The practice of perfection

Time to decorate

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With the success of my new vegan cake sponge recipe, I made one more cake (totalling in 3 sponges). Each cake was split in two, creating 6 layers. I then built up 2 cakes using 3 layers each, with buttercream and jam between each layer. The cakes are made in a 6” cake tin, and are 4 inches high. Recipe available here.


Buttercream Ingredients

100g veggie/vegan shortening

50g vegan butter (you don’t have to use it if you don’t wish, I just think it gives a bit more flavour)

350-400g icing sugar

1-2 tsp vanilla extract (or other flavouring if you have a different theme than ‘basic cake’)

Whisk your shortening and butter together, and then add your icing sugar gradually. Put your whisk on a slow speed to begin with, so the icing sugar doesn’t fly everywhere. You should be aiming for a good stiff consistency, so keep adding the icing sugar until it is thick enough to hold onto the whisk, but not too thick to spread. Jemma from IcedJems always says, heat your buttercream a little to loosen it- don’t add extra moisture. Thanks Jemma.

This amount should be enough for each layer, and a basic crumb coat from each cake. Pop your cake into the fridge until it’s time to decorate.

Both cake requires an additional batch of buttercream each, from the recipe above, for the decorations.


Unicorn Cake

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Ingredients & hardware:

1 x 6” vegan cake (recipe here)

Buttercream (recipe above)

Fondant Icing (white-500g or any colour for your unicorn face)

Corn flour (to stop the fondant sticking when rolled)

Food colouring (the colours you desire for the mane)

Paintbrush (for painting the details on)

vodka/lemon juice (1 tbsp for the food colouring, to help it dry when painted)

Dowl/wooden stick (for the horn)

Piping bags and a turntable

Imagination (because… fun!)

Method

Start by rolling your fondant icing out to 5mm thick, and big enough to cover your cake plus the sides (if you have any tips for circumference ratio’s, please email me so I can share with others)

Use the cornflour on your surface if you worry the fondant will stick. Just enough to lightly dust the surface.

Take your cake out the fridge and (preferably) put onto a cake turntable. Lift the fondant using your rolling pin to take the weight, and drape over the cake. Start at the side closest to you and drape away from you. Now begin to smooth the icing out. SheWhoBakes says you want to smooth upwards towards the top of the cake. This stops gravity from tearing the icing, and also helps you work out the “pleats” easier. When I say pleats, I mean when you reach the base of your cake and there are folds that have been created. Don’t forget to cut off the excess icing at this point, this will help with smoothing the sides. (Check out SheWhoBakes online course to help you)

Once covered, its time to decorate! Make a horn by shaping some fondant over a wooden dowel, you can paint the horn gold, or colour it beforehand. You can score lines, or wrap a sausage around the dowel to create the horn details. Leave some of the dowel sticking out, like a lollipop. Stick into your cake where you wish the horn to be.

Decide on your colours for the mane, and pipe swirls and shapes around the horn however you desire. Where I went wrong was trying to make a “side on” horse face… which didn’t work- and thus, I recreated it as a huge fringe.

Make ears by using leftover fondant. Turn them into triangles and place on either side of the horn, where the ears would be! Use the piped buttercream to hold them in place.

For the facial features, you can create them out of fondant and stick them on, or use food colouring with a little vodka/lemon juice and paint on.

Voila! That is how I created this!
What I learned is: Have a plan, sketch it out, then decorate. But as per usual, I went in piping bags blazing…… and had to edit.


Flower Cake

Ingredients & hardware

1 x 6” vegan cake (recipe here)

Buttercream (recipe above)

Instant tea rose nozzle (Buy one here)

Small leaf piping tip (Buy one here)

Food colouring (I used pink, yellow and green)

Piping bags and a turntable.

Patience (piping is not my best skill)

Method

Take your cake out the fridge, place onto the turntable. I tried to create a ‘naked cake’ with this one, though the online community didn’t quite like it/understand my aesthetic. You do what works for you. If you feel you need another buttercream coat to make it solid- go for it!

With your remaining buttercream, split into half, then take 2 tbsp from each and place that into a third bowl. Colour each half the colour you want your roses to be (in my case, pink and yellow) and the third small amount green (for the leaves)
Add your first rose colour to your piping bag with the Instant tea rose attached. Pipe loads of ‘roses’ over the top of the cake. Switch to your second colour, and fill in the gaps. Then sporadically and as creatively as you desire, pipe the green ‘leaves’ between the roses. I wish I could offer help on creating the perfect roses, but I am still learning.


If you make these, PLEASE take a picture and tag me on instagram @colinstarfish

See you soon

Colin x


Helpful Video


My perfect Vegan Spongecake Recipe

Nailed it!

It has taken me a long time to get this right, and as of right now this recipe is for a 6” cake that sits 3 Inches high. I am working on scaling it up and will update on social media as soon as I have done so. For decoration suggestions- click here


Ingredients

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175ml soy/vegan milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

175g plain flour

90g caster/granulated sugar

1 tbsp icing sugar

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum (I used Hodgson Mill)

20ml vegetable oil

20g coconut oil (unflavoured preferably)

1-2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1x lemon rind or whatever flavour you wish)


Method

Preheat your oven to 350F/185c/gas 3

Pour your 175ml vegan milk into a measuring jug and add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Leave this to one side.

In a bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix together. Next add your vegetable oil and coconut oil. Mix together with a spoon until it resembles loose breadcrumbs. Add your flavouring and mix again. Now slowly pour your vegan milk, stirring throughout.

Once the milk has been added- whisk until it resembles yoghurt like consistency. Line a 6” cake tin, and pour the mixture in.

Bake for 45mins-1 hour until the a knife/skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 5 mins in the tin, then pop onto a wire rack to cool completely. As with most cakes, refrigeration before any cutting/shaping helps to stop it falling apart- so if you can, do this before leveling/making layers.

Decorate how you wish, but mostly- enjoy!

See you soon

Colin

x


Helpful Video