Tag Archives: birthday

Beach Cake

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The hardest part of making this cake was the figure on the beach. I made the girl, her towel and the tree from fondant the day before I needed them. The rest of the cake was decorated on the morning I needed it.

Fondant snakes before rolling out.

Fondant snakes before rolling out.

Finished beach towel.

Finished beach towel.

To make the girl’s towel, I started with two lumps of white fondant, one I coloured red, the other blue. I made little snakes in each colour, and carefully lined them up side by side, alternating colours. I sprinkled some icing sugar over the top and then carefully used my rolling pin to flatten the snakes. The two colour stripes joined together as they were rolled out. I then cut off the uneven ends, forming a rectangle to use as the beach towel.

Girl on towel.

Girl on towel.

I used a very small amount of pink food colouring added to the white fondant to make the girl. I shaped this into a basic body shape, with the arms folded under the head. I added some green coloured fondant to the body for her swimmers, and for her hat. Where required, I used a little bit of jam to stick the separate fondant pieces together.

Palm leaves.

Palm leaves.

Palm trunk.

Palm trunk.

The one palm tree was fairly easy to make, though I needed to use skewers and toothpicks to prevent it from drooping or falling over. First I coloured some fondant green, rolled it out flat and cut out some leaf shapes using a sharp knife. I used the side of a toothpick to make the marks on the leaves. For the trunk, I used Nutella to create a nice brown colour, which I then shaped into a trunk shape. I stuck a skewer longitudinally through the trunk to keep it upright on the cake, and two toothpicks perpendicularly through the top to support the leaves. I draped the leaves over the toothpicks, using a little bit of jam at the top of the trunk to stick them together.

Cake cut and ready for icing.

Cake cut and ready for icing.

The actual cake was two large rectangular cakes made in my baking pans (each takes a double cake mix). I placed the cakes side by side then used a sharp knife to cut out the ocean section. I left part of the cake for an island, and the edges prevent the jelly from falling off the cake. I skimmed some of the cake off from the island to create a sloping beach area.

Island and beach iced.

Island and beach iced.

Waiting for the jelly ocean.

Waiting for the jelly ocean.

I used a basic butter cream mixture colouring a portion of it green, and a portion of it yellow. I covered the island area with the green butter cream, and the beach area with the yellow butter cream. I made up another lot of butter cream and coloured it blue, which I used over the rest of the cake, down the sides and onto the cake board for the ocean. On top of the green butter cream I added green coloured desiccated coconut for grass. The beach was made using finely crushed plain sweet biscuits (I used Arnotts Nice), and the ocean was filled with blue jelly (berry flavoured, yum yum!). I added a little bit of blue butter cream to the top of the jelly for the waves.

Island grassed, beach sanded, ocean jellied.

Island grassed, beach sanded, ocean jellied.

Once all the icing was done and the jelly added, A helped me place the towel and girl onto the beach, and then the tree up on the grass. The skewer through the tree went right through to the base of the cake. As a final touch, A added a cocktail umbrella to shade the girl.

This is quite a large cake, but it could be made to a smaller scale. It went down very well with all the kids!

Girl lying on the beach.

Girl lying on the beach.

Cat and Mouse Cake

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I have made this cat and mouse cake a few times for the kids’ birthdays. It is quite easy and has been a big hit at birthday parties. I normally make butter or vanilla cakes, but A begged for chocolate cake, so I used some White Wings mixes to make the cakes.

Prior to icing.

Prior to icing.

The cat’s head is make with a round cake base, with another cake cut up to make the nose and ears. The mice are decorated cupcakes. I just cut a rough circle section for the nose, and then I sliced the piece of cake so that it was about half the depth. I attached it to the round cake using some white buttercream (vienna cream or frosting). I also used some buttercream to attach the triangular ears to the top of the round cake. I don’t worry too much about how the cake looks at this point because I know I will make it look nice with the frosting!

There are lots of recipes around for buttercream, but I used one I found on taste.com.au, it was light and fluffy and very tasty.

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After applying white buttercream.

After applying grey buttercream.

After applying grey buttercream.

A asked for her cat to be grey and white, which is pretty easy. A little bit of black liquid food colouring added to the plain frosting gives a nice grey. As I was also icing the cupcakes in white and grey, I made up a triple batch of buttercream, and divided into two bowls, keeping one white and making the other grey. A double batch probably would have done it, but I’d rather have extra ready to go if needed, especially if I am using coloured buttercream, it’s so hard to get the colour to match if I have to make more.

I roughly added the white buttercream over the nose and to make the inside of the ears. Then I did the rest of the head in grey neatly, butting it up to where the white should end, and covering any excess white frosting along the way. To give the buttercream a bit more texture, I used the flat side of a butter knife’s blade to slap against the buttercream, causing little peaks to form. I did this all over the grey areas, while keeping the white fairly smooth. The kids thought it looked more like fur that way.

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IMG_2377In the end, I decided that I wanted the white to extend a bit further down to encompass the mouth more, so I added some more white buttercream from the nose down. This gave me more room to apply the mouth and nose. The nose and tongue are half a pink marshmallow each, while the eyes are smarties. A chose the pink ones, though I suggested blue or green! The rest of the facial features are drawn on with writing icing. These little tubes are very handy and easy to use.

IMG_2411IMG_2421To make the cute little mice cupcakes, I iced half the batch with grey buttercream and half with white buttercream. The ears are made from pink or white marshmallows cut in half. Each half is placed on top of the cupcake so that the sticky cut edge is facing forwards. The eyes are shiny cachous and the whiskers, nose and tails are added using the writing icing. I had thought about using liquorice strips for the tails, but I am the only one in my family that likes liquorice, so it seemed like a bit of a waste.

Shiny cachou lollies.

Shiny cachou lollies.

The cat’s head was placed in the centre of the pre-prepared board (a piece of plywood covered in foil), and the mice cupcakes were arranged on either side. I only used eight of the mice on the board. The extras did not go to waste though, the kids finished them off quite quickly.

Unfortunately, before the cake could be unveiled at the party, Baby T leant across it and smooshed a couple of the mice and the cat’s nose. The kids didn’t care, they still gobbled it up!