Archive for the ‘cake decorating’ Category

Our little Leapling grandson had his first but really his fourth birthday yesterday. Since one of his favoured books at the moment is ‘The Dragon Hunters’ by James Russell, it seemed like a good idea to recreate ‘Big Red’ as a birthday cake. With a few hiccups along the way and looking a bit battered by the time he spent in transit, here is… Big Red, the dragon!

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Big Red still has the broken rope around his tail!

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3 cakes to be stacked, crumb coated and ready

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Marshmallow and rice bubble head and tail

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Pebble and fondant eyes

Ari cake 01

Wings hardened for two days

Ari cake 02

Crushed boiled lollies melted in the oven

Ari cake 03

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Tiger Cake

For Eli’s eighth birthday cake, this year he chose to have a tiger which was a very cool challenge! To give the face shape I used crushed rice bubbles and melted marshmallows to sculpt the ears, brow and nose area. I had to put them back in the microwave a few seconds to soften and resculpt several times. Everything was then covered in a thin coat of buttercream and the orange, white and black fondant gave the detailing. Fortunately the stripes and tail covered up most of the folds and creases I made in the orange fondant when trying to handle such a huge piece of fondant. Anyhoo, Eli was happy on the day and that’s the main thing 🙂


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Gymnastics is a happy part of Lydia’s life at the moment so it seemed like a fun idea to make an appropriate cake topper for her 6th birthday. I wanted to use a medium that would dry hard and keep it’s shape. If only the gum paste had lived up to my optimistic expectations! It dried hard, but also seemed dry, hard to work with and cracked like crazy. The only thing I had on hand was vegetable shortening which kind of worked to make it more pliable, it wasn’t wonderful but was better. Anyhoo, next time I might try modelling paste, apparently it doesn’t dry out as fast.

The rainbow sponge cake went better. Gel colours gave a good strong colour to the batter and cream cheese icing made everything taste good. Lydia was happy and that’s the main thing!

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Adding vegetable shortening made it a bit easier to work with but wasn’t completely successful.

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Woohoo, Ari turned 3 years old! One of his choices this year was for a train cake and Cath Kidston’s blog had an awesome cake idea to try. I bought a chocolate log roll for the front engine and made a 20cm x 20cm black forest cake which gave me enough cake to make the three carriages and the cab part of the engine. Happy Birthday little one xx.

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Last year we had enormous fun getting ready for our daughter and son in law’s wedding.  It was a privilege for us to do some hand crafted things as a way of showing our love and support of them. There are so many ideas of what you can do, it boils down to what suits the bride and groom and how much do you can and want to do. Fortunately family on both sides combined their talents to do these special things. I have some of Ruth Gilmour photographer  amazing photos to show the efforts that made it to the day.

hydrangeas drying

Great friends who let me raid their gardens

drying hydrangeas

The variety stuns me, these are only a few of the hundreds we dried for the day.

hydreangeas in tins 01

Using tins and hessian twine for the tables

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Bigger bunches went into galvanised buckets for floor decorations


Tubs of pampus and hydrangeas went at the entrance

chair hydrangeas

Chair bouquets of hydrangeas wrapped in hessian and twine

chapel inside

outside grain exchange

Pampus at the Grain Exchange entrance.

seating plan

room over view

Inside the Grain Exchange. As night came on the twinkle lights looked better and better.

mr. and mrs. bunting

Mr. and Mrs. stenciled bunting

table setting

Hessian runners, cut rounds of wood and ivy down the middle

twinkle lights on table

Bent wire table number holders

twinkle lights in jar

Twinkle lights make everything look cool!

jam jar 01

Little raspberry jam jar name tags

wedding cake

And the cake on a hessian covered table with an awesome heart carving.

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Spy Cake

It was fun making all of the different elements to go on Eli’s spy cake for his seventh birthday, wish I had half the energy those kids did on the day!

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Being in the middle of packing up and moving house, there isn’t much going on in the way of crafting at the moment. Having said that, it was fun to have a go at turning George’s toy dinosaur, (from Peppa Pig), into a cake topper. To make the rice bubble and marshmallow shape I halved the recipe from here, http://kiwicakesnz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/marshmallow-rice-krispies-for-cakes.html , and it worked really well. The trick is definitely to keep squeezing and compacting the mix together when shaping. The cooled shape was then thinly crumb coated with buttercream and covered in green fondant and decorated. It was a bit monstrous for a cake topper but once you’re committed to a certain size there’s no going back!

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