Garden Party

Garden Party

If you have an event coming up that calls for extra-special cake, why not try my tiered Daisy party cake with co-ordinating cupcakes? This cake needs to be nice and tall, so we are using a large amount of cake mix to achieve good height. It is important to dowel the cake so that it remains stable but do not worry, I will walk you through all of the stages below.

 

The cupcakes are topped with daisy cookie picks and are made with my blue and white cupcake cases, which complement the colours perfectly. I will also be showing you how to make these cute daisy cookie cupcake picks. One batch of cookie dough uses just one egg therefore it is hard to make a half or quarter batch, but will provide far too much dough for the cookie picks alone, so why not consider making some cookie stacks or individual biscuits as well? If you plan on serving the cupcakes at the party, send your guests home with a slice of the cake. My striped cellophane bags are perfect for the job and so pretty. 

Equipment needed:

Two 10cm diameter cake tins

Two 18cm diameter cake tins

Grease proof paper (circles)

10cm diameter foil-covered cake card

18cm diameter foil covered cake card

20cm diameter foil covered cake drum

Counter top mixer

Sugar sprinkler

Wire cooling racks

Rounded spatula (small)

Cake trimmer

Large rolling pin

Mini plastic rolling pin

Fondant smoother

Cake scraper tool

Turntable, preferably tilting

4 sturdy drinking straws (plastic)

Food safe pen

Scissors

12mm ribbon

Two piping bags

Coupler

Number 4 writing tip

No 67 tip

Non-toxic glue stick

Main cake ingredients:

7 free range eggs

420g caster sugar

420g margarine or softened butter

420g self-raising flower

Cake filling:

125g salted butter, very soft

165g icing sugar

Seedless raspberry jam

 

Cake decoration:

1kg ready-to-roll icing

A small amount of gum paste (petal paste)

Powdered colours of your choice

A quantity of royal icing coloured green

Before you start baking, get started on your daisies. The will be so much easier to handle when they have dried, you can make a batch days in advance; allow them to dry and store them in an airtight container where they will keep beautifully until you need them.

 

1. Sprinkle a little icing sugar on your work surface and then use your small plastic rolling pin to roll out some gum paste, very thinly. Use a daisy plunger cutter to cut several daisy shapes and place them in flower formers to dry. 

2. Set the oven temperature at 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Farenheit).

3. Drop greaseproof paper circles into the bottom of two 18cm and two 10cm Tala baking sandwich tins. (You can use pre-cut greaseproof circles, or cut your own from baking paper.)

4. Cream margarine or butter and sugar together until throughly combined, add the eggs and mix again before finally slowly beating in the flour. 

5.Divide the mixture between the four tins and try to make sure that the tins are filled to the same level.

6. Bake in the centre of the oven until golden brown. 

 

7. Turn out the cakes and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

8. While the cakes are cooling, get to work on your icings. Make buttercream by creaming icing sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Then prepare your sugar paste by kneading a kilogram of shop-bought ready-to-roll icing with a small amount of powdered blue food colouring until you reach the shade you like. Keep the icing wrapped in cling film until you need it. Finally, make up a quantity of royal icing, keeping some white and colouring two other batches pale pink and green.

8. When cool, use a cake trimmer and level each of the four cakes to the same height. 

9. Each cake will be sandwiched together with the other cake of the same size. Carefully consider both cakes: which has the most even baked surface? This should be the upper half of the cake and it will be most visible, so it's important to choose your prettiest cake to go in this position.

10. Secure the uglier cake bottom cake onto a foil covered cake card the same size as the cake, and spread a good thick and even layer of buttercream onto it.

11. Spread the other cake (on the trimmed surface) with seedless raspberry jam. 

12. Lift the cake spread with jam onto the other cake and gently press it down with your fingers. 

13. Using a rounded spatula, spread buttercream onto the walls of the cake; this is what is known as a 'crumb coat'. It really helps if you use an icing turntable. I have placed my cake onto a circle of greaseproof paper just so I do not buttercream on the turntable top but this is down to personal preference.

14. To get a really smooth finish, use a scraper tool held level with the walls of the cake, and turn the turntable with the other hand to smooth out bumps and bulges. Crumb coat both of the cake this way.

15. Sprinkle your work top with icing sugar and quickly knead the roll out the ready-to-roll icing until it is soft and pliable. Roll it out to a thickness of about 4mm.

16. Lift the icing (drape it over the rolling pin if you want to) and lift it over the cake and drape it over the cake from front to back.

17. Carefully smooth the icing and use the fondant smoother to gently press the icing onto the cake. Turn the turntable as you go, smoothing the top and sides of the cake until they are fully covered. 

18. Use a small paring knife to trim extra fondant that hangs below the edge of the cake card. Repeat with the other cake.

19. Cover the cake drum in sugar paste so that the foil is hidden. Do this by rolling a sausage of coloured sugar paste and rolling it flat around the edge of the cake drum with a mini plastic rolling pin. It does not matter if the centre of the drum is left bare. 

20. Secure the larger cake onto the cake card with a blob of royal icing.

21. Dowel the cake by plunging four sturdy drinking straws into the cake until you can feel them make contact with the cake card at the bottom. Mark onto the straws the point at which they emerge at the top of the cake, then remove all of the straws and cut them all to the same height, even if the marks vary slightly.

22. Cut a length of ribbon to encircle the base of the cake and secure it at the back with a blob of royal icing.

23. Fit a piping bag with a coupler and number 4 writing nozzle. Fill with a small amount of green royal icing.

23. Place the larger cake onto a tilting turntable, and gently twist the turntable so that the cake slopes slightly, making it easier to pipe on the sides of the cake.

24. Working from top to bottom, pipe three lines to represent daisy stems. 

25. Stick daisy heads to the top of the stems.

26. Replace the writing nozzle with the leaf tip and pipe some green leaves here and there on the stems. 

27. Using the rounded spatula, put a blob of royal icing on top of the dowelled cake and lift the smaller covered cake on top. Ensure it is centred and hide the join with another length of ribbon, secured at the back.

28. Pipe stems and leaves and attach flowers in the same way.

29. Conceal the edge of the cake drum by cutting another length of ribbon and adhering it to the edge with child’s non-toxic glue.

30. Fit the second piping bag with a coupler and the clean No 4 writing nozzle and fill with pink royal icing.

31. Pipe pink centres into each daisy head.

32. Store your cake at room temperature, it will remain fresh for a good few days, so do make it in advance if you want to save time.

TIP: do not refrigerate the cake or the flowers will flop.

Cupcakes and cookie picks

 

Equipment needed:

Counter top mixer

Baking tray

Rolling pin

Flour sprinkler

S4 piping nozzle

Cocktail sticks

Daisy plunger cutter

Piping bag

Coupler

No 4 writing nozzle

12-hole muffin tin

12 Muffin cases

 

Ingredients:

3 free range eggs

180g caster sugar

180g margarine/butter

180g self-raising flower

A quantity of cookie dough (cross reference with dough used for cookie stacks)

125g salted butter, very soft

165g icing sugar

 

Icing:

Ready-to-roll icing

Small amount royal icing coloured pink

White sprinkles

Pink powdered food colouring

 

 

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (338 degrees Fahrenheit).

2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

3. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll out your cookie dough to a thickness of approximately 3-5mm.

4. Cut out little circles of dough using the large end of an S4 (or similar size) piping nozzle. 

5. Insert a cocktail stick into the dough as shown 

6. Line up loaded cookie pics on the baking tray 

7. Bake for 10 minutes or so until golden brown.

8. Allow to cool, then brush the surface with a little water and attach flowers shapes cut with the daisy plunger cutter from white ready-to-roll icing. 

9. Pipe daisy centres in contrasting colour royal icing and leave to dry.

10. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases.

11. Prepare a sponge cake mixture following exactly the same procedure as for the big cake and filling the muffin cases as shown in the photograph. 

12. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare your buttercream, also to the same specifications as for the big cake.

13. Colour the buttercream with a small amount of powdered pink food colouring. 

14. Using a rounded palette knife, put some buttercream onto the cupcake and level off, so it is is perfectly flat

15. Fill a piping back fitted with an S4, or open star nozzle, with buttercream and pipe a swirl onto each cupcake.

16. Before the buttercream has a chance to crust, quickly sprinkle the swirl with white sprinkles.

17. Poke the cookie pick carefully into the centre of the swirl and down into the cupcake. 

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