Cake of the Week – Extra Tall Rose Wedding Cake

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!

 

When it goes wrong – A cake maker’s story

One of the most common arguments I had during my cake making years, was when I wasn’t happy about how a cake was turning out or worrying about how I would go about making a design. I know people were either trying to be nice, boost my confidence or genuinely didn’t believe that I had wobbles. This post is here to prove that there were definitely times when it didn’t quite go the way it should.

Just last week, I decided to brush off the dust from my Kitchen Aid and make a blackberry and coconut cake – it had been in the oven for just over half an hour when I realised I’d forgotten to put the coconut in! That wasn’t even the first mistake I’d made on that cake – I’d forgotten to line the tin but had added the mixture to the pan before I remembered and I’d added the flour before mixing the sugar and butter together. See? I’ve only not been doing cakes for 3 weeks and already I’ve forgotten how!

In the past 2 weeks alone I have managed to burn slightly overcook 2 cakes. I’m well known for leaving garlic bread, fishfingers and naan bread burning in the oven but up until now I’ve been pretty safe with cakes. (And yes, I have checked our policy to compare home insurance and made sure it is up to date!)

And so back to the disasters …

This 4 tier wedding cake looks harmless enough? I didn’t even have to worry about the flowers on it getting damaged as they were fresh and only attached at the venue. The problem was the venue though. It was a 55 minute journey away and the last 2 miles were up a REALLY steep hill. All 4 tiers were carrot cake and could only be baked and covered at the very last moment so it really hadn’t had time to set properly. I managed to fix the wobble but there was a scary moment when we first arrived at the venue. Luckily, the bride was delighted with the cake and contacted me a year later to order a carrot cake for their anniversary.

There was a piglet cake I made for my niece’s christening … my nephew, Joe decided he was hungry and ate one of piglet’s ears. We all howled laughing at that one!

Then there were pillars – I had a phase of clients that all requested pillars and tall pillars at that. They are really hard to get straight and always feel exceedingly wobbly. The top tiers of the cake do not actually balance on top of the pillars but on top of much thinner dowels which are supporting the cake and stopping each tier sinking into the next. The cake that sent me over the edge and made me avoid pillars for years was this one – My Auntie’s cake that took me over 3/4 hour to set up at the venue and then I had to sit practically next to it during the wedding meal convinced it was wonky or going to fall over if anyone even breathed near it. It didn’t by the way!


And let’s not stop there. What about the Bootee Christening Cake? Looks ok on first glance? Look again, the bootees have no laces/ribbons.

I’ll leave it there for now but I have a feeling I could be revisiting this topic as I ponder over old cake photos. My question for you today is ‘Have you had any cake disasters/near misses?’

Yellow Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week/The Gallery

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!

The final Wedding Cake – Cake of the 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!

Casa Costello

Red Gerbera Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week

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!

Casa Costello

Tulip and Lily Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week

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 :-()

Casa Costello

Rose Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week & The Gallery

It is an absolute miracle that this cake made it to the reception, never mind that it was fit to eat. This cake was a wedding last Friday, yep, the rainiest day ever and I had to deliver it to a reception where the car park is nowhere near the door. There may have been some running and a Peppa Pig umbrella involved.

We were actually guests at the wedding (and we were child free for most of it!!) – the dire weather didn’t spoil the day. It was lovely and relaxed. Laura and Mark are gorgeous and their 5 boys (!!! All 5 and under) looked and behaved beautifully.

Unusually both tiers were fruit with a polystyrene middle section on the cake to insert the flowers into. This was definitely one of those cakes where you think you need so many flowers but actually have to treble it. It tooks hundreds!!

My new favourite flower to make is a tulip type bud – they dust up wonderfully.

I’ve attached a photo of the new Mr & Mrs Molyneux (pinched from Laura’s facebook page) along with their 3 eldest boys – the 6 month old twins were asleep at this point.

The link is up for Cake of the Week if you would like to join in. Remember its not a competition, just for fun!

We had a lovely entry from Angie at Cakesphotolife last week – I suspect that this cake was another one of those that takes 3 x more flowers than you expect!

 

I love the story behind Sadaf‘s first fondant cake -Her eldest daughter had it for her graduation at 5!! If she has a cake that good then, what will she get for graduating from uni?

 

Jackie’s cakes are getting more impressive by the week – the covering on this cake is perfection and those butterflies must have taken some dedication!

 

I’m entering this week’s Cake of the Week into Tara Cain’s The Gallery link up – The theme for this week is Food. Always something that is on my mind but at the moment cakes are somewhat taking up every waking hour!

 

Shades of Pink Wedding Cake – Cake of the Week

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and messages following last week’s post about Aardvark Cakes. Happy to report that Cake of the Week will be continuing – at least for the time being. I have hundreds (no exaggeration ) of cake photos that I have never had time to post so I may get rid of some backlog. I have toyed with the idea about making cake of the week a bit more about other people’s cakes too – I know I really appreciate it when people publicise my work so would like to give a little back.

The cake for this week is a pink creation – A wedding cake for the sister of a friend that I used to work with in my distant days as a Council employee. I hadn’t spent much time with Jacqueline (the bride) prior to sorting out her cake last year but found she was just as lovely as her sister, Michelle. The wedding was Friday so the cake got collected on Thursday – I hope they had a wonderful day.

I had a new experience for this cake – making sugar flowers in public. By Wednesday night, the cake itself was near enough completed but there were hardly any roses finished. I had to take Millie to Stockport for a 4 hour round trip on Wednesday evening so knew that time was precious and decided to take my roses with me. Luckily, when I got to the pool Millie was training at, there was a bench and table in a quiet, not too hot area that was perfect for working on. I had to stop feeling embarrassed and keep telling myself I was saving myself a 3am bedtime! Have you ever had to work in an environment out of your comfort zone?

The famous roses!

I’m hoping to have a bit of a calmer week this week – I will tell you more about the weekend ahead in another post – but I’d like to concentrate on other people’s Cakes of the Week, so get your entries in.

The Gallery – Cake of the Week – 11/11/11

This week’s Cake of the Week post is also doubling up as a Gallery post for Tara Cain’s link up. I’ve taken part in quite a few Gallery posts over the past year but every now and then a theme just grabs me.

The theme for this week’s Gallery is 11/11/11 which was last Friday – we had to take a photo or series of photos which summed up the day for us and this is mine.

As a whole the day kept reminding us of Love. The wedding cake I made for the 11/11/11 was for a couple that have been together for a number of years but decided around 5 weeks ago that they wanted to seal their love on 11/11/11 – They were a really good couple to work for, knew what they wanted but allowed some creativity and were open to suggestions. It was also evident that it was being together that was more important the THE WEDDING.

More poignantly, Friday 11th November was Armistice Day as it has been for the past 90 years. This year more than ever people seemed really switched on to honouring the dead and injured servicemen who fought for our country.

My friend lost her 22 year brother in Afganistan a year ago this week. She works at my daughters’ school but on Friday was in London at the Albert Hall rehearsing for the Remembrance Day concert. Updates on Facebook kept reminding me of how much she and her family miss Chris.

I will admit to a massive lump in my throat when my 9yo came out of school and told me that Chris’ soldier’s helmet was on display during their assembly that day.

The end of Friday 11/11/11 was also the day that my eldest 2 daughters decided that they do actually love each after all and want to share a room (Violet’s exact words were, “Mum I’m going to sleep in the same room as Millie until the day I die”!) So now we own a 5 bedroomed house with 2 children squatting down in the same room. Only in this house!

A quiet week last week for Cake of the Week (where were you all?) – I have no idea what I will be doing this week so am relying on you all for some inspiration. Don’t worry if your cakes are not decorated, homely are lovely and still welcome to join in with Cake of the Week. Its just for fun!

Cake of the Week: Gold Daisy Wedding Cake

This cake had everything that petrifies me about doing wedding cakes – Pillars and getting cakes to be the same diameter as the boards they are on. Even after doing wedding cakes for 5 years, I still get nervous about the set up and leaving a precarious wedding cake.

People sometimes think that wedding cakes are actually stuck together on pillars – not the case, they are actually balancing on thin dowels, which are slightly taller than the pillars.


I loved cutting out, dusting and arranging the daisies – I did some with edible gold glitter centres. Phew, what a relief when it has gone – it will be well and truly eaten by now.

There were 4 flavours in this cake, fruit, vanilla with raspberry, chocolate fudge and lemon. The lemon was especially for the groom (whose name is Costello – no relation).

A much easier week next week!

I’ve put up the linky to Cake of the Week – There’s been a bit of chatter about it on Twitter this week so I’m expecting some entries. Join in, its not a competition, just a bit of fun and a chance to show off your hard work. I will be giving the entries quite a bit of publicity during the week.