Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?

49 replies

GlumyGloomer · 25/02/2022 08:18

I'm a decent baker, I can make cakes that taste nice. Decorating though, I'm a total novice. Somehow though I'm determined to make my kids cakes myself (poor sods, lol), so currently planning a double tier unicorn head cake, with a sprinkle coated base.
Anyone else getting overly ambitious this year? Grin

OP posts:
Report
Please
or
to access all these features

PotatoGoblins · 25/02/2022 08:40

I go overly ambitious every year Grin I’m a hobby baker, and like you, they always taste great, but decorating is what I find the hardest because attention to detail isn’t my strong point.
Over the years though, with practice, I’ve got quite good! (Humble brag Blush)
Probably the most ambitious was my DS’s 3rd birthday where I baked two big, square sponges and cut those into different shapes which were then assembled into a dinosaur and covered in fondant.
Literal blood sweat and tears. I nearly lost the top of a finger.
But he loved it! And it turned out pretty well.
Good luck Op!

Please
or
to access all these features

Geneticsbunny · 25/02/2022 08:46

Go for it. We have been making poorly decorated home made cakes for years now and it is great fun and the kids love them. My daughter (11) has now started making her own and doesn't worry if it is a bit wonky because she remembers our previous efforts.

Please
or
to access all these features

MarshmallowsOnToast · 25/02/2022 08:54

I was feeling sentimental & wanted to make my Ds 1st birthday cake.

I'm no cake decorator (at all) but it actually turned out ok. Not the smoothest or straightest but was happy with it.

Might have another go for his 2nd birthday. Thinking similar tier design but chocolate with ferrero rocher 🤔

Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Please
or
to access all these features

GlumyGloomer · 25/02/2022 10:19

Thanks for the encouragement Smile
Marshmallows that looks fantastic!

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

spottygymbag · 25/02/2022 11:40

Fondant punches and some ready to roll fondant can make it look a level up even when it's a basic cake with mostly buttercream frosting. You get some great punches too. You can poke skewers or florist wire in and dry them if you make the shapes far enough ahead so they can be more of a topper.
Last year I did an ombré blue icing -never again!!

Please
or
to access all these features

MarshmallowsOnToast · 25/02/2022 12:03

@GlumyGloomer

Thanks for the encouragement Smile
Marshmallows that looks fantastic!

Oh thanks! 😊

Good luck with yours, sounds like it will be fun.
Please
or
to access all these features

Flangeosaurus · 25/02/2022 12:10

DH just laughs every year now as I sweat blood for 12 hours before each birthday

Please
or
to access all these features

fortunenookie · 25/02/2022 12:21

@MarshmallowsOnToast

I was feeling sentimental & wanted to make my Ds 1st birthday cake.

I'm no cake decorator (at all) but it actually turned out ok. Not the smoothest or straightest but was happy with it.

Might have another go for his 2nd birthday. Thinking similar tier design but chocolate with ferrero rocher 🤔

I just made my daughter a Ferrero rocher cake
Three layers of chocolate sponge the middle one had chopped roasted hazelnuts in it. I made a dark chocolate buttercream and the covering was a ganache type consistency made with melted nutella. I put chopped hazelnuts and ferrero on the top. It is a bit like a truffle cake and she loved it !
Please
or
to access all these features

Kerzehmet · 25/02/2022 13:52

This is probably outing but never mind.

I always make our kids cakes. This year my daughter wanted a Frozen themed cake for her 4th birthday. I worked my bloody arse off to make one of those doll cakes where the cake is the dress? Much planning. Hours of work.

When she saw it she said 'oh. But I wanted a moana cake'. There were tears all round! Said I'm going to sainsburys to get her cake next year!

Please
or
to access all these features

grey12 · 25/02/2022 14:01

I don't do fancy designs with fondant but try to use what else is available Smile

This was last year's Peppa Pig cake. A mer-pig at the beach

Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Please
or
to access all these features

spottygymbag · 25/02/2022 23:57

Today's Frozen cake 🙌 First one I have not cried over.

Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Please
or
to access all these features

GlumyGloomer · 27/02/2022 14:03

Well done spotty, that looks awesome. I hope I won't be crying over mine...

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

goldfluffyclouds · 27/02/2022 14:11

yes - I make 1 elaborate cake a year!
This will out me if my family read - but did pokemon last year, previous year was a fairground merrygoround, have done octonauts, lightning mcqueen and a trex!!!
Those cakes look lovely...

Have you seen the cupcake jemma video for a unicorn head - i find her videos and recipes are spot on...

Please
or
to access all these features

GlumyGloomer · 01/03/2022 13:10

Thanks for the tip, goldfluffyclouds, I'll look her up.

Today I have ordered and cancelled 30 quids worth of bakewear 😅. I'm going to hold my nerve and test it with the tins I have. It means the base tier will be square, but I think it could work...
I'm planning to make the sponges and sugar paste bits ahead of time (freeze the sponges). Dd's actual birthday is the day before her party, so I don't want to be stuck in the kitchen all day.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

grey12 · 01/03/2022 14:26



If you don't know her videos you should 😉 she does really good ones to help fix cake disasters as well
Please
or
to access all these features

GlumyGloomer · 25/03/2022 17:45

Well, I had a go at baking some practice sponges today. Not only did the square one break when I tried to turn it out, but it didn’t taste good either. This is a (scaled up) recipe I've used countless times, so I'm a bit mystified as to where I went wrong. Back to the drawing board...
I'll still use the sandwich sponges for the decorating run through as they turned out nicely at least.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

GlumyGloomer · 25/03/2022 17:46

Nice shape that is. No idea about the taste yet...

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Gonnagetgoing · 29/03/2022 10:10

For me practice makes perfect.

I don't do lavishly decorated cakes now, but I did as an 11 year old for a few years. I was lucky in that there was a cake decorating shop with tins, nozzles etc nearby.

I also got given traditional cake decorating books and just practiced every time.

E.g. basket cake (piped chocolate icing) etc.

A friend of a friend makes elaborate iced cakes every week and she just picks recipes she likes (a lot with chocolate bars or items in it) and she told me, she keeps on with it, practising. She's so good now she could sell them!

Please
or
to access all these features

Drawerofcrap · 29/03/2022 10:26

I started making cakes from photos on the net, or ideas in my head.
The castle one was my 1st ever attempt at a novelty cake, and Thomas was my 1st ever train cake. Plus my 1st ever horse.

I make everything out of icing and colour everything myself (icing, etc).
Everything is cake or icing and edible.

I guess each cake take up to a max of 2/3 days to make from start to finish (including waiting times, etc).
I only bake for my DC and friends/family, but only a few times a year (and not at all since Covid started), so I'm not great at it as I don't get to practice often enough.
I tend to see the flaws, and struggle to look at the whole.
If I could get good enough, I would love to do it for a job as I really enjoy it.

Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Please
or
to access all these features

Drawerofcrap · 29/03/2022 10:53

I carve/shape the cake myself, then once I'm happy enough I'll buttercream the outside (think it's called a crumb coat) and will chill it for several hours before covering with fondant, which I often make myself and always colour myself (except for black, which I buy pre coloured).

Also here's my 1st ever teddy cake and my 1st ever pouring cake, which only took a couple of hours to make.

My 2 latest cakes were rude novelty ones though, chosen by and for friends. 🤣
So I've now also made my 1st ever willy cake and my 1st ever boobs cake, lol.

I use all organic/free range/high quality ingredients so it's not cheap really. Eg, the Thomas cake was a 14" double choc brownie layered cake with a rich choc ganache filling, which stood about 10" high. Everything was edible and made by hand and freehand (not from moulds).

Including all the cake ingredients, cake board (£4), ribbon (£1), box (~£5 inc. lid), and factoring in costs for electricity and a percentage cost for colourings/tools (~£1), etc, etc, the actual cost for making that cake came to almost £40.

That didn't include my time either.

I made that one for a friend (the rest were for my dc) and I asked for £20 for my time (on top of costs) as they asked me to decide how much they should give me (which I was kinda embarrassed to do as I was worried about asking for too much), but my friend actually gave me £35 for my time as they were so pleased with the Thomas cake.

The Teddy 🧸 was also my 1st attempt at a buttercream finish.

Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Please
or
to access all these features

Drawerofcrap · 29/03/2022 11:00

As @Gonnagetgoing says, it's all about practise, which needs to be regular and often, and I just don't make cakes often enough to get better at it and work on my weaknesses.

At the moment I don't even decorate 1 cake a year so it's hard to work on techniques to improve them, eg, even just putting the fondant on (esp an awkward shaped) cake to cover it takes practise to avoid leaving any creases, etc.

Please
or
to access all these features

CraneVille · 29/03/2022 11:32

I always make cakes for my 2 DC, the only 2 cakes I make each year. I love baking but rarely find the time and always end up eating the results! This is outing but the last request was for a woodland fairy cake, never something easy! We've also had bumblebees, under the sea, rainbows, hungry caterpillar.

They are definitely homemade and never perfect, but the kids love them and they are tasty. I use recipes for cakes that are quite dense (like madeira) and make them in advance and freeze. I always use Italian Meringue buttercream, also made in advance and frozen. It's really stable and delicious! And any decorations are normally coloured fondant so also made in advance which lets them dry out. I also go for tall cakes with lots of layers because that normally gives me more space for decorations. I steal all my ideas from Pinterest and Instagram but specifically look for ones that can all be done in advance. Then, the night before the birthday, it's just an hour or so of assembly with most of the stressful parts out of the way!

For one birthday, I had a Uni deadline and didn't have time to make the cake. I ordered one that was iced and decorated it myself, it tasted awful. Too sweet and the cake just fell apart. It was a complete waste of cake and money.

Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Please
or
to access all these features

SpeckledlyHen · 29/03/2022 12:23

@GlumyGloomer - are you planning to ice the outside of the cake with butter icing or fondant do you think?

I watch a lot of videos on youtube for cake decorating. If you are using fondant I would say buy a silicone mat for rolling it out on (you can buy them for rolling pastry as well) as this really helps with it not sticking to the work surface. Also roll it up on the rolling pin and slowly drape over cake before smoothing and sealing onto the cake.

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PY6BB3Q?ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_NGG4TXRD4R17338K52F5&tag=mumsnet&ascsubtag=mnforum-21


www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B097C22FCN?ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_SQ82M792FZCENG5A23W8&tag=mumsnet&ascsubtag=mnforum-21

A cake smoother works wonders to get it nice and smooth. I think those few tools would really help get the desired coverage using fondant.

Please
or
to access all these features

TheReigningLorelai · 29/03/2022 12:39

I made this for DS1's birthday because he could ONLY have a Minecraft cake!

Anyone attempting an elaborate birthday cake?
Please
or
to access all these features

TheChosenTwo · 29/03/2022 18:49

I’ve always made the dc their birthday cakes, I’m an alright baker, atrocious decorator, it’s always a laugh when the cake is presented! They don’t care, they like the thought that goes into them (actually they are nice enough kids than even if they did care they have always pretended convincingly enough that they love them).
Decent cake tins, line them, and an icing smoother for getting neat lines. Crumb coat if you care!
I don’t go in for the clumps of fondant decoration style so much, I don’t like it and it just turns a nice cake into a heavy sickly offering.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?