Wedding Wednesday: Cake Crisis

Yes, you read right. Of all the blog clichés, I’m starting up a Wedding Wednesday feature. You might be reading this and thinking ‘Come off it Amy, where’s that crafty crack I’m after? Hit me up with some of the good stuff.’ To that I say: Don’t worry you addicted internet friend, you’ll get your fix when I’m good and ready.

this felt like a petty good point to insert one of my all-time fav gifs #relevant

You see, I have been on a creative mission recently. After the lull of moving into the house I sort of threw myself into wedding planning and then got really caught up in everything. In an effort to slow down and really start to enjoy the process, I figured that sharing what I can here would force me to take a step back and have these posts to look back on after it’s all over and done with (in a very short 13 months time). That brings me to today’s main feature: Wedding Cake.

In the beginning I really couldn’t have cared less about the cake. Cake it cake, right? WRONG. Cake it life.

I mentioned this to my mother and she just about fainted. She is a baker, you see, and a damn good one at that. I hinted that she could make the cake herself and then she broke out in a hot flush. She protested that there was no way that she would manage to make a cake with all the other stress she would be under (who’s the actual bride here?) So we left it at that and I set up a google alert for deals on wedding cakes which spat out a Groupon offer on the daily.

Fast forward a month and Kath (my mum) decided to pull up her big boy pants and offered to make a fruit cake for the big day. Couple of things with that: I don’t like fruit cake. It brings dishonour on all other cakes. Her argument is that she likes fruitcake (again, WHO IS THE BRIDE?) and that it’s basically indestructible and can be made well in advance. That doesn’t make up for it being an abomination. Also after Pinteresting the shit out of wedding cakes, I decided that I NEED a 4 tiered masterpiece. We were at an impasse – Kath’s offering a fruit cake and I have visions of this:

What to do? As with many of my life choices, we decided to go with the old adage, fake it till you make it. Did you know that there’s such a thing as a dummy wedding cake? Some brides actually hire out fake, decorated cakes made out of polystyrene to display at the reception and then just serve a delicious selection of sheet cakes which are much easier to manage and way cheaper to supply. This all sounded wonderful but the thought of cutting into a cake my mum made on my wedding day seemed pretty special so we have ourselves a bit of a compromise… She’ll make a fruit cake as one of the tiers, the rest will be ‘dummies.’ That way we can serve all the delicious flavours without worrying they’ll spoil. We’ll actually be able to cut into the cake for that key photo-op and then also be able to serve fruit cake to all the heathens who want it. We have our solution!

I looked into hiring a dummy cake but decided against this for a couple of reasons:

  • £175. Just for hire. For a cake that you cannot eat. Sorry, WHAT?
  • The hire ‘cakes’ were pretty plain (obviously so that they would fit in with many different wedding looks).
  • They couldn’t be dismantled to insert the desired (ha) fruit cake.

So I’ve decided to have a go at decorating my own dummy cakes. I found a set on amazon for £17.99 and with the right tools, hours of YouTube tutorials and a bit of practice I’m hoping that we can pull together the cake of my dreams. I say ‘we’ because I’ve roped in Kath to help. She took a cake decorating course in the winter of 1997 so I’m sure she’ll be an invaluable source of knowledge.

I mentioned tools, and I think this is the key thing to making this cake a success. I do not possess any raw cake decorating talent, and I take my hat off to you and grovel at your feet if you do, but I believe in this case that specific tools will carry me a long way. You can basically get a tool to do pretty much anything in cake decorating, and while having actual talent would be the ideal, I have enough time to practise something that might actually look quite good. Case in point: I managed to make actual edible, flexible lace at the weekend with a bit of patience and the correct tools:

cake lace

Obviously I had to buy specific things to make this but here’s the thing… I’ve spent a grand total of £91.33 on all the cake decorating supplies I think I will need to make my ideal cake. I’ll need to add-on the cost of the ingredients for the fruit cake and fondant for covering the tiers but I’m pretty confident I can keep the total under £150. Compared to the £450 I was quoted for a real 4-tier edible cake, I’m calling that a win!

So Mum and I have a cake-date set for this weekend and I’m so looking forward to it. There will probably be tiers (hahahahahaha I’m so funny) but it will all be worth it when it comes to the big day and we can say that we made it together. Even if it does look like a dog’s dinner 🙂

Spooky Cupcakes Part 2 – Monsters

Welcome to the 2nd part of my spooky cupcakes series! I hope you enjoyed the first edition where we took on a carved pumpkin design. Today we’re going to be decorating monster cupcakes!

monster halloween spooky cupcakes

You will need:

  • 1 cupcake
  • Fondant Icing (Green, Black and White)
  • Black edible pen
  • Butter cream

First you want to dome your cupcake and cover it in green fondant. I showed you how to do this in the first post of this series (why haven’t you seen it?!) Go read that and then come back here. We’ll wait for you 🙂

……

Once your cupcakes are sufficiently domed, you can start adding the details. Roll out a thin piece of black fondant (about 2 inches in length) and then take a cupcake decorating tool with grooves in it to create something that looks like hair. If you don’t have this very specific tool then just use a fork… We ain’t that fancy here! To be completely honest I just made this one up as I went along so just have fun with it. My monster has a semi-styled back and sides but feel free to work your magic. I personally thing these would look pretty suave with a Joey Essex style quiff.

monster hair

Create the eyes by rolling 2 very small pieces of black fondant into tiny balls and then place them where you think the eyes should go… obviously. Do the same thing for the whites but make those balls smaller than the black. Finally add 2 dots to the centre of the white balls with your edible pen to create pupils.

monster eye constructionmonster eyesmonster eyes spooky cupcakesNow add the final details like the mouth and eyebrows with the edible pen and you have yourself a set of monster cupcakes!

monster cupcakes detailsSpooky, yet adorable and I think you’ll agree very easy to make! There is one more post in this mini series to come so look out for it on Friday… until then if you have a go at any of my spooky cupcakes designs then why not share them with me on twitter! Happy hump-day folks, I’ll see you in a few days!

 

Spooky Cupcakes Part 1 – Pumpkins

In the spirit of Halloween I thought I would share some spooky cupcakes! When I was planning out this post and doing a bit of research I realised that there were so many designs I wanted to feature. I simple couldn’t pick just 1 so I’ve decided to turn this into a spooky cupcake mini series. There will be 3 posts in total including today’s and I will show you how to make some ghastly treats! These would be great it you’re hosting a party or fancy doing something a bit special for your trick-or-treaters.

halloween pumpkin cupcakes

First, lets start with the basics. You will need your cupcake bases to decorate and you can choose absolutely any flavour. I decided to go with red velvet because there’s nothing like biting into a cupcake to reveal a gruesome red centre! Bake off your cakes and leave them to cool for a good hour. When they are completely cold you can start to decorate! For this first post we will be taking on pumpkins.

You will need the following things:

  • Fondant icing (orange, black and green)
  • Plain butter cream
  • 3 inch round cutter
  • *Optional* Cake decorating tools.

Start by doming your cupcakes with icing. I was taught how to do this at a cupcake decorating class but essentially you just cover the top of your cupcake with a blob of butter cream and shape it into a gradual dome.

dome cupcake buttercreamdomed cupcake

Roll out your orange icing so that it is about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out a circle with your cutter, place it in your palm, wrong side facing up, and then flip it onto your domed cupcake. Smooth out the circle over your butter cream so that the top is completely covered.

cover in fondantcupcake dome base

Now that you have a base for your design, you can start adding the details. Take a knife-like decorating tool or a simple toothpick and draw slightly curved lines down your fondant. I found it best to start 1/4 inch away from the middle and curve the line towards the edge. Kind of hard to explain but hopefully you get the idea from the picture.

pumpkin cupcake

For the pumpkin features, take a black edible pen and draw your pumpkin face. You can pick up edible pens in Hobbycraft and some larger supermarkets, but if you can’t find one then just use black fondant icing to do the details.

pumpkin cupcake features

Finally, take a very small piece of the green fondant icing and shape a slightly curved stalk. Add the stalk to the cupcake by making a very small hole at the top.

pumpkin cupcake final

I think these look so striking! You really don’t need any professional tools and they would be great to make with kids! I’ll be back on Wednesday with the next instalment – spook-tacular monsters!

Golf Cake

Last weekend I got to indulge my love for cake decorating by crafting a masterpiece for my Nana’s 70th birthday! She’s an avid golfer and can swing a club better than most half her age so what better theme to make than a golf cake.

Golf CakeIt was a joint effort really as my mum made the sponge and I was in charge of decorating. As with most of the things that I make, I found the original idea on Pinterest and then took it from there. The cake itself was a delicious victoria sponge with a jam and buttercream centre. I crumb-coated the full cake and then draped a layer of dark green fondant over the whole thing. Then I set my mum about creating the light green grass detail for the border while I constructed the fondant version of my Nana.

birthday golf cakeShe is made of fondant with the assistance of some strategically placed tooth-picks. The golf bag is also made of red fondant with toothpick golf clubs and a personalised ‘N’ badge.

birthday golf cake golf bag fondant

We will ignore the scaling issues and the fact that Nana is as tall at the hole flag.

I had a lot of fun putting this cake together and as a first go at decorating a full cake I think it’s pretty good! The best thing about it however was spending a bit of crafty time with my mum who is an exceptional baker 🙂 It was lovely to work on this kind of thing with her and I hope we can do more of the same soon!