home made cakes for special days and elevenses

Monday, 10 August 2015

Hand painted Lowry birthday cake

My dad was a big LS Lowry fan, and I remember there were prints of his paintings hanging on our walls when I was a child. I was delighted to be asked to make a cake featuring one of his works, though a little worried about painting all those tiny figures that filled the streets in the paintings I was familiar with. I had to find one that didn't have too many millions of figures in it, or copy a detail rather than a whole painting. 

Unfortunately I didn't make a note of the name of the painting I chose. I have lost a few figures along the way, mainly because it was a very labour intensive cake to work on and time was running out, but also because I needed much smaller paintbrushes to achieve anything like a good likeness of the smaller figures. This was a fairly large cake, but still a small 'canvas' for any tiny painted detail. I have new paintbrushes now though, and would love to have another go some time!

Viewed from above as it is, this doesn't particularly look like a cake, but it is, I promise.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Frozen in Summer

I have two new Frozen cake designs to add to my collection, one of which is perfect for Frozen fans celebrating summer birthdays. I'm afraid that I haven't managed to watch the film in it's entirety, but I gather that poor old Olaf actually likes a bit of sunshine, so here is my 'Olaf in Summer' cake.

For those that prefer the cold, I give you my Frozen ice palace:

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Lime and Coconut Loaf Cake

Having neglected my poor blog for a few weeks I think it is time to share a recipe with you. Here is one for a lovely zesty loaf cake that I sometimes make for the gorgeous Drink Me Eat Me cafe in Hammersmith. They have a great selection of cakes as well as frozen coffee and frozen yoghurt - perfect in this scorching weather. 

Lime and Coconut Loaf Cake

135g unsalted butter, softened
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
zest of 2 large limes
150g self raising flour
35g desiccated coconut
5 tbsp milk (substitute for coconut milk if preferred)
juice of 2 large limes (approx. 4 tbsp)
100g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan oven).

Cream together the softened butter and caster sugar, until pale. Slowly add the beaten egg, a little at a time, as well as the lime zest. Fold in the sifted flour and coconut, and finally add the milk or coconut milk.

Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Test the cake by inserting a thin skewer or cake tester into the middle. It is ready when the skewer comes out clean.

Five minutes before the cake is due to come out of the oven warm the lime juice and the icing sugar in a small saucepan, until all of the sugar has dissolved. As soon as the cake is baked, use your skewer to make small holes all over the top of the cake and pour the syrup over. Leave to cool before removing from the tin.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Alice in Wonderland Cupcakes

Alice in Wonderland is such a fabulous theme for a birthday party, with all its fascinating characters and colourful eccentricities; and yet I have only just made my first order of Alice cupcakes. I'm surprised I haven't been asked for these before, and delighted to be given the chance to make them. It also meant that I could play with my little teapot cupcake stands at last! These were a Christmas gift from my sister in law (also called Alice), who knew they would come in handy at some point. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Blueberry, Lemon and Almond Ring Cake

Spring seems to have well and truly arrived in London, and I have been trying out some new recipes to celebrate. First up is this fruity, zesty ring cake. Moist, and full of flavour, this is perfect for afternoon tea in the garden. If you don't have a ring cake, it would be fine made in an 18-20cm diameter round cake tin, although the cooking time may vary.

Blueberry Ring Cake
Serves: 10 slices

For the cake:
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
200g self raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
30g ground almonds
4 eggs, beaten
150g blueberries

To decorate:
100g icing sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
40g flaked almonds, toasted

1. For the cake : Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm ring shaped cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Cream together the softened butter and sugar, until pale and fluffy. Add the lemon zest.
3. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl, and add the ground almonds and eggs. Beat until just combined. Stir in the blueberries, reserving a few for decoration.
4. Fill the cake tin and bake for around 40 minutes, or until the cake begins to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack, to cool completely.

5. To decorate: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add the lemon juice, until the glaze is just runny enough to fall from the spoon (probably about 3 tsp of juice). Decorate with the toasted almonds and remaining blueberries.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Oi Frog! - A cake for World Book Day

As all parents of young children know, tomorrow is World Book Day. In fact many of us will tonight  be hastily putting together costumes for the children to wear to school tomorrow. To mark the event I would like to share some pictures of one of my latest cakes with you.

'Oi Frog' is a new children's picture book by author Kes Gray and illustrator Jim Field, published just last month. To celebrate the launch of the book their publisher commissioned a cake featuring the main character, a grumpy frog, sitting on a log. Hodder Children's Books took the cake along to a school event that the pair were attending, and surprised them with it. 

I love this picture of Kes and Jim with their cake.


Monday, 23 February 2015

Birthday Cake Round Up

I have made a few new birthday cakes recently that I haven't shared yet, so here's a little round up. First up is Paddington. We went to see this film on Christmas Eve, and the whole family loved it. I can't say that happens very often, so it's a real winner for us. I was really pleased to be asked to make a Paddington birthday cake last month, complete with a handmade figure on top. 

I made two little girls' birthday cakes perfect for the winter weather in January. One was a big jolly penguin (which must have given all the party guests black teeth and lips!), and the other was a new version of my Frozen cake, with a few printed images on the side.

Moving away from little girls' parties, I also made a Wonder Woman cake, for a lady celebrating her 40th. 


Belated birthday wishes to all the birthday girls - Frieda, Charlotte, Edie and Lynda.