When is a cake not a cake?

I make vegan celebration cakes – not as a business, just in my spare time when I can and I donate the profits to charity (in 2015 this is to Erskine and the Scottish Emergency Riders Volunteer Service). Most of my baking is just for friends and family and they’re happy to be taste testers for some of my mad creations.

My daughter’s best friend however doesn’t like cake. She likes the idea of cake but she doesn’t like to eat it. I did make her a cake for her 21st birthday – a three tier topsy turvey cake, which did nothing for my OCD. She didn’t eat it of course – it was all for her guests.

So this year, I was determined that she was going to get a cake for her birthday that she could eat. She shares a birthday with her Gran so I decided I’d make them both a cake for their birthday celebration and my daughter joined in. I love spending time baking with my grown-up girl – you never get too old to spend time with your Mum!

Anyway back to the cake – for Gran, we decided on a lemon cake with white chocolate ‘buttercream’. I use Ms Cupcake’s recipe book a lot. I’ve adapted the recipes though as I think she uses too much oil and sugar but it’s still my go to book for basic recipes. For ‘buttercream’ I use half PURE soy or vegetable spread and half Trex along with icing sugar, flavourings and coconut cream.

12281895_993125700728999_134932874_oMy daughter’s friend loves chocolate rice krispie cake – so using a four inch baking tin, I started creating layers of chocolate krispie cake. A hint, line the tin with parchment to make it easy to remove without breaking.

A few minor adjustments to the layers and hey presto – we have something, which resembles a cake.

Next job is to roll out the fondant. I went with Renshaw’s chocolate fondant – vegan friendly of course. It’s very important to roll this out so it’s thick enough to cover the bumps in the ‘cake’.

I also cover the cake board with fondant – and using double sided tape, I run this round the edge and attach a matching ribbon. I think it looks better to complete the cake. Yes it costs more but in this case I had lots of fondant left over. It took 500g of fondant to complete this cake.

I’ve recently been experimenting with Renshaw’s flower and modelling paste. It’s hard to work with but practice makes perfect and because it dries hard, you can quickly get to work with painting. It can be coloured too but painting is easy.

We were going for a ‘Cinderella’ theme but without breaching copyright of course. So we created this lovely little pillow and the ‘glass’ shoe. Using a mixture of white pearlescent edible paint and food colouring. Then with some chocolate fondant we made the swirls around the cake. The butterflies were made with the flower and modelling paste and held their shape beautifully.

We worked until 2am on our creations – it took four hours to make both cakes and probably took another hour to clean the kitchen afterwards! There was no fairy godmother or Prince Charming to get us out of that mess – but it did have a happy ending as both birthday girls loved their cakes.

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