Sunday, 1 December 2013

Jack Skellington meets Monster High

This is one of my favourite cakes to date!!
And what's more, was designed with the help of the 9 year old whose birthday it was for! You can't get more personal than that!!
With the help of Pinterest, we picked out a few ideas, and chose a 3 tier cake.
We had great fun choosing the design, which was based mainly on one of her favourite things, Monster High!  Now if you've never heard of Monster High, then I would probably describe it as Barbie and Ken for the supernatural!!
Another love of hers was A Nightmare before Christmas, and so it was decided that Jack Skellington would adorn the top of the cake!

3 tiers of chocolate cake, iced in blue, black and pink and stacked to over a foot tall!

The Monster High skull symbols were cut using a skull and crossbones cutter, and I just removed the crossbone part. This worked really well!

I made the Monster High Logo with some modelling fondant, and dried it on the side of a dummy cake so it would have enough curve to fit on the cake.
I had a few attempts to get Jack's face right, not as difficult as I'd originally thought, but I wanted to get the size and expression right.

Here is the finished cake. The symbols around the bottom are the different character signs, which were hand painted onto modelling fondant.
Getting Jack to sit on top required the use of some wire, and lots of glue!! But he stayed nice and sturdy once set.

Here is his close up...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The smallest wedding cake ever!

 It was always assumed that I would make my lovely friend Erica's wedding cake, But when she came and told me she needed not one, but two, I had to wonder what I had gotten myself in to!! ;)

The wedding itself was to be a small affair, close family only, and the setting was the Cley Windmill in Norfolk.

Erica had her heart set on a tiered cake, in alternating white and blue, with scroll work piped around the sides. So that is what I did.

For such a small gathering, we made the cake in 4, 6 and 8 inch tiers, the middle of which was double depth, and in alternating vanilla and chocolate sponges.

For the scroll work design, I got some inspiration from the designs on this page. I then measured the tiers, and sketched out my designs.

I'm not gonna lie to you, it took me many hours to pipe this cake, but that is mostly my own fault, as I'm still getting used to making up my royal icing correctly! It was also an awfully humid day,so as quick as I was piping, it was drying out!!

And here, was the end result! I was pretty darn happy with it, and I believe the bride and groom were too! ;)

Stay tuned for cake number two!!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A little bit of Wild West

The daughter turned 3 back at the start of the summer holidays, and while she is young enough not to care how girly her party is, I decided to have a Wild West themed one!
The time will no doubt come, when it's going to be all about the pink, fluffy cuteness!! *shudder* So I am making the most of it now!

Once again I got the air brush out on this one for the blue sky, and gave it a bit of a swirly effect.
It was pretty simply made, with lots of little things to depict a ranch and Native Indian teepees!

She loved it, and had a fantastic time running around with her friends. My only failure here was that I lost the birthday candles, and had to put 3 night lights on the cake for her to blow out!! Whoops!!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Piece of cake

It has been a while since my last post! This is mainly due to the summer holidays arriving... It is hard to sit down and concentrate on writing when your two kids are running around like loons...
Anyway, I have found a little peace and quiet (for a short time at least!), so here goes!

Sometimes my favourite cakes are those where I'm not really given much of a brief! For this cake, I'd been given suggestions, but ultimately was left to decide how to decorate it! This usually means I get to try something new, or make a cake I've been wanting to make for ages!! ;)

In this case, it was to cut a wedge from a cake, and then redecorate it to look like... a cake!! Go figure!

The cake was vanilla sponge, vanilla butter icing and strawberry jam. I made 2 tiers, both 4 inches deep. From the smaller of the two, I cut out a wedge, then gave them all a crumb coating. This is actually pretty difficult to do to the wedge!! Next time, I think I will hold it together with some skewers, to make it easier to coat!!

I used brown (chocolate) fondant to cover all the cakes. This stuff is very odd to work with!! It is flexible, and stretchy, and makes smoothing the tiers down pretty difficult! I got there in the end though, and then I used white fondant to give the cake an iced look!
I made swirls to look like squirty cream from rolled white fondant, cherries from Ruby Red fondant, and then stuck them all together, with slices of angelica for the cherry stems. I made enough of these to go around both cakes.

I gave the sliced areas of the top cake some 'filling' and then finished the whole thing off with a candle and some spiral confetti!
This is most definitely one of my favourite cakes to date!! Now I just need to experiment with different colours, 'fillings' and toppings!

Monday, 15 July 2013

A Summer Invitation

I was recently asked (at rather short notice) if I would be able to make a cake for a 35th wedding anniversary! As it was my lovely friend Katy asking, I had to say yes!

Katy is one of my best customers. In fact, I think that two thirds of the cakes I make, are for her! I don't mind though, as they are always fun, and she always gives me a lot of freedom to do what I want!! :)

This cake was fairly straightforward! It was to be a summer party, and the invitation had bunting on!!

After deciding how many people it was to feed, and that it needed to be dairy free, I just got baking!
Three simple white iced tiers, ribbon to (vaguely) match the bunting on the invite, and a few dozen small triangles to stick on!

I marked out the segments of the cake to make the bunting even, and added fondant strands (hand rolled). Between each strand I stuck a sugar pearl ball to hide the joins - and because, well, they look pretty!

I have lots of random shaped cutters, one of which is diamond shaped. I used this to cut my bunting triangles. I tried to imitate the bunting on the invite, so for some of the bunting, I used my textured rolling pin to give it a stripe, and then when it was all stuck to the cake I added some tiny silver edible stars to some of the triangles!
All that was then left was to hand cut a '35' to go on top, and box it up ready for it's journey across the country! I am assured it got there in one piece! 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Ironic cake!

For those of you who like me, don't watch Eurovision every year, I will explain about this cake! 
Every year, Eurovision has a different logo! This year, that logo was a butterfly! Also, Wales does not compete, but the entry is for the United Kingdom! 
So, when you get a request for a cake for someone who loves the Eurovision song contest, but is Welsh, it's a bit of a no brainer!! :)
If you were to Google the Eurovision butterfly, you would see that there are a lot of logos with different flags superimposed on them! - This was what I was going to attempt! 

Eurovision logo for 2013

After asking my husband to print out different variations of the butterfly and the welsh flag, I set about cutting them out with my craft knife!
At first I had planned to use one template to airbrush the dragon onto the background of green and white, but this did not work so well! So instead I set about carefully cutting the dragon out with my knife from red modelling fondant. Yes, it did take ages!! I totally expected it to fall to pieces, to have bits missing, or to just look nothing like the dragon on the flag!! Surprisingly though it worked!! I was left with just the butterfly to cut out, which as you can see was a much easier job!!

The cake itself was to be a fairly simple and plain one, and I left plenty of room on the board for the writing!
You will see that at the top I added the Eurovision heart, which although accurate, looks like I am just really bad at drawing hearts!!! Oh well, you can't have it all I suppose!!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Learning something new!

I am always coming across cakes that have something about them I've not tried before! Whether it's a paint effect, the carving of it, or just the decoration! I always add these cakes to my list of things to try!!
 This next cake was so much fun to make because I got to try out 3 new things all in one go!!

It was to be a surprise cake for the lovely mum of one of my friends! I was mostly left to decide on the cake myself, but my main brief was Owls!! I have always wanted to make owls to go on a cake, so that was number one!

Owls made from rice krispie treats. 

Number two, was that to go with those owls, I was going to make a bird cage! I have always wanted to make a bird cage, but this one was going to be a little different! Instead of being light and flowery, I was going to make it blue, with black cage bars! All to make it look like a midnight setting (Owls are nocturnal right?? ;) ).

(Ok, still flowery...)

This is where number three comes in... To save costs (dark fondant colours cost a lot you know!), I had decided to cover it in white fondant, and then airbrush it blue!  Having recently received an airbrush kit for my birthday, I was dying to try it out!!
I also got a bit carried away and decided to spray over some leaves (edible!) from the garden, to give the base of the cake a look of foliage!

So, after modelling the owls with RKT (Rice Krispie Treat), decorating them, and covering/spraying the base and the cage, It was time to decorate the cage with bars! I did this using a mix of black fondant and CMC (awesome stuff!!). I added quite a bit of CMC, and the bars were really easy to roll and put in place!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Angry Birds Star Wars

Sometimes when I take on a cake, I don't always consider the amount of work I'll have to put in!! I can safely say I spent at least 20 hours on this cake, but, I loved every minute of it!! How cool to make not only an Angry Birds cake, but a Star Wars one at that!!?
This cake was for twin boys, and they wanted some of their favourite characters on top, so I made sure I started on those in advance.

I used CMC and a whole bunch of precoloured fondant and started with their base shapes. With lots of print outs of various poses I got started with Chuck 'Ham' Solo. He was definitely my favourite one to make! Red Skywalker, was also really fun, and quite easy, but I had a problem getting Lard Vader to look right!
Princess Stella's braids were time consuming, but a lot easier than I expected with the modelling fondant.
Terebacca was probably the hardest, getting his fur to look right took time, and I had to resize his face in the end as it was much too big! 

With the help of an artistic friend of mine, we sat one evening and got the paintbrushes out on the actual cake! With a suggestion of Tattooine in the background, and some of the Angry Birds blocks, it was a nice way to finish it off!
I used some rice paper and traced the boys names to add to the cake, as well as their age, and then it was just a case of adding the figures. This is where I had issues... I'd made the figures too damn big!!! I spent ages rearranging them to find the best way to display them, and ended up having to push into the cake a little to get them to sit right!! You would never know though, and the cake came out pretty darn cool!!
I hope you agree!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Pretty in pink!

 After making the fabulous beach themed cake for the father of a friend, I was then asked if I would make his wife a birthday cake too!!
The idea for this cake came from the Pink Cake Box, who have some fabulous cakes!! It only needed to be simple, and it was actually a lovely little cake to make!!
If I remember correctly, the top tier was 4 inches wide, and the bottom tier 7 inches. At the time I didn't have a 4 inch cake tin, so I actually made a slab cake and used a cutter to cut the layers of the cake!! It worked out really well! (And cooked a lot quicker too - bonus!)

The hardest part of the cake was actually making the bow on top! I have never made one like this before, so I really just went with how I thought it should be made!! I used CMC to mix up some modelling fondant, and when it was ready, just rolled out strips and pinched them into little loops. Once they were dry and the rest of the cake was ready, I just placed them on top and stuck them down!

I am really pleased how this cake came out. Simple design, easy to put together, and very effective! Another to add to my list of 'Go to cakes'!!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Tea and Cake

I am never one to turn down an opportunity to make a cake!! Especially when it's for someone I know! So when my friend Katy had her birthday not long ago I had the perfect idea! A teacup!!

This particular cake has to be one of my favourites!! I have always wanted to make a teacup, and it actually turned out to be very simple!!

I don't have many photos of my making it, but I wanted to share it with you anyway!

I simply made 2 x 6" round cakes, split, filled and stacked them up, then carved a dome. Butter iced the dome and then covered it in the blue fondant. Once it had had a chance to set a little, I flipped the whole thing over and then added the details. The rim of the cup, the handle and the flowers. I then made up a small amount of  chocolate ganache, and spread it across the top, piping a spiral of royal icing to look like it was filled with tea! Voilà!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Sand, sea and 60!

    I was recently asked by a good friend of mine if I would make a cake for her dad who would be turning 60! Never one to turn down a friend (or an opportunity to do something new) I of course said yes! And then she asked me to make a bottle of gin cake... Now, I'm not a big fan of printing images for cakes, and my painting skills leave a lot to be desired!! So, it was back to the drawing board! (Maybe next year??)

    Usually men are pretty easy to make cakes for, but not this time! Does he have any hobbies? No! Does he play any sports? No! So, what does he like to do?? Go on holiday!! 
And so we had our theme!

     After some Google searching and a browse on Pinterest (my favourite 'go to' at the moment for cake ideas!!), We came up with a suitable design - two tiers of cake with a beach theme and 2 deckchairs on top.

     Then I had to get my head round how to make it... Of course I always agree to things I've never tried before because I like to learn new things, but boy did this give me brain ache!!

 I started by mixing up some modelling fondant with CMC, and after a little play with some cardboard cut outs and a bit of sketching I just went for it! These are the man parts of the chairs drying over some cardboard. I have to say this was actually the easiest part! What came after was a fiddly half hour of sticking on the legs!! Yes, I did swear! Quite a bit!!

     The result though was totally worth the effort! Although slightly fragile, they came out looking just as I'd hoped!

We had agreed to a sea colour and theme to the bottom tier, and after much thought I decided to make the waves very pronounced.
After covering the base case in the yellow sand coloured fondant, I then dusted the entire of the top with cornflour, and then covered it again with the blue! The thought behind doing it this way was that there would be no seams and the waves would run smoothly the whole way around. It worked very well!

     Here is the back of the cake. Going slightly nautical with a life belt, I like to add a bit of detail to the back of a cake.

Here is the finished cake after adding all the little embellishments - it is easy to get carried away sometimes!! It is definitely one of my favourites to date.

Friday, 5 April 2013


Welcome to George's Marvellous Cakes!

I have set up this blog to share my cake decorating journey with you!
As a mother of two small children, I don't have the time to start a business, so spend my time making cakes for friends and family instead!

I have so much more yet to learn, but for now will just share all of my successes and failures with you!