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Themed cake on a budget - give your DIY tips pleasee

(26 Posts)
EarPhones Thu 21-May-20 10:48:25

I want to get a medium size themed cake. Quotes are ranging from £70 - £90! I found that I can order a cake icing topper sheet online for under £10.

For someone who has not baked a cake before could you please give me any ideas as I wanted to get the cake as a thoughtful gift but not spend so much on it.

OP’s posts: |
isseywith4vampirecats Thu 21-May-20 10:56:01

you could buy a plain white iced cake from a supermarket and then decorate it with your theme if your good at painting with ready made coloured icing in mini piping bags or look on ebay for more specialised decorations

zscaler Thu 21-May-20 10:56:02

I would recommend shewhobakes.com as she has lots of good tips for making and decorating your own cakes. But be aware - it not always easy to do, and you will spend a lot of money on ingredients. Your best bet is to keep it incredibly simple, something like a Madeira cake with white ready roll icing and then a nice cake topper.

Andpopwenttheweasle Thu 21-May-20 11:19:00

Unfortunately most first ever attempts at baking, let alone decorating a cake do not go well. My first 5-10 didn't!
I'd either buy a plain ready made cake or use Mary berry's all in one sponge recipe, and practice making one ahead of time too. Ready rolled icing if you've not done it before. You'll need a smoother to get anywhere near a clean finish even with ready rolled.
By the time you've brought the topper sheet, ingredients, what ever equipment you need, and a board and box I'd be surprised if it's less than £40, more if you need to buy a cake tin.
I completely understand cost being a factor, now more than ever but you can see why the quotes are what they are, allowing for the 6-10 hours minimum the Baker would spend making it, earning less than minimum wage!

MountainousLake Thu 21-May-20 11:22:32

Plain cake and washed playmobil Or Lego for a child.
The posh chocolate shop will print photos on choc, make chocolate figures or marzipan ones and cost no where near what I thought it would.

Marshmanimal Thu 21-May-20 11:23:56

You could buy a little toy to use as a topper for a shop bought cake. The birthday child then gets an extra little gift too. I’ve used a tractor (on a chocolate cake -muddy field!), a unicorn, ( rainbow cake) Harry Potter figures and successfully in the past

StCharlotte Thu 21-May-20 11:24:57

Get them a Colin the Caterpillar. Sorted.

StCharlotte Thu 21-May-20 11:25:34

(Applies for adults too. Delish.)

EarPhones Thu 21-May-20 11:47:38

Happy to get a store bought cake or make from a ready cake mix.

I was thinking to stick a customised printed icing sheet on top that I can order online?

OP’s posts: |
PseudoQuim Thu 21-May-20 11:49:30

It depends on who the cake is for and your level of skill/creativeness. Give us a clue... wink

mogtheexcellent Thu 21-May-20 11:50:56

Who is the cake for? Then we can help with ideas.

If the topper you are looking at is rice paper they are horribly dry so I would use buttercream. The ready made buttercreams in the supermarket are actually very nice.

Keep it simple and you cant go wrong.

callmeadoctor Thu 21-May-20 11:53:18

I once bought a Dr who wrap of icing decorated that you wrapped around a rectangle sponge that you had purchased (eBay). The icing wrap was fine, the cake when I wrapped it was a disaster, straight in bin!!!! (alright birds had it really) I did buy an online cake from Waterfields though and that was fab!!!!

superking Thu 21-May-20 11:57:43

I've done several themed cakes using a plain iced pre-made cake and then putting it on a cake board and using cake toppers - either the personalised sheets you've seen, or small plastic figures that you can easily get online. Bonus of doing the latter is that they can then play with the figures afterwards. It's also easy to make a happy birthday message out of icing using cookie cutter letters (again easily found online) which you can put on the board. Does it look and taste as good as a professionally made one? No. But for a total cost of under £20 they look great and, let's face it, kids don't really notice the difference in taste between a shop-bought and professionally made cake.

EarPhones Thu 21-May-20 12:44:37

It's for my partner who doesn't eat cake lol. So taste is not priority. But he plays an online game so I thought sticking its photo or characters from the game could add a nice personal touch than buying standard co-op cake.

I'm happy to use a ready cake mix or buy from supermarkets. Just haven't used these edible printing sheets so was wondering what my options could be. Happy to spend about £30.

Thanks for all the replies so far!

OP’s posts: |
BrieAndChilli Thu 21-May-20 12:48:21

If he doesn’t eat cake then I wouldn’t bother.
Why don’t you do a stack of donuts (or similar that your partner will eat) and print the characters on paper and attaché them to cocktail sticks and stick on the top? Still got the theme but it’s something your partner will enjoy?

EarPhones Thu 21-May-20 12:51:07

I suppose a cake gives me that birthday feel that cupcakes or donuts don't.

OP’s posts: |
zscaler Thu 21-May-20 13:11:42

If he doesn’t eat cake then surely it’s just a massive waste of money? I would spend the £30 on something he’ll actually enjoy, rather than on something you know he won’t like but feels more birthday-ish.

Mammyloveswine Thu 21-May-20 13:14:00

I would use a Betty Crocker devils food cane mix and chocolate fudge icing then surround with chocolate fingers... then just put your topper on!

So easy but effective!

Pinkcat231 Thu 21-May-20 13:19:37

How about something that you can make look like a cake? Like a wheel of cheese similar to the stacked ‘cheese’ cakes they have at weddings?

I’d also second the Betty Crocker mixes and icing if you’re set on cake, they’re really foolproof!

EarPhones Thu 21-May-20 13:22:07

@Mammyloveswine thank you! Looks lovely and sounds doable smile

OP’s posts: |
WoollyFoolly Thu 21-May-20 13:25:32

I also have a DH who doesn't eat cake - honestly I wouldn't bother. Instead of cake can you get something else personalised with the game characters? A tablet case or gadget decal?

Mammyloveswine Thu 21-May-20 13:25:39

@EarPhones so easy! I did one similar for my husband with a chocolate R2D2 on the top! Worked a treat! Did the same with a chocolate train and a bell when my 4 year old requested a "polar express" birthday cake one year

NotTheMrMenAgain Thu 21-May-20 13:26:30

The large Asda by me has a computer-thing where you upload your photo and add message/border/fancy bits etc to the design. You pick a medium or large iced sponge in vanilla or chocolate, and the bakery staff work some magic - you collect them later. I've done it twice (with photos of our hound!) and they've been really nice. And they're very, very cheap.

Craftypuss Thu 21-May-20 13:29:07

We used www.intercake.com/Order for my daughter's birthday cake - you can have just the topper delivered - think it's connected with Asda? It was good fun - we used a picture she had done of her fave character to avoid copyright problems (well, they accepted it!)

ConstantlyCooking Thu 21-May-20 18:16:43

What foods does your DP like?
You could make/ buy a giant chocolate chip cookie, flapjack, or brownie and decorate it. If s/he prefers savoury flavours- you could make 'sandwich cake'. These can be made to look like cakes.

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