Cinnamon and Orange plus White Chocolate ‘Piggy’ Birthday Cakes {100th Post!}

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Here are my birthday cakes! My uncle celebrates his birthday on the same day as me, hence my ‘excuse’ for not being able to choose between two flavours 🙂 Do you share a birthday with a family member? So many people tell me that they share their birthdays with uncles!
He said that the decoration I put on the piped butter cream looks like little piggy faces, here is a close up:

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And here is the gorgeous crown of nut brittle on the cinnamon cake. I have a thing of giving cakes crowns because I think they look glorious. I’ve done it on my carrot cake, my blackberry-banana cake, my (square) banana-chocolate-caramel cake, also on my sunburst tarts!

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And this brittle is super easy to make, you just pour caramel onto the nuts and within minutes it is set and ready to go! It was a very last minute idea……

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These cute wee beauty was a white chocolate mud cake, with raspberry coulis filling and white chocolate buttercream.

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And then there is the older sister, slightly more down to earth and less superficial, and who probably has a couple of kids and is raising them in a house just outside the city, so that they can play on a swing in the summer and go swimming at the beach.
Oh, it’s a cinnamon orange cake with cream cheese frosting and filling and nut brittle.

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I have to admit that I didn’t BAKE them myself as I was on my way back from Wellington to Christchurch, I just iced and decorated them 🙂 I’m getting the recipes that my friends used so I will update them soon!

To make the White Chocolate ‘Piggy’ Cake:
Double this cake recipe to make two layers:

 Chelsea White Chocolate Mud Cake

Then fill the two cakes with any red/pink jam you choose.

Top with your favourite buttercream. Pipe some blobs around the edge, and decorate with candy ‘snouts’ and ‘eye’s 😉

To make a Nut Brittle Crown:
In a saucepan, gently heat 1 cup sugar in a saucepan.

On a greaseproof mat, sprinkle out some mixed nuts.

Keep heating the sugar, not stirring but swirling occasionally, until it turns to an amber coloured caramel. Pour over the nuts and leave to set.

Break up into shards and stick into the frosting on the edge of your cake!

 

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Enjoy everyone 🙂

 

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Banana and Blackberry Cake (with Vegan Option)

I promised cake! 😀

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I went through a cake making craze this summer, and here is one of the results. I love the wreath of berries look, it seems very ‘Mother Nature’ to me.

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The cake itself is vegan, so it stays super moist and keeps really well. There is cream on top, but you can always use coconut cream instead, and the result will be just as billowy and delicious!

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If you don’t have any black berries on hand, then any other berry will do quite nicely. I’m sure even if you topped it with frozen berries, it will look divine.

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Please have a wonderful week everyone 🙂 Sami xx

 

Banana and Blackberry Cake with Vegan Option
Ingredients:
Vegan Banana Cake:
300g flour
1&1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
115g sugar
300g mashed banana
125mls water
80mls canola oil
To top:
180mls cream (or coconut cream for vegan)
25g icing sugar
A few blackberries
To fill:
Blackberry Jam, about half a cup
To decorate:
A handful of blackberries
Mint leaves

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 20cm diameter cake tin.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar until combined. In another bowl, mix together the banana, water and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently until just combined. If necessary, add a splash more of water. Pour into the tin and bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool for about 10 minutes in the tin then flip onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the cream, crush the berries through a sieve so that you have some of the juice. Whip the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form, then add the berry juice. If the colour isn’t as strong as you would like, add some more berry juice. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
To assemble, cut the cake in half horizontally. Spread some jam on the top of the bottom half, almost touching the edges. Spread about 1/3 of the cream on top of the jam, making sure you almost touch the edges too. Put the top half in place, being careful not to press down too much. Spread the rest of the cream on top of the cake. Arrange the berries around the edges like an adorable wee crown. Add some mint leaves to garnish. Serve and bask in your Earth God/dess goodness!
Serves about 10 nicely.
The cake itself keeps un-iced etc for a few days in an airtight container. The colour of the cream fades a bit after about an hour.
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Lemon & Blueberry Pansy Love Cake

 

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Summer can be so glorious! And nature as well, all that is needed to decorate this cake is some wonderful pansies and then all the flowers do the colour co-ordinating for you 🙂

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I had some leftover crytallised pansies from a pavlova I made (which I just realised I haven’t posted yet!) and wanted to use them on a cake. It worked out better than I had expected, and matched the heavenly blueberry and lemon flavours inside.

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The cake itself is actually vegan, so you could exchange the butter in the frosting for a vegan alternative, and use fresh flowers perhaps! Either way, it is pretty delicious. If you have some different edible flowers to use, or some different jam, go ahead and use that!

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Lemon & Blueberry Pansy Love Cake
Ingredients:
Cake:
225g flour
150g sugar
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 T vinegar
7 T oil
zest of 3 lemons
½ cup juice
½ cup water
Icing:
100g butter
Zest and juice of a lemon
230g icing sugar
To fill:
Blueberry Jam to fill (half a cup?)
Plus:
Crystallised pansies to decorate

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two 20cm diameter cake tins (if they don’t have removable bottoms then you can just grease them.
Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Make two wells in the mixture and pour the oil into one and the vinegar into the other. In another bowl, combine the zest, juice and water, then pour it all over the other ingredients. Mix until there are no more lumps. Pour half into each cake tin and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins.
When ready to ice and assemble, make the frosting. Soften the butter and whip until pale. Add the lemon juice, zest and half the icing sugar and combine. Add the rest of the icing sugar and whip until light and fluffy.
Place the bottom layer of the cake onto the serving plate and spread a thin layer of frosting on top. Now spread on the blueberry jam. Arrange the top layer of cake on top. Ice the cake on top and down the sides. Now arrange the crystallised pansies around on the sides and you are done!
You can ice quite a few hours before assembling. Serves 10.

Enjoy everyone!

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Easy Chocolate Cake with Berry Frosting

Part two of the “Yay it’s the end of the year!” cake baking day. Even better, the cake itself is vegan!
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The frosting rosettes were ‘just because’ but if it’s not your style, it’s by no means necessary 🙂 I iced the cake in an odd manner in the way that I frosted the top layer first, to make sure I had enough frosting for the rosettes, then did the filling, but you can do it as you wish! Any berries would go nicely, boysenberries and blueberries would give a purple colour and just strawberries would make it a lighter pink.
Anyway, here is the recipe. It’s quite a light cake and I would add about 1/4 cup more sugar next time.
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Easy Chocolate Cake with Berry Frosting
Ingredients:
Cake:
260g flour
10g cocoa
1&1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup neutral oil
4 tsp vinegar
1&1/3 cup water
Frosting and Filling:
200g frozen mixed berries
20g honey
75g butter
150g icing sugar

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two 22cm diameter circle cake tins with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil, vinegar and water, then mix until combined. Divide evenly between the tins and bake for 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the berry coulis. Heat the berries and the honey over low heat until thick. Leave to cool and then chill until needed.
When ready to frost, strain about 1/3 of the coulis so it is seedless. Soften the butter and whip until pale, then add the icing sugar bit by bit until combined (I did this with an electric mixer), adding a bit of the strained coulis when it gets too thick. When light and fluffy and thick enough to pipe, spread enough frosting on the layer of cake that will be the top layer, so that there is a nice and smooth layer for the top. Spoon about half of what is left into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe a border of frosting on the top layer. Add as much coulis as you like to the rest of the frosting (not too much or the frosting turns a funny texture) then spread it onto the top of the other cake layer. If you have any coulis left, you can spread this on top of the filling. Now place the top cake layer on top of the bottom one, creating a two layered cake with a nice pink filling. Store in an airtight container. Lasts a few days when uniced, the cake keeps well.

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I am looking forward to fresh berries in summer 🙂

My Favourite Caramel Birthday Cake

Sometimes I feel a little bad I don’t broaden my horizons and try a different cake every year…but then I remember why I make this cake consistently, it’s just that good.
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It’s big, triple layered and covered in one of the best frostings I have ever tasted. There’s even a little raspberry jam between the layers: don’t freak out! It’s just enough to add a little interest and colour but it won’t detract from that caramel goodness, I promise 🙂
The cake stays pretty moist (providing you don’t leave it in the oven too long, it’s not foolproof) when done properly and feeds a crowd very nicely (we had two cakes between about 17 people and there was still about 1/3 left of each cake! Yes, I had it for breakfast. Guilty as charged). I wrapped some lace around it because it looked pretty but you can do as you like! 
I really hope you give it a try sometime 🙂

My Favourite Caramel Birthday Cake
Cake:
2&2/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch Salt
250g butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk

Frosting:
90g butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups icing sugar

To fill:
Raspberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line/grease three 20cm diameter cake tins.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until nice and light and fluffy. Beat the egg yolks in one at a time. Alternate mixing in the dry ingredients and the milk, starting and beginning with the dry (I did this by hand because I didn’t want to overmix it). It will be quite thick, but do not fear. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter 1/3 at a time, mixing gently and folding until just combined. The batter should be soft dropping consistency, so not too thick that you have to spread it around the tins. If it is too thick, add a tablespoon or so more milk.
Divide the batter between the tins and bake for about 35 minutes until the skewer comes out clean when inserted (I have accidentally over baked this, so I hovered around the oven and whipped them out as soon as they were done). The tops should spring back when lightly touched. Cool half an hour in the tins then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
When ready to assemble, place a layer of cake on the serving plate. Spread some jam onto the top, leaving a 1cm border. Place the next layer on top and repeat the process. Finally, arrange the top layer on top of this.
To make the frosting, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Heat gently until the brown sugar has dissolved completely (this is important as if not you can end up with grainy frosting; however, I assure you this is still delicious!). Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the icing sugar a bit at a time. When cool enough to spread on the cake, it’s time to get down to it! Frost the cake in any way you may desire. If it helps, I started with a thin crumb coat and then put about 1/3 on top and helped it spread itself down the sides. I then iced the sides, and when it began to set, I smoothed out the edges with a knife dipped in water. The frosting does set quite quickly, although you can easily reheat it a bit. When the cake is iced to your standards, you are all done. Pat on the back, it will all be worth it, I promise!
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