Polka dot cake

Cake idea

What a year it’s been!  To celebrate my daughter, Scarlett, turning a whole one year old, I thought I might make a cake for her birthday tea party.  Fine.  Then I started looking to Pinterest for a little inspiration.  This is where it all blew up, because there are some AWESOME cakes out there!  Up to now, my nephew’s Spiderman cake of ’12 was by far the best cake I’d made, and I really, really did not know what I was doing.  Yeah, I can bake a cake, but I really have little clue when it comes to icing and decorating.

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I drew out the little doodle above after all of my Pinterest madness.  My bird actually ended up looking pretty much exactly like this!  Yes, it looks a bit like a duck.  As well as all the amazing cakes, I was inspired by the polka dot birds hanging in her room.

Luckily for me, I have a bona fide cake expert in my friend Lenka, who creates beautiful and yummy delights (check out her facebook page!) – she made Scarlett’s Christening cake.  She repeatedly set me on the right track.

A week before Scarlett’s birthday, Lenka dropped into conversation that I needed to be making the decorations for the cake so that they’d dry in time.  Cue panic stations!  To combat said panic, Lenka provided me with:

  • 2 x 12″ cake tins
  • 2 sets of letters to spell out Scarlett
  • The number 1
  • The top of a piping bag to stamp out polka dots
  • A cake smoother.  I’ll get to this, it’s BRILLIANT!

So, if Lenka hadn’t been involved, I would have pretty much had a plain cake, with whatever Tesco’s Dr Oetker display had to offer thrown at it.

Cake decorations 1A week before the big day, I baked four cakes.  Yes, you read that right.  I had a dream of a graduating pink creation.  We’ll brush straight past that one, because it didn’t work.  I didn’t put enough food colouring in.  I then stacked the cakes in colour order (I was still crossing my fingers at that point) and froze them.  With Barry’s family coming to stay, I thought I wouldn’t have time to bake, ice, and decorate a cake as well as clean, etc.

The following day, I started making the decorations in two shades of pink.  Here are the polka dots, along with birds, letters, numbers and I iced the cake board for good measure.

Cake decorations 2For the birds, I drew around the ones in her room onto greaseproof paper and cut them out to draw around.  I made so many decorations because I thought some may crack and break, which they did.  I do wish I’d had a bit more patience with the letter R, because it was very stubborn and ended up looking, erm, full of character.  My friend Jemima said I’m not allowed to say it was crap.

I then waited a week to put it all together, but I won’t make you wait that long…

With great power there must also come great responsibility

As promised, I have now completed my nephew’s Spiderman cake!  It’s not perfect, but I’ve had a good crack at it.

I baked two cakes on Thursday night, and was really stressing because neither of them had risen properly, and we’ve somehow got these stupid cake tins with bobbly bottoms that ruin the underside of your cake when you try and take them out.  Solution: put these two cakes together to form a supercake!

I made buttercream and put this and jam betwixt the two and then followed the video I mentioned before.  I’ve had an issue with the black bleeding a little bit, but I think the only thing I could have done to stop that would be to wait for the red to dry completely, but I don’t have time to do that unfortunately (and didn’t know at the time).

Anyway, here’s photos along the way…

Cake

Nothing like sticking with a theme, but superheroes seem to be in at our house. I’ve promised my brother that I’ll have a go at making a Spiderman cake for my nephew Sonny’s 5th birthday in a couple of weeks’ time. Sonny absolutely loves Spiderman and dresses in his little Spiderman outfit whenever he can.

I had a search online and found a few different Spiderman cakes with various designs. I found one I liked, and even though I’ll be seriously stretching my icing skills, if I can pull it off, it will look brilliant! I think I’ve been bolstered by the boot tops – I’ve somehow got the impression that enthusiasm and will can overcome lack of skill or knowledge.

At least this one has a step-by-step on YouTube.  I’ve already bought the icing and the food colouring, just need to get a paintbrush and some toothpicks (seriously).

His birthday’s in a couple of weeks, so I’ll put up a photo of the result, whether it’s worthy or not.