Cath Kidston inspired birthday cake

Recently, I was asked if I could make a cake influenced by the designs and patterns of Cath Kidston. My lovely customer also wanted the cake to be banana flavour with vanilla buttercream frosting to taste like a cake that her daughter had fallen in love with in New York. I’ll be honest, it’s always a challenge to match the taste and texture of a cake that I’ve never tried, but I had a good go!

For that Cath Kidston look, I chose a duck egg blue shade as a base colour, then the cake as decorated with groups of small, stylised hand made roses in pink, which were then finished with pale green leaves and a dusting of lustre to give them some shimmer.

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Do you know someone who’d love a Cath Kidston inspired cake? If so, get in touch!

Princess birthday cake

Have you ever wondered how to make a four year old girl very happy? Well, it turns out that all you have to do is make a princess cake. And if you make an edible sugar tiara to go on top they’ll be even more excited!

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Disney princess cake
Disney princess cake
Disney princess cake
Disney princess cake
Disney princess cake

This cake is a 7 inch lemon cake with lemon buttercream and a 5 inch raspberry and white chocolate cake finished with raspberry buttercream. I make our raspberry buttercream with freeze dried raspberry powder for amazing flavour. If you use fresh raspberries, it can interfere with the consistency of the buttercream and sometimes even cause it to split, which isn’t nice. Freeze dried is the way to go! The great thing about these cake flavours is that the colours are natural too – the lovely pastel lemon and pink shades come from the raspberry powder and the lemon curd that we use in our lemon buttercream.

The cake was then decorated with pictures of the Birthday Girl’s favourite princess, created by using edible ink to print onto icing sheets. The pictures were then framed with gold fondant frames and the whole cake was topped with a gold sugar tiara.

We also provided 30 matching cupcakes in see through pods so that the party guests could choose their favourite colour and princess to go in their goody bag.

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Do you know a little girl who’d love a cake like this? let us help.

Recipe: Cupcakes for your Valentine

Would you love to be able to make a delicious treat for your valentine this year? This is our easy, no-fail chocolate cake recipe guaranteed to taste wonderful every time. You can also make beautiful but simple gold heart decorations to make your cupcakes look amazing.

Makes 12 cupcakes
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Chocolate Valentine’s cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

225g Organic plain flour 
350g Caster sugar
85g Cocoa powder
7.5g Baking powder
7.5g Bicarbonate of soda
2 Free range eggs
250ml Organic whole milk
125ml Vegetable oil
250ml boiling water

For the frosting

250g unsalted organic butter
500g icing sugar
2 tsp Vanilla bean paste
Chocolate hearts
Edible gold shimmer spray or lustre dust

Extra notes on ingredients…

For the decorations, we use Lindt milk chocolate hearts available at most supermarkets, including Waitrose. We then coat the hearts with edible gold lustre dust. You can use your finger or a new paint brush to smudge or brush on gold lustre dust, or use a shimmer spray. We love , available in most supermarkets or Tesco’s own lustre dust.

Method

For the cupcakes

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees and grease and place cupcake cases in a muffin tin. Put the kettle on to boil.
2. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and lightly whisk together with a balloon whisk.
3. Add the eggs, milk and oil to the bowl and whisk thoroughly, being careful to pick up all the dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth – take a little extra care at this stage to make sure there are no lumps of flour left in the mixture, otherwise they will bake into your cake like that.
4. Add the freshly boiled water and whisk again. Your mixture will now be wet and quite loose. Transfer the mixture to a pouring jug and fill your cupcake cases so that they are two thirds full.
5. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 18-20 minutes. Test the centre of the cakes with a skewer to see if they are cooked. When the skewer comes out clean, the cupcakes are ready.
6. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin a little before transferring the cupcakes to a cooling rack so they can fully cool.

For the frosting

1. Once the cupcakes are cooled, place the butter and vanilla bean paste into a mixing bowl and beat them together with an electric hand mixer.
2. Gradually add the icing sugar in 1-2 dessert spoons at a time, beating in between additions until all of the icing sugar has been added. Continue to beat the buttercream for another 2-3 minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
3. If you don’t have a piping bag, use a dinner knife to smooth the icing onto the cupcake in a dome shape. If you do have a piping bag, pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes using a star nozzle.
4. Dust or spray the chocolate hearts and place them on top of the cupcakes.

If you prefer, you can top your cupcakes with chocolate ganache, although the ganache would need to be made the day before so that it has time to set to the right consistency. You can find the recipe on our blog

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Want to take this recipe away? Download our Chocolate Valentines Cupcake recipe card

What should a Bride-to-be expect from The Dandelion Bakery?

At The Dandelion Bakery we pride ourselves on our excellent service, but everyone says that – no-one is ever going to tell you that they pride themselves on their terrible service! So what does it really mean? I decided that the only sensible way to demonstrate our level of service is to take you through what you can expect and just some of the things we’ve done for our couples in the past to give you a glimpse of the kind of service you could expect.

Great customer service

Well, firstly, there are the basics:

I offer a complimentary tasting and consultation for all of my couples. This allows you to try the cake, tell me all about your wedding and meet me to make sure that we’re on the same wave-length.

I deliver your cake to your venue and set it up on site to make sure it’s perfect.

I can make pretty much any kind of wedding cake design that you might like ranging from the clean and simple to the complex and detailed. Whatever you can think of, I can do. I can ruffle in both fondant and buttercream, I can make stylised or realistic roses, I can cover cakes in gold leaf and I can hand paint directly onto the cake. Whatever you love, I can make it.

I provide an invoice for your deposit along with a detailed order form so that you know exactly what you are buying then, 6 weeks before the wedding, I send you an invoice for the balance of your cake. Everything is always clear and you always have documentation to refer back to. Let’s face it, organising a wedding takes work and you can’t remember everything, so I make sure you don’t have to – you just have to find the email.

I’ve helped brides who have no idea what they want to formulate ideas of what their cake could be like.

I advise you on the size of the cakes, number of tiers and the number of portions you will need to serve your guests.

But those are the things that I think that every good cake maker should be doing. Then there are the things that set us apart, where we go above and beyond…

I have a collection of Pinterest boards for my couples to look at and use for ideas or inspiration.

I have a series of helpful guides and information sheets that I share with my couples for free. You can even see some of them in video form on YouTube.

We have a list of 39 cake flavours for you to choose from, but if there is something specific that you both love, I can use that as inspiration to create a cake flavour just for you. I’ve created cake flavours that were inspired by Thailand, the couple’s favourite drinks and, on one occasion, the groom’s favourite biscuit.

I can suggest suppliers to fill any gaps you may have. They are all tried and tested. I’ve worked with them, I know they are good and will suit you and your wedding down to the ground, otherwise I don’t recommend them. In some cases, they are the suppliers I chose for my own wedding. This saves you the stress of googling suppliers and having to guess which ones are right for you and leaves you with more time to deal with other things.

I can liaise with your suppliers on your behalf to tie down the finer details so that you don’t have to worry about them. I can work with your florist to make sure we are using the same ribbon or brief them on flowers needed for the cake. I will even arrange the fresh flowers on the cake myself so that your florist only has to supply them. I work with your venue to confirm set up times so that I can be invisible to you and your guests. I can speak to your dress designer to source fabric samples so if you want your cake to have the same beading as your dress, I can do that.

I can cater to almost any dietary requirement that your guests may have, whether that is the whole cake, a single tier of the cake or an individual cupcake for specific guests, I can help you to make sure that all of your guests can enjoy your cake. I’ve even made cakes for a vegan who doesn’t eat wheat.

I can colour match your cake or details of the cake design to suit your colour scheme. If you can provide me with a sample, like a piece of ribbon or a copy of your invitation, then I can colour match to that. I’ve even matched elements of cakes to photos of bridesmaid dresses before! But this doesn’t just apply to colour. If you are having a lace dress, I can usually make edible lace that is a pretty close match to that on your dress.

I can sort out your cake stand for you. That may mean talking to your venue to ensure that they have something suitable that will fit with your colour scheme or it may mean supplying a cake stand for you. If you use one of my cake stands, I can even go back to the venue afterwards to collect it so that you don’t need to think about it.

I have an app on my phone that works as a spirit level. Before I set up a cake, I use this app on the table the cake will be resting on to make sure the table is level. I also use it on any cake stands that are being used to make sure they are flat, and just in case there is a wobble, I always travel with a supply of tissue paper, cardboard and plastic dowel that can be used to discreetly support and even out any lumps and bumps.

I have packaged cakes to travel long distances. The cake below was given strong internal supports, wrapped in greaseproof, then bubble wrapped, then boxed so that it could survive the journey from Watford a whole 332 miles up the A1 to Lindesfarne without being jolted to bits by the roundabouts and potholes that the A1 provides. The cake made the journey in it’s little nest and arrived at the other end in perfect condition.
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I can carefully construct and finish decorating your cake in less than an hour while your ceremony space is being turned around into your dinner space.

I can provide a framed menu to on the cake table next to your cake or cupcake tower. I can give you menu cards to sit on each table, if you prefer. Either way, I can match the paper, font, colours and frames to the theme of your wedding.

I can supply boxes for cake slices or cupcakes for your guests to take away, and I leave cake boxes at your venue so that you can easily transport any left over cake that you may have.

If you come to me with a design idea that you love but then it turns out you can’t afford it, I can suggest tweaks and adjustments to the design so that you get the same overall effect within your price range.

If you need a few extra portions, I can provide an extra cutting cake that hides, out of sight, with your caterers but gives you those extra portions that you need to feed all of your guests. Some of my couples also love having an extra cake made for them to take home and enjoy after the wedding, especially as so few couples actually get to eat their own cake!

I listen to my brides. I listen to what they love and hate about cake, but I also listen to their worries and challenges. I hear all about the difficult bridesmaids, the problematic guests and the suppliers that let them down. I listen, I let them talk it all out, I sympathise, and every now and then I even have a solution!

I am able to supply wedding favours for all of your guests, each individually iced with their name. They are then packaged and supplied to your venue in a box per table, pre-sorted to match your table plan so that all your venue has to do is walk around and place them. If I’m there when the tables are set, I can even place them for you.

I have held babies and comforted them so that they stopped crying so that their parents could relax and enjoy their cake tasting. Babies love me. I think it’s because I smell of cake.

So, basically, whatever you need. I planned my own wedding recently and I know how tough it can be and how many loose ends there are to tie up. I pride myself on taking care of as many of those as I can on your behalf and making life as easy as possible for you so that you can enjoy the planning process and revel in being engaged and in love!

Raspberry, white chocolate and pistachio cake table

Last weekend my friend Abi had her Hen do in beautiful Bath. As part of our trip we visited The Makery, which was a lot of fun and perfect for a hen do. The way it works is that we all sit around a big table and make something, with the help of their fantastic staff. You also get to drink lots of tea and prosecco, and they very kindly allowed us to bring along some cakes…

The venue…
This was the set up before we all got stuck in with our sewing.
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The cake table had a pistachio, raspberry and white chocolate theme.
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White chocolate, raspberry and pistachio blondes were by far the most popular item on the table!
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Posh jammy dodgers made with white chocolate shortbread and raspberry jam
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Raspberry and vanilla marshmallows. If you’ve never had fresh, home made marshmallows you must try them. They are so light and fluffy – nothing like the ones you get in the shops, they are so much better! They are also amazing with prosecco. Just saying…
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Meringues in two flavours; pistachio made with pistachio extract and finely chopped pistachio pieces, and raspberry made with raspberry puree and freeze dried raspberry powder for a sharp, clear raspberry flavour.
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Raspberry, white chocolate and pistachio cookies. These are made with butter so they taste amazing, and have a chewy centre with great texture from the chocolate chips and pistachio pieces. These were great with a cup of tea.
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Finally, my favourite. A pistachio twist on the classic madelaine. So more-ish!

And just in case you were wondering, we decorated knickers. Mine came out like this…
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If you would like us to cater your event or afternoon tea please get in touch. I’m afraid we don’t provide the knickers.