Anyone Can Ice a Celebration Cake

Anyone can create a celebration cake. It’s true: you don’t need any particular skill. With the wide range of instant icing, decorative accessories and ready-made cakes, even the most apprehensive cook can come up with a cake that will delight family and friends. It’s simple and it’s fun.

We asked Lisa, who enjoys baking but has always doubted her ability to make anything more than the most homely cakes, to talk us through the creation of a quick and easy celebration cake that she recently made.

Making the cake

I discovered, at the last minute, that friends were celebrating their silver wedding anniversary and, as we would be attending a meeting together, I decided I’d like to make a special cake for them. I’ve found the recipe for an All-in-one Sponge Cake on the CakeBaker website to work very well so using that as my base, I made a large rectangular sponge (using 4 eggs for a roasting-tin-sized cake).

  • You could use a ready-mix sponge cake packet.
  • If you have plenty of time, you could make a Fruit Cake a few weeks ahead, leaving it to mature nicely.
  • Specialist sugarcraft and baking shops sell ready-made fruit cakes in a variety of sizes. Alternatively check out the internet for ready-made cakes.

The preparations

While the cake was cooling it gave me time to visit to the local sugarcraft and baking supplies shop. They had a selection of cake decorating books full of wonderful ideas but I wanted something very simple, not only because of the lack of time but also my lack of ability!

I bought a large block of ready-to-roll white icing. As it was a silver wedding I looked for silver writing icing but as it wasn’t available the assistant suggested a silver writing pen instead. I also bought a little pot of silver sparkly dust. All these accessories are edible of course!

To accompany those I bought a large silver cake board and an anniversary greeting. Then it was off to the florist’s for two white roses in bud and the newsagent’s for some wrapping ribbon.

  • Ready-to-roll icing is available in most supermarkets, as is a small range of writing icing in primary colours.
  • If you don’t have a cake board to fit, use a piece of wood or a tray covered in silver foil.

Icing the cake

When the cake had cooled thoroughly I placed it on the silver board and brushed it over with slightly-warmed apricot jam to help the icing to stick.

The icing seems quite hard when taken out of its wrapping but after a few minutes of kneading it becomes very pliable. I dusted the work surface with icing sugar and rolled out the icing large enough to completely cover the top and sides of the cakes. I rolled the Sheet of Icing around the pin to lift it and placed it carefully over the cake. By gently pressing and patting it, and cutting away small triangles, I was able to get smooth corners. I then trimmed away the excess from around the edges to give a neat edge.

The finishing touches

I had planned to write the names of the couple on the cake but before attempting it, I tried using the pen on a left-over piece of icing. It was a good job I did: it was a total flop! Even going over it a few times didn’t help so I abandoned that idea. Instead I gently and as evenly as was possible sprinkled the cake with the silver sparkly dust.

Then I cut the stems of the roses down to about 3” and tied them together with the silver ribbon and another piece of white ribbon that I found with my Christmas wrapping paper! With the flowers in place on the cake I added the greeting decoration I’d bought and that was it!

If you have a deep cake you can wrap a silver ribbon around the sides. For a golden wedding cake, use gold dust, yellow roses and gold ribbons.

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