Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Upsy Daisy Cake...

We have just returned from a lovely little birthday party, and so it's time to clean the kitchen and blog about the cake - but just not in that order!

With the Lazy Daisy cupcakes from my previous post
My friend - whose daughter was the birthday girl - has just recently had a baby, so I offered to make the cake for her knowing that would be one less thing for her to worry about.  Secretly, I was going through withdrawal knowing that it would be April before I needed to make another cake for one of my own kids!

The birthday girl loves the BBC show "In the Night Garden", and especially Upsy Daisy, so a theme wasn't difficult to choose.  I took some inspiration from this image I found online, but decided to modify the design somewhat to suit the materials I had available.  It bought back quite a few memories really - In the Night Garden was the first TV show Miss S ever watched, and my first experience of watching children's TV since I was a kid.

The cake was a 20cm white layer cake (recipe is linked to on my post about the Hello Kitty Cake) in three layers with vanilla buttercream between each layer.  The board was 25cm (only size I could get) so I pushed the cake to the back of the board - rather than centering it - to leave room for the lettering and the flower decorations at the front.

Upsy Daisy took me two and a half hours to model, and there were many moments where I almost gave up as she is quite an intricate character featuring many colours, stripes and small details.  I'm glad I stuck with it though, as I learned a lot from her.  I didn't have a 3d model to refer to (normally I would use a doll or 3D toy), but found a good picture on the internet to work from.

The leaves were made by rolling gumpaste super-thin and then cutting out circles  using a piping nozzle.  I then used the same nozzle to "slice" off the leaf shapes - I was able to get 3 leaves from one little circle.
All the decorations are made from gumpaste, except the rocks behind Upsy Daisy, which are fondant.  I felt that I had probably watched enough of In the Night Garden over the years to feel comfortable making some decorations that reflected the programme's aethestic!  I finished it off with a good spray of edible shellac, which I just love because it really brings the cake alive and helps cover some of the rough spots and dusty icing sugar on the surface.

That reminds me, I have a slice of cake in a take-home bag that's calling my name...  Cup of tea time I think, the mucky kitchen can wait.

LM x


  1. Utterly AMAZING! I don't know how you do it, but what a perfect cake! It's absolutely gorgeous. Well done.

  2. WOW!!!! You are so talented!! I bet the birthday girl loved it. You definitely deserve a rest with a cuppa & some cake after that effort!

  3. I have been admiring your cakes for quite a while now and I must ask, is your decorating self taught? I was pondering attending a couple of Wilton cake decorating classes back here in NZ and wanted to know if you had any sort of experience with that sort of thing. That is, would you recommend a class? Or simply trial and error?

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for visiting and for your comment. I can't say that I have ever done any classes in cake decorating, although the Wilton classes come highly recommended by friends and a couple of family members who have done them.

    I started to get interested in cake decoration about eight years ago when I purchased a beautiful coffee table book on the subject. I learned some of the techniques from the book, by practicing lots and lots of trial and error. I have more recently used youtube tutorials to find out about techniques I wasn't familiar with. But really, trial and error is how the majority of my skills have developed. Lots and lots of mistakes and plenty of wasted fondant, and a few embarrassing, but nevertheless tasty disasters along the way. :)

    I don't know where in NZ you are from, but I know that Milly's Kitchen in Ponsonby, Auckland runs the Wilton classes, and I know people that have done them. Perhaps you could try one class and just see how it goes. It would certainly be a much faster way to learn, and the class format would be fun and social too :).

    LM x



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