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.