Monday, 21 May 2012

The Making of a Bumblebee Birthday cake

A baby girl turned two in this house last week. A little girl who's obsessed with bees and laybeeberbs at the moment. So, rather than my usual 'naive-style' (looks like it was made by a child of 3) chocolate and smarties cake, the girl, the boy and I decided that I should make the bee cake from my baking book.

I had the bright idea of using liquorice wheels, unravelled, for the black stripes, but it wasn't to bee as the supermarket had obviously had a last-minute rush on liquorice.

Let me tell you, the amount of food colouring needed to dye fondant icing to anything beyond a murky shade of grey is considerable. So much, in fact, that it becomes a tacky, gluey mess, completely unrollable. I had to spread it on with a butter knife dipped in boiling water. The result is very ... erm ... textural.

Bumble bee birthday cake


I managed to laugh through the appalling mess, even when my eldest wandered in and said 'oh ... an evil bee'. Then the middle child came in and said 'his eyes look a bit sort of evil'.

Evil bee cake looks malevolently at good bee cake

evil bee looks malevolently at good bee

 The littlest family member, however, was delighted to see her inexpertly-made cake and immediately pronounced 'it's a bee' (no trace of the 'E'-word), and 'bee goes bzz'. Mission accomplished.


12 comments:

  1. I love it! We've got a birthday coming up soon in this house and I'm in cake mode! Are you using the liquid colouring? and gave you tried the gel colours? I found that gel ones were far better than the liquid, I use Sugarflair if you fancy trying it. I made a black and white cow a couple of years ago and it worked well.

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  2. Thanks for the tip - I used the liquid stuff, had never heard of gel before! Maybe I will yet brave the novelty cake thing again. Doubtless the older two will be getting ideas after 'evil bee', and I'll no longer be able to roll out chocolate smartie cakes!

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  3. awwwww! that's so cute! I used to make cakes as a business and always bought the ready coloured black icing because of that exact problem. You can get it mail order, if you think of it early enough :-D

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    1. Thanks, Charlotte. I'll either be mailordering next time, or reverting to the chocolate smartie sponge :)

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  4. That bee amazing..... As they say around these parts!

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  5. I think you bee is wonderful and your eldest two clearly can't appreciate genius at work ;)

    Unfortunately you have shamed me into thinking I must now abandon the chocolate/smartie combo that is my usual fail-safe! xx

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    1. Thanks Beth, yes clearly the eldest two don't know true artistry when they see it :). And I've learned my lesson - next time it'll be chocolate and smarties for me again!

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  6. Brilliant cake! And I love that tablecloth, is it oil cloth?

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    1. Thank you! And yes, the tablecloth is oilcloth - it was just a 1.5 metre length cut from the roll in John Lewis.

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  7. An excellent bee cake - if you need to colour black in future, the best way(to avoid the super sticky sugarpaste) is powder colours (for red too) as even gel colours need a lot. Another way is to start with chocolate sugar paste as that needs a lot less black colouring to turn it black.

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    1. Thanks, that's really useful! I'm not sure I will ever attempt black again after the bumblebee disaster!

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