I thought I’d share some of my past cakes with you today (you can check out some more in my “previously baked” gallery on the main page).
I’ve been decorating cakes for years now, even before I realized how interested I was in baking. I have a friend with a birthday on Canada Day, so every Canada Day for the past 7 years or so I’ve tried to outdo my previous work (I think it’s been 7 years – the first cake I remember doing was for her 17th birthday, but I’m sure she will be able to correct me if it’s really been 8 years now!).
These cakes have been a great way to improve my cake decorating skills so I have a soft spot for a lot of them. However, I think some of my more recent cakes deserve top billing as a testament to where my cakes are now, so I’ve chosen my top 5 cakes to share with you today. For a look at some of my other creations, check out my gallery on the main page (though they didn’t make the top 5 cut, I’m quite fond of the DDR cake, peacock pull-apart cake, and chocolate bicycle cake, so give those a look as well!).
#1 – Buttercream Flower Cake
I made this cake partly as a way to use up some ingredients I had leftover from a previous baking project (I had a lot of candied lemon zest on hand!), and partly to test out my new piping tips. I love the soft blue and purple of the flowers, and the pops of green leaves throughout.
The cake itself is a rich yellow cake with a light lemon buttercream. I wanted a stronger lemon flavour, so both cake layers were brushed with lemon syrup, and then filled with a heaping layer of lemon curd:
The result is a lovely, moist cake with a tang of lemon to offset the sweetness. I brought this over to my family for a Sunday dinner, and it was a hit! I’m glad my friends and family are such willing taste testers, as it’s pretty hard to finish off a cake with just two people!
#2 – Vanilla and Chocolate Birthday Cake
This was made for my mother’s birthday three years ago. It was my first try at making a chocolate doily as a centerpiece. I piped the doily separately on waxed paper and let it set in the fridge before placing it on the cake.
This was another yellow cake with chocolate frosting and a few raspberries to top it all off.
My mother, in her infinite wisdom, discovered a few years back that the best birthday meal is a greek salad. Light, delicious, and most importantly, leaves plenty of room for cake!
#3 – Sunflower Cake
This was another cake for my mother’s birthday. Again, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting (I’m seeing a pattern here…). We’d just bought a few boxes of girl guide cookies (my mom and I entered the grocery store at different times, so they caught us both! Can’t resist a good girl guide cookie), so I decided to try a sunflower with a cookie center. My original plan was for a small patch of sunflower, buy my parents like their cakes with just a little buttercream so I decided it was best to keep it simple.
#4 – Zebra Print Cake
This cake was inspired by Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio (see the tutorial here). In the absence of black food colouring at the time, I made my “black” stripes out of chocolate cake batter. Now that I’ve discovered Americolour (finally, no nut warning! I’m not sure if that’s something I should even worry about with food colouring, but it can’t hurt to be cautious), I can make this cake even more striking.
The cake was vanilla, with a small amount of chocolate batter as mentioned above. On the outside, I decorated with a chocolate ganache and some zebra print sugar paper. This paired nicely with the hot pink leopard print cake board I found.
The most exciting part of this cake, however, is definitely the inside. Check out that zebra stripe!
#5 – Settlers of Cake-tan
Are any of you fans of the game Settlers of Catan? I’m a huge fan, as are a lot of my friends, so this was the natural choice for my friend’s birthday cake.
This cake is a bit different than the cakes above in that it’s a pull-apart cake. So it’s actually made out of 19 cupcakes arranged to form a hexagon.
This came was made a few years ago, before I had too much cake decorating equipment. So there’s definitely something left to be desired in the smoothness of the icing. However, this cake still made my top 5 because of the details required. Five colours of icing (6, if you count the plain white icing linking all of the cupcakes together), number tiles (with dots indicating the probability of each roll), and smartie settlements. I also added a little more dimension to this cake by making the mountain tiles (grey) and hills (red) slightly higher than the plains or fields.
I’ve seen some great Settlers of Catan chip arrangements (green would be guacamole, yellow chips, red Salsa, grey bean dip. Dark green was either green Salsa or peppers), that would be great to pair with this for a fully Settlers themed birthday.
So that brings me to the end of my top 5 cake designs! I’ve got some exciting new cakes coming up in the next two months, so keep an eye on my Instagram and gallery for those to appear.