My Dad recently turned 60 and asked me to decorate a birthday cake for his party. He wanted a large cake and I didn’t trust myself to bake one so my Mum made a rich fruit cake and handed it over to me to decorate! I’ve only decorated a couple of cakes in the past – a Jubilee cake, a birthday cake for my Mum and some cupcakes, certainly nothing of this scale so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I’ve learnt a handful of techniques from working on Creativity magazine so had to put these to good use!
I wanted to create a themed cake so decided to base my design around my Dad’s love of sailing. He has a mirror dinghy which he sails around Poole harbour so I set myself the challenge of creating a replica from modelling paste! My Dad has a handful of photos on Facebook of the boat so I used these as a reference to create my edible version. I added some waves by piping lines of royal icing around the boat and used a brush dipped in water to add a feathered sea foam effect. This technique is called brush embroidery.
To pipe the words, I downloaded a free nautical font, typed my chosen words, then traced them on paper through my computer screen! A trick to pipe neat writing is to make a template like this first, then pierce a series of holes along the printed or traced letters. Use the template to transfer the words to your cake by piercing through the holes with a cocktail stick onto the cake. Use this as a guide to pipe the words with royal icing.
I added a ‘rope’ around the cake by twisting rolled lengths of sugarpaste together and added a little modelled life saving ring to fill the space in the top right corner. The finished cake went down really well and I was chuffed at how it turned out! I was so relieved to get it to the party in one piece as I was having panic attacks that the sails would fall off the boat! It was a bring-a-plate party so I also made some cake pops and K baked some scones. You can read about the party in my latest weekend-round up.
Have you tried any cake decorating? Let me know in the comment box below and share some links so I can see!