What do you think of when you reminisce back to childhood birthdays?… For Me and my brothers, birthday memories all included an amazing birthday cake that had been made my Mum. They ranged from animal merry-go-rounds, hansel and gretal cottages to butterflies, castles, cars and trains for my brothers. Half of the excitement of our birthdays would be about what cake we would get.
I always knew that one day I would make cakes just the same for my children. But I also knew that I had big boots to fill!
Despite my best intentions in between juggling my children, work and family home life, I never found the time before Wrigglers 6th to actually make one. My Mum did step in for Wrigglers 2nd Birthday and made him a Roary the Racing Car cake which was just superb.
Roary the Racing Car
However becoming a stay at home Mummy after having Bruiser gave me more time and I decided that it was about time I should make a go of it.
Wrigglers 6th Birthday
Birthday cakes for both boys have always centered around their latest fad, be it Roary the Racing Car, Toy Story, Ben 10, SpiderMan to name a few for Wriggler. This year (2012) was no exception, he was mad on Thundercats!!
… This is how I did it:
What I used:
2x 250g of Red Royal Icing
1x 250g of Black Royal Icing
Black Food Colouring
1 Medium Egg
( I use the wonderful Lakeland for all my cake decoration needs. Its one of my favorite shops!)
I made a simple two layer sandwich sponge cake using this recipe the day before.
Firstly, I started off by trimming the sponge layers, levelling them off and removing any bumps and lumps. I then trimmed the circumference of the cake to give a flat surface for the icing.
Next I prepared the butter cream for the middle of the cake; I used, 6oz of icing sugar mixed with 3oz of butter. I gradually creamed them together until the mixture was light and fluffy.
I spread some jam on one of the cake layers and some of the butter cream on the other, then placed the 2nd half on top.
Using some of the remaining butter cream. I spread this all over the cake in a thin even layer. This acts as a great base for the icing and gives the icing a bit of maneuverability when placed on the cake in case it doesn’t quite sit right . It also helps keep the cake moist.
Next I was ready to Ice the cake. I started by rolling and moulding the red blocks of icing together in my hands, warming up the icing makes it more pliable. I lightly dusted the work surface with icing sugar to stop it sticking to the surface. I rolled out the icing into a circle big enough to cover the cake top sides and onto the cake board. (use a tape measure to measure the size you need)
When I was ready, taking lots of care, I used the rolling-pin to lift the icing and roll it onto the cake.
I made sure the icing was pretty much central, then using the my fingers and the palm of my hand I smoothed down the icing on the top. For the sides of the cake, I lifted away the icing with my right hand while using my left hand to smooth the icing to the sides of the cake. This bit can be quite tricky, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I trimmed off the remaining icing that wasnt required. Then using a cake smoother, I smoothed the icing in circular motions on top and around the sides. This gives it a smoother more professional finish than using fingers alone.
That was the easy part over! I next set about making the Thundercats Logo for the top of the cake! As I discovered, more planning was needed where this was concerned but I did learn from my rookie mistakes so, this is what I now recommend I do in future!
I found a logo image on the internet and printed it. I then cut it out and used it as a stencil. I rolled and played with the black icing in my hands to warm it up and make it pliable as before with the red. I rolled it out over a dusting of icing sugar on a piece of grease-proof paper.
I placed the paper cat face logo over the top of the icing and rolled over it with the rolling-pin. This left an imprint in the icing of the logo. I cut out the logo from the icing using a very sharp knife, taking care to remove the left over icing bit by bit.
When the logo was cut out, I trimmed the grease-proof paper down so I could hold it in my hand. Slowly I slid the icing logo off the paper onto the cake taking care to place it exactly where I wanted it as there isn’t room for much movement once it was on the cake. I used the paper stencil again, I placed it over the icing logo to help me reshape it and reposition any bits that needed it. I used my fingers to smooth it off generally and neaten up any rough edges to give it rounded looked as opposed to ‘just cut out of icing look’.
Once the logo was on the cake, the last bit left to do was make the icing to pipe the edging. This was a first for me! I remember playing with my Mums piping set when I was younger but, never on a cake. I recommend practicing lots on a flat surface. I tried all the different tips to see what I liked and figure out how best to pipe each one. I went with the shell tip in the end and I held the syringe at a 45-degree angle to get the best effect around the cake.
To make the icing to pipe, I used; 375g icing sugar, 2 tea spoons of black food colouring and the egg white of one medium-sized egg. I mixed them together well using a spatula to get a light pliable consistency. If it needs thickening up, add more icing sugar until its right. I didn’t quite get the right consistency for this cake however and after piping the shells they fell a little. I’ve since learnt that when you can make spikes in the icing in the bowl and they hold their shape then its right.
No Thundercats Birthday could ever be complete without Eye of Thundera buns! 🙂
Wriggler had a Thunderific Birthday and he loved his cake and buns 🙂