Baby Bump Cake

When thinking of ‘leaving to have a baby’ cakes I have seen in the past, traditional pink and blue square cake with abc blocks or a dummy for decoration = a tad predictable maybe? I wanted something a little more modern for a cake I was asked to make for a lady I used to work with as she breaks up for her maternity leave.

After looking around for some inspiration I kept coming across ‘Baby Bump’ cakes. Initially I found them a little creepy, but done well, they can be super cute and really flexible for decoration and colours. There’s no pink or blue here – the babies gender is not known – so I’ve gone for a modern edge with a lime green bust, white skirt and black ribbon and flower detail.

Now for the science bit………

Some have used wilton football pans & large cupcake pans to create the bump and boobies of this cake.  I don’t have either of these pans and was certainly not going to go out and buy them specially so don’t despair if you don’t have them either. I used a 8″ deep round tin for the bump and 2 x 4″ pie tins (both lakeland) for the bust. Normally when baking, if you get a dome on the top of your cake it can be pain, not today! Go with it and trim the cakes into shape with a bread knife until your happy with your torso’s new curves.

I have used a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling. Whatever filling you choose, make extra so you can frost the entire cake to join the shapes and give it a nice smooth shape. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. if your cake isn’t the right shape before you cover it in fondant, it certainly won’t be the right shape after covering it either. After frosting, pop it in the fridge for about an hour.

I like to ice the board as well when I can, which I did here before frosting. Now for covering. Cover completely in your base colour – in my case white. Trim and shape the skirt.

Roll out your contrasting colour and trim one edge so it is straight. This edge will sit under the bust. Cover the bust.

Roll & cut some 1″ strips in your ribbon colour and lay on across the under bust line. Use two long strips for the lengths of the ribbon. The flower was made using a 2.5″ flower cutter and fluting the edges with a cocktail stick, then piping the centre in royal icing. Finally finish as desired with any royal icing piping or boarder and a nice ribbon round the board.

Bye bye tummy, hello mummy!

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Star Wars Millenium Falcon Cake

Its the cake that puts the fear of dread into most cake makers. Normally the conversation goes like this…..

Friend: ‘Will you make the cake for my/{insert loved one here}’s  birthday cake?’

Me: Sure, what are you looking for?

Friend ‘The Millenium Falcon’

My Head: Argghhhh!

Me: Of course!

My Head: Oh my god – this cake is going to look like something you would see on cakewrecks.com

Well, it turned out pretty well as it goes. Although, it felt more like a piece of engineering at times more than baking. Here’s how I did it:

Make up enough cake batter to fill an 8″ round deep tin and a standard loaf tin.  The cake baked in the loaf tin will be used to cut out the front sections of the millenium falcon and it only needs to be about 2″ when baked rather than the 3″ of your round cake.

One baked and cooled, split the round cake and fill with butter cream and jam if required.  I made a chocolate cake for this one so it was filled with chocolate buttercream. Place the round cake off centre on a large rectangular cake board. Now use a bread knife and cut out two 3″ x 2.5″ rectangles from your loaf tin cake. Trim one side of each at an angle to make them wider at the top (this end will be attached to your round cake) and sloping down to a narrower end. Also cut a small 1″ square from the loaf tin cake which will be placed in between to two ends. Arrange them all on the board.  Feel free to use any left over bits of cake from the loaf tin to fill in any gaps and improve your shape.

Once your happy with the basic shape you need to crumb crust the cake with buttercream to cement it all together and give you a nice smooth base before going anywhere near it with your sugar paste.  So, slather it in butter cream and smooth it over with a palate knife, ensuring all gaps are filled and you have a good solid shape all over, right down to the board. Clean off any excess on the board with some kitchen roll.

Refridgerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

Remove from the fridge and start to prepare your sugar paste. You will need approx 1.5 kg of grey sugar paste and small amounts of black and yellow. Roll out about 1.2 kg of the grey to approx 1/4 inch thick and lay over the cake.  Gently smooth it round all the edges.  When you reach the two ends, I found it easier to cut a slit in between them with a knife to ease the sugar paste round these tricky parts. Smooth over the whole cake with an icing smoother or some sugar paste wrapped in cling film. Trim all the way round the cake.

Roll out the rest of the grey sugar paste and cut out a small circle for the middle, a larger semi circle which you can trim for the back of the ship, three 1″ wide long strips and any other bits you want to add on. You can either follow my picture or there are tonnes of pictures of the millennium falcon online so go as detailed as you want!

Roll out your yellow and black and cut out your other detail.

Pipe round the edge of the cake and add your final touches with piped white royal icing and score knife makes for extra detailing.