Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Chocolate Fondant Roses

It was my birthday at the weekend. The sun shone all weekend so we were out and about quite a lot taking advantage of the good weather. My friend made me a gorgeous lemon and limoncello cake and I got very spoilt with an array of lovely gifts.

I like to include those around me in my celebrations, including my work mates.  I decided they needed some good chocolate cupcakes in their lives! What better excuse to do a little decorating while I was at it to really pretty them up?!

12 indulgent cupcakes!

As you know I am not expert when it comes to decorating cakes and have had some major fails in my time! It doesn't stop me having a go and I have made roses plenty of times. I use petal cutters as I've had them for years, so have no experience with the all in one cutters you see a lot in the shops.

Here's what I used:-

Ready made fondant, edible glitter, petal cutters, leaf cutter, foam pads and shaping tools.

I start out rolling the fondant as thin as I can, then cut out a selection of petal sizes. For these cupcakes I chose not to use the largest cutter.

I then took a small piece of fondant and shaped it into a cone. This is used to wrap the petals around.

I then take the smallest petals and begin shaping and thinning further with a ball tool. I like to use the sponge as when the petals bounce back it gives them some extra shape. I then took these smallest petals and wrapped them closely around the cone.

I then go up to the next size, shape again, then start to wrap more loosely around the rose bud. I always find that the base can get quite elongated so I kept the original cone shapes as small as possible.

By thinning the petals they fall more naturally round the base.

I made some leaves out of teal fondant, and covered these with some edible glitter. I have a problem with glitter, I can't seem to stay away from it!

I swirled the cupcakes with a generous amount of frosting and placed a rose in the centre of each with a couple of leaves. Simple yet so pretty!

 I love the combination of teal, chocolate and pink!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Autumn and Halloween 'Subway' Printables

I've seen loads of 'Subway' art on Pinterest and blogs. So I thought I would give it a go!

Now I've decided to use pictures in my printables which I don't think is strictly Subway art but I like it! I have one for the new season, full of my favourite things about Autumn. Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year so I had to include one for that! 

The printables are designed to be 8 x 10 though these can be resized. Just click on the pictures to download to your computer. Hope you like them!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Loving Canvas Trio

If you have been following the blog you would know that we made over our master bedroom this Spring. Above our bed is a small wall panel just waiting for some decoration.  I am in the process of designing a gallery wall depicting my husbands and my relationship through the years. I have chosen 6 pictures which I will make custom frames for. I wanted to add a little something else to the wall and kept seeing various pictures with the words 'Always kiss me goodnight'. I really liked that idea for the bedroom but as there were so many items dedicated to that phrase I decided something different was in order.

I started thinking about song lyrics and titles for inspiration. I wanted it to be short and sweet as I was using small square canvas panels. We have been together for more years than I would like to admit (shows my age!) so the catalogue of songs that have been released during our time together is phenomenal! In 1994 we moved away from our home town and set up house in a new place. That year a song was released by The Wannadies called You and Me. Within the song the line 'You and Me, Always' is sung. Those words sum up utterly our relationship so there was no need to look further for inspiration!

I designed a square picture using PicMonkey. Using a font called Thirsty Script Bold I typed out You, Me, Always onto 3 separate designs. I coloured the design roughly the same colours that I was using to paint to canvas to get a clearer picture of what it could look like. I then used Picasa to resize and print out so that it would fit neatly over one of the panels. Here's what the computer design looked like.

I painted each panel in Spa Blue to match the other details in the bedroom.

I took the 3 design print outs and scribbled on the back of each with a pencil as per this post. I could then trace around the letters to get an outline on each canvas.

I recently bought a set of Sharpies for crafting and one was the perfect colour to outline the design. The nib didn't really like the painted surface of the canvas so I had to go over it a few times.

Once that was completed I used some Spa Blue mixed with a little black and Desert Turquoise to create a darker colour for the words. Using a very fine paintbrush, I filled in the design with the custom paint colour. I went over the design a second time to fill in any gaps.

I added a small embellishment to each picking out some of the other colours in the bedroom. They are now ready to hang!

Though they do look pretty on my shelf next to my wedding photo!

Do you have a gallery wall? Share on Facebook!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

I got my first true feeling that Autumn had arrived this week. I stepped out of my house to pick up my son from school, and the air had that crispness in it that always arrives in September. Even though it was a pleasantly warm afternoon, there was that Autumn 'feeling' that I get around the time school starts.

We have 2 apple and 1 pear tree in our garden. The apples start to fall pretty early on and it's very frustrating when you come out of a morning and find them all around with wasps in them!  That's not to say I don't get a bumper crop out of the ones still on the tree however!

Apples are the fruit of the season so what better time than to share my Apple Cinnamon cupcakes. 


They are topped with a very sweet salted caramel frosting. This is the frosting I used to decorate my son's cake. The left over frosting was the perfect complement in taste and colour!

Choc full of apples!

Cinnamon is a must when making apple desserts. In this recipe I have used cinnamon extract. You can of course use ground cinnamon, but I wanted quite an intense flavour, so opted for the extract.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Makes 12


1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbs butter
120g plain flour
70g light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
40g butter
120 ml milk (I used semi skimmed)
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon extract or 1tsp ground cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 180'C (350'F) and line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners.
2. Peel and chop the apple discarding the core. Take your tablespoon of butter and melt over a low heat in a small pan. Once melted, add the chopped apple and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Give the apples an occasional stir. Take off the heat to cool slightly.
3. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter until everything is combined. The mixture should look a little sandy.
4. Add the egg and milk and mix until just combined. Then add the extract.
5. Add the apples and fold in to disperse.
6. Fill your liners with the batter (about half way to 3/4) and bake for 20 minutes. The cakes should be golden brown and when tested with a toothpick, it should come out clean. Leave to cool on a rack.

You can frost these with anything from cream cheese, vanilla, brown sugar etc. The caramel frosting I used is incredibly sweet so just a light spread on top is enough.

The frosting was made with a combination of Trex, icing sugar, tinned caramel and sea salt. To frost 12 cupcakes you would need :-

1/2 cup Trex
250g icing sugar
A small tin of caramel
1 tsp of sea salt or more to taste.

This is just an approximate as I was using left over frosting which had been made in a larger quantity.

The apples provide a nice moist texture combined with a light fluffy cake.

I hope you try these and let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Fondant Guitar and a Happy Birthday!

After a couple of busy weeks I am back to blogging.  The summer holidays were full of days out, lots of playing out for the young man, a birthday and a gorgeous break in Italy. I certainly didn't feel like doing much crafting and having a break from the blog was just what I needed to recharge. I hope to have plenty of fun craft ideas up over the course of the next few weeks.

During the holidays my son turned 10! 10! I still cannot get my head around that figure! This year he wanted a complete surprise for his birthday cake. Normally he picks a cake design and I theme his party around it. Now he is 10 he wanted to have a completely different celebration. He picked some of his closest friends and they went Go Karting followed by a meal out. 

One of his passions is guitar. He has been learning since he started Junior school, and this past Christmas we bought him an electric one. I had seen some great guitar cakes on Pinterest along with some helpful tutorials on how to make one out of fondant. I decided this was the way to go with his cake and thankfully it was the right choice! He totally loved his cake (design and taste!). Win win!

The guitar was pretty easy to make and I based the design on his electric one. I firstly took pictures of the guitar and amp. I then resized the guitar so that I could use the print out as a template.

I started with this tutorial as a guide and printed out 2 copies of the guitar.

I carefully cut out one of the guitars and just the white part of the other. These would serve as my templates for cutting out the fondant shapes.

I laid the full guitar on a piece of rolled black fondant, and using a craft knife, carefully cut around it.

I then did the same with the cut out portion of the guitar.

I then overlaid the pieces secured with a little clear alcohol.

It was then time to add the details. I used small pieces of fondant to shape the frets and buttons on the cake. I also took a small piece of light brown fondant and cut around to add the top of the handle.

I added another strip of black fondant to the handle to build it up. I took some silver edible paint and began adding the finer details. I also used an edible food writer to add the name of the guitar to the handle.

I left this to dry for 3 days. I also shaped the amp from a large piece of black fondant and left this to dry.

I made a caramel cake with salted caramel buttercream and frosted the cake smooth.

I didn't frost the cake to the bottom as I was adding lots of extra buttercream to the sides due to the design! This cake was seriously sweet!

I tinted the remaining frosting orange, yellow and red. I then striped this into a piping bag so that the colours would swirl together. Using a large star tip, I started piping 'flames' on the side of the cake. Using the Wilton method of flames I built this up over a few layers on the sides of the cake.

First row of flames.

Building up the flames.

I had seen some cakes on Pinterest which used fondant for the amp cable, spelling out a name or Happy Birthday. I placed the guitar and amp on the top of the cake, leaving room for the message.

I rolled out some black fondant into a thin sausage shape and started to add this to the cake as the cable.

I found I had to do this in stages as it kept breaking if too long and thin. It was easy to blend the pieces together so that it looked like one long cable.

Here you can see the cable is spelling out my son's name. I worked backwards from the guitar to the amp. To me this was easier!

Once that was done, I used buttercream and tip 1 to pipe the strings for the guitar. Not quite 6 but near enough!

The piped smaller flames around the top edge of the cake to complete the design.

Apart from the guitar, this is a very simplistic design.

The amp speaker was made using my craft knife to score the front of the fondant.

Tons of buttercream flames!

Today marks another birthday. It is a year today that I started this blog. Thank you to those of you who have followed my little piece of the internet. I love hearing from you! Here's to another year.