Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wonderful Wobblies by Georgie Godbold

It's been a while since my last post; Canterbury Cakes (and life in general) has been keeping me very busy. Last night I was extremely fortunate to attend a demonstration by the talented Georgie Godbold, creator of the incredibly cute Wobblies.

She demonstrated how to make a cute bunny ballerina and made it look incredibly easy (which I'm sure it isn't). I can't wait to have a go myself!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Otto's Dinosaur Birthday Cake

The second cake I have been working on this weekend is quite a contrast to Amelia's pony cake - I was asked to do a dinosaur cake and Otto said he didn't mind what it looked like as long as it had spikes.

Hopefully this baby dinosaur will fit the remit.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Emily's Octonauts Birthday Cake


My friend David was pleased enough with the Mr Tumble cake that he entrusted me with the task of making his daughter's birthday cake. She is a real fan of a cartoon called 'Octonauts'. My eldest son is also a keen fan of the show, so I was very familiar with the characters and instantly knew what the look of the cake should be like.                                                         


 I had a lot of fun making this one. The submarine (called 'Gup-A' as I am reliably informed by my son) is made out of 'rice krispie treats' and I managed to get a smooth surface for the fondant layer by giving it an undercoat of royal icing. The white and purple coral is made by piping royal icing onto dried grape stalks - this gives a really natural 'organic' look.

My son has now decided that he wants an Octonauts cake for his birthday next month,only he 'requires' both the Gup-A and Gup-B on his....along with many other enhancements! I think I'd better start modelling now...

Thanks to David for the wonderful photos!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Something Different

Although my blog is intended to share my cake making experiences, today I am departing from that to talk about something which is very important to me. Earlier this year I lost my mum to lung cancer, after a long and courageous battle. Her final couple of weeks were spent in the wonderful care of her local hospice. I cannot praise them highly enough for the way they looked after her with such empathy and kindness. She often told us how wonderful the staff were and that nothing was too much trouble for them. I know that it made a real difference to her that she received such a high level of care given with such kindness. They gave her the gift of the best quality of life available in her final weeks of such a debilitating illness, and then they gave us the gift of support through the very difficult hours during and after her passing.

Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that hospices in this country rely heavily upon donations in order to be able to continue their marvellous work. Two thirds of the funding for the hospice that mum stayed in comes from donations - others are not even as lucky as that. So, in memory of my mum, and as an acknowledgement of the fantastic care she received, I have decided to take part in a fundraising event for Pilgrim's Hospice. They need around £9,000,000 a year in order to provide their service to the community!

The event is a Moonlight Walk - it is a night time, 7 kilometre 'stroll' exclusively for ladies and an opportunity to pay tribute to someone special with friends, family and like-minded people. I have never done anything like this before and am a little nervous (particularly because the route is likely to be very hilly!), but I have the support of a good friend to accompany me and the determination to pay tribute to my desperately missed mum.

It would be wonderful if you could sponsor me to do the walk and support the hospice in the process (see link below for details). Your contributions really will make such a significant difference to people's lives!

Thank you



Monday, 11 July 2011

Nanny's Birthday Rose Cake

Over the weekend we celebrated my Grandmother's 86th birthday. I thought I would try something a little different and decorate a cake with piped buttercream rather than fondant, and this is the result:

I think a couple of these stacked up would make a lovely, simple wedding cake.


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mad Hatter 'Un-birthday' Cake

My friend's mum is organising a charity event this weekend with the theme of the Mad Hatter's Tea-party. She asked me if I could come up with an 'un-birthday' cake for the event. I had wanted to try a topsy-turvy cake for a while as they look such fun, but the problem was that they didn't need as much cake as would be required to make the cake work. So I experimented a bit and managed to make the top two tiers from cake dummies and 'rice krispie treats'. I found covering the dummies quite difficult as the rice krispies don't make for the smoothest of surfaces, but I am pleased with the Cheshire Cat...he turned out just as I'd planned in my head.

These wonky cakes seem to be becoming quite popular as wedding cakes, although perhaps not with the Mad-Hatter theme!


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Alexander & George's Bicycle Birthday Cake

My son's friends are having a cycling birthday party tomorrow at a local country park and their mums asked me to make them a bicycle cake. I have to admit that at first I was at a loss as to how to do something that might appeal to five-year-olds. I had a trawl around the net and thanks to 'Inspire.Create.Bake' I was able to come up with something fun that I hope they will like. I am pleased with the tread on the tyres - it worked out better than I had hoped. It was quite a challenge to cover the frame of the bike with fondant, the most difficult part being the handle bars.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Mr Tumble Birthday Cake

My friend's little boy is very keen on the TV character Mr Tumble, so he asked me to come up with something for his birthday. I've just finished it this evening ready for tomorrow.

It's been particularly hot and humid this week so far, which presented a challenge when making the figure. Originally his left hand was waving but, even with support, it has gradually wilted and his hair kept falling off almost as fast as I was sticking it on! I got there in the end though and I've learnt a lot along the way. I had thought about putting a star-burst just behind the figure, but came to the conclusion that'd be a bit over the top.

Adapting Recipes

One of the things that I have found frustrating in the past is knowing how to adapt a particular recipe if I want to use a different tin size - but I needn't worry any more! The Cake Baker website has just included a really nifty conversion tool - The Cake O'Meter - which swiftly calculates the new quantities of your recipe to adapt to the tin size you want to use. Thanks Cake Baker!!!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Princess and the Frog Birthday Cake

A friend asked me to make her daughter a princess cake but wanted something a little different to the 'Barbie' style cake that I had previously done. I have the Debbie Brown Book ' Gorgeous & Gruesome Cakes for Children' and in there she has a beautiful design which I thought I would try out. This is my interpretation.

 I was really pleased with the skirt of the dress. It is the first time I have tried to represent the natural folds and movement of the material. In the original design there is more detail to the bottom of the skirt, but I liked the simplicity of this. I still need some practice on getting hands looking feminine, but on the whole I am please with how this one has turned out.

Monday, 13 June 2011


After trying it out for a while, I decided that I wasn't happy with the look of the blog using the template I had. So expect a few changes over the coming days as I try out new things and keep tweaking until I arrive at something I'm happy with. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you particularly like or dislike something I've changed.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Victoria's Toadstool Birthday Cake

I've just put the finishing touches to this cake and I can't wait to find out what Victoria thinks of it when she has it tomorrow for her birthday party. It's been a lot of fun (and a lot of learning) in the making.

I just hope it gets home in one piece - I made loads of butterflies in anticipation that there would be a few casualties, and I had to do a bit of emergency repair work to one of the daisies... 

Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I recently saw a Debbie Brown cake which had a little clump of daisies on top. I thought they were a really cute addition, so I thought I'd have a go at putting together a little set to go with the toadstool cake I'm making for this weekend.

I still need to put some blades of grass around the bottom, but I think they'll make a nice addition to the toadstool scene. I cooked the cakes this evening and they are currently cooling - I can't wait to crack on and start decorating!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Finally - I Finished a Fairy!

It's taken me a while to fit it in around my other commitments, but tonight I finally managed to finish the fairy I have been working on for a friend's toadstool cake. I was terrified her head would come off as I was putting the hair on!

I am a big fan of Lorraine McKay - she produces the most amazing figures! I would love to attend one of her workshops but in the meantime, I made do with her "Heads Up" e-tutorial, which was very helpful - although I know I need to have lots more practice (I found the mouth particularly difficult....so it's rather fortuitous that she's looking downwards towards the butterfly) I think it's a half decent start.

I thought it would be really nice to do something a little different for her wings. I was fascinated by a technique developed by Diane Simmons which uses gelatin to create beautiful flowers and butterflies - ably demonstrated by Cindy'sConfections. I haven't been able to track down a source in the UK for the veining sheets, so improvised with an all-in-one veiner and cutter. It was only partially successful (luckily I managed to salvage usable wings), so needs further practice!   

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Zara's Barbie Birthday Cake - the finished article

I realised this morning that there was no obvious place to put the candles on the cake - so hastily made two flowers to place either side of it, with the idea that the candles could be stuck into the middle. I simply used a five petal cutter and stuck two layers of "petals" together with a ball of green paste in the middle for the candle to stick in to - it was quite effective.

At the party, I was quite amused to find that the question most people asked me was whether or not she had legs...apparently some children are horrified when doll picks are used as there is no lower body!