Yay! It was Krystle’s 31st birthday 25 March and she got a cake! We seriously hardly ever get any form of cake to ourselves, which sounds crazy given what we do for a living right? For the past two years, however, we have been so busy that we’ve not had the time to create a birthday cake for Krystle’s big day. This year, however, we managed it. Isn’t it a beauty too? Read on to find out more about our cute little bee studded creation!
Navy and blush peony cake with gilded bees!
This cake didn’t take long to design. A few inspirations behind it included Ralph Lauren‘s classic navy, white and gold colour palette and Alex Monroe‘s stunning nature inspired jewellery. Both of which we happen to own a lot of (uh oh). Krystle has always had an obsession with bees so that was a definite starting point too. Plus, we’ve discussed on and off creating a design that was covered with golden painted bees and bugs disappearing underneath heavy florals. In the end all of the elements for the cake, cupcakes and cookies fell together.
The matching cupcakes were super cute! They’re all Madagascan vanilla cake filled with Sicilian lemon curd and lemon oil infused buttercream. Each one was flat iced with blush or navy blue fondant / sugar paste before the details were added on top! We crafted ‘mini’ pale pink peonies with fluffy stamens and golden pistol centres to attach onto the blue iced cupcakes. The blush covered ones featured lots of small gilded bees!
Note: For adding wire florals into cake Safety Seal is amazing. It coats and seals all inedible items with a food safe wax. Yay! No picks in sight!
The hand-crafted sugar florals on the cake include… pink open peonies, white gardenias, fondant blackberries, blueberries, eucalyptus sprigs, emerald green peony leaves and pale grey berries!
Last but not least, the flavour inside was… Peanut butter Twix! Yup. Our chocolate cake filled with salted caramel sauce, chopped Twix bar pieces and a marbled peanut butter and Belgian milk chocolate buttercream then smothered with a Belgian dark chocolate ganache before being iced.
There’s now just 2 weeks until Christmas everyone. Two weeks. 14 days! Crazy right? It doesn’t feel too long ago that our 100 days countdown began (yes we do that). Anyway, we’ve had some fun festive recipes and tutorials on our blog so we thought we’d create a quick round up of our favourite and most popular ones. We’re not done yet though. Oh no. There are still two more weeks after all… we’ve got a few more little things up our sleeves!
Our top 5 Christmas recipes and tutorials
01: Have a cute Christmas!
Make your own Candyland themed Christmas dessert table with the help of our adorable gingerbread character tutorial! You can create this little cutie to add to buttercream swirled cupcakes, or iced cakes. A few of these would even be great added to a gingerbread house or village. Want to create your own sweet little gingerbread character? Check out our tutorial!
02: Homemade luxury!
Adding a little extra oomph to hot cocoas or seasonal coffees doesn’t have to mean a splash or several of festive liquor. Whip up some homemade vanilla marshmallows with our easy recipe, pile them on top and wait for them to melt a little. It is amazing! You can fancy it up too with whipped cream, sparklers and even edible gold leaf!
03: Make it a-DEER-able!
Invite a few reindeer to the Christmas party! We created one a-deer-able (sorry) tutorial for a little fondant reindeer cupcake or cake topper. We love the golden antlers and of course the finishing touch of the tiny bow and fondant bell! Create eight, nestle them on top of a buttercream cake with a golden picket fence to create Santa’s reindeer enclosure. It’s bound to be an instant hit during the party season!
04: Everyone loves a classic!
Of course offering up the traditional gingerbread cookie ever Christmas is going to be a crowd pleaser. We love making them so this year we’ve posted up our go-to gingerbread cookie recipe! We’ve tried lots of different recipes and methods over the years, but this one was by far our favourite. We like our gingerbread fairly dark and with a good amount of spice so it was perfect for us. It’s also one of the best recipes for sturdy gingerbread houses too!
05: Everyone also loves a little twist…
Christmas is definitely cookie season. For anyone who doesn’t whip up trays upon trays of cookies on a regular basis a drawer full of cookie cutters may not exist in their kitchen. With this in mind we thought of putting together a cool recipe and tutorial on candy cane cookies that don’t need a cutter! Check out our Candy Cake Twist Cookie recipe here!
One of our main childhood memories of Halloween (apart from the candy coma that mysteriously afflicted us on the hazy mornings of November 1st every year… how strange) is getting our candy buckets ready for the big night! Last year we created a cake version of this Halloween accessory, but we thought that this year a smaller and quicker Jack O’Lantern cupcake tutorial would be perfect for everyone to re-create! PLUS, how amazing would all those mini versions of everyone’s favourite sweet treats look spilling out of this beauty? Check out our tutorial below for a freakishly fun time!
01: The first step of this Jack O’Lantern cupcake tutorial is to flat ice your cupcake. Begin by smothering a little buttercream on top of your cupcake. You only need to use a small amount for the fondant / sugar paste to stick. If you add too much you’ll end up having buttercream squishing out from underneath.
02: Roll out white fondant / sugar paste to a thickness of around 4-5mm and cut out enough white circles to ice the amount of cupcakes you have. Lay the circles on top of your cupcakes and carefully smooth and flatten the fondant / sugar paste to the edges.
03: Repeat step 02 for the orange fondant / sugar paste circles. Make sure to attach the orange onto the white fondant / sugar paste layer with a little bit of edible glue.
04: Add in a pumpkin-like texture or lines to your cupcakes by lightly using a blade or veining tool to scour vertical lines around the sides of the iced cupcake.
05: To add the facial features roll out some black fondant / sugar paste and with a small sharp knife cut out whatever features you want your cupcakes to have! A fun idea is to give each cupcake it’s own personality. Attach with a dab of edible glue.
06: To create a crevice for your candy pieces take your large round cupcake piping tip and gently core the middle of your cupcake. Twist the tip down the middle top of each cupcake and core halfway down before removing the piece of cake and fondant.
07: Now you can add your candy and lollies into the centre of your cupcakes!
Arrange all your super ghoul Jack O’Lantern cupcakes on cake stands strewn with fake cobwebs, meringue ghosts and sticky caramel apples for one fang-tastic Halloween dessert table!
We LOVE Halloween (to be honest though we love every single darn thing about this season). There’s a lot of things to love about the spooky holiday. Horror-movie marathons, The Walking Dead returning back to our screens, pumpkin spice anything, blustery weather, longer dark nights, creepy urban legends, crazy costumes and an injection of super cute versions of ‘ghoulish’ characters. This is where our little fondant bat friend comes in (we named her Nora… if you’re British and perhaps of a certain age range then this might make you chuckle). We thought it’d be cool to put together an effective, but pretty easy to create fondant bat tutorial. Honestly, we made this little lady in around 40 mins (and that was with extra pieces to shoot the steps with). One of the pluses is that her wings fold in around her (is it cold where we are after all) so there’s no need to panic about how to make them support themselves or stretch outwards delicately. Oh yes and those cute little fangs…
01: The first step in our fondant bat tutorial is to roll a ball of the lighter lavender fondant / sugar paste. This is going to form your little bat’s head so make sure that it’s a size you like. For cute characters it helps to make the head a bit larger than the body so keep this in mind.
Keep rolling if you find cracks or creases appearing in the fondant as the heat and friction from your hands will help smooth these over. If they’re not budging squish and re-mould the ball shape before rolling it around in your hands.
02: Take a small amount of the darker purple fondant / sugar paste and form this into a ball. Find the centre of your bat’s head and attach the snout a little higher up with a dab of edible glue.
03: With the sharp end of a cocktail stick create your bat’s little nostrils parallel to each other in the centre of the snout.
04: Indent eye sockets with a small ball tool and add in black sugar pearls for the eyes with a tiny amount of edible glue and a paintbrush.
When it comes to adding tiny details, using minimal dabs of edible glue or even securing miniature accents in place we use nail art brushes. They’re slim, small and can reach into some hard to get places. Make sure they’re brand new, however, and haven’t been used on nails!
05: For the little smile use the curved side of a thin veining tool to smoothly etch it in place.
06: To form the body roll some fondant into a chubby teardrop-like shape. Flatten the top tapered bit so that your little bat’s head will fit on nicely. Now carefully skewer the body with a cocktail stick. You can also use an uncooked spaghetti stick instead if you like. Make sure that you trim the stick down so that it doesn’t end up coming out through the top of your bat’s head.
07: Now add the bat’s head onto the body. Make sure that the cocktail stick had gone into the base of the head centrally or your bat won’t be stable and may end up leaning or falling over.
08: You can now add some cute details such as the blushing cheeks, tiny fangs and cute pointed ears! To blush we gradually brushed on pale pink petal dust in a small circular motion.
When it comes to either colouring fondant / sugar paste or dusting colour on always start small and add a little more colour each time. It’s easier to add colour than remove it!
09: For the fangs cut 2 tiny triangles of white fondant and attach at the ends of the bat’s smile with the tiniest dot of edible glue.
10: To add the ears take two small balls of the darker purple fondant and form into tapered tear drops. Now stick each in place carefully with edible glue.
11: Now for the wings! These are ridiculously easy. Roll out some of the darker purple fondant/ sugar paste. A thickness of around 3mm is good. Cut out a circle from the fondant with a round cookie or pastry cutter. The circle should be around the same size of your bat’s body.
12: Slice the circle into two halves and add the webbed look cut away pieces of the curved edge using the larger end of a small piping tip (the end of ours was around 1cm in diameter).
13: Taking one half wing at a time wrap them around your bat’s body. Begin with the edge of a circle at the centre of it’s back and wind it around to the bottom part of the front. You should be working with the completely straight cut edge of the wings facing upwards towards your little bat’s head.
Yay! Now you can add your utterly adorable fondant bat to whatever cupcakes or cakes you like ready for one amazing Halloween party. We really like the idea of lots of them all covering the top of a simply iced cake. They’d even look great nestled onto a naked cake to add a spooky but sweet theme to an All Hallow’s Eve dessert table.
Looks impressive, oh so fashionable and possibly quite hard doesn’t it? Sssh! Don’t tell anyone, but this effect is actually pretty easy to achieve. The secret (apart from having one damn steady hand and a bit of patience) is in the planning. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get a fluid word painted out in one movement because that’s not the way to do this when it comes to writing/painting on an edible surface.
Why not keep up to date and get some font inspiration from on-trend Pinterest accounts, fashionable stationary sets, stylish website designs etc for your next cake design? There are so many gorgeous handwritten style fonts as well as sleek typefaces to choose from! Heck, if you’ve got some fancy handwriting then put that to use and paint sweet messages onto freshly baked and filled macarons, fondant cupcake toppers or even cute cookies!
Happy cake-lligraphing! OK so that’s not a real word, but portmanteaus are always fun to make up right?