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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Painted Nativity Cake

It was my youngest son's first real Christmas party at school, so when I was asked to do a "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake, I jumped at the chance.

I hardly ever make square cakes and whenever I do, I find myself experiencing a whole lot of problems, so I decided to practice! Since the children are only kindergarteners I figured they wouldn't care if it didn't have perfect sides. 

I made a white chocolate mud cake filled with white chocolate ganache and vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. I learnt a few things about the baking of the cake and will end up "tweaking" it next time I make one. The kids loved it, perfect for their little sweet teeth!

I also learnt a lot about applying the fondant to the cake and have developed some new techniques for sharp corners and edges. It took be about an hour and a half to ice it! For some reason four sides of a square cake felt more like six! I am thrilled though, at the way it did turn out. It is one of the best square cakes I have made and I was really able to get those edges and corners straight (they should be really since it took so long, right?!) It is not flawless by any means.

I decided to make it childlike and easy so painted part of the nativity scene on each side of the cake and made baby Jesus from gum paste to sit on top of the cake and be the main focus (which is where He should be). 

My son was so excited to see the cake and insisted on taking baby Jesus home, where he now sits on proudly on our bookcase.

He is such a sweet child and asks me to lift him up to peek at the baby Jesus. I am so glad to have made this cake because the reward of my sweet boy peeking at Jesus is priceless!

May you all have a very Merry Christmas

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Despicable Me, Minion Cake

After a wonderful Summer with my little ones it's back to baking and what a great way to start with this little guy!

This cake was for such as special little boy. It was for his 5th birthday! Against all odds, Beau has lived to see his 5th birthday! We praise our Lord and Saviour for His goodness because little Beau was diagnosed with Menkes Syndrome at birth and often they don't live past 3.

Beau is such a blessing to everyone he meets. His smile is contagious and he simply loves sharing Jesus with everyone. Oh what a joy he is!!

I wanted this cake to be super special for Beau, so I came up with this crazy idea that I would make him stand. I've never done something like this before, expect the Rapunzel Tower Cake for my daughter. 

I had in mind the kind of structure I was going to use, but then I came across a tutorial and after going back and forth, decided to follow the tutorial as I'm not great at this kind of stuff. Well my little Minion guy decided to fight me on standing. It seemed that he simply wanted to sit down for Beau and after a few hours of debate with him, I gave in, but told him he needed to be on his best behaviour for Beau. He was and Beau completely loved him

Chocolate and Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
To see this little boy's face was so worth my debate with Minion Guy! I would love to make another one though, just to see if he will stand for me.

Many Blessings to you this weekend

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~ 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wimbledon Win!

What a glorious day in England today! The sun was shining brightly, but that's not all. After 77 years in the 7th month on the 7th day a British player wins Wimbledon! It was wonderful to witness as Andy Murray held up that trophy. He did it and in honour of the special occasion I whipped up some cupcakes!!

Cream Tea Cupcakes with fresh strawberry filling

Love 40!

When I saw these cupcake toppers by Victorious Cupcakes a few years ago, I had to have a go. I loved making them and even more so because my guy won! 

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

1000 Fan Giveaway Cookies

Finally I'm posting the cookies I made for the 1000 Fan Giveaway back in January!! It honestly feels like one morning it was January and the next July!

Abigail, who won, has a band in England called Authority. So I thought it would be fun to make a cookie for each band member. I also added some extra cookies of her family as I thought it would be fun for her younger siblings. The idea came from Sweet Sugarbelle who made One Direction cookies. They looked so fun that I simply had to have a go myself. 

Hilary was another winner and she asked me to make cookies for her friends who recently moved to America. She sent a little home to them! :D

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day

I'm a few days behind in posting these pictures, but we were having so much fun celebrating this special day with my husband that I really don't mind. Our celebrations spilled into Monday too, where we went to a resort and spent the day in the pool and trying not to catch too many of those sun's rays! In Florida it's pretty much unavoidable. 

This year we celebrated Daddy with a golf theme, which actually worked out well since it was the US Open and we were able to watch it drinking lots of Tee! heehee

I love setting the table for tea and bringing out the table cloth and cloth serviettes. This year instead of store bought cards we made shirt and tie cards. The children loved picking out their own tie designs and shirt colours.

Pumpkin Pound Cake and Cupcakes
My husband can't eat too much sugar so I made this cake with 1/3 cup of Agave syrup and 1oz of raw sugar instead of 3 cups of sugar which is what the recipe called for. The icing on the top I substituted for whipped cream with a 2tsp of pumpkin spice, which I also put on the cupcakes. The cupcake toppers were made from sugar paste (I haven't worked out how to make sugar-free sugar paste yet! haha) The children used edible food colourings markers to draw fun pictures on and I couldn't resist in  having a go myself. They turned out so good and it was wonderful to see my husband actually eat a cupcake, minus the topper!

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Tea
We really enjoyed our day celebrating the special man in our lives and he truly enjoyed all his goodies. 

Happy Father's Day to all those hard working men who give up so much for their children

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sea Turtle Birthday Cake

When given a theme or colours for a cake most of the time the ideas come quickly and usually I know how I want the cake to look, but with this cake is was quite different. I was given the theme and colours and I knew I wanted a turtle on top of the cake, but that was it. No ideas came. Some came and went. It wasn't until the day before I delivered it that inspiration finally came. It is now one of my favourite cakes.

Sea Turtle cake

Smash cake
The smash cake was a 4" cake and iced with buttercream so the little boy could easily get all messy! I started with a very smooth cake and then suddenly got the idea of making waves so I added a little blue and this was the result.

I loved making this cake and it certainly turned out better than I expected, especially since I had no ideas for it in the first place.

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pirate Cupcakes

My daughter was having an end of year school party which was a pirate theme and I was asked to make cupcakes for it, so when I saw Royal Bakery's Pirate Cupcakes I had to make them for the class. Lesley Wright, owner of Royal Bakery is an amazing baker and I love following along the incredible designs she comes up with. She is so talented and loves to share how she makes these cakes with the world. Her tutorials are wonderful, although when recreating someone else's idea it never seems to come up to their standard, well at least it doesn't for me. I feel that in the cake business I still have so much to learn and so much practicing to get that perfect cake. The other thing I love about Lesley is that she is British living in California and not only that but she used to live in Nottingham!! My hometown is Mansfield and Nottingham is our nearest city, where I used to work. I feel like I have so much in common with her.
Ahoy there, Matey!
Treasure Map
Treasure Chest

The kids loved them and they were quickly gobbled up. My daughter had to save her topper and it now sits on her shelf. Funny little girl.

If you what to have a go at making these, Lesley does a wonderful tutorial for them which can be found in her notes. Visit her page Royal Bakery 

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

End Of School Teacher Gifts

Chocolate Mud Cake Flower Pots with Ganache Filling
I love to bless my children's teachers with an end of the year gift as a little thank you for all their hard work. I really appreciate them and love the school my children attend. It truly feels like we are part of one big family. 

This year my theme became "gardening" as I thought of how much my little ones have bloomed in the last year. So I decided to make little cakes and cookies.

Each class teacher was given a little garden tin with a 
flower pot chocolate mud cake and three cookies. 

 The cookies represented what they had done for my children throughout the year 

For the administrative staff and auxiliary staff I potted cookies of my own!

Daisy Cookies on Sticks 

I had so much fun coming up with these ideas and putting them together. My children found great delight in giving them to their teachers and staff members. 

Thank you Park Avenue Christian Academy for all that you do.

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's day is such a wonderful day to celebrate our mothers and all that they do for us. I never realized how hard my mother worked until I became a mother. 

Mothers put so many hours into the lives of their children. I always wondered why? Especially when the child can be rude, disrespectful, disobedient, whiney and possibly rebel when they are older. Why do mothers put their energy and life into these young ones? LOVE! I've been a mother for 11 years now and no matter what my children do or say which is disrespectful or disobey, I love them and love when they come running into my arms with tears in their eyes saying sorry. It is all worth it. My children are so precious and I see God's relationship with us through my eyes as a mother. No matter what we do He is there waiting for us to come running into His arms, tears in our eyes to say sorry. He is always ready to forgive us, just like I am always ready to forgive my little ones. I would never turn them away, why? Because I love them so much. They are a joy to behold and I see their little lives being transformed day by day into God's amazing plan and that is just how God sees me and you. He loves us so much and is transforming us day by day into His image. Because He loves me I come running to Him.

Happy Mother's Day to all those wonderful women who pour their lives and make so many sacrifices for their children. Thank you.

Mother's Day Selection

Little Mother's Day Hat Cakes
 Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~

Monday, May 6, 2013

Icing Smiles

I'm not sure if any of you are aware of Icing Smiles. It is an organization set up to bless children who suffer with illnesses with wonderful dream cakes for their birthdays. When I read all what they do I really wanted to be a part of it, so I signed up and I'm awaiting my first call. The baker gets to donate a wonderful cake and deliver it to the child locally. What a wonderful honour to bless a family in making their day so very special.

After I signed up it made me think of my dear sweet friends who had children last year. One was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and the other Down Syndrome. They have gone through so much this last year, adjusting to their new life style with different therapies and an hospital appointments, that they really wanted to celebrate this first year of life in a big way.  I wanted to bless these families with wonderful cakes for their little one, so my first "icing smiles" assignment was for my sweet friends.

Aerin Elizabeth
Sweet Little Aerin enjoying her cupcake
Aerin was born March 21st 2012. She was my friend's third child and her pregnancy had gone well, but when Aerin was born she was not responding like other newborns and through the persistence of her parents was taken to Winnie Palmer Hospital where tests were done to find out what was going on with Aerin.

Eventually she was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Sydrome 23 days later and it's been a long journey for them. This little girl is certainly a gift from God and has blessed so many of us with her triumphs in life. Her smiles steal all our hearts and we are all envious of her gorgeous hair. There is so much of it and I know my friend is going to have great delight when it gets long enough to braid and tie up. She is such a precious child. You can find out more about Aerin's story on her blog Bread Of Life

Owl Cake
I was so incredible blessed to be able to make her cake. It came together so well and I love the pastel colours. I used the invitation to create her cake. The bottom tier was Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd and Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The two smaller cakes were Chocolate Mud Cake with Chocolate Ganache.

Josiah David
Josiah having fun smashing up his little cake

Josiah was born May 1st 2012. My friend has 3 girls and they really wanted a little boy. I remember each pregnancy waiting in anticipation for their baby to be born wandering whether they had a girl or boy and each time it was a healthy baby girl. Her last pregnancy went somewhat smoothly. My friend has always had high risk pregnancies as she has low platelets, which is always a concern for doctors. Towards the end of her pregnancy there was some concern with baby's heart and so she was scheduled to have the baby at Winnie Palmer in case of complications.

When Josiah was born, immediately it was evident that he had Down Syndrome. We all were heart broken for them, but through this hard time we have seen their strength as they lean upon our Lord and oh what joy Josiah has been! His whole face lights up when he sees you. I love cuddling him and my husband and I argue at who will get first hold.

John Deere Tractor Cake

I don't often make all boy cakes, usually they are themes that either boy or girl would have. After having 3 girls my friend made sure his party would be ALL BOY!!  The bottom tier was Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and the top was Vanilla Cake with homemade Strawberry filling and Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It was great to see it come together and I totally love it. 

We had such a great time celebrating the first year of these special children God has given to these amazing families. They are surrounded with so much love and it has blessed me so much to watch my friends gain the strength from God to continue each day caring for their little ones, knowing it's a life long journey of constant physical care.

I am truly humbled by them. Thank you for blessing me through your lives Kristin and Michelle.

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~ 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Berry Picking & Pie Making!

I've been living in Florida for almost 15 years and my fond memories of strawberry picking are all in England, until now!!

We finally found a place here in Florida which is about 25 minute drive from our home. I had no idea something like this lay on my doorstep. Don't get me wrong now, it doesn't have the beauty of England with the luscious green fields, sheep bleating off in the distance and the beautiful English flowers blooming in the sunshine, but it was still in what is called the country here and we had so much fun. We even saw cows! Yes, to some of you that might sound odd, but I love livestock. I really think I should have grown up on a farm.

Our Florida Country Walk 
We headed out early in the morning to the fields and the excitement in the back of the van from my three little ones was great to listen to. The morning had a nip in the air, which is a plus in Florida, but because of this there was a concern that the berries wouldn't be ripe enough, but we found plenty for our family to take home and make into pies and jam. 

Strawberry & Rhubarb pie, Blueberry pancakes, Strawberry Jam and Blueberry & Apple pie
We also found a blueberry farm around the corner from the strawberry field. We couldn't miss the opportunity to pick blueberries especially since my husband and youngest son loves them. What a truly fun experience! 

As soon as we got home my husband made family breakfast, his most favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning. He pulled out his blueberry pancake recipe and made a batch. They were gobbled down in no time!

Once breakfast was over it was onto Strawberry and Rhubarb pie which the children loved to help me with. It was simply the best pie I've ever taste! The crust melted in your mouth and the combination of strawberry and rhubarb is divine. I've only ever made it one other time and it was just as good then as it was today! We then made sugar free blueberry and apple pie for daddy. When I say sugar free, I mean zero sugar in this pie, no artificial sweetener in place of sugar. My husband can not eat any form of sugar, only the natural sugar from fruit and not too much. He has improved over the years and when I first married him the sugar content in an apple was too much and I had to experiment, coming up with my own recipes so that he could enjoy pies and cakes too. He can now eat a whole apple!!  

In the evening we began making the strawberry jam, stirring the big pot of bubbling mixture and the air filled with the sweet smell of berries. Jars and jars were filled and labels await to be attached. My pantry is looking pretty good this year, which reminds me I must begin my yearly batch of Beetroot Chutney.

Fruit Pies
We are truly blessed with all the wonderful baked goods we love to prepare. I would be glad to share my recipes with you, but I know you probably already have your own family recipes which you love to make. 

This will certainly become a family tradition, passing along these wonderful recipes down to my children.

Enjoy your weekend
Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sooty Birthday Cake & Party Ideas

My youngest little boy turned 5 last week! I didn't realise how time flies until I had children. The years seem to slip through my fingers and they are no longer babies but children with minds and imaginations of their own, full of fun and with more energy than 10 people put together.

Although we live in America, I try and give them a lot of British culture and the things I grew up with. When Granny was over we got to view the British TV and I was whisked back to my childhood when I saw The Sooty Show was still being produced!! 

It all started in 1948 when Harry Corbett bought a little bear puppet named 'Teddy' for his 5 year old son, Peter Corbett (aka Matthew Corbett). He was spotted by a TV producer who invited Harry to BBC's Talent Night. In order for the bear to stand out on black and white TV, Harry and his wife decided to sew a black nose and ears onto the bear and renamed him Sooty. It was such a success that BBC commissioned Sooty his own TV show, which aired in 1955. The show was passed down to his son Peter, under the stage name Matthew Corbett, in 1976. On Sooty's 50th Birthday in 1998 Matthew retired due to illness, and wanted to spend his retirement years with his wife and family. He handed it down to Richard Cadell, who continues the show today. 

Harry Corbett 1955-1976
Richard Cadell 1998-present

Matthew Corbett 1976-1998

It is the longest running children's TV programme and I find it amazing that for 3 generations we have watched Sooty. Mum watched it when she was little with Harry, I was fascinated with it when Matthew was Sooty's right hand man and now my children are smitten with it. My little boy laughs and laughs at this little bear and even my eldest is taken to Sweep, the mischievous little dog. They love it and I love watching them watch it with smiles so big.

So his little party came to life through this show and invitations were sent out to all our American friends who had no idea what in the world this was. They certainly know now.

Custom made invitations
I wanted to keep the party pretty simple since they are only 5 year olds, so we let them have fun with different toys we set around the garden. We only did one game which was a traditional English game, 'pass the parcel'. We also had a 'lucky dip', although I renamed it to 'Sweep's Messy Prize Basket'

Playing with Jack's English Knight Castle from Grandad and of course Postman Pat had to join in the fun.
The little ones also loved the English Village - Happy Land Set
The parcel started out pretty big!
William got the parcel last.

One activity we did was colouring cookies. I love this idea for little ones and they had so much fun colouring Sooty and Sweep with edible food markers. 

Each child got to either take their cookie home or eat it. I had goody bags all ready for them with their name on it so any gifts they received from the game or activities were placed inside their own bag. These were really easy to make, using brown bags with cut out Sooty and Sweep attached to the front and tags tied on with ribbon.

Sooty and Sweep Goody Bags
We drank Sooty's lemonade and then got ready for a show!

Sooty's Lemonade
This was probably by far the children's most favourite part of our party. How can you not host a Sooty Party without the guest appearance of Sooty and Sweep?! They came all the way from England and surprised William. It was a delight to see his little face light up when Sooty popped up to make him a special cake. My eldest son and daughter both helped with this little show. Jack operated Sweep and Millie helped hand me the things Sooty would need. The children laughed and laughed as Sooty made the cake. Those two naughty boys got into a water fight and got me wet and Sweep thought it was a good idea to give me a dirty cloth to dry myself with!! They all had a good laugh at my expense! William was delighted.

After our little show it was time for cake. William loves orange so this cake was Chocolate Orange Cake. It is amazing. I love this recipe and it really tastes like the Terry's Chocolate Orange, which you have to tap it or whack it to break off each chocolate segment. I've renamed this cake to 'Terry's Chocolate Orange Cake'

I designed the cake to look like the box that Richard carries around with him when he's in public introducing Sooty to the children. Usually only one puppet pops out, but I simply couldn't forget Sweep. I made them from rice krispie treats and covered them in fondant.

Perhaps William will take over from Richard in a few more years!!

I love doing sweet tables for my kids and displaying their cakes and cookies and other sweets etc. I find these tables so eye appealing and fun to set up. I only wished my wall was longer so the backdrop was the same, but I had fun with it all the same.

Our Sooty Party in one photo
We had a wonderful day celebrating my son's birthday. He had the best day and he now goes to bed with Sooty every night. Sweep seems to have made his way into Jack's top bunk!

"Bye Bye Everyone, Bye Bye"

Sugar & Spice Cake Shop, Hannah~