Category: Cakes

Why Emoji cakes always win!

Darcey Emoji Cake : CakemojiWhy Emoji cakes always win!

When I asked Darcey what cake she would like for her birthday this year she actually said

” I want a caterpillar cake”

Now I have absolutely nothing against Marks and Spencer cakes. I love M&S and for a long time was ever so slightly, completely addicted to their profiteroles. Have you tried them? They’re devilishly good! Anyway.

“CATERPILLAR!” I replied. “You have got to be joking” A slightly crumpled Darcey replied –

“WellI don’t know – something that’s just me then”

So I got my thinking cap on. Darcey is really into a lot of things at the moment but at the top of the list is Adventure Time. We went to ComiCon in the summer and the guy who does the voice for Jake- one of the main characters was there and Beau and Darcey were a bit in awe. So, I decided an Adventure Time cake was in order. My plan was to make a 3D Jake the Dog cake with him sitting up with gifts all around him so that I could make a little gift cake from gluten free madeira cake for one of Darcey’s friends – no one misses out on cake in our house!

Changing your cake mind!

My plan was coming together nicely and then this book landed on my doorstep. CakeMoji. I didn’t stand a chance! One look and I had begs of ‘pleeeeaassse make me a poo Emoji cake‘ and ‘pleeeaasse make me a sunglasses emoji cake‘. Every five minutes it was a different cake so I went to plan B!

Plan B. The Emoji cake plan

As I had already baked a very chocolately Madeira cake – (actually I had three 8″ cakes and a 4″ Gluten free one) I thought I’d just make a few different emoji cakes. Thinking that one cake wouldn’t feed all the kids at the party and that I’d need a second cake anyway I set about reading the book (forcing it out of the girls hands!) and laughing quite a lot. Even the Poo emoji makes an appearance and it’s pretty cute – poo cupcakes anyone?

CakeMoji – about the bookemoji book

I have to say that from the moment I received a press release about this book I knew I had to get my hands on it as I knew the reaction it would get when the girls saw it. Some books are for decorating details and some for baking direction – this book for them was pure joy. It’s clever and full of great tips, recipes and ideas as well as clear step by step photos for 30 cakes, cupcakes and cookie designs. But it’s the sheer giftability it has that makes it a winner in my eyes. I can think of loads of people who would love this book. Everyone knows someone who loves an Emoji. Everyone kinda has an Emoji signature. I have favourite sign offs. Tim is the only person who gets a red heart – everyone else gets a pink one – or two hearts if I really like you. Beau gets the pink heart with a bow – get it? a Bow / Beau! Darcey’s favourite is this tongue sticking out one – hence her birthday cake. She draws him all the time and always has.  So I think this book will do really well.

Darcey Emoji Cake : Cakemoji

CakeMoji – about the book

As you would expect in a baking book Cakemogi, by Jenni Powell, Quadrille Publishers, is full of recipes and top tips. It’s clever and full of great techniques for cakes, cupcakes and biscuits. There are clear step by step photos for 30 designs. Darcey had trouble making a choice but let’s face it – this isn’t going to be my last Emoji cake. Is it?

Darcey Emoji Cake : Cakemoji

You can order Cakemoji which is released on 28th July 2016 on my affliate Amazon link here 

 

enjoy!

 

EmmaMT x

Disclaimer: Thanks to Quadrille Publishing for sending me a copy of Cakemoji. I love it and so do Beau and Darcey! All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are entirely my own.

The biggest, brightest Hawaiian birthday cake I’ve ever made

80th Hawaiian birthday cake The Hawaiian birthday cake.

A few months ago I was asked to make a cake for a friend’s mum. It was an 80th Birthday cake for her friend – a lovely lady from Hawaii. Now she may have been 80 but she was larger than life and full of energy and anyone who met her wouldn’t have believed her age! So this Hawaiian birthday cake was set to be full of life and have tons of colour. The elements are all native to Hawaii and mean something to Sharon. It was so much fun to do a bright cake for grown up!
80th Hawaiian birthday cake

How to decorate a Hawaiian cake

The palm trees

When it comes to palm trees the trick is to make them in advance. WELL in advance. The first ones I made broke so I had to whip these ones up quickly. I think they broke becasue I was over handling them – anyway I learnt my lesson. My top tips would be-

  1. Make more palm trees than you need then if one or two break you still have a back up. You also have a choice.
  2. Place something long, thin and sharp at one end into the tree trunk. I made brown sausage shaped sugarpaste tree trunks and pushed a chopped down skewer into it’s centre. If it gets a bit loose use edible glue inside.
  3. Create curved lines along the trunk with a shaped decorating tool (the second one from the left here is the one I used)
  4. I made the leaves with an oval cutter and then folded each one in half along the length. I then scored lines and added them to the top of the tree trunk using edible glue
  5. Make your tree with florists paste or at least add firming Tylo powder to sugarpaste to make it dry quicker and harden up nicely.
  6. Leave your tree to harden up for as long as possible. At least three days.

80th Hawaiian birthday cake

The shells

When it came to making the shells I used a silicon mould. I was especially happy with the end result when my nephew Asher asked if these were the shells we had picked up from the beach a week earlier? What a compliment! Once they were out of the mould I gave them a brush with an almost dry paintbrush with a little brown paint on the tip. Each shell was given a dust of pink lustre. I started off with a white florist paste and moved onto colours for the starfish. I stuck them onto the cake with edible glue.
80th Hawaiian birthday cake

Hawaiian flowers

If you’re making a Hawaiian cake with flowers they have to be frangipani and hibiscus. Luckily I had my copy of Peggy Porschen’s Bloom book to hand so I could look up how to make them. I used a rose cutter for the smaller hibiscus and bought a large cutter for the big ones. Whichever size you’re making all you need to do is thin the outside edges of the petals then place them onto a palette to harden. A stamen stork was added then a little extra food colour inside each florist paste flower to make them pop out.

The frangipani was made using five petal shapes. The florist’s paste was rolled out a little thicker than usual and each petal is tucked into the previous until you have a complete flower. The flower was then placed on a piece of foam to dry out. Powder colour was used to enhance the inside of each flower. Each flower was stuck onto the cake using royal icing.
80th Hawaiian birthday cake
80th Hawaiian birthday cake  I really love how vibrant this cake turned out. Even the wording stands out. Really good fun.

So, what’s the brightest cake you’ve ever made? Share a photo of it on the CakesBakesAndCookies.com Facebook page. I’d love to see your creations.

EmmaMT x

Lemon Drizzle cake with Flora Buttery

Lemon Drizzle cake with Flora ButteryLemon Drizzle cake recipe

When someone asks you if you’d like to do a sponsored post the chances are you’re going to say yes. When that post involves you baking- and lets face it, demolishing a Lemon drizzle cake in almost one sitting the answer is definitely a double yes!

Flora asked me to choose a recipe from their website  and I have to say I was surprised at just how many recipes there were (gazzillions!) From their selection the Lemon Drizzle cake was the one that I fancied eating most right at that very moment. But I had to wait for the weekend food shop to get my hands on a tub of the Flora Buttery (it’s available in all supermarkets). By the time I had a tub arrived I was craving chocolate so I gave the Flora buttery it’s first baking test run on the choc chip cookies from a few weeks ago. Normally a softer butter (or margarine) would make a really gooey-not-in-a-good-way cookie but these were delish. I’ve already made them again.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

Lemon Drizzle cake – everyone’s favorite.

When I used to work at Woman & Home magazine and we had a cake sale it was always the Lemon Drizzle and the banana cakes that sold out first. For that reason I though that it would be a good idea to make this Lemon Drizzle for when I was visiting a friend. It was the perfect balance of sweet and zingy. I baked the cake but I always worry I’m going to drown the cake in the lemon sugar syrup so I just brushed it on liberally when the cake came out of the oven. There’s something very satisfying about watching syrup seep into a cake. As the cake is hot it literally disappears in milliseconds. There was tons of syrup left which made me think I’d made the cake wrong. In hindsight I could have added a lot more syrup at this stage but it still tasted great without it. Really light and the texture of the cake was so soft and springy.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

After I had ‘taste tested’ the cake I decided that rather than waste the lemon sugar syrup I would brush most of what was left over on top of the cooled cake. Oh – my- goodness!!!! That’s when it all came together for me. So good. So zingy. So deeeelish! In fact the true test of whether a cake is good is when Tim comes into the office peers over my shoulder while I’m writing this post and says “Mmmm that looks good. Can you bake it again?” – I should note that as my official taste tester he is a bit rubbish. He has amazing will power and will eat just one slice of cake, whereas I will eat till it’s gone (that’s why Monday’s are so good. No kids, no Tim, just me and the freshly baked goods!) I only saved one slice of this for Tim before I headed off to my friends – obviously it was not enough!

My reply to Tim was ” I can make another lemon drizzle cake but I was planning on making muffins today” to which he replied “You can make those too!” Hello ever widening hips!

The Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

You can ? off this recipe here

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

enjoy!

EmmaMT x

Disclaimer: Thank you to Flora for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions and ramblings are my own 

Delicious Date and Walnut loaf recipe

Date and walnut loaf recipe

Delicious Date and Walnut loaf recipe

Sometimes you need a little afternoon pick me up and for me this is it. A slice of date and walnut loaf tastes great on its own but with a little butter spread across it – deeeelishhh!. Oooooh butter! One of life’s little luxuries! The reason I like this loaf so much is because it has a really firm texture. One slice is often enough – who am I kidding one slice is never enough! I wish I could pack it into packed lunches but the whole nut allergy at school thing prevents me so we’ll just have to stick to eating it here at home. (smiles as she types!)Date and walnut loaf recipe

I am a massive date fan. I have them with a cup of tea at the end of the day (instead of another slice of cake or cookie) and the really soft, gooey medjol ones are my favorites. But when you get a regular pack and they’re all a bit hard I bake with them. By soaking the dates in boiling water they get really soft. You can leave them to cool for half an hour and they’re perfectly ready but to make them really moist for your cake leave them over night in an air tight container and give them a shake every now and then.

I didn’t used to like walnuts but over the years they’ve been growing on me. I don’t like it when you can’t taste them in a cake so I often just quarter them so the pieces are big and chunky but you can chop them smaller if you prefer. Toasting them (or baking them in the oven) makes all the difference. It’s like you’re sealing the flavour in. Definitely worth the effort.

Date and walnut loaf recipeYou can ? this recipe off here

Date and walnut loaf recipe

EmmaMT x

 

How NOT to make a mermaid birthday cake

How NOT to make a mermaid birthday cakeSometimes my cakes go wrong and when I say wrong I mean REALLY wrong. I didn’t realise quite how wrong this cake went until I had finished it.  Tim -my harshest critic, walked into the kitchen and I asked “What do you think?” his response after looking at the mermaid was …

“Well, he doesn’t look very happy does he!”

He !!! He !!. Well I guess Tim did have a point. I had given HER the most enormous chest. Not quite sure what I was thinking about whilst making this mermaid for a 6 year old! And to make matters worse this was a cake for Free Cakes For Kids. I managed to squish the head a ‘little’ when I was adding it onto the body (without a neck) and then even further still when I attached the strands of long, heavy, sugarpaste hair. Her beautiful oval shaped head kind of became square and rugged looking. But I didn’t notice at the time. I was too busy concentrating on making the hair stick to her head.

The right way to decorate the cake

How NOT to make a mermaid birthday cakeI was really happy with the rest of the cake.  I baked an 8″ Madeira cake and filled half a Christmas pudding bowl tin with cake mix to get the curved top. I used the ingredients for a 9″ cake and split the mixture accordingly.

I buttercreamed the cakes together – cutting the 8″ in half. I then did a crumb coat and covered the cake in blue sugarpaste. I really like the sea like decorations. The twists were made when I covered the cake board in sugarpaste. I just rolled out different sized cones and twisted the tops then left them to dry out. The same effect was used with the seaweed but the green strips were long and thin and were twisted and stuck to the cake straight away. I like how it gives the base of the cake a 3d effect.

For the air bubbles I rolled tiny little balls of sugarpaste and used a balling tool  to make a hole in the centre. They were then stuck on by making the back damp.

The flowers were made in advance too but just a day before. They were set in painters pallettes so they would dry curved. You can see how I make flowers here.

The cake toppingsHow NOT to make a mermaid birthday cake

Seriously! What was I thinking with those knockers!!!! I can’t believe I thought that looked appropriate for a six year old!!! Anyway, as well as the well boosomed mermaid with the chiselled jaw, I made a number ‘6’ from a roll of sugarpaste which was left to dry for ages – like a week. I also made the name in the same way for the front of the cake. (you can see how I make the names here).The ‘6’ had rocks placed behind to hold it up and in place.

If you really want to know how I made the mermaid this is how!

How NOT to make a mermaid birthday cakeThe mermaid’s tail was added to the cake first then the body. A ‘belt’ was added around the join. The tail and belt were marked with a half moon cake decorating tool. The arms were added and the painted head was attached. Finally the hair was stuck onto the mermaid using royal icing.

I had such great intentions and aspirations for this cake but I felt it fell flat. The little girl who it was for loved it – but let’s face it – she was six, it was a mermaid and it was cake. What’s not to love in her little world? Next time Free Cakes For Kids I promise I’ll do better! Maybe you should give me a man to make from sugarpaste. I think I’ve got that down pat!

All kidding aside – this was another cake for an amazing charity. The recipients are always so grateful to receive a cake for their little ones and it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to give back to our community in that way.

So, have you had a cake that’s gone wrong or just not to plan? I’d love to know all about it and see the cake wreck love. Feel free to share your cakes on the CakesBakesAndCookies Facebook page. It’s good to share.

EmmaMT x

 

The only Coffee Madeira cake recipe you’ll ever need, and it fits all cake tin sizes!

The only Coffee Madeira cake recipe you’ll ever need, and it fits all cake tin sizes!The only Coffee Madeira Cake recipe you'll ever need

After countless emails and comments here on Cakes Bakes And Cookies I am finally happy to share my new Coffee Madeira cake recipe. I’ve tried it so many different ways – with esspresso, with more coffee, with less coffee and this is THE one! It’s a perfect balance of lightly textured cake with a smooth coffee flavour. The buttercream has a delicious coffee flavour but not too strong and when put together the balance is… well, just right.

I made the 9″ Coffee madeira cake mix and split it between five small 6″ tins. Have you seen these tins from Lakeland? They’re a clever set designed for making rainbow cakes and now they do them in an 8″ set too. I wanted to have an impressive layer cake suitable for a coffee morning but you can use this recipe in one 9″ cake tin for a layered wedding cake.

 

Coffee Madeira cake chart

This chart is for round cakes. For square cakes just go up one inch so an 8″ square cake will use a 9″ round recipe.

The_only _Coffee_Madeira_Cake_recipe_you'll_ever_need

How to make Coffee Madeira cake

  1. Line the cake tin with baking paper. I use sunflower oil to grease the tin so the cake stays soft. Butter tends to bake too quickly giving you a harder cake on the outside.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
  3. Start by creaming the butters together then add the sugar and beat till it’s pale and fluffy.
  4. Very slowly add the eggs – a spoonful at a time. Add a spoon of the flour to prevent curdling if necessary.
  5. Add the hot water to the coffee and disolve. Set to one side to cool.
  6. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. Add the flour and coffee in three goes. This produces the fluffiest and most moist cake rather than adding all the flour then all the water.
  7. Add the walnut halves mixing as little as possible.
  8. Bake for time stated on the chart for your size cake tin or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean.
  9. Don’t open the oven door for the first 30 minutes. It will make the cake sink.
  10. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before adding the sugar syrup and turning out of the tin carefully.

How to make the sugar syrup:

  1. In a saucepan heat the water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes then leave to cool. I make my sugar syrup when the cake goes into the oven.
  2. Once your cake is removed from the oven let it sit for 5 minutes then use a pastry brush to brush the sugar syrup over the entire cake. You only need to cover each area of the cake once and avoid soaking the cake or you will end up with a big soggy mess not a nice moist cake. Make sure you get the edges of the cake covered as they tend to dry out the most.
  3. Leave for a further 10 minutes before turning your cake out onto a rack to cool completely.

The only Coffee Madeira Cake recipe you'll ever needCoffee buttercream recipe

These buttercream quantities are enough to fill each cake when split into two layers and coat the outside with a crumb coat and top coat.

 

The_only _Coffee_Madeira_Cake_recipe_you'll_ever_need

How to make coffee buttercream

  1.   Mix the water and coffee together till disolved then set to one side to cool.
  2. Start by beating the butter so it becomes light and fluffy.
  3. Sieve the icing sugar over the top of the butter then mix until well blended. I place a tea towel over my Kitchenaid and hold it carefully in place whilst mixing to prevent the dust from the icing sugar going everywhere.
  4. Once combined add the coffee and mix for 2-3 minutes so it becomes really light and fluffy. This consistency is good for a filling between layers of cake as it’s thick. I pipe buttercream between layers as it stays thicker than when I used a palette knife. It’s also easier to control and get flat.
  5. When covering a cake with a buttercream crumb coat before adding sugarpaste or for a decorative finish you need the buttercream to be more fluid. You can get this consistency by adding a drop or two of milk and mixing it in well. Do this slowly as once it’s too soft it’s a pain to get it to firm up again. How soft you want your buttercream is a personal choice. I like to be able to smooth the buttercream on with a palette knife easily and have it come off the sides with a side scraper without breaking the cake, but I don’t want it too soft.

The only Coffee Madeira Cake recipe you'll ever need

For the five layer Coffee Madeira cake

To create the coffee morning five layer cake I made the cake mix and placed it equally in each tin – which was around 150g per tin. The cakes only took 25 minutes to bake. To decorate I piped a squiggly line on the outside of each layer and filled the middle of each cake evenly.That way you get a pretty outside edge.

For the top I spread the buttercream neatly to cover the edges then piped another squiggly line around the outer edge. I broke up some extra walnuts and sprinkled them on top of the icing.

This cake was a hit in our house. Beau asked for “just a small slice” for breakfast. You can’t have a small slice of this cake.  Whichever way you cut it it’s going to be big. She managed to finish it off no problem!

Another thing about this cake is that I have been testing Madeira cakes made with butter and oil (instead of margarine). The cakes come out really light and much flatter but they don’t last as long. So if you give this a try decorate your cake to seal it (with a complete covering of buttercream) by the day after you bake it. You’ll also want to eat it within two or three days.

http://www.cakesbakesandcookies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Coffee-Madeira-cake-chart-PDF-.pdf

Hope you like it

EmmaMT x

p.s. For all of you asking for a lemon Madeira cake recipe – that’s coming next month with charts too!

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