Cake decorating for my Dad’s 60th!

nautical cake decorating

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.

modelling paste boatbrush embroidery wavescake decorating boatcake boatsugarpaste sailslife saving ring sugar pastelife saving ring modelling pasteparty bakingsconescake pops

Have you tried any cake decorating? Let me know in the comment box below and share some links so I can see!

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13 thoughts on “Cake decorating for my Dad’s 60th!

  1. That’s amazing! I used to work at Lulubelle’s in Canford Cliffs and I couldn’t decorate anything to save my life! I just about mastered the icing swirl after a year haha!

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