cake

Why I’ve never made a tap-dancing dinosaur cake

The short answer to this question?

Because I’ve never been asked to.

But I would absolutely love to make a tap-dancing dinosaur cake. If tap-dancing dinosaurs were your thing.

A question I sometimes get asked by new customers, is ‘have you made a cake with this theme before?’ I understand why it might seem like it would be useful to see something similar, but the truth is I have only re-made a tiny number of my cakes. The vast majority are made for the first time. And I love the fact that I can make your cakes so wonderfully personal. The random combination of hobbies that come together on a cake. Or the off-the-wall theme that works so well. Read on to see a few of my favourites.

Gardener's cake

Gardener's cake

At first glance, this is a gardener’s cake. But look closer, and it’s a cake for a gardener who used to work for the Electricity Board in the 1980s. And always worked on his motorbike in the back garden. Creating a great colour scheme, and some fabulous detail on the top.

Ice cream shop cake

Ice cream shop cake

This cake was designed to be a talking point at the birthday party, detailing various places and interests that meant something to the customer. They included the New Yorker hotel, Mr Boni’s ice cream shop in Edinburgh, and a love of flowers and books. I loved turning them into shop fronts, and putting the iconic hotel in the clouds.

Bear, cats and Cliff Richard

Bear, cats and Cliff Richard

This cake was for someone who loves teddy bears, cats and Cliff Richard. At first it seemed like a tall order to combine them, but popping the bear into a cat-decorated gift box, and hand-painting Cliff onto a picture, seemed to hang them together. I love this one.

Pretty Little Liars, dogs, cats and shopping cupcakes

Pretty Little Liars, dogs, cats and shopping cupcakes

These cupcakes were for a girl who loved dogs, cats, shopping, and the program Pretty Little Liars. Again, not the most natural of combined themes, but in this case sticking to a single colour palette across them all, made a wonderful set of cupcakes.

Horses, dogs and cricket

Horses, dogs and cricket

The themes of dogs, horses and cricket aren’t too different, but it was lovely to represent the recipient’s own animals alongside his hobby.

Black and white beach cake

Black and white beach cake

The brief for this cake was to include the birthday girl sunbathing with a glass of something fizzy. Now I would normally create a beach cake around this, with sand and blue sea. However, the customer wanted her in her black and white swimsuit, and include a bit of bling. And the result is a completely different cake. I love this kind of personal detail.

So there you have it. A collection of some of my gorgeously personal cakes. I absolutely love the challenge that these sort of cakes bring.

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Ten reasons to buy a bespoke cake

I’ve often thought that there must be as many reasons for buying a Really Yummy cake, as there are Really Yummy customers. But it was definitely fun to explore some of them.

1. The taste.

Madagascan vanilla, double decadent chocolate, rich fruit cake, delicious lemon cake. The list goes on. Really Yummy cakes are home-baked, and simply moist, flavoursome and delicious. No doubt.

Chocolate cake!

Chocolate cake!

2. The gift.

Aren’t some people just so hard to buy for? My poor brother-in-law happened to quite like coffee, and it was then the *only* thing I could ever think of, to give him as a gift. Those men are especially tricky, but imagine turning up with a gorgeous cake, decorated with their favourite hobby, or TV show, or sports team. That’s the present totally sorted.

Tyre cake

Tyre cake

3. The theme. 

Or themes. Pretty much anything you can think of, can be put on a cake. Or around a cake. Kids cakes, retirement cakes, thank you cakes, anniversary cakes. You name it, I can make it. Even a cockerel.

Cockerel cake

Cockerel cake

4. The size.

Whether it’s for a tea party for 6, or a banquet for 70, a bespoke cake can be made to serve the perfect number of people. This one was a little 6″ cake, made to serve around 10 people.

Dog father's day cake

Dog father's day cake

5. The hassle.

Baking a cake is messy. Decorating a cake takes time. Yes, it would be lovely to do it yourself, but why don’t you keep your sanity and order a Really Yummy cake instead?

My Little Pony cake

My Little Pony cake

6. The cutting.

A Really Yummy cake is about 3″ high, and firm and moist, which makes it a dream to cut. All even slices, not collapsing sponge, and the last slice as good as the first.

Art cake

Art cake

7. The surprise.

As it hasn’t come off a production line, nobody will have seen your cake except me. It’ll be a super surprise for you, and for your loved one.

Walking Dead cake

Walking Dead cake

8. The tick on your list.

I live my life by lists. And lists of lists. Especially when one of my children has a birthday. Delegating the cake is such an easy thing to do, and such a relief.

Spider Man cake

Spider Man cake

9. The freshness.

Your cake will have been baked a couple of days before you eat it. No preservatives, or sitting on a shelf for a month. Just like you baked it yourself.

Jungle Book cake

Jungle Book cake

10. The name.

Something as simple as including the recipient’s name and age (even if it’s not a ‘zero’ birthday) can make all the difference. Such a lovely personal touch.

Wine bottle in crate cake

Wine bottle in crate cake

So there you have it. Just a few reasons to arrange a bespoke cake for your special occasion. And a revisit of some Really Yummy cakes.

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

The story of a Penguin Cake

Sometimes when I get a request for a theme, it just makes me smile. I’ve never read the book, but when Lucas’ Mum Amy sent me a photo of one page of ‘Me’ by Emma Dodd, I got goosebumps. The colours, the feel of the imagery, and the sentiment. They all made me feel so excited about designing this cake!

Step one was to work on the penguins. Amy had said that she wanted to include Daddy penguin in the topper, even though the book just has Mum and baby penguin. And the pictures were of fairly realistic penguins, not cartoons.

Penguins in progress

Penguins in progress

So I googled actual penguins. ‘Penguin families’. ‘Penguins cuddling’. And (my personal fave) ‘penguin love’! The images were fabulous. And I started to get a three dimensional feel for these little guys.

I built the bodies in white at first, and to be fair they looked more like ‘Gru’ from Despicable Me than adoring penguins. But I know enough to stick with it, and adding their black pieces made all the difference.

Penguin eyes are also fairly challenging, as it turns out. Black on black, and trying to make them look lovable – not so easy. Ironically, closing them (representing them as lines), makes all the difference.

Antarctic snow and ice, with the iconic image of the moon, were the other main elements of the image from the book. A deep blue, almost black, was perfect for the upper layer. And a tiny sliver of moon-shaped greaseproof paper, airbrushed over, created the perfect crescent moon.

Two more snowy layers, plus some icebergs, finished the overall look. And I loved it. From start to finish.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into designing and making a Really Yummy cake. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

The story of a Rapunzel cake

Sometimes a customer just wants a little cake. Even my smallest cakes serve 14, so there are plenty of times when that’s more than enough.

But the theme is still really important.

The request was for this cake to have a Tangled theme. So I needed to think of elements of the design that would have the most impact and take up the least room.

Rapunzel herself would be on the cake, fairly iconic in her lilac dress. And her hair was obvious, but actually could form a big part of the design.

I’ve seen lots and lots of cakes which use the tower as their base, but I just didn’t have the space, so I tried to figure out which part of the tower would be most effective. And it’s the wood panelling. It’s used throughout the film. The houses in the opening sequence, the bar scene, the town fete, and obviously the tower.

Rapunzel

Rapunzel

So I panelled the cake, and wound Rapunzel’s hair through it. Some flowers added a nod to the scene where the girls do her hair, and it was job done.

Sometimes a little cake is all that it takes.

So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into designing and making a Really Yummy cake. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

So, what happens next?

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It’s a question I get asked a lot. You’ve been on the website, poured over the galleries, and decided that you’d love a Really Yummy cake. You may have lots of ideas. Or you may have very little by way of inspiration. But don’t panic, it’s all under control.

The first thing I need to know is the date. Provided it’s more than a few weeks away, I can usually accommodate. But there’s only so much I can fit in, so we only move forward if I have space.

IMG_4552.JPG

The next question you need to answer is how many people you’d like to feed with your gorgeous cake? Roughly. The cake you need for 8 people at a family tea, is a lot smaller than the cake you need for 48 people at a party, so it just helps to have an idea.

I can then produce a quote. Just bear in mind that the quote you get back will be based on a certain amount of detail in the decoration. Most of the cakes in the gallery have been made like this, but occasionally you might want a bit more. If this is the case, the quote will increase slightly. It’s your choice which way you go.

Once you’ve agreed the quote, and I have an idea of your theme, I’ll pop it all in a confirmation sheet and email it across.

Your deposit is then due a couple of weeks before your date, and the balance when you collect.

And I’ll then design and make you a perfect cake. Obviously.

Tempted? It’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Last minute 21st birthday cake

I’m not very good at ‘last minute’…. Anyone who knows me personally will know how I can’t be late, I have contingency on my contingency time, and the idea of doing something ‘last minute’ terrifies me!

But a little while ago I made a ‘last minute’ cake. And I really enjoyed it. I normally need at least two week’s notice, but this lovely, but slightly panicked customer came to me on a Wednesday, and needed the cake for Saturday. No time to design, or mull it over even. I had to hit the ground running, in a week with two other cakes.

21st birthday cake with bow

21st birthday cake with bow

So I was honest, and gave three cake options, all of which I had done before, and could be in the customer’s chosen colours. I then realised that it was actually fairly easy to fit in. No uncertainty with using new techniques, templates, or shapes and sizes. The stuff I normally enjoy, could be put to one side this time, and I would enjoy making the little tweaks instead.

So, if you are happy with a few options, and you’ve left it a little ‘last minute’, please get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Forty and fabulous

Your loved one is turning 40! Such a great excuse for a celebration! And you’ve been tasked with sorting the cake?! Don’t panic, you’re already in the right place. Have a look at some of our 40th Birthday Cakes. Such different themes, and each one unique and perfect for the birthday boy or girl.

Retro 40th birthday cake

Retro 40th birthday cake

This one was for Julie, who loves 80s music, and her hubby wanted a retro feel to the cake. I remember a band in the 80s who dressed in polka dots all the time, and I wanted to give the cake a glamorous feel, so included silver stripes and a massive bow. It was made up of a chocolate tier and a vanilla tier, and was made on one of the hottest days of last year. Delivery to the venue involved sitting with it on my lap, with the air con on full, and getting stuck behind a herd of cattle in the New Forest, but she did love her cake!

Yoga 40th birthday cake

Yoga 40th birthday cake

Another brief from the husband here. Jo runs a very successful holistic business, and has a beautiful yoga studio in her house. Her brand colours are gorgeous, and formed a super starting point for the cake. It makes me want to lie down!Another example of a cake that travelled beyond the walls of Winchester, this one ended up in London.

VW Campervan 40th birthday cake

VW Campervan 40th birthday cake

This was one of the cakes in my ‘blue campervan’ phase! My cake studio looked like a VW showroom for a while last year. This was a cake in his footie colours, with a sugarpaste camper on top. Loved it!

VW Campervan and Police birthday cake

VW Campervan and Police birthday cake

This one was for a camper-loving copper? A gift of a theme. Loved it completely, and the design hit me almost immediately. Such a fun cake to do, despite the extreme heat that week. Again.

40th birthday cake with bunting and flowers

40th birthday cake with bunting and flowers

This is still one of my favourites! I used the invitation for the colour inspiration and the chalkboard ’40’, and I love the way the bunting and the stripes complement each other. I’ve done this cake again for a little girl’s 10th birthday, and I’m just about to do another one for an 80th. A classic.

Retro dressmaker's dummy cake, with polka dots and bows

Retro dressmaker's dummy cake, with polka dots and bows

The brief for this one was to make a fun cake, with a bit of sophistication. Hannah loved the idea of a dressmaker's dummy, so I used these lovely retro colours, and she was over the moon with it.

VW Beetle cake, in blue and white

VW Beetle cake, in blue and white

Another car cake - I really did go through a phase! - this time a VW Beetle cake, in the birthday boy's favourite colours. Cars are a little tricky to make, as they always look wrong until the very last minute. Gotta have faith!

So there you have it, a selection of cakes for a 40th birthday. Obviously any of my cakes can be for a 40th, and I would love it if you came with a totally different theme! But it was fun wandering back through time, and pulling it together.

What would your ideal cake look like? Join the discussion in the comments below. Is one of these cakes yours? Did it fit the bill? Head here to leave a review and I’d be so grateful!

And if you want a cake for a fortieth birthday, it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Behind the scenes, a Queen’s Hat

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A while ago, I was asked to make a cake, fit for a Queen. Very exciting, it was for a street party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. No design requirements, it was up to me, it didn’t need to be big, but needed to make a big impact.

As always, I excitedly said yes, and felt fairly confident that a design idea would come to me.

A day or so later, I was flicking through images of the Queen, her family, and special occasions, and it struck me that there was always a hat! Every occasion had such different associations, from Buckingham Palace, the crown jewels, London, Balmoral, her dogs, the countryside, the Union Jack, gold carriages, wedding days, street parties. The list went on and on, and it was getting tricky to narrow it down. But there was always, always a hat.

Bingo.

So I began to browse images of her hats. It needed to be structurally ‘cake’ shaped, not too intricate, but have enough impact when made as a cake. The one I chose was a gorgeous blue, with feathers and loops, and had enough interest in its shape, without needing to carve too much of it away.

The texture was applied with a burlap roller, and the colour was given depth with blue shimmer dust, black petal dust and cornflower to ‘dilute’ the colour intensity.

The board was built up with foil, to a raised centre, and covered with sugarpaste for the brim.

And every time I saw it on my workbench, I thought it was a hat.

Job, very much, done.

So what do you think? I’d love to hear, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

A cake for a 50 year old train driver

South. West. Trains. That was it. The extent of the brief, from a lovely repeat customer, who ‘trusted me 100%’….

Crumbs…. I googled and found a colour scheme. But I was really concerned that a cake with a train on top, would instantly look like a kids cake. And I knew I wanted to make Steve, and in my vision(!), he was perched on the edge of the cake, red lanyard and all! The advantage of doing this, was that he didn’t need to be the same scale as the train, or just in the window.

And standing too close to the track would imply a train-based problem …. He he, I sometimes take this all a bit too seriously ….!

So….

I knew I wanted the train to be bigger than the cake size would allow a full train and carriages to be, so suddenly I saw it coming out of a tunnel. No need to make room for the rest of the train, and Steve could take his rightful place at the front of the cake.

I’d done a striped cake in the same week, and the train colours were all ready to go, sitting there next to it. They looked fabulous together, so I decided to stripe them around the edge, to strengthen the scheme.

The tunnel – I could see the tunnel in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in my head as I modelled this! I knew that tunnel edges needed to come forwards as well as out to the sides to look realistic. And they were generally grassy, bushy areas.

And the cobbles came to me very last-minute. I was looking for a surface that Steve could sit on securely, but also one that would look right next to the tracks and up against the grass. Cobbles!

South West Trains cake

South West Trains cake

So there you have it. The meandering story of this cake design. And a small window into the workings of my mind….

*Grin*

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

They grow up too fast

The only school leavers’ cakes I had done previously, were for both my daughter’s pre-school leaving party. I had such a ball doing both of these, so when I was asked for a primary school leavers’ cake – I was very much up for the challenge.

The graduation class was quite small, but the cake needed a certain amount of impact, so we decided on two tiers. The concept of ‘growing up’ was important, as these girls had been at school together since they were four. And it obviously needed little nods to the school, even though it was an out of school celebration.

School leavers cake, with shoes

School leavers cake, with shoes

I used the silhouettes of three increasingly grown up girls around the top tier, from the little one skipping into school, to the almost teenage one, on her phone! And two sets of school shoes really helped to highlight how much they’ve grown too….

The school emblem is an orange and white flower, which made a lovely subtle addition.

And we wanted each girl’s name on the cake somewhere – just like the chalked version on the preschool cake – and opted for exercise book paper around the edge this time instead.

I love this cake – and it’s a great example of a cake that may not instantly make sense if anyone else sees it, but it means a great deal to the recipients.

So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into designing and making a Really Yummy cake. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Let's go Fly a Kite

Now I don’t really have time to make cakes unless someone asks me to. So there are some themes that stay in my head, yearning to come out at some point. And Mary Poppins was very much one of these.

It was one of my favourite films as a child, and ‘Feed the Birds’ still makes me cry. And ‘Fly a Kite’ has me sobbing at the end, even now I’m in my 40s and I’ve seen it that many times.

My children have seen the film, and love the songs, but Ms Poppins was brought into our lives in a big way last year, when we went to see the stage version of it. My husband’s old friend Nick was the resident director, and to say the whole thing was magical is a huge understatement. Yup, I sobbed. And cheered, and clapped until my hands hurt. Seeing the sheer delight on my kids’ faces, was magic in itself.

And then we took Nick out for dinner, and he managed to answer the kids’ questions, whilst still keeping the magic alive. Did I say magic too much yet?…. And then he took us all backstage before the second of the day’s performances. Oh my goodness, the look on their faces, as we were standing on Cherry Tree Lane! A huge thank you to Nick obviously.

In the meantime, my daughter had already chosen her cake theme. I’m not even sure what she had settled on, but this changed everything! And finally I got the chance to make a Mary Poppins cake.

The base tier was hand-painted with scenes from the film, and railings added on top, to represent the park. The middle tier was all about the house, with the iconic windows. And the top tier was a chimney, of course, with Bert and Mary sitting, very sooty on the top.

The whole thing was amazing to make, and remains one of my favourites!

So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into designing and making a Really Yummy cake. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x