Birthday cake rewind

December is not just about Xmas in our household - its also Olive's birthday.

So aside from all my Xmas baking, I'm also thinking about birthday cakes and party food.

With a birthday the week before Xmas I guess I feel like I need to make an extra fuss and plan something fabulous each year. Olive loves a party and has been actively planning this year's celebration since March!

This year she's picked a pirate theme. I can't wait to see Olive and her scurvy crew running around in their costumes, climbing aboard her pirate ship sandpit and sailing the high seas to seek buried treasure.

The cake is under way (and under wraps until the party).  Olive's excited because it combines three of her favourite things - you'll have to check back next month to see what they are.

My interest in cake decorating really started with her first birthday cake. So for a little bit of fun, here's Olive's life in birthday cakes (and the evolution of my decorating skills).

1st Birthday/Naming day - Butterfly cake

Hmmm...I think Olive's cousin had a little taste test of the icing!

Any of you familiar with the Australian Women's Weekly party cakes book will instantly recognise this butterfly cake.  It was the first time I'd ever covered a cake in buttercream and I was on a steep learning curve:

  • buttercream melts - you need to keep the cake refrigerated.
  • Smarties bleed colour when refrigerated - don't keep the decorated cake in the fridge!

I'm not sure why but we never managed to get a proper photo of the cake - clearly this is way before my blogging days - now I take more photos of the cake than the event!

2nd Birthday - Beehive cake

For her second birthday we had a Teddy Bears Picnic themed party.  Hence the beehive cake.

This was the first time I'd ever used fondant on a cake!  The yellow fondant 'honey' dripping over the cake was cut freehand and draped over the cake.

The honey flavoured cake was cooked in a dolly varden tin and glazed in a honey syrup to make it sticky and glossy. The bees are made out of yellow jelly beans with black writing icing stripes and almond flake wings.

Buzz buzz buzz

3rd Birthday - Tea party cake

My first ever fondant covered cake! Again a steep learning curve but not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  The strategically placed flowers hide a multitude of sins!

The triple layered white chocolate mud cake is filled with strawberry buttercream and covered in white chocolate ganche and fondant. I did make all the flowers and the lettering but took the easy (smart) option and used a porcelain tea set for the main decoration - who said everything has to be edible?

Another important lesson learned: white chocolate mudcake/buttercream/ganache/fondant combination is ridiculously sweet - you only need the tiniest slice!

Happy 3rd birthday my beautiful girl!

Do you love making birthday cakes for your children?


Olive is as cute as a button Di. Your cakes are gorgeous. As you know, the pirates are going to be visiting our place this Sunday before they head down to Melbourne so cake making has begun. Made the cake this afternoon and am fine tuning what I can use for the decorations. Will probably assemble on Saturday. We'll have 14 scurvy dogs here.

I do love a party and I love organising it. I've never used fondant and am a little daunted by it. Might have a go one day. I think my kids would be happy with a store bought cake covered in sprinkles compared to the cakes I make but I do love to see their little faces when the cake is in the same theme as their party.

Can't wait to see the finished cake.

Anne xx
Tina said…
Olive gets cuter every year! Lucky her to be the recipient of such lovely cakes. I am sure she remembers each and every one of these. Thanks for sharing her birthday delights. Happy birthday to Olive in advance and I look forward to seeing your stunning creation for her this year.
Sandra said…
Olive is adorable and your cakes are so creative. I've been a cake decorator for over 25 years and there is always something new to learn. Kudos to you for keeping up with all the techniques. And I wish all of my children lived closer so I could still bake their birthday cakes.

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