Poptart Drip Cake

One of my absolute best pals turned 30 last month and I really wanted to make her a special cake for her big day. I’ve been looking at these over the top drip-styled cakes on social media, and I knew this was what I wanted to do. Ness loves candy and cereal, and especially poptarts, so when I was trying to think of the things I wanted to use to top the cake with, it seemed like the perfect choice.

The cake itself was a vanilla buttercake covered in buttercream frosting. The drip was a white chocolate ganache, made by combining 100 mL of simmering double cream with 100 g of white chocolate, then coloured using “lipstick pink” chocolate colouring. I think I was expecting more of a neon pink, but it was still an awesome colour all the same. I then decorated with the poptarts, some lollipops, Fruit Tingles, and other assorted candy. 

And sprinkles, obviously.

I also commissioned my friend who runs Poppy Mae Design to custom design a card for her! It looks faded here but it is actually holographic and just reflecting strangely. It was so cute and I highly recommend for any calligraphy-style prints or cards you may need!

For her birthday we went out for breakfast and then had post-breakfast dessert! It was such a lovely day and I’m super glad the cake turned out exactly how I envisioned it!

Reign in Mud Slayer Cake 

One of my favourite people in the world recently moved back to Perth after living in Melbourne for about five years. I wanted to make him an awesome cake to welcome him home, and came up with this Slayer cake. Since Tom is lactose intolerant I made it completely dairy free. I used a Mississippi mud cake recipe (found here), and substituted the butter for margarine.

I made a chocolate ganache by melting 200g of dark chocolate, taking off the heat to cool a bit, then adding about a quarter of a cup of full fat coconut cream. I was worried it might curdle or something, but it was actually super nice and glossy!

Aww yiss.

To decorate, I made a really quick icing out of icing sugar and margarine, and piped it out into the star shape. I think the cake was still a bit warm, which is why the icing looks a bit… suspect. Anyway. I then rolled out some red fondant, cut out the letters, and laid them onto the cake. I had the letters pre-arranged on the base of the cake tin that I baked the cake, so that I knew they would fit.

This cake was honestly one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made, I think I ended up eating more of the cake than anyone else! It went great with the boxed wine that was also gifted 😉

Harry Potter-inspired Cauldron Cake

A little while ago, my friend asked me to bake a Harry Potter themed cake for her sister Harriet’s birthday. 

“Sure,” I said. Then she asked if it could be a cauldron.

“Oh,” I said.

For awhile, I debated how to execute the rounded shape of a cauldron. For some reason the idea of a round cake tin was really daunting to me, particularly having a round cake as the base underneath a bunch of other layers of cake. Baking a regular cake and carving out the rounded shape crossed my mind too.

In the end, I rent with hiring a spherical cake tin from Cake Tinz ‘n’ Thingz in Balcatta. I’d forgotten you can hire cake tins there, which is way easier/lighter on the purse than buying cake tins you may only use a handful of times in your life. I used an 8″ spherical tin, then stacked two 8″ cakes on top of it to make the basic body of the cauldron. I goofed the first time and used baking paper around the sides of the spherical tin, but the paper kinda folded into the cake and actually caused the cake to fall apart when I tried to remove it. So I had to bake a second time and actually trust the cake would come out on its own with just a spray of oil.

The second cake came out fine, by the way.

I hollowed out the top of the topmost cake by carving out maybe a third of it, then frosted the whole cake with some store-bought black buttercream. I then filled out the hollowed out section with red and yellow M&Ms (Gyffindor colours were requested), plus red and yellow giant round chocolates that I happened upon that were really cool. 

Finally, I rolled out a handle out of black fondant (which sagged in the middle by the end, but oh well), and piped ‘Happee Birthdae Harry’ on the side, in a homage to the cake Hagrid makes for Harry when they first meet.

Despite my cake dramas, I had a lot of fun making it! I definitely went outside of my comfort zone for this but I feel like it went pretty well in the end. Can’t wait for the next Harry Potter cake! 

Totally Unicorn Cupcakes

I’m really bad at updating this. Sorry. But also, not really that sorry. I mean, I’m doing life shit, you know? Those entire bags of chips aren’t going to eat themselves.

Nah but seriously, I do need to work on posting stuff at least in a relatively timely fashion. This blog entry refers to cakes I made about a month ago. Eep. Anyway, I made some unicorn cupcakes, to coincide with seeing a great band from out of Sydney, Totally Unicorn.

If you’re not familiar with them, they kinda look a bit like this:

Pic credit: themusic.com.au

They also sound a bit like this.

So yeah, have to make adequately fabulous cakes for such a fabulous band. Unicorn cakes are all the rage at the moment, just look up any baking social media account and you’ll see truckloads of unicorn nonsense. It made my job of finding a unicorn horn tutorial pretty easy though, so that’s cool. I made the horns a couple nights in advance, by winding two long bits of fondant around a toothpick, then rolling in glitter, letting it harden slightly, before gently taking the toothpick out and letting them set completely. You can keep the toothpick in, but I wanted things to be edible without worrying about chomping down on tiny wooden sticks of death.

These are just simple vanilla vegan cupcakes with vegan icing. To make the icing rainbow, I separated a batch of icing into 3 bowls, coloured them with different pastel colours (pink, blue and green), before spooning different colours into a single piping bag. A lot of them turned out more green than I liked, so I added more pink and blue for the last few. Easssyyyy. Topped them with a horny horn, and they were good to go!

They went a bit thin and limpy after awhile, so I don’t recommend taking unicorn cakes to a music festival in the hot Australian sun. But still tasty!

 Oh and uh… made a little cheeky cake, for the ladies.

   Hehe.

Christmas Baking 2016

I was a little bit ambitious for Christmas this year, and wanted to showcase a variety of cakey snack things for my friends. I like to give cake because it’s relatively cheap while still being something people can appreciate and not be some tacky knick-knack that will eventually contribute to landfill. With that in mind, everything I made I packaged either in takeaway containers that I’d washed and reused, or paper bags that could be recycled. It really bums me out that candy canes have to be individually wrapped in plastic, but I’m hoping since Coles supermarkets recycle soft plastics, they can recycle tiny bits of candy cane wrappers.

I think if I had more time or thought about it a bit sooner, I’d look into pretty jars/Tupperware to put treats in. 

Anyway, this year I made a few things for my family and friends that have really looked out for me this year. Everything was vegan since I have many vegan friends/friends allergic to dairy. I made blondies using a recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra, and topped with peppermint candy canes and Sweet William white chocolate.

I also made chocolate truffles dipped in dark chocolate. They were originally going to be rum balls, until I remembered a lot of my friends are parents. Haha.

Finally, I also made some gingerbread, using a recipe from the same Isa Chandra book. I think of all the cookbooks I have, I use hers the most! I did my baking over a couple of days rather than all at once. Well worth the effort! This is probably the last baking I’ll do for the year, so looking forward to more baking in 2017!

Halloween Harry Potter Cakes

It’s Christmas Eve, so I thought I better post what I did for Halloween, haha. My friend Jordan asked me to make cakes for her Harry Potter themed 25th. I had a blast coming up with different cake ideas! Everything was vegan which added that extra level of challenging, but it was worth it. Sorry for the dark photos, I took a lot of them at night time. Many thanks to my friend Gerry for lightening them up so they were somewhat usable!

The centrepiece cake was vanilla with a coconut caramel sauce layer. The icing was a bit sloppy but it kind of works on this cake. I topped with popcorn, pretzels, Oreos, and shards of chocolate bark I made from dark and vegan white chocolate.

I also made sorting hat cakes, and filled with vegan hard candy, so when you bit into the cake coloured candy would spill out, revealing your house! I used fondant for the sorting hats. Really chuffed with how these turned out!

Last but not least, I made pumpkin spice cupcakes, topped with a glace cherry painted in orange dust to look like a miniature pumpkin. I wanted to use glitter but orange glitter was not available. Still, pretty pleased with the result.

I had a blast making these for Jordan and I can’t wait to make more magical cakes in the future!

Rolo Tomassi // Cosmology Cupcakes

Anyone who knows me semi-vaguely knows that I generally prioritise two things in my life: music and baked goods. Being in a position where I can combine the two makes me feel real good! I’ve done a couple music-themed cupcakes now, including Blink 182 cupcakes for my friend’s 23rd birthday, and these cupcakes that I baked for one of my favourite bands, The Dillinger Escape Plan. I think most people can identify with having music that resonates with them, and taking the opportunity to thank/feed my favourite musicians and give something back to them is one of the things that make me honestly happy.

When I heard that Rolo Tomassi were coming back to Australia, I knew I wanted to bake them treats, and I wanted them to be unique to the band. I’ve been a fan of these guys for about seven years now, and they’re not only on my favourite UK label Holy Roar Records, but their US distributor for their latest album is another favourite of mine, Ipecac Records. They’re one of the most hard-working yet super chill bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. The cupcakes are based on their band logo from their 2015 release Grievances, and one of their earlier records Cosmology. I’d been wanting to try make galaxy cupcakes for awhile, so this was a good chance to give it a go! It took a bit of planning to get the effect I wanted, but I think I’ve got it – tutorial will be posted below.

Since some of the members are vegan, I made the cupcakes completely vegan-friendly. I used a basic vanilla recipe for the cakes and frosting, from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, a book that Eva had given me for Christmas a few years ago. It is one of my most used cookbooks (if you could tell from going back through my blog), and is just super versatile. I did a bit of a hunt around for black fondant, and found Fondtastic brand (who confirmed through Facebook message that their products are vegan).

To make the logo cupcake toppers, I rolled out the black fondant, cut out circles using a round cookie cutter, and painted the logo on by hand using silver edible paint. The galaxy ones were a bit trickier. To do those, start off with some black fondant, then colour small amounts white fondant using vegan food colouring (I used Wilton gel colouring). Make them the galaxy colour of your choice (I used white, pink and purple).

Tack random small blobs of colour onto your large black fondant ball, then press them in gently. You don’t want to mix the colours too much though, or you’ll just get a grey blobby mess. Then grab a rolling pin and roll it out to get a rough marbled paint effect.

Cut out circles using a round cutter. At this point, I added extra effects by painting blobs of colour using metallic purple paint, spraying and adding various types of glitter, and finally using a brush to fleck white drops of Wilton colouring to make ‘stars’.

The effect is pretty cool, if I do say so myself! I think overall including baking time this took maybe an hour and a half of my time. It’s actually pretty simple, but super impressive if you do it right!

FYI I wouldn’t normally recommend carting cupcakes around to pubs on a rainy night in Melbourne, but I managed to lug these ones around safely! Or safe enough to get into everyone’s bellies, heh heh.