Tim’s Birthday Cake 2017


This week was my darling fiancé Tim’s birthday!
I couldn’t let it go by without baking him something tasty! I’ve incorporated all of his favourite flavours in this 6″ almond cake with almond buttercream and black cherry jam. Topped with dark chocolate ganache swirls, pieces of marzipan dark chocolate bar and glacé cherries.

A little bit of information about the cake!

I used the Classic Madeira Birthday Cake recipe I like to use but instead of all the plain flour I used half so 25g and added 25g ground almonds. I also used almond extract instead of vanilla. I also didn’t convert the recipe size even though I was using a smaller tin, this is because I wanted a tall cake. I will often bake a size bigger recipe in the tin if I want a deep cake.

For the almond buttercream, I used 250g unsalted butter, 500g icing sugar and 2 teaspoons of almond extract. No water or milk, just nice soft butter to make a creamy buttercream.

I used the dark chocolate ganache recipe I have here for the chocolate swirls on top.

I used marzipan chocolate and glacé cherries from the supermarket.

Here’s a lovely shot of the inside!

Cut with a cake leveller and filled with chunky cherry jam and almond buttercream! Delicious!

Happy birthday handsome. I hope you had an amazing day!! I love you so very much.

Britt xo


How To Make A Santa Cake


At this years Manchester Cake & Bake Show, I demonstrated in the Baking & Decorating Classroom, how to make this fun and festive Santa Face Cake!

Follow my below tutorial to make your own for a fabulous centrepiece for your Christmas celebrations.

I’m using my 7″ round madeira cake recipe and vanilla buttercream. Both recipes can be found here.

For my cake timeline, which takes you thorough when you can bake and decorate your cake, click here.

I recommend using modelling paste to make the face as it’s less fragile. It can also be made on a smaller scale and used to decorate cupcakes!

The face and snowflakes can be made ahead of time, keep decorations in a cake box or another container that the air can get to (not in a sealed box, otherwise they may melt). For more on types of icing, check out my blog post here. Ideally, leave your decorations to dry overnight until they are firm before using to decorate.

I recommend using actual edible glue as opposed to water as water can make your shapes soggy. My top tip with edible glue is less is more! Only use a small amount.

For this I have used white modelling paste and coloured what I needed using Sugarflair colours Paprika/Flesh. I use pre-coloured red and black modelling paste.

Equipment can be purchased from Iced Jems.

  • 7″ round tin
  • 7″ round thin cake card
  • 10″ round drum
  • 1kg white sugar paste
  • 100g Red modelling paste
  • 100g Peach modelling paste
  • Small piece of black modelling paste
  • Small bowl of caster sugar
  • White flower paste
  • Snowflake plunger cutter
  • Moustache cutter
  • Cutting wheel
  • Crimpers
  • Dusting brush
  • Pink edible dust colour
  • Paintbrush
  • Edible glue
  • Large rolling pin
  • Icing spacers
  • Smoothers
  • Royal icing
  • Christmas ribbon
  • Double sided tape

For the snowflakes

Roll out flower paste very thinly and use a snowflake plunger cutter. Leave these snowflakes to dry on foam overnight and when dry, attach with edible glue and by gently sticking the snowflakes into the side of the cake. I have also sprayed mine with shimmer spray but this is up to you.

For the cake

Split and fill your cake with your desired buttercream or ganache and secure your cake to the thin board using buttercream.

Prepare cake by lightly coating with buttercream or ganache.

Before rolling out icing, knead until it’s a workable consistency. If the icing is sticky or your hands are very warm, sprinkle lightly with cornflour. Lightly dust your smooth work surface also to prevent it sticking.

Roll out your sugar paste to a 1/4 of an inch thickness. If it helps, you can use icing spacers which are perfect for this.

To keep the sugar paste from sticking, lift and move it around as your roll. Add more cornflour if needed.

Gently lift icing over rolling pin to move and lower it onto your cake

Shape sugar paste to sides of cake using your hands and then your smoothers. I recommend using a smoother because the pressure of your hands may leave impressions on your sugar paste.

Beginning in the middle of the cake top, gently rub the sugar paste onto the cake. Start on one side and by a process of gently lifting any creases out and lifting down onto your cake, you can secure the sugar paste all the way around. If an air bubble appears, use a scribe to gently pop the bubble and smooth the air out.

Use your smoother to mark the sugar paste at the base of the cake and trim the excess using a palette knife or sharp knife.

Repeat this process to ice the board, sticking the icing down with a little water or piping jelly.

Using a crimper, crimp the edges of your icing, starting at the back of your cake and board. Go around evenly and decisively.

Fix your iced cake to your iced cake drum with a little royal icing.

Your cake is now ready to decorate!

For the Santa face

Roll out peach coloured icing to ¼” thick. Cut out a circle using a large circle cutter. This will be Santa’s face. Leave the face to dry on a piece of foam.

Roll out white icing to the same thickness. Cut out the same sized circle as the face then cut a third of that circle out with the same cutter, creating a crescent shape. This will be his beard. Using a little edible glue, stick the beard to the bottom half of the face making sure to cover the bottom ridge of peach icing. Then cut out a white moustache using a cutter or cut one out freehand using a cutting wheel. Glue this onto the beard.

Roll out red icing and cut out the same sized circle as the face then cut two thirds of that circle out with the same cutter, creating a smaller crescent shape. This will be his hat. Stick this to the top of the face using a little edible glue.

Then, using a cutting wheel, cut out an elongated triangle, gluing it to the hat, starting in the middle.

Then, for the bobble, roll out a small ball of white icing, paint thinly in edible glue and roll in caster sugar. Glue this at the end of the hat point.

Roll out a thin strip of white icing and glue this around the base of the hat to create the rim.

To finish the face, roll a small ball of peach icing and glue just above the moustache to create the nose.

Roll two smaller balls of black icing and glue in place for the eyes.

For the flush cheeks, use a large dusting brush and pink edible dust colour. Dab a little colouring onto the cheeks.

When your Santa face has dried, glue this to the centre of your cake using a little edible glue.

Finish your cake with a ribbon and bow around the base of the cake and the rim of the board.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Give it a try and let me know how you get on either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

Merry Christmas and happy baking!

Britt xo

All of my online cake decorating courses are currently HALF PRICE! Grab a bargain here.

Santa Face Cake by She Who Bakes

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