Rainbow cake and cupcakes

As I mentioned in my last post (here), for my daughter’s first birthday I had a little rainbow theme going and one of the things I really wanted to make was a rainbow layered cake. I had a recipe for an easy cake mix and from the same Pin I had a link to a ‘super-easy’ cream cheese frosting so those, along with lots of Pins for rainbow decorations, were my starting point. 

The final result

The cake and frosting mixes were indeed easy to make and both were a delicious vanilla flavour due to using vanilla bean paste rather than essence. I used gel food colouring to colour the batches of cake as it gives a much more vibrant colour to the baked sponge. 

Adding the colour
Rainbow sponges baked

My first batch of cake mix didn’t end up being the cake as I discovered a bit too late that I didn’t have the right sized cake tins, so I ended up with a load of cupcakes instead. 

The unexpected additional cupcakes

I started again the next day (with the right sized tins) and baked my six sponges. I wrapped and chilled them ready for the next day assembling the cake and getting the frosting on. In hindsight I should have trimmed the cakes to the same sizes and levelled the tops, but I’m a novice attempting this cake for the first time, so my end result looks more rustic. 

Assembling the beast

Icing the cake was very tricky as my sponge layers would slide around and as soon as the frosting got a bit warm it would melt off the sides, so I had to keep stopping to chill it all. I’ve never iced a cake with cream cheese frosting before so doing the ‘crumb coat’ and building it all up was quite fiddly. Icing the cupcakes, however, was a doddle! 

The leaning tower of cake
Still wonky!

I chose a simple decoration for on top of the cake as I already had a big cake topper ordered, and by this point I couldn’t face trying to model anything from sugar paste. I fashioned a ‘1’ from tin foil and placed it on top of the cake and then sprinkled multicoloured sugar strands over the top before removing the stencil. Et voilà! 

With its topper and the birthday board making an appearance

I have to be honest here, I love how the cake turned out. I love the decoration. I love the layers of the rainbow when the cake is slice or the cupcakes bitten in to. It turned out exactly as I hoped but… it’ll be a long, long time before I attempt another rainbow cake! 

Rainbow slices
Taste the rainbow

Cake recipe here: https://pin.it/C72Wgmr

Frosting recipe here: https://pin.it/m6RMcMS

Decoration link here: https://pin.it/xG84Zez

Advertisements

Birthday chalkboard

A couple of weeks ago my little girl turned one, and whilst we didn’t have a big party for her (just small family tea parties) I did want to get some decorations, make a few things and get creative for it. I’d seen on Etsy and Instagram people selling birthday chalkboards and I pinned a few designs on Pinterest, but it was only when I spotted an A3 board in Wilko that I decided to try making one myself. (And between you and me, reader, I’m so glad I didn’t shell out a tenner for someone else to make one as, frankly, the ones I’ve seen other people have bought recently look… not as good as mine!)

I sketched out my design on paper first and painted the frame of the board. My sister suggested orange to complement my rainbow theme. To be honest I was sceptical initially about the colour, but loved the end result. I used my cheap and cheerful Poundland paint which needed a fair few coats to build up the colour as it is rather on the thin side. 

Start with a plain chalkboard
Get some paint
Paint the frame

I pencilled my design onto the board rather than go for it freehand, and I went over it with my set of chalkpens. I did sections at a time so not to smudge the work. A slight issue was that I couldn’t give it all a second layer of paint as the pens scratched the first coat off, but as long as you look at the board from a distance, you don’t notice that. 

Sketching the design
Chalk painting section by section

I’ve had so many compliments for my chalkboard and I’m delighted with how it turned out so I may now make one every year for my daughter! 

Ta-da!

Links here: https://pin.it/a9sYPfp, https://pin.it/wvVHp1-, https://pin.it/Ft6EzwT

50 post-iversary!

When I started my blog back in August 2015 my main aim was to keep it up and for it not to just be an idea that I then forgot and left behind. I’ve followed a fair few people (on Instagram mainly) who made grand announcements about their brand-spanking-new blogs for all their words, thoughts and noteworthy deeds, only for them to disappear after only one or two posts. I didn’t want to be like them. I think it helps that I kept my expectations of my blog low; I wanted it to be more of a diary for me to log all of the Pinterest projects that I tried out, rather than a place for me to gather all the followers I possibly could and become some kind of professional blogger! 

My trusty notebook, where I draft all my blog posts. One page per post, that’s my rule to keep the posts short and sweet!

And today I published my 50th post, which makes me really rather proud. That’s 50 posts in 18 months, with at least one post every month (except for a few when I had a newborn baby, which is a good excuse for a blog break) and I’ve gained 45 followers and one Liebster award along the way… pretty good going, I think! 

The Liebster Award

Wow! I was delighted to find out I’d been nominated for the Liebster Award by Ellen (chronicleofellen.wordpress.com) – thank you! The Liebster Award is given to new bloggers to recognise their work and efforts, and to hopefully gain a few more followers by making a more connections.

The rules are simple…

  • Let the person / people who you nominated know about the nomination.
  • Include a link back to them in your post.
  • Answer the questions they ask you.
  • Ask your nominees up to 11 questions of your own which they answer.
  • Include these rules on your post.

Liebster2These are my answers to Ellen’s questions…

Have you ever crafted for a charity and if so, which one?

No, not yet, but once my crochet skills have been a lot more fine-tuned I would like to make little hats for Sands (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity) to provide to parents who have suffered the loss of a child. It is very personal to me.

What genres of films do you like watching?

I am happy with most genres of films; I’m not too fussy!

Who would make a better James Bond? Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans?

I got a bit confused by this one as I initially thought, Chris Evans? Him? Why? I was thinking of the wrong Chris Evans, the ginger-haired host of TFI Friday! In answer to the question though, neither as they’re not British.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to the other side.

Which blog have you followed the most recently?

Catalina del Bosque at chilangaexported.wordpress.com – I’ve been following her blog for quite some time actually, and was inspired by it to start my own 🙂

What are your top 3 tips for someone starting out with a new blog?

Type up your blog posts in Word first of all, in case your computer crashes in the middle of typing, and for spell-checking.

Don’t be put off by all the various functions, tools and bits on the WordPress website – I was and it took me over a month to to go back to it.

Check out the blogs of the people who ‘like’ your posts – there are some really good ones out there.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Sausalito in California – I went there on my honeymoon for an afternoon and it was delightful. Close enough to San Francisco to have the hustle and bustle of city life, right by the shore, also close to Napa for being able to take advantage of the wine, and a really beautiful little place.

Do you have a pet? If not, what animal would you like to have as one?

No, but I’d love to have a cat.

What is the most important thing in life?

Family.

What is your favourite book?

I don’t have one favourite, but a few I could read again and again: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon; The Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor and Hell’s Secrets by F. R. Jameson.

What are your views on social media?

I use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest (obviously!) so I’m a fan… though I do think there should be age restrictions since, as a teacher, I hear far too many stories of children and teenagers not using it appropriately or responsibly.

Liebster2OK, so those were my answers, now here are my questions.

  1. Who or what is your inspiration?
  2. What is your favourite way to relax?
  3. What is your favourite book?
  4. Who is your favourite fictional character?
  5. What genres of films do you like watching?
  6. Which blog have you followed the most recently?
  7. What are your top 3 tips for someone starting out with a new blog?
  8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  9. What is the most important thing in life?
  10. What is your favourite quote?

The blog I nominate (whilst not being a new blog) is the one I read the most avidly: chilangaexported.wordpress.com