This weekend has been a busy one. Last year I made 16th birthday cakes for my friend Kylie’s twins, Mia and Freddie. Kylie does Boot Camp with me and during the school holidays the kids could come too. Mia dropped a large hint about birthday cake which Kylie chose to take and asked me to make their cakes again this year. My friend Leslie also asked me for a cake as her plan for her daughter’s 13th was a Scavenger Hunt: the clues would lead her to her friends, cake and a tree top adventure course. Such a brilliant idea. I’m just hoping that my daughter isn’t expecting anything as inspired for hers…
Maltesers are one of my favourite things for decorating cakes and these were no exception:
There are so many different ways to use chocolates and candies to decorate cakes and you can get a different look depending one how you choose to use them. Mia’s cake was a three layer vanilla sponge while Margaux’s was a three layer chocolate one. I used Maltesers as a border round the base for both of them. Chocolate cake, white icing and a splash of colour make a great combination, especially when the cake is cut. I used freeze-dried raspberries for taste, texture and colour on the top along with some tiny pearly hundreds and thousands and some red glitter. And of course the Maltesers for the number and the topper.
If you want to cover a chocolate cake with white icing it is very important to cover it with a very thin layer of buttercream before covering it with a thicker layer. This is sometimes called a crumb coating and will trap the stray crumbs to keep them out of the top layer of icing. It’s a good idea to do this every time you cover a cake in buttercream unless you are going to cover the buttercream itself somehow.
Kylie wanted an Oreo cake for Freddie and a Malteser and buttons cake for Mia but because they are twins I wanted the cakes to be very similar. The previous Oreo cake I made was designed to ressemble an Oreo so it was chocolate cake sandwiched with white icing with chocolate icing on top. The sides were not covered:
However, because I was also making a cake for Mia and I thought hers would look better with iced sides, I decided to do the same with Freddie’s Oreo cake. So I did the reverse with the icing. Freddie’s cake was chocolate sponge sandwiched with vanilla buttercream and covered with chocolate buttercream; Mia’s cake was vanilla sponge sandwiched with chocolate buttercream and covered with vanilla buttercream.
Because the sides of Freddie’s Oreo cake were iced it meant I could decorate it with Oreo biscuits to match the Malteser and buttons border of Mia’s:
Not only can you get normal Oreos, you can also get mini Oreos which are perfect for decorating the top of the cake. The dark chocolate colour contrasts beautifully with white royal icing and you can write your birthday message on them. Freddie’s cake was an 8″ cake whereas Ritu’s was 9″, which is why the Happy Birthday had to go round the edge of the cake rather than across the middle:
And chocolate buttons lend themselves to messages as well:
I used crushed Oreos to decorate the top of Freddie’s cake and crushed Maltesers for Mia’s.
The mini Oreos make a great topper as you can just slide the floristry wire into the cream centre. It took a while to work out how to do the same thing with the chocolate buttons. I tried gluing the floristry wire to the back of the button with royal icing but that didn’t work. I considered using melted chocolate. And then I had the bright idea of sandwiching the floristry wire in the middle of two buttons glued together with royal icing, a lot like a mini Oreo.
I really enjoyed making these cakes so thank you very much to Kylie and Leslie, and Happy Birthday to Margaux, Mia and Freddie!