Cakecraft - Happy 7th Birthday Hamish

My favourite Minecraft buddy Hamish had a party to celebrate his 7th Birthday today. To mark the occasion I created this Minecraft inspired cake, with the assistance of husband and my friend Liz.

Birthday boy with cake

If you aren't familiar with Minecraft you should be, because it's awesome. You can read about it on the interwebs, but basically the game world consists of cubes.

The Minecraft world

There are lots of examples online (especially Pinterest) and many different ways to approach making a Minecraft cake. Here's what I did:
  • Earth/grass blocks: Three batches of chocolate brownies (see go to recipe) with green buttercream frosting (see go to recipe).
  • Sand blocks: Kellogs LCM Bars 
  • Water: Berry Blue Aeroplane Jelly
  • Lava: Mango, Orange and Strawberry Jelly (once the jelly is well set use a fork to rough each color and gently mix together).
I made the brownies the day before so they had overnight in the fridge to harden, this made cutting them into cubes easier. I made the jellies several day in advance so they were well set prior to being needed. Because of the materials needed for this cake, it really can't be assembled ahead of time, so block out a couple of hours prior to your party!

Step 1 - cutting the materials (brownies and LCM bars) we used buttercream frosting as an adhesive (chocolate for brownies and vanilla for LCM bars) and a small strip of grey fondant to go under the lava section. The LCM bars worked well and easily cut to block size (we even used a thinner half layer to help enclose the water jelly). In hindsight the brownies were not the best choice as they are so dense, it is more difficult to cut them all to the exact same block size (I would also recommend larger block sizes in the future). I think if I were to make this cake again I would bake normal chocolate cakes, cut them level using a cake leveler, and use a square cutter to make squares that all conform to the exact same size.

Step 2 - piping the grass. This was tricky due to the very small holes on my grass tip - I would recommend a larger style grass tip in the future.

Step 3 - adding the jelly. The lava is easily spooned in, the water is a little more tricky as it is cut into blocks. The best time to transport your cake to the venue is prior to this step. It is fairly easy to add the jelly at the last minutes before serving.

Step 4 - add characters. I used some of Hamish's Minecraft toys, but more ambitious cooks could make fondant characters.

The finished product!

One magical unicon fairy cake please - Happy 3rd Birthday Abby!

Two tiered rainbow cake

For Abby's 3rd birthday she requested a Mia and Me inspired cake, with extra unicorn!

I used a simple vanilla sponge for the base. To get a rainbow effect I divided the cake batter into a five separate bowls and coloured each of them a different colour. I then slowly poured each colour into the centre of the cake pan. I made two round cakes, one slightly smaller than the other. 


Once the cakes had cooled, I made a big batch of pink buttercream frosting and iced both cakes. For the base layer I rolled the cake sides in a tray of rainbow sprinkes and also coated the top of the cake.

After placing the two tiers together I piped a little icing to hide the join and added some small fondant flowers and leaves (and the candles of course). This cake was made so much less complicated because I purchased the unicorn from ebay (make sure you order well in advance).


The finished cake turned out OK and the rainbow insides were a nice surprise!

Aarrr! It's Cameron's Birthday

Chocolate Pirate Cake

It's Cam's 2nd Birthday and time to celebrate pirate style! This cake was relatively straight forward to make.

The cake was a simple chocolate sponge cake (can't remember the recipe I used sorry, but I just googled it!) with chocolate buttercream frosting for the outside of the cake.

Accessories are chocolate wafer biscuits for ship decking, pretzels for railings, chocolate cigarillo for the bow, and smarties and lifesavers for decorations. The sail is made from edible papers and was ordered on eBay.

The 'waves' are chocolate cupcakes with blue buttercream frosting, accessorised with store bought gold coin chocolates. The sailors are vintage lego men from Cameron's uncle.

Jurassic Birthday - Angus is 2!

Chocolate dinosaur cupcakes

I was on a  roll with fondant work so I decided to attempt these cute dino cupcakes.

The dino heads and tails are fashioned from fondant. This was done a week in advance to allow them time to dry. The eyes are completed with edible pen, the lettering was created with cutters.

I baked a batch of simple chocolate cupcakes and a few different colours of buttercream frosting that i piped on. The heads and tails were pushed into the frosting/cake and finished with some sprinkles.


Leaf my cake alone - Happy 6th Birthday Hamish!

Inspired by Andy Griffith's Treehouse books this cake required a fair bit of structural engineering! Especially as it needed to be robust enough for Hamish to take to school.

I started with the fondant work, using molds for leaves and flowers and free hand to create small fondant books (edible pen is used for the book covers), string ladder steps, house planks and windows. This part was completed about a week before the cake was due to allow everything time to dry.

The base for the cake was a simple vanilla sponge cake, also made a day or so in advance so it had time in the fridge to firm up. I cut the cakes into shape for the tree base and the house component. The tree trunk was iced with chocolate buttercream (I used a toothpick to make the finish look a little like tree bark). I also iced the tree house with chocolate buttercream, and then covered it with light brown fondant. I attached the tree house to the base using wooden skewers.

To finish off the main cake I added some fondant 'planks' and windows to the house as well as the other fondant accessories (steps, flowers etc). To accompany the main cake, I made some chocolate cupcakes in medium and small sizes. Using a green buttercream frosting and adding the fondant books to finish.

I really like the finished product and apparently the kids at Hamish's school did too!

The Naked Cake

It's all the rage, so I had to give it a try! It's was way harder than I anticipated and I really should have done more research. Thankfully cream and edible flowers (courtesy of the lovely Brigid! at my fav cafe Alley Cats) saved the cake from being a total fail!

For the actual cake I used a simple sponge cake recipe (check out the go-to page for this). I used three small round pans and added a different amount of purple coloring to each. What I didn't consider was that the edges of the cake would not be purple, they were of course a slight brown from the baking process.

So the main lesson is that for coloured naked cakes, you need a cake cutter! Really you can make one large cake and simply cut smaller cakes out of it - that's how I will do it next time. Of course if you are doing a naturally coloured chocolate or vanilla naked cake (no colours) this is probably less of an issue. So to save this project from complete failure, I tried to carefully cut (free hand as I didn't have a cutter big enough) around the edges and top of each cake.

I then whipped some thickened cream with a little icing sugar and vanilla and used this, with some fresh berries between each layer of cake. With lashings of fruit and gorgeous edible flowers the cake turned out ok in the end!

Cheesecake of Freedom - Michele's no sugar no carb dessert

Baked cheesecake with nut base

It seems like everyone I know has given up delicious things this year. They feel healthier, but it's seriously hard to fine sharable desserts! That is why this recipe is so awesome, it really doesn't have any sugar or any carbohydrates so it's friendly for many many diets.


This recipe was adapted from various paleo and LSLC recipes by my friend Michele who was kind enough to share her awesome instructions!

For the base:
  • 120g butter (soft)
  • 1 cup hazelnuts (use a food processor to chop the nuts into a med/fine consistency)
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1-2 tablespoon cacao (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and use your finger to to rub the butter into the rest of the ingredients until a loose dough is made. Line and grease your cake tin (I used two loaf tins). Push down clumps of the dough until the tin is lined with a layer about 10-15mm thick. It is up to you if you just want to line the bottom with the dough, or also do up the sides. Put the tin/s in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for around 15 minutes or until the base feels cooked through (i.e. a bit crispy on top). If you don't use cacao you will know the base is cooked when it goes golden. Remove from the oven and but do not remove from the tin.

Hazelnuts after being processed

rub the butter into the other ingredients to make a dough

rough dough consistency

Line bottom of tine or base and sides

For the filling:
  • 750g Philadelphia cream cheese (soft)
  • 150-200g Birch Xylithol (available from most health food shops)
  • 2 eggs
Filling Options:
  • for plain, scrape the seeds from one or two vanilla pods
  • for citrus, add juice of one small lime and juice of 1/2 a lemon (for a stronger flavour add some grated rind as well), as well as  seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • for chocolate, add around 2-4 tablespoons of cacao as well as seeds from 1 vanilla pod.
Using an electric beater combine the cream cheese and Xylithol until smooth. Add whichever option you would like (for this batch I did one loaf of plain vanilla and one load with cacao). Then beat in the eggs until fully mixed through and and scoop into the tins with the cooked bases. Bake in an oven at around 160 degrees for around 45 minutes, until the filling is just set (it is best if it is still slightly woobly in the middle).

Smooth filling consistency

Vanilla loaf (with dough lined bottom and sides)

Layered cheesecake - part vanilla, part cacao

Baked layered cheesecake (with dough on the base only)

To finish I added whipped cream and some fresh berries.

Nut free option: If you are catering to people with nut allergies, just skip the base part, bake the filling in small ramekins lined with baking paper. Line small cups with berries and push the baked mixture out of the ramekin and on top of the berries.

Nut free option with vanilla and fresh blueberry base