Christmas Cakes

It’s been fun doing the Christmas cakes this year, although I could do with being just a tad more organised about things – a little lot less last minute dashing is the plan for next year.

Working with different media is always refreshing, and it was great to be able to work on the solidity of a fruit cake rather than the more fragile sponge ones.

Devoted though I am to Italian meringue buttercream, it was a nice change to use marzipan again.  That stuff is so easy to handle, mould and form – I wish more people liked it!

I was also reminded that I really must get to grips with royal icing.  The trouble is, it’s about as unpopular as marzipan so I generally only get one request a year for it (on a Christmas cake).  It’s easy to give it low priority.  Nonetheless, I need to make the effort to practice with it; quite apart from anything else, the marzipan button tree cake would have looked SO much better on a smooth topped cake.

Anyway, the last three Christmas cakes of 2015…

Star tree cake

Star Tree Christmas Cake – 6″ traditional fruit cake, covered with marzipan and fondant, finished with fondant stars and silver nonpareils.

I like the design of this but wasn’t happy with my finish on the stars.  I also don’t like the slightly lopsided look of the tree…better star positioning needed!

Snowman Cake

Snowman Christmas Cake –  6″ traditional fruit cake, covered with marzipan and fondant, finished with fondant features and bobble hat.

He’s cute, isn’t he?  I was pleased with him.  I was particularly happy with the fondant bobble on his hat, which was made using a ‘brainwave technique’ (involving scissors) that truly worked 🙂

It’s a shame this picture was taken before Mr. Snowman was beribboned and that I forgot to take one after – with a jaunty red and white spotted ribbon tied around him he looked even more appealing.

Gold star cake

Gold Stars Christmas Cake – 5″ traditional fruit cake, covered with marzipan and fondant, finished with antique gold fondant stars and gold nonpareils.

I really like the pretty simplicity of this cake – the gold board added just enough glitz to lift a fairly plain cake into understated glamour.

Five cakes in total and I really can’t decide which is my favourite.  I think the gingerbread man…but maybe the gold stars…p’haps the snowman…?!

Which one would you go for?

x

 

Christmas Cupcakes

PHEW!

There! That’s the huge sigh of relief promised in the previous post.

Now here come the pictures…

Blurred boxed up

I’m delighted to say the cupcake order (also mentioned in the previous post – c’mon, keep up now! 😉 ) is now complete.

Santas, snowmen, robins and elves – a total of 72 cupcakes, all boxed up and ready to go.

Christmas Cupcakes
A selection of vanilla sponge and chocolate sponge cupcakes, topped with vanilla Italian meringue buttercream and decorated with fondant.

These cakes are notable for two reasons:

  1. It was the largest single order for cupcakes received to date, and
  2. It was the first time I paid someone to help me complete an order (see above!).

And so, with baby steps, I continue to make the dream a reality.

x

Cakes for Christmas

Christmas related baking started in a simple enough fashion.  I played with some recipes, piped a few swirls, scattered some gold pearls, thusly:

Frosted Christmas cupcakesHere we have moist spiced orange sponge, studded with juicy cranberries, topped with orange & cinnamon buttercream. Demonstrating two piping styles – one finished with orange zest, the other with gold pearls.  When I came up with these beauties I thought I’d captured Christmas in a cupcake.  But I was wrong.

Christmas cupcakesWhat really captured Christmas in a cupcake was the ‘mince pie’ cupcakes I came up with next.  I used a spiced vanilla sponge packed with dried fruits and orange peel.  Then, when they were still warm from the oven, I drizzled them with a fresh lemon soak. Finally, I topped them with vanilla buttercream and decorated with fondant.

With demands for more flooding in from family and friends I got on a roll (ha!) with my fondant designs, and things kinda snowballed (haha!)

SantasI made worried looking Santas, and some more relaxed ones.

Penguin & ReindeerThere were perky penguins and startled reindeer.

SnowmenThere were snowmen, resplendent in an array of stripy bobble hats.

Christmas puddingThere were Christmas puddings….

Choirboy…and then there were choirboys with mouths that made them disturbingly reminiscent of blow up sex dolls.  I stopped with the cupcakes after that.

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