We accept bespoke birthday cake requests. It mixes things up, flexes our skills and imaginations, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it makes us nervous too.
When we get a bespoke cake request we often get photos for reference. This helps us figure out what the customer kind of expects, and we put in our all to surpass those expectations! We don’t copy straight-up, because that is boring. It is also a bit of a snub to the other hard-working cake makers we would be ripping the design off of. We’ll use the photos sent to us (nearly always of fully fondant covered cakes from Pinterest) as inspiration. Whatever we come up with, it'll be Anges-style - a delicious buttercream cake with a touch of fondant. It’s almost like mixed media art...oh I just surprised myself with how cultured I sounded there!
Penelope’s bespoke Old MacDonald’s Farm childrens birthday cake was a three-tiered rainbow cake for her birthday party at Maggie & Rose Kensington. We could not wait to bake and decorate it! I started with carving the top tier out of chocolate sponge layers to make Old MacDonald’s barn.
Next up, Old MacDonald’s farm animals! I love modelling with fondant - it’s like playing with play dough. But we always make sure to take our time with it and plan making all fondant models in advance. It’s certainly not fun modelling when rushed and stressed, and it also needs time to set.
We made a cow, horse, the cutest little black sheep, dog, mama duck and her ducklings, a few pigs, and a rooster taking pride of place on the rooftop.
As with everything though, the devil is in the detail. The sponges need baking and layering, tiers will need frosting and stacking, and only then can we get to the decorating. And we'll be total anxious wrecks until we see it all together!
My reference to mixed media art in cake decorating comes into play here. The fondant modelling will bring the main features of the cake to life. But the cake would not be half as effective without the intricately piped buttercream details. Blossoms, foliage, fencing, little carrots and cabbages. I had to hold back a little as the customer wanted a “clean” and less-busy finish. The self-restraint was a struggle, but I’m so glad I did! With so many little details together, less really is more.
Whilst we were all chuffed to bits with our three-tiered Old MacDonald’s Farm cake, we still have a lingering unsettled feeling. The bespoke kids cake needs to be delivered safely to Maggie & Rose in West London, and even then...we don’t know for sure how the customer will react. Did I manage to convert a fondant novelty cake to buttercream well enough? Did I stray too far from the customer’s photo references? Did I do too many details, or did I hold back too much?? Is it clean? Too busy??
My heart may have paused when I saw the customer comment on my Instagram post of the cake...
“Thank you so much, it’s gorgeous!”
Can you imagine my absolute relief and elation at that?! I don’t think I have slept so well in a looooong time!
Wishing Penelope a very happy birthday, and thank you all for reading! If you have a bespoke cake enquiry, please email us to see if we can create something unique and wonderful just for you. All we need to know is when it’s needed for, how many people it needs to serve, an approximate budget and delivery postcode, and of course, your bespoke theme!
Lots of love, Reshmi xoxo