Monday, 6 October 2014

Novelty cakes - My success & failures

Memories from my childhood include all the novelty cakes that my mum spent hours decorating for my parties which I think is the main reason why I love looking through the old Women's Weekly Kids Cake book.  It brings me back to a time when life was uncomplicated and fun.

Now I am making the same cakes for my own children and realise how long it actually takes to do a novelty cake. A BLOODY LONG TIME!!  I made a racing car for my son's first birthday (from the old Women's Weekly book) and made a total mess of it.  Luckily, my mum was on hand at the time and gave me some great advice "it doesn't matter if you make a mistake - just piece it all together & cover it with icing".   I think the icing was 2 inches thick on this cake.  I was also quite naive and thought I could decorate it on the morning of the party... ha ha!!  Thanks to mum again for insisting that I do it the night before because it took waaaaaaay longer than I thought it would.   The cardboard cut-out still cracks me up when I look at it! I still don't know if you could call this cake a success or a failure as it was a bit of a mess under all that icing...

When my life got busier I started to cheat a little in the cake department. Buying a slab cake was the way to go as it gave me a huge canvas to cut and mould to the shape that I wanted without joining together 4 cakes under a mountain of icing.  I still spend hours decorating them - with lots of love of course!

And the best part is seeing their little faces when they wake up in the morning and peer in the cake box.  It makes it worth the hours bent over the kitchen table sticking on smarties.

My cakes are always much bigger than they need to be - it must be the Italian in me!!

I have attached a few of my favourites which may inspire you (or make you laugh..). Take a look:

I love this cake of 'Bruce the shark from Nemo'.
For some reason I remember it to be better than it looks now but I still love it.  
My littlest man's first birthday cake. 

Hmmm.. I think you can chalk this next one up as a 'failure'.  My daughter wanted a pink pool but it looks more like a blood bath.  I also didn't have enough room in my fridge and stupidly left it out on the bench for a few hours.  When I looked at it again, most of the jelly was melted and it looked like a wreck.  I quickly made some space in the fridge and salvaged the jelly.  Lucky this cake was for our family only!!

This next cake is one that my mum made for my brother when he was young.  The quality of the photo isn't the best but you can see the little babies floating around.  

My family is MAD Hawthorn supporters so of course I had to fit a few Hawks cakes in here.  These are 2 that I have decorated for the men in my family that have turned 60..

When my dad turned 60, I tried to create a cake that was a replica of his newly purchased caravan.  Ummm.. it didn't turn out exactly like I expected but you can kind of tell what it is... can't you?? Not my best effort but the thought was there!

My daughter picked out this next cake for her 4th birthday.  She had been eyeing it off from the original Women's Weekly cake book for a long time and finally she could have it.  She took it to kindy on her first day and it was a hit with all her new friends.  The castle cake held fond childhood memories for me too as my mum made me one very similar that I got to take to kindy and share with my friends a LONG time ago.

Another one from the archives but how cool is this cake?  There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...  I still remember when I saw this cake for the first time and thought how amazing it was that my mum could actually make this!! Especially the pretty garden around the outside but you can't really see that in this pic as it is a bit blurry. Good on you mum!!  

This next cake I made whilst working on my 'Kids Party Food' ebook.  I had never made one before and it took a long time to get perfect but was worth the effort when my daughter cut into it.  Her face just lit up!!

When my step son turned 18, his present was a sky-dive and of course, the cake had to match.  
It was a massive cake and turned out much better than I thought it would.  I didn't have a plan, I just bought a slab cake and started cutting...

My final cake to share is a dragon cake.  I saw a similar picture on google of a dinosaur and turned it into a dragon with wings that I made from cutting out a cloth carry bag and stuck some wooden skewers in them to make them stand up.  My little man and all his friends absolutely loved it.

I have lots more cakes that I haven't added to this blog but I hope you have enjoyed looking at the ones I have included and that it may give you some inspiration if you are in need. 

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