Another month, another round of totally awesome cakes to be in awe of from my lovely baking pals. Did you know I run a baking club? Yup, I know, it’s basically the best type of club to be in – one that involves making new friends over a shared love of cake. If you like a bit of the ol’ sweet stuff, then be sure to pop your email into the box at the top of the post and join our friendly Facebook group. I promise all abilities are welcome (we all share our fails just as much as our wins) and you can dip in and out whenever you feel like – it’s a club with no pressure and no commitments, hurrah!
Anyway in November we tackled celebration cakes – a theme coined due to November now being packed full of celebrations for me, with both my wedding anniversary and husbands birthday in the space of a week. Turns out it’s a celebratory month for lots of us though, and I was super surprised at just how many of the group seemed to have a birthday, baby shower, leaving do or such like to bake for!
In the spirit of being a good wife over being a good blogger, I didn’t blog my cake this month and opted to let the birthday boy (and his family) dig right in once I’d (made a pretty messy job of to be honest) put the last dollop of icing on and decorated the entire kitchen in sprinkles. Tastes better fresh right? Rather than after an hour of photo-taking has commenced. But I’ve included a couple of cheeky iPhone pics into the mix below and the rough recipe I followed – I’ve been angling to make a pinata cake for SO long, so much so that I didn’t even consult GB on what kind of cake he might like for his birthday and had it all decided by the start of the month.
There’s some mighty amazing cakes to ogle this month though, so let’s get on with it and CEL-E-BRATE GOOD TIMES!
Well we had a big 30th birthday in the club this month, and Natalie made her own birthday cake just to ensure it was one she would LOVE. And if you’re going to make your own birthday cake – well this is the one you want to make, how amazing is this?? It’s a vanilla sponge decorated with vanilla buttercream and chocolate ganache, plus some rather epic chocolate bark as decoration. Get the lowdown on making your own chocolate ganache icing on the BBC Good Food website.
This was my attempt at two cake trends – the surprise pinata cake and the confetti covered layer cake. I opted for 4 layers of sponge with jam and buttercream icing in the layers (my attempt to make the sponge spotted with confetti too failed – apparently Uk sprinkles don’t have enough E numbers in to keep the colour during the bake – you learn something new every day right?). I attempted to cover the whole thing in butter icing (although I needed A LOT and it was a thinner layer than I would have liked in the end) and then had lots of fun (and made a huge mess) chucking sprinkles at the side and wondering why more went on the floor than on the cake! The surprise smartie centre was a hit and much easier than I thought – simply cut out a circle in the middle two layers of cake and fill with sweets before placing on the top layer – and overall the cake went down a treat! You can’t really go wrong with a good sponge and icing right? I followed this Betty Crocker recipe for the steps, although made my own sponge and icing.
Talking of a good sponge, would you just look at the beauty of this one? A classic Victoria Sponge never fails to please, and like Cat I think the more jam and cream the better. I really must work on getting my sponge cakes to look as even as this! Find the ultimate Victoria Sponge cake recipe from Mary Berry.
If you’re going to do a layer cake, why not make it a layer cake dripping in butterscotch sauce? One of our most creative baking club members, Chloe, didn’t even have a reason to celebrate but treated her husband to this Butterscotch and Bourbon layer cake all the same (lucky guy!). It’s from the book Layered by Style Sweet CA (new favourite cake website alert!) and looks all kinds of epic!
Everyone loves a rainbow cake, but they seem all kinds of fiddly to create. Linda braved the bake this month with a four layer multi coloured rainbow cake topped with buttercream icing. To give it a bash follow this rainbow cake recipe on BBC Good Food.
Points for being a super cool mum have to go to Laura this month, who made this awesome cake for her son’s 4th birthday. Let’s take a wild guess and say we have a Batman fan here? But seriously – the decoration on this is nothing short of brilliant! We hope you took plenty of photos Laura so that when Max is a teenager you can bribe him with how great a parent you’ve been! Want to attempt something similar? You can download free printables along with this recipe on Domestic Fits.
Chocolate cake is always my favourite for my birthday, but how about a Lindt chocolate cake? Even more indulgent right? Diana made this epic creation featuring a double layer chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream icing and topped off with Lindt chocolate balls to finish. Find the full recipe on the Lindt website.
A very special cake from Sophie (at A Lady Bakes Blog) for her Sister in law’s baby shower! It’s a three layer coconut sponge cake filled with coconut cream icing and jam and decorated with sprinkles aplenty. You can find the recipe for the coconut sponge on Sophie’s blog, and the even better news is that she’s now a proud Auntie to a little boy! Aww!
I am just SO in love with the prettiness of this cake I can’t even tell you. It’s the creation of Jennie (from Scarlet Scorchdroppers), one of our total pros in the baking club and I’ve basically assigned her to making my birthday cake every year from now on (even though she lives in Hong Kong – small details). This is actually a three layer carrot cake which was made for a work friends birthday, and I’m guessing the birthday gal might just love pink. Find more adorable recipes like this on Jennie’s blog.
Finally, we have another birthday cake (and a pleased as punch recipient judging by the photo!) with this chocolate and Reeces peanut butter cake from Natalie. She created this masterpiece for her brother’s birthday dinner, and judging by the fact that a photo only got taken after several slices were already gone, I reckon it went down a treat! Make something similar for any peanut butter fans with this recipe on Tastes of Lizzy T.
Once again thanks to my awesome cake friends for coming up trumps on this theme, and please do join in for the final month of the year! Find December’s not so creative theme below!
All Things Festive
Ok, it’s not the most original – think outside the box – theme we’ve ever had but c’mon! It’s December, it’s the festive season and I figured we’re all going to be baking some Christmas treats throughout the month anyway, so why not end the first year of the baking club on a high and pick a theme that everyone can easily join in with.
So whether you’ve had your tree up since October or are being a total bah humbug this year, it’s time to don your Christmas jumper, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine, put on the Christmas tunes full blast and have some fun baking up your annual supply of mince pies, festive puds and gingerbread cookies.
I can’t wait to see what you all come up with – anticipating some major festive inspiration coming my way soon! Don’t forget to follow along with the club on Instagram too (I promise I’m going to get better at regular posting on that account) and tag your bakes with #BBbakingclub to get featured. Also if you blog your bake throughout the month, please link back to the baking club page to encourage new members and you can add your link to the link up when it goes live next week!
HAPPY FESTIVE BAKING!