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Someone please help - I am detemined to make my daughter a birthday cake - Am I mad?

(16 Posts)
MummyJules Sat 20-Aug-05 12:59:43

I am quite an acomplished cook but have never made a birthday cake and am worried about the decorating side. I am planning on making the treasure chest cake from How to throw the best kid's party ever by Petra Boase and Sue Maggs. Are there any cake makers/decoraters who could guide me through the process or give me any helpful advice? I would appreciate it soooo much -

Catbert Sat 20-Aug-05 13:04:04

Large flat palette knife. Hot water in a bowl, so when you spread the icing, or frosting or whatever you use, make sure you keep dipping the palette knife as you smooth it. Stops it sticking to the icing and pulling it back off the cake, and gives the icing a nice glossy sheen...

HondaDream Sat 20-Aug-05 13:27:04

No you are not mad, nothing beats a homemade/decorated cake. I always do my kids and they choose what they want. I am not brilliant but I have managed a teletubby whos face went wrong so mum bought a telly tubby mask and it made all the kids cry. One year my son wanted a noddy scooter so my sister nad I made the cake but stupidly (I have no idea why) tried to make it 3d anyway we kept cutting away to get the right shape until in the end it was bricks covered with icing. On the day I took the cake out Ds blew out candles and we gave everyone a piece of another cake.

craziehazie Sat 20-Aug-05 17:12:33

Real easy cake. MOUSE CAKE
6 oz caster sugar
6oz soft margarine
6oz s/r flour
3 eggs
teasp vanilla essence
Cream marg ans sugar until light and fluffy. gradually add eggs and essence. Fold in s/r flour and divide between two 7 in round cake tins. Bake at 150- 160 for 25 mins. You only need one half of the cake so you can eat the other one yourself!!!!
Take one half and cut that one down the centre and stick together with buttercream icing. So now cut a slant at one side to form the face. Place on board. Completely cover the cake in buttercream icing (half n half marg and icing sugar, teasp vanilla essence) making it rough all over the body and smooth on the face. Two choc buttons for eyes, nose ears and long tail made from red coloured marzipan. whiskers from lengths of red straws cut to size. Colour some coconut green. Thinly spread marmalade over the board ans cover with geen coconut. Very easy and looks great.

kama Sat 20-Aug-05 17:13:36

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LIZS Sat 20-Aug-05 17:27:24

What does it look like ? You could make a chocolate oblong sponge and cover in chocolate butter icing , smooth with a flat bladed knife heated in hot water then "draw" plank effect with a skewer. Put chocolate fingers in a line to edge the top and then fill middle with gold coins and jelly sweets.

zippy539 Sat 20-Aug-05 17:31:33

Just made dh's birthday cake (never having made a cake in my life!) and used those dip stick things from Lakeland to tell whether it was ready or not. They saved my sanity. Almost.

kama Sat 20-Aug-05 17:39:10

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MummyJules Sat 20-Aug-05 17:52:05

Thanks for all the hints/tips/recipes they are all very helpful.

I think I am going to try and make it next week and see how I go - if it's a disaster at least I will know way before hand!

LIZS Sat 20-Aug-05 18:03:13

mmm, chocolate flakes !

Monstersmum Sun 21-Aug-05 17:22:45

I've just made a basic chocolate cake with choc icing which i decorated with smarties - very simple and DS (4) was happy. He's car mad so foudn some car candles and he loved those.

Last year did Betty Crocker carrot cake mix - all the kids loved it. Photocopied a car froma colouring book and basically traced it on to ready rolled icing and painted it with icing colours - looked pretty good if I say so myself!

MummyJules Sun 21-Aug-05 20:48:12

Sounds good. Tried to make the cake today but I it turned out I had used the wrong size tin. MIL is bringing one round next week. Party is not until the 15th Sept so I am going to get lots of practice in!

zippy539 Sun 21-Aug-05 22:42:42

Meant to say you should check out Delia for basic cake-making advice - ie don't open the oven dor the first three quarter of the cooking time or it will sink etc.

clary Sun 21-Aug-05 22:46:03

home-made cakes are always best. I make a cake for each birthday party plus one for everyone's actual birthday so I'm always doing it....
I wd recommend Nigella's buttermilk birthday cake (in domestic goddess book) as it is slightly more solid than a normal victoria sponge and thus takes icing/decorating better. Tastes yummy too.

pesha Sun 21-Aug-05 23:25:28

I always make their birthday cakes myself, its a family tradition! My mum always used to but 1 year they bought a cake instead, it was a lovely cake like a big slice of cheese with a mouse on, but i was really upset as i wanted a homemade one!!

This year i made a 3d thomas the tank engine for ds's 2nd birthday. It took me hours and was by no means the best thomas you've ever soon, he was a bit too wide and a bit short and the face was questionable but ds loved it saying train choo choo over and over. He then made a swipe for it and completely squashed the face but he loved it and it tasted ok too!!

I would say go careful on colouring in the icing, dds 'jake cake' took alot of colouring to go orange and had a bit of a strange taste because of this. And you can get packs which have 4 blocks of different coloured royal icing in which can be mixed to make other colours and these are great for doing the details, much easier i find than trying to draw with icing pens and things, its like modelling with playdough!

Firefox Mon 22-Aug-05 12:59:43

If you are icing the cake with butter icing, it helps to spread warmed apricot jam on the cake first. This will seal in the crumbs so it doesn't get mixed in with the icing and look bitty. You can also get ready to roll Royal icing which is great. Again you'll need to seal the cake with warmed apricot jam to help the icing stick, roll out the icing, and lay over the cake. Then cut away the excess icing from the bottom. Good luck. Its lots of fun!

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