Aarrr! It's Cameron's Birthday

Chocolate Pirate Cake

It's Cam's 2nd Birthday and time to celebrate pirate style! This cake was relatively straight forward to make.

The cake was a simple chocolate sponge cake (can't remember the recipe I used sorry, but I just googled it!) with chocolate buttercream frosting for the outside of the cake.

Accessories are chocolate wafer biscuits for ship decking, pretzels for railings, chocolate cigarillo for the bow, and smarties and lifesavers for decorations. The sail is made from edible papers and was ordered on eBay.

The 'waves' are chocolate cupcakes with blue buttercream frosting, accessorised with store bought gold coin chocolates. The sailors are vintage lego men from Cameron's uncle.

Jurassic Birthday - Angus is 2!

Chocolate dinosaur cupcakes

I was on a  roll with fondant work so I decided to attempt these cute dino cupcakes.

The dino heads and tails are fashioned from fondant. This was done a week in advance to allow them time to dry. The eyes are completed with edible pen, the lettering was created with cutters.

I baked a batch of simple chocolate cupcakes and a few different colours of buttercream frosting that i piped on. The heads and tails were pushed into the frosting/cake and finished with some sprinkles.


Leaf my cake alone - Happy 6th Birthday Hamish!

Inspired by Andy Griffith's Treehouse books this cake required a fair bit of structural engineering! Especially as it needed to be robust enough for Hamish to take to school.

I started with the fondant work, using molds for leaves and flowers and free hand to create small fondant books (edible pen is used for the book covers), string ladder steps, house planks and windows. This part was completed about a week before the cake was due to allow everything time to dry.

The base for the cake was a simple vanilla sponge cake, also made a day or so in advance so it had time in the fridge to firm up. I cut the cakes into shape for the tree base and the house component. The tree trunk was iced with chocolate buttercream (I used a toothpick to make the finish look a little like tree bark). I also iced the tree house with chocolate buttercream, and then covered it with light brown fondant. I attached the tree house to the base using wooden skewers.

To finish off the main cake I added some fondant 'planks' and windows to the house as well as the other fondant accessories (steps, flowers etc). To accompany the main cake, I made some chocolate cupcakes in medium and small sizes. Using a green buttercream frosting and adding the fondant books to finish.

I really like the finished product and apparently the kids at Hamish's school did too!

The Naked Cake

It's all the rage, so I had to give it a try! It's was way harder than I anticipated and I really should have done more research. Thankfully cream and edible flowers (courtesy of the lovely Brigid! at my fav cafe Alley Cats) saved the cake from being a total fail!

For the actual cake I used a simple sponge cake recipe (check out the go-to page for this). I used three small round pans and added a different amount of purple coloring to each. What I didn't consider was that the edges of the cake would not be purple, they were of course a slight brown from the baking process.

So the main lesson is that for coloured naked cakes, you need a cake cutter! Really you can make one large cake and simply cut smaller cakes out of it - that's how I will do it next time. Of course if you are doing a naturally coloured chocolate or vanilla naked cake (no colours) this is probably less of an issue. So to save this project from complete failure, I tried to carefully cut (free hand as I didn't have a cutter big enough) around the edges and top of each cake.

I then whipped some thickened cream with a little icing sugar and vanilla and used this, with some fresh berries between each layer of cake. With lashings of fruit and gorgeous edible flowers the cake turned out ok in the end!

Cheesecake of Freedom - Michele's no sugar no carb dessert

Baked cheesecake with nut base

It seems like everyone I know has given up delicious things this year. They feel healthier, but it's seriously hard to fine sharable desserts! That is why this recipe is so awesome, it really doesn't have any sugar or any carbohydrates so it's friendly for many many diets.


This recipe was adapted from various paleo and LSLC recipes by my friend Michele who was kind enough to share her awesome instructions!

For the base:
  • 120g butter (soft)
  • 1 cup hazelnuts (use a food processor to chop the nuts into a med/fine consistency)
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1-2 tablespoon cacao (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and use your finger to to rub the butter into the rest of the ingredients until a loose dough is made. Line and grease your cake tin (I used two loaf tins). Push down clumps of the dough until the tin is lined with a layer about 10-15mm thick. It is up to you if you just want to line the bottom with the dough, or also do up the sides. Put the tin/s in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for around 15 minutes or until the base feels cooked through (i.e. a bit crispy on top). If you don't use cacao you will know the base is cooked when it goes golden. Remove from the oven and but do not remove from the tin.

Hazelnuts after being processed

rub the butter into the other ingredients to make a dough

rough dough consistency

Line bottom of tine or base and sides

For the filling:
  • 750g Philadelphia cream cheese (soft)
  • 150-200g Birch Xylithol (available from most health food shops)
  • 2 eggs
Filling Options:
  • for plain, scrape the seeds from one or two vanilla pods
  • for citrus, add juice of one small lime and juice of 1/2 a lemon (for a stronger flavour add some grated rind as well), as well as  seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • for chocolate, add around 2-4 tablespoons of cacao as well as seeds from 1 vanilla pod.
Using an electric beater combine the cream cheese and Xylithol until smooth. Add whichever option you would like (for this batch I did one loaf of plain vanilla and one load with cacao). Then beat in the eggs until fully mixed through and and scoop into the tins with the cooked bases. Bake in an oven at around 160 degrees for around 45 minutes, until the filling is just set (it is best if it is still slightly woobly in the middle).

Smooth filling consistency

Vanilla loaf (with dough lined bottom and sides)

Layered cheesecake - part vanilla, part cacao

Baked layered cheesecake (with dough on the base only)

To finish I added whipped cream and some fresh berries.

Nut free option: If you are catering to people with nut allergies, just skip the base part, bake the filling in small ramekins lined with baking paper. Line small cups with berries and push the baked mixture out of the ramekin and on top of the berries.

Nut free option with vanilla and fresh blueberry base

Tinkercake - Happy 6th Birthday Penny

Fairy garden themed Dolly Varden cake

Penny was having a fairy themed party, a perfect opportunity to make my very first Dolly Varden cake!

So why is it called a Dolly Varden cake? I pondered this question all weekend while I worked on this cake! Turns out the cake tin is names after the Dolly Varden style of dress popular in the 18oo's.


The fairy base:

To start this one off I made two simple vanilla sponge cakes, one in a special Dolly Varden cake tin (kindly gifted to me by a friend) and one in a normal round cake tin. I made one batch of the following simple recipe for each of the cakes.

  • 200g butter
  • 1 cups caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 ½ cups self-raising flour
Cream the butter and sugar well, then add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Fold through the milk and flour in alternating small batches. Bake in 180 degree (pre-heated) oven for 40-50 minutes until cooked through. I was worried about the cake sticking in the Dolly Varden ton, so I buttered it well and also coated it with a generous layer of flour.

The garden:

Next I made a double batch of chocolate cupcakes using my go to recipe. I decorated the cupcakes using butter cream frosting (go to recipe for this will be up soon) and some simple flowers made with vanilla fondant (fondant and frosting coloured using sugarflair spectral paste) as well as some store bought sprinkles and sugar work.

The fairy:

After cooling both cakes I started by frosting (in dark green coloured butter cream frosting) the base cake and putting it in the fridge to set a little. Next I added the Dolly Varden cake and frosted it using a light green coloured butter cream.

To add the doll I made a couple of incisions in the top of the cake. I wrapped the bottom half of the doll in glad wrap to protect her (she was Penny's birthday present!) and gently pushed her into the cake until just her torso was visible. Both cakes then went back into the fridge to set a little before the decorating started.

To finish I decorated using coloured vanilla fondant, cake glitter, store bought sugar work and some craft butterflies. Transport was tricky (definitely a two person job!) but all the cakes made it to the party safely!