Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

My sister's wedding cake: Kransekake {Recipe}

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Drive to Byron Bay for my sister's wedding so we could transport the wedding cake I'd made her. A six day break where we spent four days in the car. Insane right?

Did I mention I made a wedding cake?

Not your quintessential tiered, fondant creation mind you.  In a nod to our Norwegian heritage, my sister asked me to make a traditional wedding cake called kransekake.

If you haven’t seen one before, kransekake isn’t actually a cake; it’s a tower of eighteen sweet almond macaroon rings – think baked marzipan – ‘glued’ together with royal icing. 

Instead of cutting the cake, the bride and groom lift the top ring.  The number of rings that stay attached to the top ring is supposed to signify how many children the happy couple will be blessed with. 
The rings are then broken up into pieces (starting from the bottom) and served with coffee. 

The dough is a cinch to make but its the baking that brings many a cook unstuck, or should I stay stuck.…

Norwegian Apple Cake {Recipe}

If you’ve been following my blog you’d know that earlier this week I celebrated Norway’s Constitution Day – hip hip hurrah! 

The Norwegian Kitchen is a collection of traditional and new recipes from each region of Norway, presented by the Association of Norwegian Chefs. 

Choosing just one cake recipe was hard but I decided to recreate a popular cake from my own childhood – apple cake.

When I made the cake I thought three apples was a bit excessive and only used two. Once baked I regretted my decision – whilst still di-licious, the extra apple in the centre of the cake as well as on top would have provided a greater apple flavour and a moister cake. Definitely use two green cooking apples – in Australia we would use Granny Smiths.

I made the cake the day of our afternoon tea so it was still slightly warm when served. The leftover cake was popped into an airtight container and consumed over a week. Kept in the fridge it stays quite fresh. To bring out the aromas, gently reheat a cake …

Spread the love - Lemon Butter {Recipe}

You could be forgiven for thinking that there is a strong lemon theme happening on the blog lately. And you'd be right. 

When you have unlimited access to a ridiculously abundant lemon tree - you don't cook with oranges.
Luckily we're all lemon fans here. 
Can I just say categorically that I love lemon butter. It's tart, it's sweet and it makes the most decadent white bread sandwich. 

It's perfect on scones and pikelets; is a divine filling for cakes and sandwiched biscuits; and unbeatable eaten straight from the spoon.
It's also pretty easy to make provided you're not in a hurry. If you rush it..... well, you're going to end up with lemony scrambled eggs.
Trust me. I've been there. 

I got asked what the difference was between lemon butter and lemon curd. I couldn't find an answer online but according to my CWA Judging notes, lemon curd/cheese is made with milk and cream whereas lemon butter is not.

A good lemon butter should:

have a fresh, delicate …