Vineet was celebrating a significant birthday and wanted to celebrate with her closest friends by having a creative time doing a cake making workshop with us. They were a lovely bunch of girls who couldn’t wait to get started piping buttercream swirls onto the delicious cakes I had made. There was time to have a glass of bubbly whilst they waited for the last couple of girls to arrive. They were soon getting stuck in trying out their piping skills on a variety of different buttercream swirl techniques. They were soon getting the hang of it and making professional looking cupcakes. They absolutely loved the vast array of decoration that we had, especially the rainbow unicorns and mermaid sprinkles. The girls found the cake class a great ice breaker and way to bond as not all the girls knew each other. They piped, they laughed and they got competitive. At the end of the workshop they agreed that they had absolutely loved learning a new skill and were excited to get practicing the next time they baked. In the mean time they couldn’t wait to take the cakes back to share with their families.
I’d had the idea ages ago to do a Hawaiian themed party for Cosy Mae’s 8th birthday party. The combination of palm trees, pineapples and Hula girls just seemed like an inspiring combination for a cake table. Also, being June I thought we were pretty much guaranteed sunshine- ha! In the lead up to the forecast every report I read predicted rain all day which was hardly surprising as it had pretty much rained every day leading up to the party. By some miracle the sun came out and we were blessed with blue sky and temperate weather. It was a big relief as we had 20 kids coming and had recently moved out of a house and into a flat with a huge communal garden. It would have been really depressing (and very claustrophobic) if we’d been rained off and had to be inside. We had some brilliant games; limbo, hula dancing statues, Hawaiian treasure hunt and of course parcel parcel, as my kids call it (when will they grow out of it?!). As usual, like a nutter, I spent weeks planning the cake table and then a couple of weeks prepping and making the contents for the cake table. On it we had; Hula Girl Birthday Cake (Oreo flavour), Tropical flower cupcakes, iced biscuits (Palm tree, Pineapple, Mermaid and Ice cream), Hawaiian Hula Bark, Tiki Cake Pops, Sea and Starfish Meringues. I used an orange cotton fabric to make a sunset colour back drop and table cloth (I finally got a piece of foam board to use as a backdrop base.) I was pretty pleased with the over all effect although I do always wish there was a professional photographer on hand to capture my hard work before it is all devoured and demolished by ravenous kids.
Camilla wanted to celebrate her birthday by getting together with her best friends and having a cake making workshop. They had a great time. Firstly they learnt how to bake the cakes from scratch using organic eggs and real butter as well as fair trade sugar and flour. I explained how much better ‘mouth feel’ and flavour you get using real butter rather than margarine which I really don’t think is good for you. I try and use organic and free range whenever possible in my baking lessons. There was plenty of time do chat over a glass of bubbly whilst the cakes baked. We even put on Heart FM for more of a party vibe. They were a really interesting group of girls. All of them lawyers in different fields and at different companies. Some of them want us to go into their offices to host one of our popular cake making team bonding, client and networking events. We’ve worked a lot with law firms over the years. They seem to really like how well are events work as icebreakers and bonding experiences. Once the cakes were baked I showed the girls how to trim the cakes using a cake cutter (a bit like a cheese wire) and a bread knife. Then I demonstrated filling and crumb coating the cakes. Finally I taught them how to ice the cakes with a palette knife and some different styles of decorations they could finish decorating the cakes with. As you can see they each did something totally unique in the cake class They were really thrilled with the end results and excited to take them home to show to their family and friends. What a great cake making birthday party Camilla had. And who knows, perhaps I will be seeing her soon at a cake making company event in her offices!
As you probably know by know I love cake decorating and there is nothing I like more than creating a cake table. They are a lot of work though so I only do them twice a year. Once for Teddy's birthday and once for Cosy's. Luckily they are six months apart which gives me plenty of time to recover! For some reason my husband always seems to be away in the lead up to Cosy's birthday which is frustrating as it's when I need him most. This year he was at his brothers stag party and didn't get back till the night before the party. That meant that as well as effectively being a working single parent for the week I had to work cake making night and day to get all the treats prepared for the cake table. When I say had to obviously I mean want to but it does always turn into a big commitment on top of everything else. This year I did a couple of things I haven't got round to before. One is I printed off some mermaid themed 'food cards' from Etsy which my talented adult daughter wrote on in calligraphy. I think this really pulled the whole look of the table together and made it look more finished. The other thing is that I set the table up and photographed it before the guests arrived to make sure I got some good picks before everything got mauled. Also, I got a pic of the mermaid birthday cake in situ before whisking it away to bring out as a surprise for the magical moment when everyone sings 'Happy Birthday'. Unfortunately the mischievous birthday girl snuck a good look at whilst I was taking the pics. Next year I may need to arrange someone to take her to the park whilst I do that. Having done all this in advance did mean that I was able to socialise a bit during the party and have a few drinks rather than my usual rushing around like a mad person. I did indulge in a couple of bottles of Corona beer and relaxed whilst the kids did a great job entertaining themselves. In fact I relaxed so much that it wasn't till everyone had left that I realised that I'd totally forgotten to do the Pinata! Still at least I didn't forget the cake! The funny thing was I had thought I was so organised, wrapping the parcel for pass the parcel (or parcel, parcel, as my kids call it) and prepping the party bags in advance. There's still always something I've overlooked!
I was really excited about doing this for Cosy's 6th birthday party. Having thought there was no theme she would like better (ever since her princess party last year) i was a bit miffed to discover that she wanted a My Little Pony one instead! Having already invested in unicorn balloons, plates etc I dug my heels in. As you can see she couldn't have been more thrilled with the results. I made a Rainbow Unicorn Cake, Rainbow Cupcakes, Unicorn Bark, Unicorn Cake Pops. Recipes to follow....