Monday, 26 May 2014

John Deere birthday cake

This was a very tricky cake to make! Somebody at work asked me to make it for their son's 21st birthday - he is at agricultural college. Having looked around for images of tractors and other John Deere cakes, we came up with this idea.

The cake is a chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream. I started with a 10" square cake and cut it to shape like a tractor. Unfortunately I discovered that I required more cake so ended up baking a 4" cake as well - to make the 'cabin' of the tractor. I then used a knife to shape the front of the tractor, however on reflection I should maybe have shaped the cabin more so that it wasn't as box-like and also had a slight angle to the front.

I then iced the cake in white icing - this was to give the icing a smoother finish and also to prevent the green icing from being covered in the chocolate buttercream if I was required to remove it and start again. Once the cake was iced in white it was time for me to add the grey for the windows and the green for the remainder of the tractor. I then used some black icing to create the frame of the window. I also used an edible glaze to the windows to give them a shine.

I painted the black lines on the tractor and the John Deere yellow/black strip along either side was made from yellow icing which I then painted with black paste watered down with clear alcohol to create the writing.

The tyres were made from black icing and were shaped by hand. I then used yellow icing to fill in the centre. Further icing was used to create the treads.
The 'soil' was also edible and was made from crushed Oreos (the cream centre was removed first). I bought three packets but probably only needed two. I then made up some royal icing and coloured it green. I piped this on to the board to create a grass effect.
I'm not sure I would jump at the chance to make another tractor cake - there is a lot of work involved and a lot of detail to try and get right. However, you always learn from previous attempts and so the next time should be easier........

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Pink Bear Christening Cake

I have made this cake on a couple of occasions, however it was made in baby blue. This was the first time I have made it in baby pink, and I like the look.

The bears were made from fondant icing and were stuck together with edible glue. I then used small amounts of black modelling paste for the eyes and nose. The pillow was also made from modelling paste and I used a modelling tool to give it the 'ruffled' effect.

The blocks were made from fondant icing and trust me, it is surprisingly difficult to shape icing into blocks! I then used pink modelling paste to make the squares on the top and sides. All the letters were made from modelling paste rolled very thin - it's the only way to make the cutters work.

The cakes were 6" and 10" squares and I used a 14" board to give me enough room for the blocks to fit. I found it easier to place the top cake with there being a 4" difference in size. When I have made this design previously there was only a 2" difference, which doesn't give you much room for error.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Nurse retirement cake

This cake was for a nurse who was retiring after working within the NHS since 1968. Her daughter came up with the design for this cake. The colour of the icing (mint green) reflects the colour of her uniform worn in the 80's, as does the forest green belt. The buckle was quite difficult and I actually went through many variations before arriving at this one, which may look simple but actually appeared more effective than the the ones that were more detailed.

I used my own fob watch to help with the design of this one (I'm a Physiotherapist when not making cakes). I used modelling paste and then dusted it with edible silver. The clock face was created using a pen with edible black ink.

On the front and back of the cake, the NHS logo was used. On both sides of the cake were the dates 1968 2014 with the belt in between.