Beautiful wedding cakes, cupcakes and favours from Baby Cakes of Bath

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Baby Cakes blog

Baking tips, news and inspiration,
straight from my kitchen.

Peach and ivory roses wedding cake

I loved making today’s wedding cake at the Macdonal Bath Spa Hotel! An ivory cake, very simple, dressed up with a cascade of peach and ivory wired roses and white hydrangeas. The cake flowers were designed to match the gorgeous fresh flowers by Passion. (I hear those guys have a new website coming soon, so watch that space.)

And now, without further ado, allow me to introduce the flavours! Here comes the top tier, in rich dark chocolate with lashings of chocolate buttercream. Well, hello there, middle tier, one, two, three times a lady in seductive in zesty lemon with lemon syrup and lemon buttercream! And, last but not least, tipsy Tirami-su with coffee syrup and Marsala buttercream.

Congratulations Christabel and Gary! I hope you have a fabulous day.

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Dessert table: Birds! Hearts! Flowers!

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This was a JOY to make. The bride, Lauren, a creative type herself, already had a lovely theme worked out: a lot of pastel colours with a cute red ‘pop’ here and there, and more than a touch of Kath Kidston. So, yes, I was happy from the start! Lauren was going to make her own cupcakes and a lot of other nice touches. All I had to do was come up with the cake, iced cookies and cookie pops. So, we thought… birds would be a good place to start… birds with hearts:

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And if we’re going to have bird cookies, we need some bird cookies on a stick. These are decorated the same way: roll out icing with royal icing details… I like this way of displaying them in little glass vases with just plain ‘ol white granulated sugar poured into the bottom to help them stand up.

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And on to the main cake. We need pale blue. Pale blue gingham, yo. (It’s not often that ‘gingham’ is combined with ‘yo’ in a sentence. I am typing this now while my son sleeps — I won’t be able to get away with this kind of behaviour for much longer.)

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Lauren has her own Etsy store, Pippa and Coco, which is full of lovely things and you should definitely rifle through when you have a moment. I have my heart set on one of these pompom garlands, so I’ll be making a purchase as soon as I can find an excuse. ‘Early May Bank Holiday tea party?’ tappity-tap-tap-tap (that’s the sound of Paypal login details being punched in).

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Thanks for looking! I hope you like what you see! xx

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Simple Easter Bunny Cake Toppers How To

Hi-Hi! How about a great little Easter holiday activity for you to make with the children? Easter Bunny cake toppers to sit pretty on top of your cheee-ock-late cake!

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Believe me they are SUPER easy. All you need are the following: sugar paste coloured with the tiniest smidge of pastel colouring, one food safe pen, one pair of scissors — smallish ones will be easiest to handle. (Pale green sprinkles are also useful, but they didn’t make it into the picture.)

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So, by ‘sugar paste’ I mean ‘ready to roll’ icing. That’s what the supermarkets call it and they sell it in a block. So, take a pinch of sugar paste and roll it into a ball. It doesn’t matter how big it is, but you might want to get them all the same size. I wanted my work surface to look all nice and tidy in the pictures, but it really helps if you chuck a bit of icing sugar around first. That sugar paste is sticky and the icing sugar really helps take some of the tackiness out of it. Here is a picture of the ball…

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Now, slightly push down and roll one side of the ball so you get a lil’ point. Like so

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Take your little scissors and make two snips. One on either side of the pointy end. La

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Perkif-y ears with fingers until happy. And then reach for your food safe pen and draw on some eyes… PICTURE!

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Done! All you need to do then is REPEAT  in a variety of Eastery colours. Sprinkle pale green sprinkles around the edge of the cake first and then place bunnies on the top in a pretty circular pattern.

If, like me, you don’t have any pale green sprinkles, you can make your own. Take some white sprinkles and shake up and down in a little tub with some green food colouring powder ’til you get the shade of green you want.

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Enjoy! And have a wonderful Easter!  xx

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All-in-one Reduced-Guilt Lunchbox Cake!

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Cake is pretty much a permanent fixture in our house, which means we have to be careful to remember that it is a Special Occasion sort of food, not an Everyday Snacking sort of food! So, I’m going to share with you my recipe which I call have catchily entitled ‘All-in-one Reduced-Guilt Lunchbox Cake’ which brings cake nearly into the realms of a ‘once-a-day’ treat or snack.

It’s sweet, soft and aromatically spicy, but not overwhelmingly so, and a small piece in each kid’s lunchbox provides a really good cakey fix. Ok, a superfood it isn’t, but it is genuinely delicious, contains half the sugar of a lot of normal cake recipes (in fact way more than half the sugar of *some* cake recipes) and the wholemeal flour is included for fibre but gives it great texture – don’t forget the extra baking powder which keeps it light. Also no artificial preservatives, colourings, added salt or general unknowns which I consider to be a big plus. And finally, it’s easy.

Before we go any further, a word on Xylitol*. This is a naturally occurring sweetener I recently discovered which bakes up like a demon (the good kind, if that’s possible) and is actually good for teeth. Unfortunately we are going to combine it with some SUGAR, so… yeah, don’t go brushing your teeth with it any time soon.

If you are uncomfortable with using Xylitol, you could try replacing it with honey. Hmmmm. MmmMMmmm. Yummm. Or just substitute entirely for brown sugar.

This mixture works well in a 15cm round tin. If you are the kind that believes that cake needs icing like chips need ketchup, then mix up some Philadelphia Lightest with a little icing sugar (to taste) a smidge of vanilla paste, spread all over the top and cover with chopped up strawberries. Hoooo…

Ingredients
3 free-range eggs
50g soft brown sugar
1tbs runny honey
1bs dark treacle
100g Xylitol
180g butter or margarine
90g self-raising flour
90g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 handfuls of sultanas
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinammon
1 tsp vanilla paste

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.
2. Tip all ingredients apart from the sultanas into a mixer and slowly bring together. When it’s all nice and smooth, tip in the sultanas and mix again briefly.
3. Pour into a lined 15cm deep cake tin.
4. Bake for 25 minutes, turn and bake for another 25 minutes.
5. The cake is done when it springs back when poked in the centre. You might need to give it a little longer.

Try to wait until it’s cool before digging in. We didn’t manage to…

Enjoy!

xx

*I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I didn’t tell you that dogs are SEVERELY allergic to Xylitol, so make sure Poochie doesn’t sneak a slice!


Yes! You CAN have a pretty gluten-free birthday cake!

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… and I’m going to show you how!

This cake is a proper birthday cake: layers of Victoria sponge with buttercream and raspberry jam. And all totally gluten-free.

I use Doves Farm gluten-free flour because to my mind nothing beats it. What you end up with is a real cake: perfectly light sponge with golden crispy edges — hoo boy (They didn’t pay me to say that either!)

Also, a quick word about mixing. A hand-held mixer or counter-top mixer is best for this recipe, but determination and a wooden spoon will see you through if you are suitably determined and own GUNS  of STEEL. (That’s guns, ‘GUNS’. With a ‘g’. Let’s move on…)

So, for the sponge you will need:

5 free-range eggs

300g softened butter

300g caster sugar

300g gluten-free self-raising flour

…and for the icing:

80g butter

300g icing sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees centigrade or 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until smooth and starting to look a little paler.

3. Carry on mixing and add the eggs a little bit at a time.

4. No need to sieve the flour, just dump it right in and carry on mixing. Now… it is worth taking a little bit more time here to make sure all the flour is mixed in. If you are using a counter-top mixer take time out to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then start up the mixer again to make sure  you haven’t left any pockets of flour unmixed.

5. When you have a smooth, lump-free mixture, divide it equally between two tins (I used 18 cm diameter tins)

6. Place in the centre of the oven and set the timer for twenty minutes. The cakes won’t be done by then, but it is a good time to check on them to make sure they are rising evenly. If they are rising more on one side than the other, give them a 180-degree turn and shut the door quickly.

7. Set the timer for a further 15 minutes and keep checking back until the sponges are golden brown and spring back when given a gentle thumbprint in the centre.

8. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack to cool

While they are cooling you can get started on the icing. Now it’s worth mentioning at this stage that the softer you can get your butter without it melting all over your work surface the better. I blast my butter on medium for pulses of 5 seconds in the microwave. But keep an eagle eye on it because it can go from house brick to molten lava in the blink of an eye. So here we go, mix softened butter with icing sugar until … buttercream.

9. Spread a generous dollop of buttercream on one of the two cakes, spread jam on one side of the other and sandwich together. You want to make sure that the flat side or ‘bottom’ of one of the cakes is facing up presenting a nice flat top.

10. Then, preferably with a palette knife or non-serrated table knife, smoosh some buttercream into the join between the two cakes. Try to get this as smooth as you possibly can all around the sides of the cake.

11. Place in the fridge to harden up for a few hours.

Now it’s time to DECORATE! While the cake is in the fridge, mix your sugarpaste. For a cake of this size you will need about 500g. This you can buy in any supermarket and colour it by kneading in food colouring of your choice. Mine? Edable Arts kingfisher blue. Just a smidge.

12. Take your chilled cake out of the fridge and brush it all over with water.

13. Roll out your sugarpaste to a thickness of about 4 to 5mm and drape over the cake. Using a smoother (or your hands) smooth the icing with a polishing motion until you are happy. Time for a picture of my cake at this stage:

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Leave the cake to settle for a while. There is a chance that air bubbles might appear, just prick them with a sharp knife and smooth over with the icing smoother.

14. Now, it’s time to think about the bow. (You can do this days in advance if you want to.) Roll out the flower paste to the thickness of about 2mm and cut into two large long rectangles, about 10cm long by about 3cm wide. Make little concertina-style folds in the short (3cm ends) and squish together with your fingers. Then, loop the rectangle over and squish the ends together. (Gah! I’m describing this totally badly — time for another picture):

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I inserted my non-stick rolling pin (thank you Tala)  into the loop to stop it from collapsing.

15. Go back to your beautifully covered cake and inspect all over for those pesky air bubbles. (It’s not you, they always do that…)

16. Carefully remove your bow loops from the rolling pin and position on the cake. When you are happy with where they are sitting, brush underneath them with a little bit of water to stick them down. Put a little bit of scrunched up cling film under the bows to pad them out and stop them flopping. You can take them out when they are dry.

17. If you want a stripey bow, take some of your sugar paste and colour it up. Then roll out to as thin as you can get, and cut very thin strips. (I use a non-serrated carving knife for this. Technical. I know.) Then paint a tiny amount of water onto the bow where you want the stripe to go and lift on the strip and stick it into position. PICTURE!

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Oh, I had already sneaked on some more flower paste to cover up the join between the loops, and an extra bit to suggest the tail-end bits of the bow. More cling film added for ‘body’!

18. Now the sides of the cake need some attention. This is a good idea because it looks pretty, but also good for covering up bulges, etc. Here is an idea for a cute little pattern (I am tooting my own horn. Sorry to toot.) This is done with a cookie cutter:

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Which looks brutal and terrifying when you are doing it — but don’t panic, because we are going to pipe tiny little dots of royal icing all around the edges of the circle…

19. So, er… we pipe little dots of royal icing around the circle and afterwards you will hardly know what is going on underneath. Yes, yes, it’s true, see for yourself:

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Aah! See? And now we need a little colour, yes? So a tiny red heart in the centre of each:

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Awwrr, my numbering systems is up and leaving me, but the show must go on…

…20.  And that red would also look nice along the base and on top for the name:

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21, 22, 23 And you can see that I used a little extra black to put a stripe or two on the joining bit of the bow and the taily bits of the bow and also on the base board. (This is just a cake drum with black sugar paste rolled over the top with my fabulous Tala non-stick rolling pin.)

 

Ta-dah-hdahduddlyda-dah-DAH DAAAH! So there we have it! Pretty Gluten-free birthday cake.

Thank you for looking. I really hope your gluten-free baking works out well.