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Posts Tagged ‘Pirate ship cake’

One of the things I love doing the most is party cakes. Like most Kiwi’s and Aussie’s the run up to my birthday included flicking through the pages of the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book and choosing which one Mum was going to have to attempt that year! She always came up trumps!

I had Izzy’s 1st birthday cake picked out by the time she was about 4 months old. There are a limited number of years that I can get away with choosing it myself and then I will be at her mercy. I reckon I might get away with it for one more year and then she is likely to have her own ideas.

My soul mates in the children’s birthday cake baking are Kerry & Meredith. Like me, they resist the lure of a shop bought cake and have spent till 2am the day of the party trying to get it just right, or in Meredith’s case all night!

For me, the children’s birthday cake has never been about the recipe and the cake itself – it’s all about the icing and decoration. Kerry & Mer have mastered both – always producing delicious and gorgeous cakes. Maybe next year!

This year has also been about cupcakes and all 3 of us produced them to accompany the cake. I love the look of bright cupcakes on a cupcake tree and there are so many yummy flavours that are topped off with colourful icing and cases. The big bonus is that they are so easy to make, especially if you have a Kitchenaid (without a doubt my favourite kitchen gadget).

So back to birthday cakes! For Izzy’s 1st birthday we opted for a farm theme and we invited everyone to join us in one of the party rooms at Godstone Farm in Surrey (www.godstonefarm.co.uk) – it’s a great venue and families can enjoy a fun day out too.  We had been there years before with my god daughter and so I had kept it in the back of my mind for when we had kids. As far as the cake went I kept it simple for my first attempt and went for the Pig. The only bummer with using the AWW book is the fact that all the sweets used to decorate are Australian and so you either need to source on the internet or from friends and family over there or spend some time sourcing here. We are lucky enough to have a local old fashioned sweet shop and they helped come up with some ideas to try. So, how did it turn out? Judge for yourself….

Izzy's 1st birthday cake

Izzy's 1st birthday cake

As with her 1st birthday I had the 2nd birthday cake chosen well in advance (actually before she turned 1!). The theme was jungle and I was torn between 2 cakes – the solution was to make both! Mum came over for the celebrations and so she very kindly tracked down and lugged over a suitcase full of sweets. I failed to tell her that I only needed 2 spearmint leaves so she bought a bag of about 60!

James was a great help on the Lion cake especially – the icing for the mane was tricky and needed more patience than I possess.

Although there were two cakes at 2 there will certainly not be three cakes at 3!!

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I made the cupcakes the night before and topped them with sugarcraft animal toppers. For the orange ones I used a colour paste and for the green I used the liquid colouring you get from the supermarket. I would definitely recommend the paste – unfortunately the green went quite streaky and then seeped through the animal toppers so there were a few green tinged panda’s and elephants.

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This year I also had the chance to make Easton’s 2nd birthday cake. It was pretty easy as just did 2 square cakes iced them green and on one cake I used choc fingers as a fence and dug out a pond in the centre and filled it with chopped up jelly. Last touch was to raid Izzy’s farm set for animals.

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Finally, here are some pics of Kerry (Jaydon) & Mer’s (Isobel M) homemade cakes & cupcakes.

Isobel M's 1st birthday cake

Isobel M's 1st birthday cake

Jaydon's 4th birthday

Jaydon's 4th birthday

Isobel M's 2nd birthday

Isobel M's 2nd birthday

Mer's amazing and delicious cupcakes!

Mer's amazing and delicious cupcakes!

Jaydon's 5th birthday

Jaydon's 5th birthday

Jaydon's spider cupcakes - awesome!

Jaydon's spider cupcakes - awesome!

Izzy enjoying her cupcake at Jaydon's party!

Izzy enjoying her cupcake at Jaydon's party!

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