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:
Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugars
Colour splash pink gel food colour
Select Ireland Platinum sugarpaste
Renshaw pre coloured black sugarpaste
Faye Cahill signature gold lustre dust
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