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Novice cake baker - I have a seive in my hand and I am not afraid to use it! Your top tips for birthday cakes please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(28 Posts)
TheProfiteroleThief Mon 20-Apr-09 11:15:51

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Babbit Mon 20-Apr-09 11:25:09

I think it is difficult to get a 'professional' look with butter icing, although this does taste lovely. Maybe, ice with ready to roll icing (you can buy white and colour it with a small amount of food colouring.) If you ice the cake with butter icing, and place the rolled icing on the top. you can then roll any excess icing into a 'rope' and place around the bottom. You can then go mad decorating with anything you fancy, edible or otherwise.

In the middle of the sandwch put jam and butter icing.

Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. If your eggs and butter are cold the mixture will curdle and the cake won't rise properly.

Good luck.

pointydog Mon 20-Apr-09 11:29:27

I think butter icing is very tasty and can look smooth and lovely. The dds iced an easter cake, put mini eggs round it and some fluffy chicks and it looked extremely decent.

You'll be fine.

Sponge tip: if you are using butter, leave it out to get really really soft before you cream it

pointydog Mon 20-Apr-09 11:29:49

oh, babbit has said this already

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 20-Apr-09 11:35:33

Have you got Nigella's How to Eat book? If you have, best and easiest birthday cake recipe is in there. No creaming or beating involved!

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 20-Apr-09 11:39:59

Have been looking for the recipe online but can't find it

Basically it's chocolate, sugar, condensed milk and water, all melted together, then beaten into flour/cocoa, with eggs beaten into that. Then you bake it. Dead, dead easy.

TheProfiteroleThief Mon 20-Apr-09 12:16:48

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Tommy Mon 20-Apr-09 12:18:45

if you have time, put the cake in the freezer and ice it frozen. That's a tip I got from MN and it has been really useful!

pigleto Mon 20-Apr-09 12:21:04

I made a volcano cake for ds. It turned out fabulously well. It was just a stack of chocolate cake carved into a craggy mountain with chocolate fudge icing and strawberry laces for the lava. I stuck little plastic dinosaurs on the lower slopes and malteser boulders. No finess required.

TheProfiteroleThief Mon 20-Apr-09 12:22:05

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WibblyPigRocks Mon 20-Apr-09 12:24:41

Why ice it frozen? With butter icing or royal icing or both? (Sorry to hijack - am also planning DS's first birthday cake!!)

pointydog Mon 20-Apr-09 13:01:55

We made a very effective teddy bear cake with chocolate butter icing. Easy as pimps. Just use a fork to create shaggy fur effect. You will have no problems!

fishie Mon 20-Apr-09 13:06:14

i'm fine at making cakes but shit at icing. ds has requested a spiderman cake.

am hoping to bodge it with red icing, black writing icing web and a spiderman stuck on. although i can't find any in the shops and teh only one we've got is plush. will this work do you think cake people?

TheProfiteroleThief Mon 20-Apr-09 13:07:40

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TheProfiteroleThief Mon 20-Apr-09 13:08:06

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misshardbroom Mon 20-Apr-09 15:55:54

my top tips:

1. don't underestimate how long a plain sponge can last if well wrapped and kept totally airtight. Not having to do it all last minute can take a lot of pressure off.

2. warm the jam for the filling in the microwave and it's much, much easier to spread. Just a short while so it's loose rather than thermo-nuclear.

3. befriend the staff in your local cake decorating shop and ask them loads of questions, however stupid they may seem (the questions, not the staff wink ) because you'll get loads of good advice this way.

4. don't underestimate just how impressed many people will be by the fact that you have made the cake yourself rather than bought one (even if it's not as good as you would have liked).

TheProfiteroleThief Mon 20-Apr-09 16:42:14

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misshardbroom Mon 20-Apr-09 17:09:25

oh no, that's such a pity! The ladies in my local shop are a fountain of all knowledge (albeit bossy beyond belief about how I have to do it grin)

pointydog Mon 20-Apr-09 17:13:52

do people have a local cake decorating shop?

TheProfiteroleThief Mon 20-Apr-09 17:15:58

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pointydog Mon 20-Apr-09 17:21:12

I would love a local cake decorating shop filled with strange people.

Where do you people live

misshardbroom Mon 20-Apr-09 17:37:55

I'm in Swindon, where there are two, although I only ever use one of them. Why, where are you, pointydog?

pointydog Mon 20-Apr-09 17:41:45

a grim god-forsaken town. No cake decoraters in my whole LA, I am sure of it

TheProfiteroleThief Mon 20-Apr-09 20:20:21

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Tommy Mon 20-Apr-09 22:33:28

the frozen thing means that the butter icing doesn't make the cake all crumby. The icing goes on really easily.
Since I got this tip, I make the cake a few days before and take it out of the freezer and ice it the night before

Good luck! smile

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