Happy First Canadian Thanksgiving

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So we finally made it to Canada. For the first time ever, I got to experience a Thanksgiving (we know of them in the UK, but we just take the ‘shopping sales’ aspect of it and leave the giving of the thanks to the Canadians and Americans – in November-), so did what I know best: got in the kitchen and baked.

These little delights are chocolate, with an orange buttercream ‘fire’, mini salted pretzel sticks and mini mallows – yes, a Pinterest inspired treat. I used Chipits (this was a risk, I’ve never used anything but Tesco chocolate for melting and baking before!) and melted them in a pan, but just enough to add some moisture to the cake and left little chunks in the mix. Was a nice little surprise biting in and finding a Chipit chunk in my cupcake! Something I will definitely do again.

They took some attempts to get right though. I started by ‘twirling’ (not a clue what the technical term would be!) the buttercream and placing the pretzel sticks against it. But this didn’t give the desired ‘fire’ effect at all! So I tried again. This time, I still ‘twirled’ the buttercream in the centre of the cake and used it as a base to ‘brush’ the buttercream up against it to give an almost ‘flame-like’ look. This seemed to work much better!

Next time, I need to get my food colouring ratio right, as I wanted a mix of colours for the flames, but for a first-timer, they weren’t that bad! Tasted scrummy too! Especially with the mix of sweet from the chocolate and salty from the pretzel.

Happy 60th.

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This has got to be my absolute favourite cake I’ve ever made. The pirate of 2013 was pretty good, the (not featured on this blog, unfortunately) 3-tier mountain/snowboarder/ski lift cake of the same year was incredible (if I may say so myself) and the mountain-bear cake of 2018 is top of the list for sure, but this, this cake was something I’ve never tried before.

I’d watched countless Pinterest and Instagram videos and tutorials about how to make the striped buttercream wrap around the cake, and smooth it down and I as desperate to try it. Finally the opportunity presented itself when I had to make a surprise 60th birthday cake.

The cake was something I’d perfected over time: white chocolate and fresh strawberries. I made it as 2 large tray bakes and when chilled, cut them into circles with a cake tin. I found that this was much easier, not just because I got a few leftovers to nibble on and share, but because I got a smoother edge to work with and the top was much flatter than if I’d have used 2 circular cake tins.

The layer inside is just vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam, to compliment the white chocolate and fresh strawberry cake.

I mixed some of the buttercream with red food colouring and left the other bowl ‘naturally’ yellow/white. I found French butter to be an absolute nightmare to work with for buttercream and couldn’t wait to get home to use some good ‘ol Stork! I then piped big lines all the way around the cake, changing the layers as I went. I travelled with a cake decorating kit (yes, I was just that prepared) and used the flat edge to smooth the buttercream around and merge the lines.

Then the pièce de résistance, or so I think, is the fresh fruit topping. We were lucky in France that the physalis still came with its leaves which adds another dimension to the cake, and I chopped a couple of strawberries for the edges and ‘casually threw’ some raspberries in the mix.

I just loved it.

She Said Yes!


This was part of a couple’s magical New Years’ Day when he proposed to her, and it was all lovely, and luckily(!) she said yes!

It’s just a Victoria Sponge with buttercream flowers and royal icing text. I just wish I’d made the flowers a little bigger to finish with the desired effect I originally wanted, but all in all, it all got eaten.

We’re Off To The Alps, Better Get Our Game On


This ‘ere subtle looking thing, is basically #diabetesinacake. We’ve got a chocolate base, with a salted caramel chocolate frosting, mini marshmallows and chocolate shavings.

I’ve always been nervous about making chocolate cake, whether I’ve used the wrong powder, it won’t be (and let’s just get past this word without cringing) ‘moist’ enough, or somehow it’ll transform in the oven to a crisp chocolate biscuit. But this one turned out so well, it travelled all the way from Margate to Cambridge and got devoured by a house of hungry  students.

The only thing I would have done differently, was mix the salted caramel with the cake mix, rather than add it to the chocolate butter cream frosting as it was a little over-powering.

When You’re 27 and You Have To Bake Your Own Cake…

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As I had to bake my own Birthday Cake, I made my favourite. Victoria Sponge.

I had a great time trying something new with this cake, using sugar paste (as it sets hard) to make the toppings. I have a new thing for geometric art (the monkey tattoo is testament to this) and my love of mountains inspired this one. I used edible ink to draw the lines, some were freehand, some I indented with a knife and went back over to make sure I had it right. Blue fondant icing wraps around the cake to make a mountain scene.

I absolutely love the toppers, but need more practise with the wrapping of icing to make sure it’s not lumpy. It was a frustrating cake to make but one of my favourites! Totally worth it. Tasted great too!

The boy turns 3

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A ‘Cheesy nip’ treat… (they are really called Cheesy Bites or Nibbles, I think, but my family changes the names of everything, so here you have ‘Cheesy nips’.)

Peanut Butter, oats, banana, shredded carrot and a little honey to hold it together. Baked in the oven until golden brown(ish). Topped with Philadelphia and peanut butter frosting and a small treat of your choice.

Can be frozen (without the topping) for a later date. These last for ages, and Thor now expects them to be defrosted in time for dinner.

‘Is this a dagger which I see before me?’

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Vanilla cupcakes with a chocolate frosting, covered with red sugar beads, and fondant icing daggers coated with edible silver paint.

These were made for students partaking in the Shakespeare Fest 2018. Granted, they were made in a rush and on par with the icing/potato mash mountain disaster of 2013, but they went down a treat.

Liberty’s 15th Dr Martens birthday cake

PDSC9168 PDSC9172PDSC9174PDSC9175 A variation of lemon & vanilla sponge and just plain vanilla sponge, shaped by hand carving into a shoe-shape (granted it looks more like a snow boot or Ugg than it does a Dr Marten!) Covered in lemon buttercream throughout the layers and covered to help the icing to stick. I used a layer of white royal icing, as I can not get hold of modelling chocolate that would help it keep its structural integrity, and then smoothed out the lumps and bumps ready for the final layer of purple royal icing. Red writing piped icing for the stitching, and strawberry laces for the shoe laces. All details have been mostly added with piping. Basically I have given my sister diabetes for her 15th birthday.

Uniliopolf Birthday Cake

Uniliopov Birthday Cake

This was my friends birthday cake. She is a little crazy and made up a mythical creature that took a lot for me to imagine!
The inside is sponge with buttercream and jam, with multi-coloured sponge (pink, green, blue, yellow) to make it a bit more like unicorn magic.