I love making cakes for Evie. Apart from the fact that she’s lovely, she is ALWAYS smiling. She always says “hello” when we walk into school (and I mean says hello to me- not just Darcey!) and she always chooses fab cakes that I’ve never made before. This year she was having a swimming pool party – obviously! So a swimming pool cake was definitely the right choice of cake.
I’ve made a few cakes for Evie before and if you remember then you probably know that she’s coeliac. That’s why I love making her birthday cakes. You don’t get cakes like this in the supermarket. I basically use my Madeira cake recipe as seen in this chart and swap the flour quantity for 50% gluten free flour and 50% rice flour. I find that mixing up the same quantity of flour needed in a recipe with a mixture of gluten free flour, rice flour or almond flour comes out light and tasty.
Designing the Swimming pool cake
I wanted to keep the design simple so I made the main part of the cake the swimming pool. I baked a rectangular cake and cut it into three layers then cut away the centre of the top layer. Raspberry jam and buttercream were added and the whole cake was covered in pale blue sugarpaste. I had to make it quite thick to be able to handle getting into the corners of the pool.
I wrote ‘Evie’ in my fave script and left it to dry for a few days. I mixed it with some Tylo powder so it would really firm up (and quickly). A square cutter was used to make tiles which we placed around parts of the pool.
Rope was made with white sugarpaste strands which were twisted together and stuck on at the corners.
The splashes were made from a ball of sugarpaste which was brushed with gelatine to give it a glossy effect. The Evie was also brushed to give shine.
A life saving ring was made from white and red sugarpaste and left to harden.
To make the ‘water’ I made up some gelatine and let it cool before I spooned it into the pool. What I hadn’t banked on was that the tiles I had stuck in the bottom of the cake would bubble up and kind of soften and start to dissolve. Another thing I wasn’t expecting was how the gelatine would set. I thought it would just firm up like jelly. It didn’t. It wobbled a bit like jelly but when I had to drive the cake to the pool party it had moved and jiggled creating all these white lines. I was mortified but Evie’s mum said that the waves looked great. Pfew! Lucky save.
To finish off I added grey bars which I painted with edible silver paint and stuck them onto the side of the pool along with another life ring.
Having learnt my lesson making this mermaid cake I kept Evie in a little better proportion and just made the top half to place in the pool.
The bunting was literally a last minute idea made from decorative paper, string and two skewers.
I kinda like this cake. I think the water worked but it’s all the splashes and the ‘Evie’ in a big dribble of water that makes it for me. What do you think?