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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Birthday Cake with Edible Flowers

I don't often make decorated cakes, but with my mother's 80th birthday coming I knew that something special would be expected.  Let me just say that my mother is a superb baker and cake decorator and has won competitions through the ScottishWomen's Rural Institutes (the Scottish equivalent of the WI). 

I picked up a copy of  March, Making Cakes and Bakes for a bit of inspiration and, not only found the Easter Cake by Izzy Pink which inspired the design of the cake, but also a little feature article on Meadowsweet Flowers.  Meadowsweet Flowers sell crystallised flowers for cake decoration and as my Mum loves adding edible flowers to salads and is particularly fond of the little 'faces' of pansies and violas, I ordered a mixed box of violas to decorate the cake.

The flowers come beautifully and carefully packaged, in fact they are double boxed and all arrived intact.  I dare say if I had had more time I could have made my own, but it was lovely to be able to get them like this.

I made the cake last weekend and froze it so I could get straight to decorating today.  I used the Vanilla Birthday Cake from Jo Wheatley's book 'A Passion for Baking'.  As you can see one of the sponges had a little bit of damage, but you would never know by the time I had finished!  I sieved some of my mixed berry jam and spread it onto one of the sponges.

I covered the other sponge with white chocolate buttercream (recipe also in March Making Cakes and Bakes) and placed it on top of the sponge with jam.  Then covered the top and sides with the buttercream.  You will see that I have managed to resurrect my mother-in-law's Kenwood Chef.  I got it checked out and it technically it is absolutely fine, I was told that it just needed to be used regularly!  So I'm doing my best.

I warmed my palette knife in hot water to smooth off the buttercream ready for the fondant.

I was amazed at the difference it made to have proper 'icing smoothers' borrowed from my friend Rachel of Rachel's Cakes.  I'll definitely be getting my own now.

Here is the rather messy 'work-in-progress'!

I am not well practiced at piping and writing in icing.  I had a little practice and then decided to go for it!  When I had finished I was quite shaky, I just didn't want to mess up after all that work.

Aren't those flowers just gorgeous?  I made the leaves from green fondant last weekend and left them to dry out during the week, that worked well.  The leaves and flowers were fixed with royal icing made from the ready made mix from Sugar and Crumbs which makes it easy to make up small amounts. 

Now all I have to do it transport it to my mother and wish her happy birthday.

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At 17 March 2013 at 11:24 , Blogger Elizabeth said...

This is absolutely stunning! Well done Janice, it's beautiful! Your mother will be delighted, I am sure!

At 17 March 2013 at 11:28 , Blogger Susan said...

Just gorgeous...hope she loves it.

At 17 March 2013 at 11:34 , Blogger Cakeyboi said...

What an elegant cake Janice, your mother will love it. And Happy Birthday to her, what a milestone!

At 17 March 2013 at 11:36 , Blogger Unknown said...

That is a beautiful cake and I'm sure your Mum will love it :)

At 17 March 2013 at 12:20 , Blogger Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

Beautiful cake and the flowers look so lovely. Hope you mum enjoyed it and Happy Birthday to her.

At 17 March 2013 at 12:41 , Blogger Caroline said...

What a beautiful, beautiful cake Janice - you've decorated it so neatly and with a lovely design. Those flowers are really pretty and I bet your mum will absolutely love the cake!

At 17 March 2013 at 13:18 , Blogger Choclette said...

Janice, that is one very beautiful cake. You have gone to a lot of effort and it really shows. I love the hat look and as a big fan of edible flowers too I just love love love it.

I've made crystallised pansies before and although I was rather pleased with the results, the ones you've used are decidedly more elegant.

At 17 March 2013 at 15:10 , Blogger Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Oh you do have a lot to like up to, but you have definitely passed with flying colours. It is a thing of beauty!

At 17 March 2013 at 18:21 , Blogger Debs Dust Bunny said...

I love the idea of decorating cake with edible flowers. It's such a romantic idea and they always look so delicate.

At 17 March 2013 at 21:24 , Anonymous Deb said...

Pansies are one of my favorite flowers! What a wondrous birthday cake! I can only imagine what a delightful birthday your mom had!

At 17 March 2013 at 21:50 , Blogger Baking Addict said...

This is an awesome cake!!Looks like baking runs in the family :) I'm sure your mum loved it - happy birthday to her! I'm not very good at covering cakes - yours looks perfect and I love the edible flowers!

At 18 March 2013 at 22:55 , Blogger Traceyr said...

Janice what a fantastic cake. :)

At 19 March 2013 at 13:20 , Anonymous Jayne said...

What a gorgeous cake, well done to you! Did your Mum like it?

At 19 March 2013 at 13:23 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

Happy Birthday to your Mum when her day arrives, my mum is 80 this year too!

As you know I LOVE edible flowers and make my own, although I have to say those ones look FABULOUS! The cake looks wonderful and I am sure she will LOVE it!

I am very proud to say that I have been featured in that magazine this month and have just received my complimentary copy!

LOVEL cake Janice!


At 19 March 2013 at 19:00 , Blogger Maggie said...

Fabulous cake and so very pretty too. I think Meadowsweet were at the BBCGFS in Birmingham.

At 20 March 2013 at 13:22 , Anonymous Stacy said...

What a beautiful cake! It looks like something one would buy at a fancy bake shop. I am an absolute failure with fondant so I am doubly impressed on that count. I hope your mother had a fabulous birthday!

At 20 March 2013 at 17:34 , Anonymous kellie@foodtoglow said...

The cake looks so delicate and pretty. None the worse for being frozen by the look of it. I hope your Mum had a fabulous birthday. 80 years old - WOW!

At 25 March 2013 at 20:23 , Anonymous Laura Loves Cakes said...

What a pretty cake...I bet your mum loved it! Those edible flowers look great too :-)

At 10 May 2013 at 10:05 , Anonymous Nitiksha said...

Janice what a fantastic Idea of making such an mind blowing cake. I would love to make one and add some exotic arrangement of flowers for some special occasion in my life. Truly inspiring!!

At 28 June 2013 at 09:32 , Anonymous lauralou said...

An absolutely beautiful cake and the flowers really do set it off. I'd be intrigued to see what other flowers you use in the future with baking.

Love the cake!

Birmingham Florist


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