Baking Birthday Cakes in a New Kitchen

mocha birthday cake

Happy 13th Birthday Eden!

Having recently moved house, not only do I have endless boxes to unpack, I also have a new kitchen and oven to get used to. So making birthday cakes for friends and family was a good excuse to try them out. My daughter has just turned 13 (no idea how that happened) and no birthday would be complete without a cake. Last year I made her a pastel Rainbow cake and this year she asked for a coffee cake, which was quite a surprise. We kept it simple and turned it into something of a mocha cake: three layers of coffee sponge sandwiched with chocolate buttercream and covered with coffee buttercream. The decorations were chocolate coffee beans and cappuccino sprinkles: again, quite simple so it would still look good with twelve candles round the outside and a sparkler in the middle.

chocolate coffee cake

My 9 year old son was not impressed with Eden’s choice of cake as he didn’t think he liked coffee cake. Luckily it turned out that actually he does…

mocha birthday cake

Coffee birthday cake

My new oven is quite fierce and I am still getting used to it. It seems to have a tendency to burn my cakes around the edges so the answer may be using a slightly lower temperature than I would normally. My friend Deborah asked me to make a chocolate cake for her mum’s 70th and I had to resort to the potato peeler and cheese slicer on the edges, just to take off the slightly darker bits… The cake was themed with around a hundred orange smarties – very carefully collected from lots of packets of multi-coloured smarties by Deborah’s sister Susannah. I hope she didn’t count them on the cake as the odd one or two may have been lost to quality control…

smartie 70th chocolate birthday cake

Orange Smartie Birthday Cake

In my previous kitchen I had a lot of light coming in from all the right angles and the garden made a good background. In this kitchen I am really struggling with the light and the space for photographs, which is going to be very challenging, particularly as we start to move into the Autumn months. I was wondering about investing in some proper camera lighting so if you have any advice, please let me know!

The boxes still need unpacking but there are a lot of ripe blackberries ready to be picked. I am looking forward to crumbles, jam and blackberry vodka again this year…

Happy 13th Birthday Eden and Happy 70th Birthday to Deborah’s mum!

chocolate 70th cake



Categories: Baking, Birthday cakes, Cakes, Chocolate

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. congrats on the new place! and wow- impressive cake results!

  2. Beautiful cakes! And lovely new kitchen, too!

  3. Gorgeous cake decoration! And I love the idea of an orange smartie cake (:

  4. Yes! I know all about the unpacking! we moved three weeks ago and I am busy with all of that. School starts tomorrow though and I still haven’t had a chance to bake all I wanted to yet…..I do hope you love your new house and adjust quickly! Happy Hugs! -Kloé

  5. Try and find ‘white’ light bulbs that simulate daylight. I’ve yet to find them for my north facing kitchen. But then, I live in the sticks these days. 🙂

    • Thank you – I have tried to find those lightbulbs before on your recommendation but I don’t think I found the right thing as it didn’t seem to make any difference. It may just have been that I had it in the wrong lamp though so will give it another go. Your photos are always amazing!

  6. Both cakes look delicious as usual and photos fab. S xx

  7. Great looking cakes and congratulations on the new house! All the very best.

  8. Cakes look great 🙂 it is always difficult getting used to a new oven, my (not so new) oven is electric and I’ve only ever used gas. It does run hotter than my old one, think I’m going to give in a buy an oven thermometer!

  9. Lovely that you have started settling down in your new place by starting up your oven and baking!
    beautiful cakes! love the sound of the coffee one.

    your friend must have taken a long time picking out all the orange smarties! but they make a great visual impact on your cake!

    it takes time getting used to a new oven. You will figure it out in no time, I’m sure.

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