Friday, 2 November 2012

Diver Cake

This cake is one of the favourite ones I have made. I hope you like it.

My friend Pete is a keen diver, he actually was one of my diving instructors so it seemed apt to make him a diver cake. He also prefers the icing to cake, so this allowed for icing additions that he could eat with the cake.

The reef was fun to make, and included a number of seaweeds, clams (complete with some pearls) and a starfish. It may not be ecologically accurate, but was fun to make and did taste good. He even approved of the cake underneath the icing.

Lactose-free cheesecake

This title can be interpreted two ways: one, I have tried to make speedily using lactose-free substitutions and it didn't really work; and the other turned out quite well:

My sister has a lactose intolerance, so most dairy she avoids like the plague. Even before her intolerance, she didn't eat much cheese at home. So, it is quite funny, at least to our family, that she ended up married to someone who likes his cheese.

Therefore, when it can to his birthday, the idea was to make him some cheese that she could also enjoy, so the "lactose-free cheesecake" or really "lactose-free cheese-board cake" was born.

Unfortunately the blue-cheese did not come out quite as I hope, probably linked to my lack of experience eating blue cheese, however, I did like my cheddar, edam, speckled Tintern and gooey brie.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


I have perfected the cake part of cupcakes for many years.

At about 11, allowed to bake solo, I made the mistake of putting too little in the cases, creating a more jaffa-cake style cake/biscuit but they went down well once sandwiched in twos with buttercream.

Another time, I tried to cook buns without a bun tray and a bit too much in the cases, I ended up with a tray full of cake with a number of cases sticking out of it.

Thankfully most of these mishaps are hopefully behind me, each I have learned from. Now I am perfecting the icing process.

Below are a selection of cupcakes decorated with piped frosting and hopefully to a level my 11 year old self would have been proud.

As well as these designs and similar, I also have had photographed some of my Chistmassy cupcakes. These were actually used as my Christmas cards last year.

Sandcastle cake

Being fascinated with marine life, and surrounded by a number of people with a similar fascination, does result in the opportunities to make sea-themed cakes. The cake below was fun to make and quite easy, as I know the subject area quite well.

Sandcastle cake

This cake was fun and a bit messy to make. I made this cake, actually quite speedily. It was made for a friend who is often based offshore on a boat, and seems to end up on this boat for his birthdays. Last minute he managed it again so, despite being a cake for a friend, I didn't actually get to see my friend receive the cake. I did, however, receive messages of appreciation from many who got to eat it.

The cake is a sponge cake covered in buttercream and biscuit crumbs. I researched the best way to create a sandy look, there seemed to be a few ways but biscuit seemed to be the best way that didn't result in an overly sweet result.

It was quite fun to create the sand, basically I covered the cake in butter icing, then pebbledashed it with biscuit crumbs.

The final touches were made to this cake but including some water, some cartoon marine creatures, a shell, an anemone and the customary sandcastle flag.

Pengiuns Creations

Although the company is called "Jess' Fondant Cakes", I make every cake personalised to the recipient and this often means thinking outside of the box.

One of my friend's wanted to employ my services for his wife's birthday. Since they're trip to New Zealand, she has loved penguins, so the brief was a penguin cake.

The next stage was to work out which kind of penguin she would like. If you search penguin cake, you get a lot of Linux and Pingu penguins. I eventually found a more realistic penguin, if a Happy Feet penguin, and on this website appeared to be some amazing "Penguin olives". I shared the image with my friend as a joke and it turns out his wife loved olives and I was asked to make some of these as well.

However, one deeper discussion as to what to make, she wasn't a big fan of icing but we worked out that she loved cheesecake so the plan was to make a penguin shaped cheesecake and a selection of penguin olives.

This project was definitely a fun one, my family much enjoyed the "trial" cheesecake, when I made sure I got the shaping and the pairing of the cheesecake mixes correct. The "penguin olives" were a bit messy to make but the end result is so cute and was much admired.


The cheesecake was made using dark chocolate and white chocolate no-bake cheesecake mixes, with the beak made with the white chocolate mix with a touch of food colouring. The shape was made using foil covered pre-bent card that was held in place, on the outside, using tape, with fondant icing (it seems I can't not use it somewhere) used as weighted blocks to prevent the card billowing.

Not my own idea, but mine were made using a round of carrot as the feet, the notch cut out doubles as the beak poked into a pitted black olive. The body is made with an upright pitted olive, sliced carefully down one side and filled with a small ball of cream cheese. The making of the ball of cream cheese was quite messy but seemed to be the best method. A few of the penguins had scarves made of small strips of pepper.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Bouqu-cake

A cake close to my heart, was one I made in July 2011 for my sister's wedding. The official wedding cake was made by my new brother-in-law's Grandma, however, many of the wedding guests would be unable to eat the cake, due to allergies and intolerances, including lactose and wheat intolerances and nut allergies, so I was put in charge of making a cake catering for all.

I have a lot of experiences baking for these intolerances/allergies so rather than paying for a dessert course (that many, including the bride may not be able to eat), it was decided that there would be a pudding table which a selection of treats including the cake I made that everyone could eat, and they did (the sign disappeared and everyone happily dug in, unknowingly, to a lactose, gluten and nut free cake).

This cake was affectionately named the "Bouqu-cake", as you can see below, as it is a bouquet. I cannot take credit for the design, also taken from a fondant cake book, but was adapted to fit the wedding colours. It was fun to make, and a lovely calm couple of hours making it amongst the pre-wedding activities.

How I decorate my cakes

For each cake I make, I start out with a theme from the customer or the friend/family member in question. Then I find an image or two of the subject idea, or even a photo or two of similar cakes, so I can plan out my idea.

For example, one of my first official "Jess' Fondant Cakes" client was an avid computer gamer. He requested a Gears of War Lancer cake - to the ill-educated in this field, this means a special gun that doubles as a chainsaw from one of his favourite games. After researching the gun in question, I began to construct the cake.

A "Gears of War" Lancer cake - a geeky themed cake of a chainsaw-gun Decorating process

First, I made the cake base and, once cooked and filled with jam and buttercream, I cut and assemble to the desired shape.

A "Gears of War" Lancer cake - a geeky themed cake of a chainsaw-gun Decorating in progress

This cake leant itself to a base colour and the addition of sections afterwards for the details. So, once the shape was made, I covered in fondant icing in the base colour.Carefully forming and cutting out the desired shapes.

A "Gears of War" Lancer cake - a geeky themed cake of a chainsaw-gun

The completed Lancer. I finish by painting with a watered down glace icing finish to remove any icing sugar marks left from the decorating process.

A "Gears of War" Lancer cake, complete with edible blood

Based on the type of game this gun came from, it could not be complete without some splattered fake blood, make from icing sugar, water and concentrated icing colouring paste.

A "Gears of War" Lancer cake, complete with edible blood

The feedback I got from this cake was very two sided: those that understood what it was and played aforementioned game, liked it; and those, especially the more squeamish, did not appreciate the fake blood.

Every cake has a story

Over the last few years, before Jess' Fondant Cakes began, I have been photographing the cakes I have been making, just as a record for me, remembering the ones I really liked and the memories from those events. As all my cakes are personalised to the recipient, they each have a story. As I have only just started this blog, this seemed a good place to start, showing some of my favourite cakes and the stories behind them. The rest can be found on my website and facebook page

Anemone and clown fish cake

As a trained marine biologist and diver, marine themed cakes will always be a favourite (see the diver cake in later posts). This cake is special to me. Made as a name-day cake for a close friend and felow marine biologist, it was a very easy cake to make and came out quite well, if I do say myself.

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants Cake

The title of this cake may seem random to most, but this cake was made for a very close friend. As young girls, we both read the "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" books (later made into films) so I decided to decorate a cake in the same theme. I enjoyed making this cake, using a number of icing media. Other than having to explain the cake to many people, the cake was much appreciated.

Caveman Dinosaur Cake

I cannot take credit for the design of this cake, as it taken directly from a fondant cake book. I do love this cake though, I managed to make this cake in my kitchen without my boyfriend seeing it, before the day itself. He was very surprised, especially as the man looks a little like him (although in real-life, a little less beardy).

A British Goodbye Cake

A simple but effective designed cake for a young girl emigrating, obviously around Christmas time. She especially appreciated the addition of glitter.

Welcome to my blog!


Hi, welcome to Jess' Fondant Cakes' first blog. Jess' Fondant Cakes has been running for about a year now and I, Jess, thought it was about time I document the process, a different way that just putting the photos on the website, facebook, squidoo and flickr.

Jess' Fondant Cakes is in its infancy but I have been a cake maker since I was a little girl and in my teenage/adult years have been developing my skills by making celebration cakes for my family and friends.

This blog will, hopefully, show a selection of my cakes and the process that goes into making them. I have a number of cakes on the horizon, including a cake for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary, which, due to the immensity of the event, requires a very impressive cake.

Enjoy and remember, there is always a occasion for cake and a cake for every occasion.