Happy 1st Birthday Cara

And so it was finally here, we have been blessed with Cara’s first birthday, I can remember the day my sister went to the hospital with my brother in law and mom.

Isla (3 year old niece/big sister to Cara) stayed up all night (shush) watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Until the following day we awaited to hear the news.

I wanted to do something special and as you can see from my previous cakes, I’ve always been happy to use cake mixes and icing but this time I wanted to do it myself.

I didn’t take as much pictures as I would like because I didn’t have faith it would go better than I expected. I used fondant icing to cover the cakes and FINALLY used my topsy turvy cakes. I was a complete beginner with both icing and tins and was researching smoothing techniques and various recipes for what would be a 3 (albeit wonky) cake.


I bought
1kg of Caster Sugar,
18 Eggs,
1.5kg of Self Raising Flour,
A big tub of Stork margarine
1kg of fondant icing and 3 x 250g
250g of pink icing
Pink food colouring
Green food colouring
Vanilla Essence
1 candle
Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing
Baking powder

I also found a Madeira cake/Victoria sponge mix in the cupboard but these weren’t used.


I used this recipe for the three cakes. The 25cm tin which would be the bottom. The 20cm tin for the middle and the 15cm tin for the top. The website where I got the recipe and method from seems to have disappeared and so I’m a bit disappointed I can’t put it on here. However I’m a big fan of Lorraine Pascal and this link is a good recipe to follow:

I’m not sure if that link works but I generally googled three tier cake recipes till I found a method I liked.

As usual I sat down to watch it rise. There’s something comforting watching what you made grow. A bit how my sister feels watching Cara grow in to a toddler and Isla in to a little lady.

When it came out I was a bit ‘hmmm’ about it. The recipe I used didn’t call for baking soda/bicarbonate even though I had bought some. I felt it had not risen enough. Once I took it out the pan though, I could see the it had moulded to the shape of the wonk so was a little bit more pleased.

This was in the oven at gas mark 4 for about 1 hour and a half.

I used the method of creaming the butter and sugar and adding 1 egg to 1 spoonful of flour to avoid curdling. I set to work greasing and lining the middle pan and put this in the oven for 1 hour.
And this was the end result.

I had neglected the boy a little. So he offered to loosen up and colour my fondant icing.
It turned out he was a dab hand at cutting the butterflies out of fondant and therefore he takes the credit.



Now came the crumb coat. This is the first time I have used icing to coat a cake crumb like rather than just plop it on!
And the fondant icing. I’ve never used it before. I’ve never covered a cake before. I didn’t have a scraper or a smoother. Just my hands.



For my first attempt I was impressed and I’m never happy but I really was pleased. It was a heavy cake and I thought it wouldn’t be nice because of it being a sponge cake I missed putting the jam on it. I thought no one would like but everyone was pleased.

And the birthday girl enjoyed her very first piece of cake 🙂



Top Secret James Bond Stuff

It’s a bit difficult for me to write about what I have planned for Valentines as Alex gets email updates when I post a blog.

Trust this month to be the tightest month. London, Valentines Day and Mom’s Birthday (then it will be Mother’s Day soon)..

I am keen to do Valentine crafts this year although I have seen a present I’m going to get. I’ve never been fond of Valentines as I never saw the point in it but I am excited for this years.

I’ve been googling and researching Valentines crafts and seeing what other people have created for their beloved. There are some amazingly talented people out there and if I could show you what I’ve seen I would but I’m planning on doing it myself.

I also found this on the calendar, it’s no surprise who wrote it; it’s where I get my subtle hints from. I’m wondering what I could get mom for her birthday too.

For someone who is in constant pain all they wish for is relief. How can I provide relief? There are products I can buy but they are only effective for a short period so how do I win? How do I provide comfort? I could make her something but what? This is where I have a creative block because what could I provide of use?

When dad died I bought her a book to fill in so that in time I would feel as though I knew everything and hadn’t missed out or would have regrets like I did. Whether she fills it in or not is up to her, I know she will write it in when she has something to say or answer.

But back to Valentines,

I have already bought the card which I think sums up how I feel and as I went through sites I saw more cards that I felt were more appropriate or reminded me of past conversations and memories and I just thought, this boy is going to end up with a dozen cards telling him how I feel about it.

Valentines is going to be tight for the both of us but we have agreed we will go and see the new Die Hard film and I’m happy with that. In the aftermath, I always feel bad and guilty when I’m bought stuff, I feel the need to reciprocate and go over the top. So a film and some cuddles is just perfect, it is simply us.

I also had some feedback from the Red Velvet cake, I haven’t had any of it and left it over at Alex’s but it was apparently very tasty and they loved the look of it and I needn’t have worried. It wasn’t as red as I liked or how the box portrays it but so long as it tasted nice and didn’t upset anyone’s tummys I’m happy.