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Baking and icing a birthday cake!

(13 Posts)
NoTeaForMe Tue 06-Sep-11 10:09:55


I'm wondering if someone can help me?! It's my daughters 1st birthday next month and I'd like to bake and ice a cake for her and guests! (8 adults, 5 children inc the birthday girl and her nearly 1 year old cousin!)

I have baked brownies, lemon drizzle cake and carrot cake successfully before, but we have a new oven now and haven't baked a cake in this oven before! I've smothered the carrot cake in cream cheese icing but never done proper icing before! How hard is it? What cake is a good idea?! Plain sponge? I'm asking now so I can practise first!!

I don't even know where to begin with icing!! I thought I'd either do one whole colour with a different colour spots or stripes. Would I stick the spots or stripes on top with a bit of buttercream icing?

All tips welcome!!


YougreatPamplemousse Tue 06-Sep-11 10:16:58

I would go for a plain vanilla sponge - weigh your eggs in their shells then use the same quantity butter, caster sugar and self raising flour - is the recipe I use. Are you going to use roll out fondant? if so just buy it in the colour you want rather than trying to colour it unless you have powder or gel colours. Any detail you want to stick on can be stuck on by dampening the back of the spot/stripe/flower and sticking it on. You will need to cover your sponge in butter cream before fondant to make it stick on.

ExitPursuedByATroll Tue 06-Sep-11 10:17:05

I have a birthday cake recipe book which is very useful. If you just want a simple round or square cake, then really it is down to personal preference. I used to use butter cream which you can pipe or spread and use different colours. Or just use one colour and decorate with smarties, jelly beans, etc to create the desired effect.

Or just icing sugar and water - again you can colour it as to preference, if you leave it slightly unmixed you can create a swhirl effect.

Google is probably your best friend as t'internet is full of fabulous ideas. I have in the past made a caterpillar, a butterfly, a fish and a dog's head.

Have fun!

deaconblue Tue 06-Sep-11 14:37:07

Use vanilla buttercream and top with pink chocolate buttons from thorntons- they look so pretty

NoTeaForMe Tue 06-Sep-11 18:18:06

I'd really like to use the roll out icing (is that fondant?!?!) I don't know why really but that's what I have in my head!!

Do you think they cut these number 1's out of a large square cake? How would they have made the cubes with the letters on?

Sorry there are so many questions!!


YougreatPamplemousse Tue 06-Sep-11 19:37:30

Yes you can cut them out of a rectangular cake or you can hire a 1 shaped tin from a local baking shop. Roll out icing is fondant and again your local baking shop will have loads of colours if you want them or the supermarkets sell white fondant. The cubes are more than likely just cubes of fondant with letters iced on with royal icing. I would make them out of fondant and use writing icing (you can buy tubes in the supermarket) to put the letters on.

NoTeaForMe Sat 10-Sep-11 16:47:32

Thanks for all your help!

So I've got a rectangular baking tin and a sponge cake recipe! I'm going to practice tomorrow!!

Should I do a layer of jam or anything on top of the cake for flavouring? Or cut it in half and do a middle layer of jam and buttercream like a victoria sponge? Or is that just making it more complicated?


NoTeaForMe Sat 10-Sep-11 17:58:05

PS. How do I work out how much sugarpaste to buy to cover a cake?

LadyDamerel Sat 10-Sep-11 18:04:53

Cut the cake in half and fill with jam and buttercream.

You will need to use a thin layer of jam or buttercream over the surface of the cake make the fondant stick to the cake.

If you are a complete novice with the fondant then I would suggest leaving the cake as a rectangle and cutting a big number 1 out of a contrasting colour.

I make a lot of cakes and it fills me with terror when someone asks for a shaped number because they are an absolute nightmare to cover well.

It depends how big your cake is as to how much icing you need, a kilo will cover up to about an 8/9" square cake, plus a bit more if you are going to cover the board.

ExitPursuedByATroll Sun 11-Sep-11 16:20:39

Oh - don't cut the cake in half!!! Make two and then stick together with jam and buttercream. Makes and nice big cake grin

YougreatPamplemousse Sun 11-Sep-11 16:22:55

I agree don't cut it in half - either do 2 and sandwich them together or just do a single layer cake, cover in buttercream then put the fondant over the top.

Terpsichore Sun 11-Sep-11 16:36:48

Good advice from everyone, but as an alternative that avoids the dreaded rolling-out/nervous manoeuvring/smoothing, you could forgo the fondant completely and just cover the cake in buttercream, then stick chocolate fingers round the outside of the cake and fill the middle with fresh fruit of your choice. Lorraine Pascal did something similar in her TV series not long ago (except she used massively expensive pre-bought chocolate curls iirc - chocolate fingers are the cheapo version!).

I know you'd like to have a go at the fondant but you might like it in reserve as a backup suggestion!

Squires Kitchen is good (if a tad pricey) for baking and decorating supplies - - here. They've got loads of nice candles, and sugar numbers to stick on top of cakes.

ExitPursuedByATroll Sun 11-Sep-11 17:17:20

Cake - and Fresh Fruit -smarties are much more fun.

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