Calling all cake fanatics and baking lovelies! How do you fancy showing off your creations each week?
I post each Sunday evening my Cake of the Week and invite you to do the same.
Add your blog post link to the linky underneath my Cake of the Week post and lets admire each other’s creations.
You do not need to be a professional cake decorator – it doesn’t even have to be a decorated cake – just one that you have posted about that week.
If you are short of time just a picture and link to the Cake of the Week post is fine. Some weeks I may just post a favourite recipe or something I’ve baked with the kids. Cake disasters are most welcome and highly entertaining! You don’t even have to post every week to join in – just whenever you can!
There is only one rule: The cake must be yours!!
You can grab the badge code below.
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Why did no-one tell me about the joys of plastic figures earlier? I spent years of my life that I will never get back making teeny sugar figures and now I discover how brilliant pre bought figurines are.
I temporarily came out of retirement to make little Hugo’s cake – He’s special enough to me that it was worth it! Actually I really enjoyed having a potter and Cara (Hugo’s mum) is a dream to cake for (its a verb you know!) – She gives me complete freedom and even went and bought the figures to put on the cake.
Cake purists among you are probably shouting at the screen about a non-edible medium being used – Sterilise the figures with alcohol (vodka or gin). It will evaporate. Also if you are using sugarpaste to stick the figure to the cake, the blob with come off on the feet of the character so the plastic won’t ever touch the cake.
I think I may start the odd session of pottering about with marzipan/sugarpaste but am definitely not about to start the business up again. The thought of taking orders and being responsible for wedding cakes still makes me quiver slightly. Could be something to do with how busy I am being Mum’s taxi.
For info, the Scooby Doo Characters are currently £6.99 at B&M – now try to convince me that homemade sugar figures are better!
Hope you like! What has everyone else been up to this week? Had a creative week? Feel free to show off your creations by adding to the linky below.
How have I gone 39 years without making a swiss roll? Even more to the point, how didn’t I know that they were so easy and so satisfying to make?
Last Sunday we were having a family getogether as we do every year around the time of our Dad’s anniversary and Mum’s birthday. As usual, I had been mad busy during the run up to the day. I had every intention of producing a masterpiece but thought it would end up being a Mr Kipling/Costco special.
On Sunday morning though, 4 of us did the Swimathon raising money for Marie Curie. Amazing how a swim can leave you feeling energised and utterly needing cake!
I came home and thought Swiss Roll like you do. A quick nosy round at old cookbooks and I came up with a recipe of my own. I was wanting to go for HUGE while we were expecting 13 of us.
I’ve not done a Cake of the Week post for ages – Feel free to join in if you’ve been producing masterpieces recently. I’ll do a round up at the end of next week if we get entries.
For one night only this cake was also known as The Violet Mary Costello Cake. (see photo!)
I have a new addiction – crushing up sweets and concocting various cake recipes. This was my offering to our latest Clandestine Cake Club held in St Helens last week. Our theme was Spring and I thought spring flowers and pastel colours would suit the theme.
Off I tottered to Amazon and duly ordered some Violet Syrup – I was going to go the whole hog and order crystalised violets but quite frankly, they were deeply ugly so I didn’t bother. Days went by and no sign of the violet syrup (I am in fact a week after the CCC still waiting for it to arrive and may be having a Parma Violet Cocktail night when it eventually does!) Not one to be deterred, I thought how best can I get a violet taste and so started the search for Parma Violets.
Turns out that they are considered quite a delicacy in St Helens – I was under no illusion previously that we were a Mecca for unusual ingredients but blinking hek, Parma Violets!?! Many a shopkeeper looked at me like I’d lost my marbles until my friend, Sue visited the good old market – Hurrah! I was now the proud owner of 40 packets. Yes, you read right – 40!!!
By now I had already made a sponge cake (just a normal vanilla sponge) so I crushed up 10 of the packets by bashing with a rolling pin in a heavy duty foodbag – I’m not ruining my Magimix for the sake of some Parma Violets! I mixed the crushed sweets with some thick buttercream/frosting and popped in the fridge for a few hours – I think the taste was slightly more concentrated because of this step but I’m sure if you ate straightaway it would be fine. The sweets weren’t completely crushed to fine sugar but the little flecks gave a lovely texture when we ate it. The parma violet taste was delicious and gave a little aftertaste kick – it was even nicer the next day. I also sprinkled some fine Parma Violet powder over the icing on the top of the cake for added flavour.
I’m thinking my next mission might be to try crushed Swizzels or even pear drops (although they do make me cough!) Can you think of any sweet suggestions? Don’t blame me though when you get told off by your dentist!
I know its been yonks since I did a cake of the week linky but if there’s anyone that would like to link up, I’d love to see your work.
Its been a while since we’ve had a Cake of the Week – The Costello clan are here, there and everywhere for a couple of weeks but I found these pics of one of the more unusual wedding cakes I have done and wanted to share.
The Cake was 3 deep tiers high. Doing the first covering was a challenge but as soon as I relaxed and got it through to my head that any cracks or imperfections would be covered by the folds, I was on a roll.
Looking at the pictures now, I reckon the cake could do with another band of roses around the outside – in fact, I’m trying to remember if I ended up actually adding some more roses after the shots were taken. What I do know, though, is that it took ages to make all the roses and used tons of ribbon to make the ribbon loops inbetween.
The folds of icing down the side of the cake are definitely made easier if you have help from someone. One person can be adding a layer and the other checking if it is being put on straight. The ends should all finish in the same place at the back of the cake. There are a few ways of disguising the joins – I added a heart to each fold but a bow or a button could work just as well.
The folds go from the top downwards. Find something to measure the width of each fold when cutting the icing so each fold (strip of icing) is the same depth. I’ve got a deep ruler which came in really handy.I just made sure I kept the edge of each strip quite thick to give the illusion of a piece of fabric (but not too thick or the icing will slip down the cake). I also made the sugar glue quite thick and tacky to help the icing stick better as I didn’t want to be putting my fingers onto the icing for too long.
The last Cake of the Week linky had 3 entries – all of which were quite lovely.
Kate from the Five F’s gave us a spooky Chocolate and Raspberry Cake complete with raspberry ‘blood’ (coulis)
And not forgetting this delicious looking Princess Carriage Cake from Sadaf, who was described by her daughter as ‘the best cake maker ever!’ Bless!
And so we move onto this week’s Cake of the Week – what have you been baking recently? Have you embarked on the Christmas baking yet? (Are you excited about the Christmas edition of Great British Bake Off?)
Join in and add your url to show us what you have been baking – doesn’t have to be decorated, recipes are more than welcome!
I’ve got a confession – I’ve never seen Ice Age. In fact, there’s tons of children’s films I have never watched. I’ve never seen Shrek either but I can more or less repeat the script word for word thanks to my girls watching it on the iPad in the car behind my head.
Anyway, back to the cake. A joint cake for my niece, Phoebe (4) and nephew, Milo (1). Phoebe more than makes up for me not watching Ice Age – she loves it. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t approaching triple figures of the amount of times she’s watched them.
Phoebe and Milo have birthdays on 27th and 28th December so maybe consigned to a few more years of joint cakes. I will always stick by my promise never to get them joint birthday/Christmas presents though.
We had a busy week for Cake of the Week entries last week. Sadly Jackie who has been so loyal about posting pictures of her cakes isn’t able to join in for the time being – Changes to Facebook mean that she cannot share her pics (or we can’t look at them) We’ll miss you Jackie and hope you still visit often.
I have to draw your attention to some magnificent football cupcakes courtesy of ChouxChouxbedoo. Mr P, the creator reckons he isn’t creative! As an aside, does subbuteo remind anyone else of Joey from Friends?
Anyhoo, back to cakes. The lovely Jen from the Madhouse joined in for the first time this week with some delicious looking English summer cupcakes. I defy you to look at these and not fancy delving into some strawberries and buttercream!
And last but not least, I give you Angie from CakesPhotoLife with 2 amazing entries. I’ve had a passion for autumn cakes and autumnal colours for ages, so this cake is just up my street. Sadly, I can’t show a pic due to security settings but please hop on over there and look for yourself. Amazeballs! Angie’s other entry is just as tempting – a Millionaire Shortbread Chocolate Cake.
The link is now open for this week’s Cake of the Week. Fantastic to see so many new people joining in with us. Don’t know about you but the end of the Great British Bake Off has given me the urge to get my ovens on. I’m on holiday this week but look forward to seeing what you come up with and I’m raring to go as soon as I’m back!
Regular readers will know that every now and then, I like to take part in The Gallery. A photo sharing linky devised by Tara Cain where we all ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over each other’s pics. Every week, Tara gives us a theme to follow – sometimes they are hard, sometimes they are downright impossible.
When it was the week of the ‘Green’ theme, I entered a cake. This week the theme is ‘Yellow’ so I’m entering another cake.
A bright, chirpy colour (Its my 3rd favourite colour you know! Tell me everyone has ‘favourite colour chats’ with their kids?) I made this cake for my last ever wedding cake. I wanted the stall to be bright and happy and not too cluttered. I also LOOOVE gerberas (I think I might have mentioned it once or twice!) What you can’t see in the rubbish picture is that the board has got brush embroidered gerberas in white – they took forever to do but looked really nice and the cake didn’t look half as plain. Never mind.
I’m also adding the Cake of the Week linky, so you can share any of your creations. I know Janine is itching to share some of Mr P’s cake (which I have tasted and are just as divine as they look). So over to you!
Its typical isn’t it? As soon as I stop making cakes, I win an award for them. They always say that you should be relaxed about doing any sort of art/craft (whoever ‘they’ are!)
I’ve mentioned on here loads of times that I am involved with our local WI. Well aswell as being in your own WI, you are attached to your nearest Federation. Our is Lancashire Federation of WI’s and covers a massive area from almost Cumbria down to Liverpool. Loads of opportunities to get to know other WI members and get involved with masses of events. Every year, Lancashire Federation host a County Show (if you ever watched Kirty Alsopp’s Handmade Home you will know exactly the sort of thing I’m on about).
We made a decision to really push the County Show in our own WI. Its an ideal opportunity to see what other WI’s are creating and there was no pressure to win – there was even a novice category for some crafts if you have never entered before. I have to admit, I was keen to enter but the timing wasn’t great – I had only finished last week’s wedding cake 4 days before my entries had to be in. Not one to be deterred though, I gave it everything I had on the Monday – cakes going in the oven as I set out on the school pick-up was slightly stressful but luck was on my side as they didn’t burn.
I entered 2 categories, 5 individual mini cakes (decoration only to be judged) and Own Choice of Sugarcraft – we were allowed 2 entries into each category so I entered twice into the individual cakes.
We had to deliver the cakes to Garstang (about an hour journey from my house) on Tuesday morning – yep, the day that it rained a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. What a pleasant journey that was on the M6. Luckily, I had Karen, a lovely fellow WI member to keep me company and provide Tara with a running buffet en route, as we were also dropping off her Victoria Sponge (which looked delicious by the way!) We also were charged with delivering Kim’s Jam as she was on holiday (the pressure!)
A few of our members had delivered their other craft items on the Friday before, so we were looking forward to visiting the show the day after and on the Thursday, to see what they had created. We were so pleased to be entering, we want to show that we are a true part of the Lancashire Federation and also to support the ladies who have been so kind in welcoming us to the WI this past year.
The amazing news is that we did REALLY well! We had some 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd in both cake and craft categories. You can see some of the other entries in the photos below – and yes, I’ve been playing with the photos again – normal service will resume soon where I just bung the picture up!
Before we went to the show, we weren’t exactly sure of the rules of some of the categories so it was a bit of a gamble entering. From visiting the show, we now know so much more – wouldn’t say we were experts but we are a lot more knowledgable. Here’s what I learnt from the County Show:
- Not all entries are perfect – lovely to see some uneven scones, some ‘slightly’ overdone edges
- Not every entry will get comments from the judges – none of the cushions did :-(
- Moulds are allowed on shortbread
- All cakes are displayed on paper plates
- There will be so many more entries than you expect – over 2500 this year!
- WI members are creatures of habit and race to the restaurant at 12pm dead on.
- Bead work basically means jewellery
- Triangle shaped scones are fine – 2nd place this year!
The pictures (clockwise from top left)
- The Painting Category
- 2nd place embroidery section goes to … my Mum!
- Fabric Postcard by Tilly Mint Boutique
- 1st place handicraft goes to … Cara Freckles
- The knitted food category
- Knitted Prawns!
- Silk Painting by Deb
- A Bag made from Bin Bags
- The cushions category
- A recycled hedgehog made from pages of a book
- A Table of scones
- A Table of Lemon Curd
I am going to put the linky up for Cake of the Week – I will do a round up of last week’s and this week’s entries next weekend. Don’t be shy about entering – its not a competition, you don’t have to have done a fantastic job even – just show off what you’ve been baking this week!
Well, we are finally there. The final wedding cake went out this week. This was an order I have had since April (around the time I decided to put Aardvark Cakes to sleep for a while) I didn’t want to go out with a whimper and this was definitely the cake to go out on. A 5 tier monster with tons of sugar flowers. I knew that the lovely bride and her mum, (had never met the groom until the day they came to look at the cake, but he was lovely too) both wanted a showy cake but they were easy going about which order the flowers were in and the ratio of roses to lilies etc. There are no rules about how many flowers it takes to fill a cake like this, apart from that it needs far more than you first expect. I desperately didn’t want to get to the point of taping all the posies together though, to find I needed to make more so made plenty.
There were 5 separate posies in all that are going to be spread out between various family relatives after the wedding. I really like the thought that the wedding cake will still be appreciated by a number of people after all the actual cake has been eaten.
And so the relief begins, how nice it is to feel that any cakes I make from now on will have their flavour and design dictated to by just me – starting this week with my entries for the Garstang Women’s Institute County Show! What was I thinking, entering sugarcraft exhibits the week after such a whopper of a wedding cake?
Time now for a re-cap of the most recent entries to Cake of the Week.
Janine is a good friend of mine who is producing some wonderful specimens at the moment – Just last week I was lucky enough to sample a mini coffee and walnut cake which is hopefully going to be part of her range in her new coffee shop (which is due to open very soon!) Janine has convinced herself that decorated birthday cakes are not her forte – I beg to differ with this cake. Her other daughter was 11 today, so I’m hoping for another entry to this week’s Cake of the Week.
Just look at this work of art from Susan – Her fresh cream and fresh fruit genoise cake is shouting at me to be eaten with a cup of steaming tea! Just gorgeous!
If you head over to Mumsmoments you will find some delicious looking two tone cupcakes. There’s also the chance to join in with Jackie’s new linkup – Foodie Foto Friday.
Thanks to everyone who has entered Cake of the Week – it might be the final wedding cake for Aardvark Cakes but there’s plenty more cakes and baking coming. I look forward to seeing your entries for this week – remember its just a chance to show off! For everyone who has supported Aardvark Cakes, a massive thank you too – I won’t forget the people who made running my own business possible – its been an exciting ride!
I love this cake and everything about the process of making it. A friend of mine, Christine contacted me earlier in the year to say she was getting married and would I make her cake. Her only requests were sponge cake and red gerberas to match the fantastic red shoes she was getting married in.
I have only recently perfected how I like to make gerberas. I use a massive daisy cutter and make most of them double depth. I roll a ball of flower paste and flatten it down, using a texture mat (or that stuff you can use to stop things slipping in the car – non slip matting?) to add texture to the middle part of the flower. If the flowers are not going to be eaten, I then add a sprinkling of glitter for added sparkle in the appropriate colour.
I’ve had a bit of trouble with the ole Cake of the Week linky this week – There was an entry from Julie at Mama Owl who showed off her fabulous Moshi Monster cupcakes but it has mysteriously disappeared. So here’s the link to them …aren’t they great? Julie was 30 at the weekend so a massive Happy Birthday to her!
Here’s hoping all the problems with the linky are fixed this week. Would be great to see some more entries, there are some amazing bakers out there. My next post will show that we all have our non-successful days!
Its been a while but Cake of the Week is back. I delivered this the morning that we were going on holiday but was strangely not stressed at all making it.
I had the pleasure of a really relaxed bride who genuinely wasn’t too concerned about what was on her cake. I found out that she was having tulips and arum lilies so went with ivory/creams all the way. I had never made tulips before so was really pleased with the final result.
I’m hoping that Cake of the Week will be back regularly every Sunday now that I’ve stopped gadding about so would love to see your creations on a regular basis too.
Just a bit of forward notice too though. From the first week in September, I will be hosting a feature called the ABC of Cakes. Every fortnight I will trawl the internet looking for cakes inspired by the letter of the fortnight. I will feature between 5-10 cakes that really stand out. If you have a cake with an A theme don’t forget to give me a shout – you never know it may be featured!
Anyway, back to Cake of the Week – I know there have been tons of Clandestine Cake meetings popping up all over the country. Lets see some of your CCC cakes appearing. And let us not forget the Great British Bake Off – are we all loving it and no doubt baking from the new book that we all HAD to buy?! (Which reminds me I haven’t actually got myself a copy yet :-()