Hey everyone! Here’s a look at a bake I’ve spent the last 2 weeks or so working on.
For my wee cutie Elle’s first birthday cake, I decided I was going to create my first ever birthday cake – I’ve never put fondant icing on a cake before, never done more than one tier, never worked with making rice krispie treats into shapes – but I had super grand plans 😎 so this is a super long post lol.
Elle’s not big enough to be into her own things yet (not that she can let us know yet anyway) so I had lots of choices for inspiration, and seeing her cute Fisher Price Little People I got my idea for Cinderella – Elle fit with the Elle/Ella part of Cinderella’s name, it’s so girly without being classic pink, if you know me, you know I 💙 the whole fairytale thing, and Lily James, and I could use the cute figures to decorate so this seemed to be my perfect choice.
When planning a cake, I always use Pinterest for inspiration though I never like to do a full-on copy so I usually take inspiration from at least 2-3 different cakes and use elements from them all – for this cake I took these elements: a carriage, the quilted effect, and colour theme.
I started by making the carriage from a rice krispie and marshmallow mix – I did it first as it would last longer since no one would eat it anyway, even though it is edible.
I made moulded the ball into a rough pumpkin-y shape. The one problem with making it before the cake was I had to guess the size – it was slightly to big in the end, but I was still happy with the look.
I was basing this on Elle’s Little People carriage, and cut out the window using a big bread knife – not totally necessary but I loved that you could look through it – then covered in buttercream, before adding fondant.
I made the wheels and left them to set, with hindsight this wasn’t the best idea as they were dried out and crumbling by the time the cake was ready – but a lesson learned eh.
The wheels fell off sooo many times (you can see how bad the fondant is next to the door where one originally sat) and I ended up having to attach them with toothpicks! – If you’re going to do a carriage, I would definitely spend some time and experiment to get the wheels right.
Having never baked anything like this before, I did a test run and I’m so glad I did as I learned so much – honestly, although not perfect, this cake is so many times better for it, even in taste.
This was just a simple vanilla sponge cake filled with blueberry jam and blue-coloured buttercream icing.
This is only my second time ever putting fondant on a cake (after the test run), and I will let you in on something – I just read tips on how to do it rather than watch a video and totally misunderstood the whole rolling pin thing, I thought you picked one part of the rolled out fondant with the rolling pin and the other part in your hand so you could place it on in some sort of big sheet lol 🙈🙈🙈🙈
I’d learned the proper rolling pin method by my second go though lol, and was super happy with the result, this is Renshaw Duck Egg Blue Ready-to-Roll Icing, the blue cake board is from Hobbycraft if you’re wondering.
I’d read up about dowelling to give support so used so straws but had actually no idea what I was doing, as experienced bakers might tell you, I just put them across the area where the second cake would sit.
I hand-rolled some white fondant for the name – I much prefer handmade rather than using cutters, even if the result isn’t totally perfect, it’s just more personality – and also added some Disney-eque stars for a magical touch ✨ 😊
This is absolutely the best chocolate cake I’ve EVER made so I’m going to give the recipe it’s own page and will edit to add that when I do.
I used the same vanilla sponge mix for the middle tier and added a touch of the blue gel colouring.
The outer icing though – this is something I absolutely don’t recommend and wish I hadn’t used.
I saw Dr. Oterker ready rolled icing in Tesco while planning this cake and bought it, thinking it would save time and give the cake a better finish…I was so wrong, and this just caused problems that I had to try and hide.
It’s already wrapped round a spool so you basically just have to place it over your cake like you would do with fondant over a rolling pin – sounds great huh? – The problem is, it’s been wrapped like that in the store for so long, it’s picked up crease marks and when you put it on you can see them all, just like when you put a new duvet on a bed straight out the packet without having ironed it – you see all those fold lines.
I WISH I had managed to take a pic how it looked to show you all (I was super stressed and pushed for time by this point lol so all pic taking went out til the cake was ready). The only way I think I could have fixed it was to roll – but doesn’t that defeat the purpose – the icing as you can see in the pic was already thin – any rolling would have probably caused some rips or tears.
On top of that, there was also a kinda wet, strange feel to it 😖 I tried to sort of smooth the creases out – packaging says nothing about expecting these btw – then took some edible lustre spray and sprayed all over the white layer to try and detract lol.
If you’re some one who read and got through this whole post (over 1000 words!), I think I could hug you, lets be friends 🤗! Lol
Bottom Line Is – Practice Pays off. Adding coffee to chocolate cake really DOES enhance the taste and doesn’t taste like coffee. Honestly DO try this chocolate cake recipe. And honestly DONT waste your cakes with ready-rolled icing.