Yarn ball cake

I’ve been planning my mum’s birthday cake for months (and finally discovered the secret board feature on Pinterest), and gave her cat themed presents as well. This is the inspiration…

yarn cake And this is how I recreated it:


I start with chocolate cake baked in two half soccer ball cake tins. Word of advice – leave yourself twice as much time as the recipe says. It just takes ages because they’re so deep. Cool completely, shave off the non-round tops to allow a smooth join, and the base of one (so that it doesn’t roll around – also, if your cat tries to eat some of it, cut that off too).


I used a basic buttercream icing with vanilla, and coloured it a shade of the fondant I was using. Stick the two hemispheres together with icing and fill in the gaps. I balanced the whole ball in my hand, holding the top half while I iced the bottom half, then put it down on the plate to do the top. I wasn’t too fussy about making it really smooth. The cake design is quite forgiving.

P1000624I used a knife to mark the design out and started with the sections that would be underneath. I also wear gloves (latex free) when handling fondant; it makes it especially easy when doing so much rolling.





And finally I made the cat, and a few more strands of wool. I generally save the topper for last these days. I never quite anticipate correctly just how much the cake grows when you add icing and fondant.







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Donkey Kong cake topper

Two of my brothers have the same birthday (no, they are not twins). I find it really hard to choose presents, so something handmade sounded like a good option. My inspiration came from Nerdy Nummies, which my sisters had shown me. This girl makes nerd cakes and has a Youtube channel to show you how.

This is her Donkey Kong cake:


Looks easy enough. The only problem was, she made the topper herself but didn’t have instructions for that bit. So I went off these:

Fixed_Donkey_Kongf donkey kongI forgot to take photos of how I did it. My basic tips were to make the basic shapes first and then add detail.

Brown: I bought brown fondant gel dye and mixed the colours first, wrapping them in cling wrap until I was ready.

I started with the torso and head as one piece, molding it kind of diamond shape, so you have head, wide shoulders and narrower waist. I pushed in the bottom of the face and the chest area a bit so I could add the tan shapes easily. And I pinched the top of the head and pushed it over to one side for the hair flick.

Then I rolled a long, fat tube and cut arms and legs (the legs were together as one piece, and then bent into kind of a handle-bar shape to put the torso on top). I squeezed in the elbows a little to get some muscle definition. I stuck these pieces together at this point, but may have been able to wait and let them dry and set – the whole thing ends up a bit heavy for the arms to support it so he sank a bit in the drying process.

Tan: I rolled the mouth area into a oval shaped ball and then pressed it down a bit on the table to flatten one side, which I then stuck on with water. I rolled a thin rope, a little thicker in the middle, for the eyebrow. Then four balls for the hands and feet – the feet were smaller and flatter, and the hands stayed pretty round. I stuck these on with water. Roll out a bit more tan in a soft triangle shape for the chest – I tried to get some shape for the pecks, but it doesn’t matter too much because it’s hidden behind the tie (later). I let it sit for about ten minutes before moving on to more detail.

Detail: I used a small sharp knife to draw a mouth and used toothpicks for the nostrils. I just drew lines for the fingers and toes. And then flicked the knife tip many times all over the brown for fur. The eyes were pretty straight forward – I had to make the white bits more ball-shaped than I first thought, because they end up quite deep-set because of the brow. Use the tiniest little black balls for the pupils.

Roll out a little bit of red pretty thin and cut the tie shape from it. Then some yellow quite thin – be very delicate as you cut the letters and use the knife to transfer them to the tie. Use water to stick it all together – then stick the tie to the top of the chest.

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2013-09-23 18.34.36  2013-09-23 18.35.22 I let him dry two nights, the first night just sitting on the board I made him on, then when he was strong enough to handle, I moved him to a cake cooler to let the bottom dry. It still wasn’t enough; I was told four days should do it, but give this guy a bit longer because he’s so fat. I made the leaves as well and turned them over as each side dried.

Assembling the final product was easier. I made chocolate mud cakes (which ended up too tall) and chocolate ganache (dark chocolate and cream). Follow the youtube video for how to put it all together. I found the banana candies at Spotlight – I used two packets. I was going to sprinkle green sprinkles on the chocolate spread on the plate, but it dried on the way to mum and dad’s house (didn’t want to do it before because then my car would be full of sprinkles and bananas). I assembled the final product there.

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2013-09-25 19.27.17My brother took the Donkey home in a plastic container to keep.

Harley Quinn Cake

My little sister turned 24 in August. She had jokingly put a picture of Harley Quinn (she’s a comic fan – this character is from Batman) on her Pinterest.


She wasn’t expecting anyone to make it for her. With my new found skills, I thought I’d give it a go. Without instructions. So I decided to make my own.

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Make sure you have enough ingredients for lots of cake

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Bake some cakes. My final product ended up a bit short and fat so make them either taller or extra layers.

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Cut your basic shapes. I used a large circle cookie/scone cutter for the top half, and then carved up the off-cuts for the jester ears.

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Pieces assembled

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Prepare the icing for the base – I just used icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract – I don’t really pay much attention to quantities, just taste every now and then and just add ingredients until I have enough of the right consistency.

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Stick your layers together and fill in until the sides are even

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The smaller bits were a bit more awkward. Be careful, because the carved pieces don’t hold the icing as well; they’re a bit crumbly.

Clean up a bit and start with your fondant. I bought a tub each of white, black and red, so I didn’t have to mix colours. It was worth it; it uses quite a lot of each colour.

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Start with the block colours, and take care of the details later. Knead the fondant, roll it out and use the rolling pin to drape it over the cake.


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I bought a tool to smooth it out and cut off the excess with a sharp knife. I’m not a pro at making it all smooth, but I wasn’t too worried because parts of it would be covered with black anyway.

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I put the top on first and then rolled the red onto it – you could probably roll the red on first (it would probably keep it clean easier). Roll out the black and lay it on the cake. Carefully cut it to shape. It’s okay if the red underneath gets scored – there’s a thin rope along the line to cover it up.

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I did the ‘ears’ as I dealt with each colour. Use water to stick the skinny bits on (not too much water). Leave it to set.

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Roll out more black and use a ruler to measure the strips. I used ten strips of about 3cm each. Use a sharp knife to cut them.

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Measure 3cm increments along the short edge and mark them lightly with the knife. Then use the ruler to score lightly to get the diamond pattern.

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Place them on the cake and adjust before using a little water on the back of the strips to stick them in place. Cut the bottom bits off to make it even with the base.

   Now we’re ready for the face. I had heard a tip that you should deal with the lighter colours first because using the darker ones first will stain the light. I did this, but then left them in open air and had to do it again because they dried out. You could probably do it first and keep it in an airtight container, but my measurements ended up being out anyway – the face ended up looking quite small, so it might be better to wait.

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Knead and roll out the white (I think the icing sugar on the mat protected it from being stained anyway – make sure you wash your hands and dry them completely as well).

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I did some drawings and cut them out to make sure the shapes were the same and the right proportions.

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Use a small sharp knife to trace around the template. Be careful not to press too hard with your fingers as you hold the template in place.

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I ended up cutting the face template up for each shape, and then used the cutting to place them on the face. My pom poms ended up a bit too big.

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I wasn’t sure how to keep the ‘ears’ on – I used both water to glue them, and bbq skewers. It would probably help, when shaping the cake for the top half, to carve off a couple of flat sections so they sit better.

So there you go. My first attempt at a whole cake.

Cake decorating

So I officially have a new hobby. I wasn’t going to, I promise. But then my sister ‘hinted’ at what birthday cake she wanted, and I just couldn’t help myself.

It all started with a cake decorating afternoon. Our lovely instructor (click here to see the amazing cakes she’s made) showed us some tricks and how to make these:

2013-08-03 16.05.16I’ll be adding the other cakes I’ve made. I’m sure there will be more in the future.