home made cakes for special days and elevenses

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sweet Treats for Halloween

Half term week has just flown by in a whirlwind of dancing and baking madness. My daughter was competing in a dance festival which took up most of the day time hours, and I had a few exciting cake orders to fill the rest of my time. One of the orders was for my lovely customer at the Lilac Pages, who was hosting one of her fabulous parties to celebrate Halloween. As ever she sourced some fantastic goodies online to decorate her house and feed/entertain her little guests. She has kindly sent me some photos of my cupcakes, cake pops and cookies, but it is worth visiting her blog to see pictures of the rest of her decorations too. 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Science Party Goodies

I loved making this science themed cake, with its bubbling beakers of brightly coloured chemicals. I used a Rice Krispie treat recipe to model my beakers, and covered them in sugarpaste, which worked well and was surprisingly quick.

I also made lime macarons and cake pops for the party, which were displayed alongside petri dish jellies, test tubes full of jelly beans and flasks of juice. Happy birthday Amelia, I hope you had a fabulous day!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

An Intergalactic Celebration

I have been sent some gorgeous photographs of the goodies I made for a space themed party recently. The party host has written a post on her blog, The Lilac Pages, but has kindly allowed me to use her fabulous pictures here as well. I love the way she has displayed the cupcakes and cookies on her home made props, all beautifully hand crafted.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Halloween will bring, as there is another party being planned!

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. 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Live Love Local Winner - Best Cake Maker 2014

Thank you so much to anyone who voted for me in the West London Mum Live Love Local Awards. I am thrilled to tell you that Vanilla Frost Cakes won the coveted title of Best Cake Maker. This put a big smile on my face, and I am very grateful to all my lovely customers who took the time to vote.

Click through to the West London Mum web site to see which other local businesses were named as winners and runners up in their categories.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Chocolate Chilli Cake

I think I have a new favourite cake. A friend of mine commissioned a chocolate chilli cake last week, and gave me a few ideas as to how to decorate it. I'm really pleased with the look of the cake, and she tells me it tasted pretty awesome too, so thumbs up all round. I'm excited about how this can be adapted with other flavours, and can't wait to try out some other ideas. 

This version is a chocolate mud cake, filled with chocolate ganache, coated in vanilla buttercream and decorated with melted dark chocolate. I made some marbled chilli chocolate shards to stand at the back, and on the side of the cake, and decorated the top with some posh chocs from Montezuma's, and edible glitter.


Sunday, 18 January 2015

An Elegant Wedding Cake for the Painted Hall

Last Saturday I was very excited, and a little nervous, to be setting up one of my wedding cakes in the beautiful Painted Hall in Greenwich. Set in the Old Royal Naval College, and dating back to the early 1700's, the building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor. The walls and ceiling were painted by Sir James Thornhill, and are magnificent.

For such an elegant setting, the cake really needed to look the part. Hilary and Richard, the bride and groom, chose a simple ivory cake, with fresh roses. I piped rows of dots on two tiers, which were finished off with satin ribbon, and on the other two I piped a pattern to resemble the lace on Hilary's dress.

I hadn't visited Greenwich in a while, and I had never seen inside the Painted Hall, despite walking through the grounds before. It is free to visit, and well worth a look. 

Many congratulations to Hilary and Richard on their marriage. I hope you had a fantastic day!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

West London Mums - Live Love Local Awards

I am really pleased to start the New Year with a nomination for 'best birthday cake maker' in West London Mum's Live Love Local Awards 2014. Some fabulous local businesses have been nominated across the various categories, and I am delighted to be included. Voting closes tonight, and I would be very grateful for any last minute votes. Many thanks, and happy New Year!