Tales from kitchen and cellar

Posts Tagged ‘icing’

Autumn Leaf Cake

In Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on November 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Autumn Leaf Cake












Here is a recent cake I made that was inspired by the falling autumn leaves. It was a time consuming cake but not difficult.

Make yourself a chocolate cake, there are enough recipes out there to suit you and coat the cake in two layers of chocolate buttercream. I made a chocolate ganache buttercream on this occasion.

You do need to buy fondant icing in at least two colours, here I chose pumpkin orange and caramel brown. You will also need some leaf cutters in at least three different shapes.

I used oak, maple and ash I believe!

Warm your fondant icing in your hand and kneed until pliable. You can then roll out a little sausage shaped length in two colours and twist together. Roll out to a good pound thickness and cut out your leaves. Do this in small batches so you get a range of marbled leaf shapes.

Leave to harden over a curved surface such as a rolling pin or wine bottle, leave some to dry flat.

When the leaves harden arrange at the base of the cake pushing into the icing to neaten the edge and in a pile on the top.




Dotty About Cake

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on June 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm


Celebration Cake

Cakes are a firm favourite of mine whether they’re to eat, bake, decorate or share. This cake is no exception. When a friend asked me to bake a cake to celebrate her ten year wedding anniversary I was, of course thrilled. With little direction except “fresh flowers please!” I was excited but nervous about creating the right cake.

Thankfully this one went down a treat. The lemon drizzle and lemon curd buttercream was rich, sharp, sweet and tangy and was enjoyed by all.

I covered the cake in two layers of buttercream chilling between each layer before I covered it in ivory sugar fondant. I left to set overnight before spraying with gold food spray a number of times to ensure a golden, glittery sheen.

I picked roses from the garden mixed with some shop bought and they were kept moist in a little soaked oasis planted in a jam jar lid.

The spots on the cake were made from three different pastel fondants which I thought would complement both the cake and the flowers. I cut them out in three different sizes and stuck on with a little vodka.

I was tempted to spray again with a little gold but I liked the juxtaposition of the matt spots against the sheen of the cake.

I rested the flowers on top and added an ivory ribbon at the base secured with a pin, and that was it!

Ready to eat….


Birthday Cake Celebrations

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, drink, food, Food and Drink on May 31, 2012 at 8:45 am









Birthday Cake

Today I am showcasing a recent cake I made for a 60th Birthday. It’s a little more fun to look at and I had a great time making it. I tried to make it funny and light hearted as the birthday girl in question is exactly that.

I tried to tie in her home sofa, a place she likes to relax and with what better celebratory drink than a glass of champagne.

I made a basic lemon sponge with all the fillings that I have showcased here before. Once again I coated the cake in two layers of lemon curd buttercream and then iced with white fondant. A little shimmer of silver spray glitter, gave the cake a pearlescent sheen. Everything on this cake was edible except the champagne glass which was made of plastic

I cut out triangles of bunting from fondant paste and dotted a little blue icing between each to give the impression of the string that would be used to hold it up. I was keen for the bunting to hang in different lengths around the cake to give a more relaxed feel.

The figure and sofa itself was made in two stages. I made the sofa out of 6 parts. 2 parts for the underneath I shaped as pillows and stacked on top of each other. This website teaches you how…I made a rug out of a little blue fondant and one of my shaping tools gave it a fringed effect.

For the figurine I rolled out a tube for the legs which I folded in the middle. A body was mad out of white icing with two balls of icing for the feminine form! I made two flesh coloured arms and attached them to the body frame.

I then rolled out a little blue icing and rolled out a few small strips of white icing. I rolled the white into the blue to form a stripy top. This I then draped over the icing torso, and trimmed to make it look like a top.

At this stage I was pretty happy, the head proved more challenging and in truth I did many different versions. I added a little red food dust that you can buy from cake shops for blusher. I made little white balls which I pushed into the eye sockets using a small ball shaped icing tool. A little blue food pen was used for the iris’s and black for the eyelashes.

Her wedge shoes with toes were simply made with a little blue fondant and a little flesh colour to show her toes.

I worked off a photograph to get the hair effect. I mixed a little yellow with a little liquorice food colouring, I added a little mexican sugar paste to the mixture that ensured that it would set hard and not flop at the ends. Using a knife I made cuts into the hair for effect.

A little blue bracelet was added to reduce the obvious join between hand and arm. I used spaghetti (uncooked) through the torso which stuck out a little to attach the head.

Finally a little lemon jelly was made to fill the champagne glass, which I syringed into the glass and left to set in the fridge. Green fondant icing was used for the bottle together with a mexican paste label that I wrote on using a food colouring pen.

I mixed a little fondant with vodka to make a paste and set the sofa on the cake before icing Happy Birthday.

In hindsight I should have used a dowling road through the sofa and the cake so that the figurine didn’t collapse into the cake, which after a 5 hour car journey it sadly did!

Luscious Lemon Cake Part 3…The Final Slice

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on May 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

The End…

Luscious Lemon Cake Part 2

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on May 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Birthday Cake

So  here it is, a 70th Birthday cake fit for a man who doesn’t want a cake with numbers that draw attention to his age! I was making this late into the night but I think it has been worth the hard work. Well I hope he and you think so?!

Here’s how I made it:

I covered the cake (as prepared in Luscious Lemon Cake Part 1)  in cream fondant icing:

Then I sprayed the cake with edible gold dust. I bought some navy fondant and cut out one and a half inch wide ribbon bands. I dabbed them with a little vodka to stick to the cake. I then made little loops out of the fondant and set them to dry on a broom handle (sterilised). Once these had firmed up I layered them on top to form a ribbon effect. I  let the first tier of ribbons firm up before I added the second tier of loops, 8 in total, plus a mini loop for the centre.

Whilst my loops were setting I made some little dots for the cake out of the navy and some navy fondant mixed with a little cream fondant to make two different tones for the cake, dark and light blue. I then dabbed each dot with a little vodka and stuck them to the cake. I even added some to the finished ribbon centre piece.

Finally I sprayed the whole cake with more gold to give it a midnight shimmer and then added a little cream ribbon at the base secured with cream pins to give it a polished look.

And that’s it, a little patience and time is needed though, here’s  hoping the Birthday boy likes it too!

Celebration Cup Cakes with Vanilla Buttercream mmmmm…

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on April 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

Fabulous Fairy Cakes or Cup Cakes

Today I have showcased the very popular cup cake or if you’re English and feeling nostalgic the fairy cake. It’s to celebrate a lovely honour that a fellow blogger has bestowed on this site. With many thanks to We Eat Things who have named Tales from Kitchen and Cellar Blog of the Month. I’m thrilled by the feedback and so to say thank you one of my cup cakes is winging its way virtualy to We Eat Things as a thank you! Check out their site, beautiful and full of great information I particularly liked their pithy take on the pros and cons of coffee. So, with that said let’s get down to some cup cake business!

These cakes are easy to prepare just make sure your butter is softened fully before you start. The humble cup cake is a great home baked treat and so much better than those bought in a supermarket and what’s more they are cheap and pretty too…


  • 100g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2  eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
  • 75g butter
  • 175g icing sugar, sifted


Makes 12 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to  180c Gas Mark 4. Place cup cake cases into a muffin tray

Using an electric whisk or food processor or wooden beat the butter and sugar until very light, pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before adding the next. Add the vanilla essence. Carefully fold in the flour and if using the baking powder.

Using two spoons dollop the mixture into the pre prepared muffin tray and place in the oven for 10 – 20 minutes. Check after 10 minutes with a skewer try not to overcook the cakes or they will be very dry.

When baked leave to cool on a wire rack.

Make the vanilla butter icing

Using an electric whisk or food processor beat the butter until very soft.

Gradually add the sifted icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence and beat into the butter until you have a smooth paste. When the cakes are cool, using a palette knife place the buttercream on top of the cake  swipe into a swirl. Decorate with whatever sugary treats you like.


Spring Wedding Cake

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on April 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Dotty about Dots

As some might have gathered I am rather partial to the sugar arts so it was my great privilege to make this spring time wedding cake which played a part in celebrating the happy couple’s special day. If you’d like to know how the design came about and how the cake was made then read on…

I was lucky enough to have pretty much free rein on the design and so decided on a three tier cake. The base, ten inches in diameter was a rich fruit cake fed for a month with a tablespoon of brandy each day. It was what I call a hiccup cake or boozy to some!

The happy couple wanted chocolate to feature so the middle eight inch tier was a rich chocolate fudge cake filled with chocolate ganache.

The top tier was a six inch lemon drizzle cake with lemon curd buttercream filling. My personal favourite and made extra special as the smallest of the tiers made it the most sought after when it came to handing out the cut up cake.

The decoration was simple, each tier was covered with marzipan and finally white fondant icing. A good tip is to work quickly with fondant icing, and roll out in the morning. The warmer the day becomes the more it’s prone to crack and split.

The bottom two tiers were strengthened with four dowling rods and the cakes glued together with sugar paste softened to make a glue with a little vodka.

Pink ribbon matched the beautiful flowers hand tied by the brides mother and the baby’s breath made a welcome addition of nature to the top and bottom of the cake.

As for the dots, small ones were cut out for the top tier which increased in size to the bottom tier. The bride felt this added a little bit of fun to a formal cake and I like to think lifted the cake to extra special.

I loved making this cake and seeing it in the old barn setting of the wedding venue brought it to life. I hope you like it too, if so there will be more cakes to come…