Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Finding Nemo/Underwater Themed Cake

I made this cake for Claire who is probably one of my best clients - over the years I must have made more cakes for her than anyone else, including family and friends! Her little girl was turning 2 and she had requested an underwater themed cake, so this is what I ended up making for her. 

I was quite shocked to discover when making this cake that Nemo only has one fin/arm, and was stuck in a bit of a dilemma - do I make him with two fins/arms, or one? In the end I pulled one of them off to make him more true to the film, and I actually felt really bad! It's been a while since I saw the film and couldn't remember what happened to him, until it all came flooding back. Poor Nemo. The fish figures are made from fondant and are totally edible, although they look too cute to eat I think. 

I used fondant to create some pebbles and seaweed and stuck a few starfish here and there on the edge of the cake. 

I love doing cakes like this and hopefully the birthday girl loved her lemon cake! xx

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Barbie-Style Princess Doll Cake

I was asked to make a special cake for a little girl's first birthday, and her mum wanted a very princessy cake. I've done a few princess castles, and a cake with a tiara, but I ended up doing something a bit different to my usual cakes. 

I baked the cakes in a Pyrex bowl which took forever (about 5 hours!!) but I think that may be down to my oven. The skirt was then decorated with fondant icing and little flowers applied to the underskirt. I had to make a top for the doll pick, as she comes from my supplier naked, and then stuck her in the top of the cake. The doll pick is available in different hair colours, but we went for blonde as my client is blonde (as am I!). 

I then added a few blossom flowers to the base for a bit of extra interest, and my first princess doll cake was finito! I was really pleased with how she turned out, as was my client. I'm also glad the cake survived the drive to the next village - her skirt hung over the board a bit, and I was scared it would break in transit but I packed her with good old kitchen roll and she got there in one piece! xx

Monday, 28 November 2011

The ugliest cookies in the world?

I had a quiet day last week and instead of putting my feet up as my hubby keeps telling me to do, I made our Christmas cake and some of the ugliest but tastiest cookies ever! They're gluten free, and choc chip, and I didn't have all the ingredients in to make them properly, but they taste divine! I tried to make them circular, as usually cookies circularise (is that a word?) themselves in the oven and look halfway decent when they come out, but not these ones. I made 14 odd shaped ones and I've only got 1 left now - I tell myself it's OK 'cos I'm eating for two :-D 

They were loosely based on a recipe in the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, but I used rice flour rather than normal flour and instead of light brown sugar I used half caster sugar and half dark brown sugar. They are scrummy, but I'm not baking any more for a while - I'll only end up eating them. Nom nom nom x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christening Cakes

I thought I'd share a few christening cakes I've done this year, seeing as my blog so far is about wedding and birthday cakes! I can't wait to plan our baby's christening. I've still got the top tier of my wedding cake from two years ago and am definitely going to incorporate that somewhere into the design of the cake - I've just got to think of how! Oh, and I still need to convince my husband that we need to have a christening. He thinks it's just an excuse for me to have a party hehe. Below are some of my favourite christening cakes that I've done.

I love the mix of different shades of blue on this cake. Everything is edible except the wires in the stars topper.
The presents style of cake proved to be very popular this year,  especially for boys' christenings, but this was the top cake for a christening cupcake tower for a little girl. 

A single tier version of the popular train christening cake, this time with an edible bow trimming the cake. I'm getting quite into making the bows edible - I always think you might as well eat as much of a cake as you can!

I'm sorry for the quality of the picture in this one - I was rushing, and it looked fine on the camera screen but as it turned out, it was rubbish! I love this two tier cake with teeny baby topper. 

This has to be the most popular christening cake design I do - I've done 6 or 7 of these in the last six months! They're brilliant though as they're quite modern and funky, and we can change bits and pieces. This one has some little bootees on the top, but I've done ones with teddy bears and rabbits on the top too. 
Now I've just got to find out which design to do for my own cake. We've been told we're having a baby girl but I don't want to plan a pink one in case she turns out to be a he! xx

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Nom nom nom - Giant Cupcakes!

These are possibly the greatest invention ever! It's a cupcake with the ability to feed around 12-15 and can be decorated in a billion different ways. You can have a buttercream topping or fondant, whichever you prefer. The top swirly part and bottom cupcake case part are baked separately, so you can have two flavours of cake as well. They're amazing! Here are some recent ones... 

Giant Cupcake made for a boy's birthday, complete with fondant topping and edible glitter

Pretty ivory and pink giant cupcake with buttercream swirl topping, butterflies and daisies

Fabulous pink and ivory giant cupcake with buttercream swirl topping, edible butterflies and large bow

Giant and "normal" cupcakes, topped with buttercream and butterflies. These were done for a  wedding with a dark purple and ivory colour theme, and were delivered to The Faversham, Leeds.

Navy blue and ivory giant cupcake and "normal" cupcakes, topper with butterflies and buttercream topping. Amazing for a wedding tower, such as this one at the Thorpe Park Hotel, Leeds.
Our giant cupcakes make a great birthday cake and at just £35 are a cost effective way of giving someone something a bit different for their birthday. Alternatively, they look great at the top of a cupcake tower and with our prices starting from £145 for a giant cupcake and 70 normal sized cupcakes, who says wedding cakes have to be expensive? xx

This was a gluten free carrot cake giant I made for a wedding fair demonstration, and it needed eating afterwards (what a shame!). It was scrummy x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Motorbike Enthusiast Cake

A few weeks ago I was asked to make a cake as a surprise for a 50th birthday. The birthday boy is really into his motorbikes, and every year goes on a road trip with his friends, usually to Italy. I was sent a photo of his bike and asked if I could recreate this and their group logo on a cake, and as he's usually tinkering about with his bike I decided to make him look a bit mechanic-like. Inside was a delicious lemon sponge cake with lemon filling. 

I received a text from Rob's partner to say that everyone loved the cake, and thought it tasted fabulous. Woohoo! xx

Monday, 21 November 2011

Border Collie Dog Birthday Cake

I always like a bit of modelling (no, not the catwalk variety unfortunately - I'm way too normally shaped for that!) and when asked to model things for cakes, I can't wait. This week it was the turn of a border collie dog for my client's mum's birthday. I was sent a picture of the dog and asked to recreate a cartoony version, so here it is! Complete with rug and bowl of food... 

How cute is that?! xx

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Stunning Ivory Lace Wedding Cake

I was asked to create a wedding cake for Ellie and Jay who get married on 19 Nov at Moxhull Hall Hotel (, and a more lovely couple you couldn't hope to meet. Ellie had an idea in mind for the cake, and wanted to incorporate elements of the lace on her dress into the design. This was what the finished article looked like... 

This was the lace sample which I used to pipe similar detail onto the cake. 

And this is the top tier, showing the brush embroidery technique. 

I was really pleased with how the cake turned out, as were Ellie and Jay, and I hope they have an amazing wedding day. Big BIG congratulations! xx


Jo's Cakes has just been voted in the Top 100 UK Wedding Facebook pages! It's a great achievement when you think of how many wedding pages there are out there (301 entered their details for this week alone!) so I'm super chuffed. Thanks so much to everyone who likes my page - it means a lot! xx

Top 100 UK Wedding Facebook Pages

Friday, 18 November 2011

Surprise Shoebox Birthday Cake

I was contacted by my client who wanted me to create a cake for his partner's birthday party. When we discussed what kind of thing she might like for a cake, he said shoes and bags - what girl doesn't like shoes and bags?! He said I had free rein, as the cake and party were a surprise, so he couldn't go snooping to find out what her favourites were without arousing suspicion! I baked a chocolate cake laced with Baileys, and filled with a Baileys filling, then decorated it to look like a shoebox. The shoe is sugarpaste with edible pearls, so totally edible. 

This was the first time I'd made a large shoe, and I was really pleased with how it turned out. I hope the birthday girl likes it - her daughter loved it when she collected it! xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A Fabulous First Birthday!

Earlier in the year I was asked to make a cake for a first birthday for Charlie, who loved all things rainbow coloured. This is the cake his mum and I came up with... 


Four tiers of vanilla sponge which was coloured in different colours so it was all "rainbowy" (is that a word?!) inside, decorated with stars, spots, stripes - pretty much everything! Charlie and his mum loved the finished cake, and the design has proved quite popular with a number of other clients requesting very similar ones. It's one of my favourite cake designs, and I'm just waiting for someone to order a super girly version of it!

Jo x

Monday, 14 November 2011

Gardening themed 60th birthday cake

I was asked by my client to create a birthday cake for her mum who loved gardening, so I made a figure to represent her mum sat in her lovely garden, complete with edible flower arbour and veg patch! Inside is a luscious vanilla sponge cake with strawberry preserve and vanilla filling. I love making cakes like this. After a very long drive to South Kirkby, the cake was delivered to a very happy client's mum. Hope she had a fabulous birthday! x

Shabby chic inspired wonky birthday cake

I LOVED making this cake! My client ordered it as a gift for her friend's 30th birthday and basically let me do what I wanted! I love these shades of blue and pink together and added the edible bows to make it extra girly. The ribbon roses on the board add extra detail and the whole thing is accented by a hand piped birthday message.

This cake has now also become the inspiration for baby Robinson's nursery when she arrives - roll on March ;-) x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

ANOTHER Wedding Fair?

I've done a fair few wedding fairs this year, and wasn't going to do any more as I'm pregnant and the thought of being on my feet all day just didn't appeal to me for some reason! However, when I got an email from the lovely Jess at Storthes Hall Park, I jumped at the chance to exhibit. It's a lovely venue, and has a bit of character - the site used to be a hospital for mentally ill patients. My gran worked there when it was a hospital, and I had my wedding reception there!

It's a fabulous place, with beautiful grounds. Roll on Saturday 3 December for the wedding fair - why not pop along and see us there? There'll be cake... ;-) x

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Navy and Ivory Mini Cakes

We were asked to create 60 mini cakes and a top cutting cake for the lovely Amanda's wedding which was at the fabulous Holdsworth House in Halifax, West Yorkshire. The cakes were to have navy ribbon and as there were two flavours, the cakes were decorated ever so slightly different. The lemon ones had navy blue piped dots and the vanilla ones had ivory piped dots (or was it the other way round?). Each one had a sugar daisy on top to tie in with the colour scheme for the day.

Big big congratulations to Amanda and her new hubby! xx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Mini Cakes...

I'm just waiting for some mini cakes to bake (they're making my house smell gorgeous!!), so thought I would share some of my mini cakes. They are popular for weddings, as they are fabulous to give as favours as well (two birds with one stone!) and look brilliant when arranged in a tower.

First mini cakes I ever did! Delivered to Holdsworth House on New Years Eve 2010

My most recent wedding mini cakes, delivered to Tower House Hotel, Halifax on 7 October 2011. 70 square mini cakes and two tier cutting cake for top of the tower, presented on bespoke tower.
Mini cakes look amazing, but are super labour intensive! Every one has to be individually iced, which is very time consuming. I think they're worth the effort though xx

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Some new Wedding Cake designs

Jo's Cakes recently attended a wedding fair at The Keys Restaurant, Huddersfield which is a beautiful venue and would be a perfect place for an intimate wedding reception. It's also under the church, which I think makes it the crypt, so a bit spooky! I had dismantled a load of my old wedding cake dummies as I hadn't planned on going to any more wedding fairs, but as this was a new venue I thought I'd go so had to come up with something to fill my dispay table! Here are a couple of new cake designs...

A stack of gifts wedding cake. Ivory icing with striking black ribbon and diamante detail adding a touch of glamour to the cake.

A three tier wedding cake with stencil detail and lace and pearl border. Also features large handmade sugar rose in ivory.

A striking yet simple design, with 3", 6" and 9" tiers being offset from the centre and featuring a large claret silk flower.
I hope you like them! xx