How do you fancy making a fantasy fairy castle or an impressive Pirates of the Caribbean ship? If your children are expecting great things this year, don’t fret – it can be done! All it takes is a little time – and a few inventive ideas!
Disney Cinderella Palace
Disney’s signature Sleeping Beauty palace is tall and spindly, so it’s tricky to recreate in cake. But don’t worry – with some Swiss Rolls and ice-cream cones, it can be done!
- Two square sponges
- Rolled royal icing in pink
- Rolled royal icing in grey
- Butter icing in blue
- One swiss roll (homemade or bought)
- Mini rolls x 4
- Ice-cream cones x 6
- Cocktail sticks x 10
- Edible silver balls
- Edible gold dust (optional)
Before you start this cake, print out a photograph of the palace (there are plenty online). You’ll see that it has a cube base with an arched doorway at the front, backed by one large tower, and several smaller towers.
- First, cut your sponges in half and make into a pile to create the base (a rough cube).
- Cover it in pink Royal Icing.
- Now, make the entrance towers – roll up two mini rolls in grey Royal Icing, and mount one on either side of the cube.
- Top each with half an ice-cream cone (cut off an inch from the top of each one), and pipe the cone in blue icing.
- Cut out an arch shape in grey icing and attach to the front of the palace.
- Next, make the main tower: roll the swiss roll in royal icing and use cocktail sticks to support it, propping it upright in the middle of the cube.
- Top this with another cone and pipe it as before. You’ll have three cones left: attach these to the cube or build more towers from mini rolls.
- Finally, decorate the cones with silver balls, gold dust (painted on to resemble gilding), and cocktail-stick flags.
Pirates of the Caribbean Ship
Ooh arrr, me hearties! If you’re planning a pirate-themed party, this dramatic cake is just the thing to set off your tea table.
- Classic Chocolate Cake
- Plain and chocolate butter icing
- Blue food colouring
- Chocolate Matchmakers or similar (1 box)
- Chocolate Rolos (1 packet)
- Three long wooden skewers
- Bake our Classic Chocolate Cake in a loaf tin, and leave to cool on a rack.
- Next, put the cake onto a cake board (narrow end at the bottom), and cover it with chocolate butter icing. (You can add ‘wooden’ texture to the butter icing using a fork dragged along the sides.)
- Using a batch of blue butter icing, pipe waves all over the rest of the board.
- Stick the chocolate Rolos into the sides of the boat hull to create ‘cannon holes’.
- Now you need to make the boat’s railings. Snap matchmakers into smaller pieces and stick them vertically at 1cm intervals all around the top edge of the boat.
- Next comes the tricky bit! Dabbing a little splodge onto the top of each chocolate stick, connect them with horizontal matchmakers (joining each to the next to create a fence structure).
- The final touches: Make sails from paper and cocktail sticks, and add a skull-and-crossbone flag at the top.
- You can either buy LEGO pirate figures (just type ‘LEGO pirate’ into a search engine) or effective Pirate candles from a supplier such as Caketoppers.co.uk. If you’re feeling confident, you could even mould your own pirate from royal icing!
The Gingerbread House
If your children love fairy tales, give them a very special birthday cake – just warn them not to go inside, in case they meet the Gingerbread Witch!
- 110g (4oz) soft brown sugar
- 675g (1.5lb) plain flour
- 1tbsp ginger
- 3tsp ground allspice
- 450g (1lb) golden syrup
- 150ml (5fl oz or ¼ pint) milk
- 110g (4oz) butter
- 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 eggs
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small pan, warm the golden syrup, milk, butter, and allow to melt before stirring in the bicarbonate of soda.
- Pour the wet mix onto the dry ingredients and stir well, before adding the eggs.
- Pour into two greased 20” baking trays and bake at 160°C for up to an hour (and at least 40 mins), then cool on a wire rack.
- Now, you can assemble the house. Cut the gingerbread into thirds across the shortest length of the tray.
- Split one third in half horizontally and you have four walls (two squares and two longer rectangles). Use thick glace icing to attach the walls to a cake board.
- Cut the second gingerbread in half, and use to make a roof for the house.
- Now let your imagination be free with piped icing, chocolate buttons, sweets and lollipop trees!