt Lego cupcakes. I hit youtube for some ideas and liked a video from Bronniebakes (I think that is right!), Bronnie was decorating full size cupcakes and had a lot more detail but her idea could be applied to mini ones too.

Now my friend let me borrow a lego mould she had but honestly it’s just as easy to make them freehand. I tried both and they both took the same amount of time, as the ‘bricks’ were hard enough to get out of the mould. They ended up a bit battered and needed to be reshaped. The little circle things at the top (no clue what their lego name is!!) also got damaged, so I had to flatten them back on.

If you don’t have a mould, you just need: coloured sugarpaste, a small tool to cut a circle (I used a small plunge cutter but a straw or icing tip could work too), some form of edible glue (or water or clear spirits) and preferably 2 icing smoothers.

Shape a decent sized block of sugarpaste, it’s handy to have a piece of cleaned lego or duplo at hand to help judge the size you need to cut. Cut a few blocks of uniform size, as in the size of a piece of duplo with 8 circles on top, then put one piece between two smoothers and straighten/neaten the sides. Stick on a few little circles and leave to dry for a little while. Go back and divide it into 4 small lego toppers and give them a quick neatening up. Voila lego for the top of your mini cupcakes!

My kids went crazy for them and they were devoured…..well after much deliberation over which colour to pick! They also look super cute as a gift in a mini cupcake box :-)

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Love is in the air! – Feb 2014

Firstly apologies for neglecting my page. Life just got in the way, but I’m back! I’ve been busy making cakes and minding my kids….let’s just say it’s been full on!! Anyway, I’d like to share my mini cupcakes. I sprinkled little hearts on them to make them look super cute and romantic as it’s Valentine’s Day in a few weeks.

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They are dead simple to make, just use a basic bun/cake mixture. I add some vanilla paste to mine and then use a wilton mini bun tray, well two in fact as a batch makes around 36 mini buns. I ice my buns with home made buttercream and pipe it on using a Wilton 1M nozzle.

For the hearts, I’m sure you can buy heart sprinkles but I don’t have them! I used my heart shaped plunge cutters and red sugarpaste to make my hearts. Sounds kinda time consuming, but once I get in the zone, it only takes a few mins.

I have mini cupcake boxes that hold 24 cupcakes and think they look so pretty in the box… the perfect gift. I think most people would smile getting these on the 14th eh?

Valentines Mini cupcakes 1

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cake – Nov 13

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cake – Nov 13
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Turtle mania has hit our house, in a big way, so naturally my son wanted a TMNT cake for his birthday. I found an image on Pinterest and took a snap of it with my phone (I don’t have pinterest on my phone sob sob). I basically just looked at the pic when I did the cake. It’s a shallow 8” Chocolate biscuit cake with a circle of grey fondant on top – to look like a manhole cover and the 4 turtle heads. It was actually straight forward to do and I think it came out really well, considering I did it quickly, while my kids were running about.

My big learning point, was that I should have used florist paste for the masks as the sugarpaste wasn’t flexible enought and kinda cracked on me. I have to make another one next week for a friends son, so he will get the improved version! I like the orginal and my son and his buddies LOVED it so we’re all happy!

I’ll put some pointers on my tutorials and tips page, in case anyone is interested in making one :-)
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2 Very Different Halloween Projects! Oct 13

Two Very Different Halloween Projects – Oct 2013

I had such great intentions of doing Halloween cake pops and going all out trying lots of Pinterest ideas but didn’t quite get round to them (yet!). I did however make a proper Halloween cake, which has already been eaten…
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I made this cake as part of an evening course which I am doing in sugar craft. The cake itself is a 8” chocolate biscuit cake. It’s so delish even if I say it myself. Lots of my friends have asked me for the recipe as it’s got a lovely texture without being too heavy.
I got the recipe on my friend’s blog – Tremendous Fun. I hope the link works!

http://tremendousfun.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/chocolate-biscuit-cake-recipe/

Anyway, back to my cake. It’s covered in orange sugarpaste and has a handmade witch, ghost and a few pumpkins on. The icing was a teeny bit bumpy (I’ll be honest!), so I added some extra decorations using my new Halloween Tappits. I stuck on ghosts and bats and I think they added to the cake. I also wrote BOO! using my letter cutters and stuck them on too.

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The witch was made out of sugarpaste too.I had no ready made black so used black extra colour to get it black. I find regular black colour just makes a dirty grey colour! I learnt a lot making her. I’d like to try her again and do her face a little differently. We ate the cake today with some friends and their kids and the witch was a HUGE hit. The kids loved that she turned their tongues and mouths black!!

My final Halloween project took place this afternoon. This involved my kids, fairy cakes and my Halloween Tappits. The end result ain’t pretty but we had fun making them and my kids, who are 2 and 3 actually managed the cutters pretty well!
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I had to fight the urge to fix the icing and just let them decorate them….not easy as I’m a perfectionist at heart. Was fun to see them enjoying the decorating so much and to actually do it with no fighting was a mega bonus!

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Have a fab Halloween tomorrow everyone!

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Easy Halloween Birthday Cake

Easy Halloween Birthday Cake – Oct 13P1080633

A friend celebrated her birthday this week and I wanted to bake her a cake and also embrace Halloween! While my 2 and 3 year old loved the idea of spiders, bats and pumpkins on a cake, I’m sure my friend may well have prefered something a bit more girly. It was not to be….easy Halloween Birthday cake is what she got!

It was a 6” chocolate cake, I used my fave chocolate cake recipe courtesy of the Pink Whisk. It’s delish! Lovely and moist without being too heavy. I didn’t have time to go down the sugarpaste route to cover it, so I just sprinkled icing sugar on it and put some Halloween cake toppers on the cake and board.

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The pumpkins and spiders are super easy. I used a tappit cutter to do the bats. You only need coloured fondant and a few basic tools and a few mins to make them.

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This cake is not fancy and is easy to decorate – next year, hopefully I’ll have more time to spend on my cake toppers :-)
Check out my ‘tutorials and tips’ page for how to make the pumpkins and spiders

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Dublin Football Jersey Cake

Dublin Football Jersey Cake – Sep 13

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Well Sep 2013, will see the Dublin senior football team take on Mayo in the All Ireland Senior Footbal Championship. Let’s just say that this is a big event for everyone based in either Dublin or Mayo. I will confess that I’m not a huge Gaelic Football fan, but will of course be shouting for Dublin on the day!

I was asked to make a Dublin Football Jersey cake for my son’s friend the other day and it was the perfect time of year to embrace Dub-mania!

All the cakes I’ve decorated to date have been round, so this was a new venture for me. I of course refered to youtube and google and found some good ideas and tutorials. In the end, I decided to follow one that I found on http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/. Emma explained the process well so I followed her lead and avoided disaster. So needless to say, I was glad I found her page!

It was nervewracking doing this cake at times, in particular: cutting the t-shirt shape, moving the sugarpaste from the table onto the cake and also seeing lots of moisture form on the sugarpaste once it had been put on the cake! – more about all of this on my tutorials and tips page!

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Initially, when the cake was covered, I wasn’t that happy with it as I felt it looked a bit plain. So I added some more detail to it, seams on the edges and stripes at the top. Once they were put on the cake, I felt happy with it and stepped away before I wrecked it!

Anyway, I have no doubt that I’ll be tackling a jersey cake again in the future. As I live with two football fans, that’s inevitable I guess! It was scary but fun to do a cake that wasn’t round…hmm now all I need to do is tackle a square one :-)

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