Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I never thought we’d be a novelty-cake-making family, but Alan’s fish cake (fish-shaped cake, really; it was actually made mostly from chocolate) opened the fun-cake floodgates and now we can’t seem to stop (except on my birthday; my birthday = pavlova, every year).

Mo decided he wanted a digger cake months before his birthday last year; we showed him a few images of others’ efforts on the internet, and then told him we were going to use them as inspiration rather than copy one exactly, and he’d have to wait until his birthday party to see the final result.

We were pretty excited about the grand unveiling, expecting Mos face to light up with amazement and joy over our efforts. His first response? “I WANTED YOU TO PUT ALLLLLLLLL THE DIGGERS ON THERE, NOT JUST TWO.” 

This year we were stuck for ideas for both Hazel’s and Mo’s birthdays. Hazel liked Emma Wiggle (too fan-ish), dogs (too difficult/weird-looking) and, fortunately, marshmallows (we went with this option). One thing I love about making novelty cakes is the fact that it often involves Alan and I in the kitchen very late at night, over-tired and giggling over ridiculous things (in this case, how many ways a chopped-up marshmallow can look like genitalia) and wondering why we don’t just make a regularly-iced cakes like normal people. This was the end result of Hazel’s marshmallow cake:
I loved how the marshmallows and sprinkles turned out, but I wish wed made a light-coloured buttercream frosting instead of sticking with the regular chocolate one. Hazel thought it was pretty awesome, mismatched top and bottom notwithstanding.

Deciding on Mo’s cake was even harder. I wanted to surprise him with cakes that looked like Lego blocks, but he was keen on the idea of a Ninja Turtle cake, and instead of telling him - “Moses, my dear, darling boy - you don’t even know who the Ninja Turtles are! You only love the idea of them because your friends are into them, but wouldn’t you prefer for us to make you something that you actually love, so that in 15 years’ time you can look back at photos of your fifth birthday and say, ‘Oh, did I used to love Lego?’ and we can say ‘YES!’???!” - instead of telling him that, Alan said, “OKAY!”

When he first decided to go with the Ninja Turtle cupcake idea, I thought I’d stick with the Lego-block cake idea and we could have a bake-off, but then I realised that would mean both a lot of work and a lot of cake, so I stepped back and left Alan to his crazy plan. He ignored all warnings we’d been given about the difficulties of fondant and spent three nights leading up to Mo’s birthday dying it, then baking the cake, and whipping up buttercream frosting. I stepped in and rescued him when it came to face-painting, having recognised that Alan was nearing breaking point and desperately wishing wed gone with the Lego idea (I might have misread this, but Im pretty sure thats what was going through his mind at that point). I decided to mix up the emotions so that they didn’t all look cranky (which was the original plan).
They were too sweet even for the kids (which is a worry), and theyd taken approximately 20 hours to put together, but they looked pretty cool, and the texture of the fondant, buttercream, and cupcake together was so good (Alan used this recipe).

We have a year to recover and plan for the next lot.


  1. Do you know you can buy pre-coloured fondant (in packs ranging from about 50g to 5kg)? Just in case you're already planning next year's...I know from experience what a pain colouring fondant is, so pre-coloured stuff is the best thing ever.

    1. We were warned that colouring fondant was the worst, but instead of thinking "Hmmm, should probably find another option, then," Alan went with "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED." It took soooo much time, but he did it. I'd definitely argue for pre-coloured fondant next time.

      Now that you're a fondant queen, are you making more exciting birthday cakes? :)