Hi! Hope you are all doing well 😊 I have to admit that during these past 10 months ‘Baking for Therapy’ has never been more of a therapeutic tool for me!
In between taking online courses run by Sugar and Crumbs, and the odd cake request, it’s been a lifeline for my mental and physical health. I’m still struggling I have to admit, some days I find it really hard to motivate myself and end up spending the day in pjs. In the online class groups, we’ve nicknamed them ‘baking scrubs’ 😆
I know there’s lots to do round the house, but some of it I can’t physically do, so I just look at it and get frustrated! Other things I could do if I tackle it in bite size chunks but even the slightest exertion at the moment brings me out in a sweat. I think being confined to the house for so long has weakened my already admittedly poor physical health. I find myself in ‘CBA’ (can’t be arsed) mode because I know whatever I do is going to tire me out and, going off past experience, will lead to a couple of ‘recovery days’ when I will mostly sleep!
So I’m very thankful to my friends who have asked me to make cakes, as it means I have to plan my days, and once I start, I do enjoy the process. My lovely hubby makes sure I rest in between each process, to minimise the after effects, and when I hand over the finished cake, I feel a brilliant sense of achievement, which is a great boost to my mental health too ❤️
This pretty Minnie Mouse inspired 1st birthday cake was for my friend’s granddaughter and the last cake before Christmas, Christmas Eve in fact!
It’s a simple Vanilla cake, made using Velvet Vanilla icing sugar instead of caster sugar in the batter. Covered mostly in buttercream with sugarpaste elements like the ears, spots, bow and frill. I added CMC/Tylo powder to the sugarpaste for the ears and bow, so that they would stand up on their own! (See tutorial below) I then set it on a marbled sugarpaste 12” drum board, and used PME fun fonts and Faye Cahill signature gold lustre for the lettering. A pretty cerise pink ribbon finished it off nicely 😁
And this is how it turned out! What do you think? Check out below for the recipe. I’ll also leave links to the products and tools I used.
Tools and Ingredients:
- Preheat oven to 150C Fan
- Prepare 3×6” round cake pans. I grease mine and use a parchment circle in the base.
- You will need:
- 250g baking margerine
- 250g Sugar and Crumbs Velvet Vanilla icing sugar
- 4 large free range eggs
- 250g sifted Self Raising Flour
- Whip the margarine in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment until light, pale and creamy.
- Add the Velvet Vanilla icing sugar and chop it in by hand until mostly incorporated, then beat on medium speed until fully mixed. Scrape down the bowl to make sure.
- Add the eggs one at a time. If the mixture curdles slightly, add a tablespoon of flour with each egg.
- Mix the flour into the batter by hand, then beat for about 20 seconds on med – high speed.
- Transfer the batter to the 3 x 6” prepared round cake pans.
- Bake at 150 C fan for approximately 30 minutes. Every oven is different so keep an eye on it and check with a skewer in the middle of the cake if you’re unsure. If it comes out clean, it’s ready!
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool fully
- 250 g butter, softened
- 500g Velvet Vanilla icing sugar
- Coloursplash pink gel
- Warm pre boiled water – optional
- Whip the butter in stand mixer with paddle attachment until increased in volume, very pale and creamy – about 6 minutes
- Add the icing sugar and mix or ‘chop in’ with spatula before beating until it comes together. Add colouring if using. Scrape down, then beat on med-high speed for 20 seconds. Add water a tablespoon at a time if consistency needs loosening up.
If, like me, you’re in need of inspiration, I highly recommend taking a look at the online classes offered by Sugar and Crumbs, and don’t forget, there are free tutorials on the Sugar and Crumbs with Nifty Nozzles Facebook page regularly 😍
That’s all for now
Until next time
Stay safe and healthy
Products and Tools used:
Metal scraper 10” (for taller cakes)
Tutorial for marbling sugarpaste
Tutorial for covering a cake in buttercream
Tutorial on adding tylo to sugarpaste
Tutorial for sugarpaste bow