Monday 10 November 2014

Scrapbook wedding cake

I was asked to create a cake by Brides Magazine to be part of a competition. The lucky couple will win a wedding cake in a design of their choice made by yours truly.
To advertise the competition I was asked to create a cake jam packed with details and illustrations. So I imagined the type of bride who loves Pinterest, and has a wedding scrapbook. Someone who has lots and lots of ideas about the details of the big day...

From the car to the buttonholes to the church.

I even added a cake!

I wanted the back and the sides of the cake to contain just as much detail as the front.

I topped the cake off with my imaginary bride and groom.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Hello Australia

I am very excited, in fact I am throbbing with excitement! Australia...I am coming to get you! Well I'm coming to visit you on a small teaching tour. And the second reason that I am excited is that this tour is going to coincide with my book being launched in Australia. (I'm afraid that the UK and USA are going to have to wait for March for that one!)
Anyway if you fancy popping along, saying hello and learning how to paint onto fondant. Here are the details;

I will be at Special Treats by Carolyn in Melbourne;

  • 24th of November the Paris cake
  • 25th of November the Rose cake with a few Australian flowers thrown in for good measure!
  • 26th and 27th of November teaching a four tiered vintage style cake with a painted ribbon topper.

Then I'm moving onto Adelaide to The Janet O'Sullivan School of Cake;
  • 29th and 30th of November the four tiered vintage cake
  • 2nd of December the Paris cake
  • 1st of December the rose cake 

Finally I am calling in to Sydney where I will be teaching at the Fay Cahill School:
  • 6th of December the rose cake class
  • 7th of December the wedding cookie class
Come along and say hello, or should that be G'Day?

ps you can find my book for pre-order here

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Speculaas biscuit recipe

When I was a child my parents took me on numerous holidays to Holland. My Mum's best friend lived there and we took advantage of her extra beds to explore the Lowlands. We frolicked in the waves of Bergen Aan Zee, buried my Dad in the sand, ate chips with mayonnaise (very exotic) and when we were tired out, we traipsed up to the cafe on stilts for a hot chocolate. I always found it very exciting that not only did the hot chocolate arrive with lashings of whipped cream (and the proper stuff, not squirted from a can) but nestling on one side of the cup would be a little red plastic packet. Gingerly tearing it open, I would immediately be assailed with the overwhelming fragrance of speculaas. This ever-so-foreign mix of spices had a taste that as a child of the 70's growing up in England I just couldn't place. It was so much more than cinnamon, and not at all like the traditional gingerbread flavours that I was more used to, it was the taste of holidays.

So when The Speculaas Spice Company asked if I would like to try their spice mix, I jumped at the chance.
I wanted to create a biscuit that would take me back to those childhood days in  Holland so I used this method to create my own molds. I made small rectangular mold with pretty detailing, just like the original biscuits of my childhood.


  • 90g light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 4 teaspoons speculaas spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • 225g plain flour

  1. Place the sugar, syrup, spice, vanilla and salt in a pan and bring to the boil, take the pan off the heat.
  2. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  3. Dissolve the bicarb with a tablespoon of water and add it to the pan mix.
  4. Pour the mix into a bowl and add the flour.
  5. Stir together until you have formed a dough.
  6. Wrap the dough in kitchen film and chill for at least an hour.
  7. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2mm, cut out the same rectangular shape that you used for the mold and press into the mold.
  8. Place the biscuits on a baking tray covered with baking paper and chill for half an hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 175C, bake the cookies for 10-12 mins.

You can find lots of great speculaas recipes here.


Friday 8 August 2014

Salted caramel blondies recipe (from pin to win #2)

Some time ago, whilst bimbling around Pinterest, I happened upon this recipe. Now if you are in anyway like me, you probably pin many many sticky toffee-ish syle baked goods, and you probably do no more that just look at them salivating. I decided to be a bit more proactive with this particular recipe and make it. Since then I have made it around six or seven times, and for couple of those times I even shared the goodies with friends and family. Their reactions were initially 'mmm....mmmm....mmmmmm!', closely followed by 'where can I get the recipe?'
I have to warn you before you embark on baking these blondies yourself - they are like crack! You cannot stop eating them, so make sure you have a good crowd coming over to help you, or you may find yourself slipping in to a diabetic coma.
I have tweaked the initial recipe a little (mostly to add more caramel!) You will find that you are left with half a pot of the caramel sauce, but hey that's no tragedy right?


To make the caramel sauce, put the water in the pan first, then add the sugar. Place the pan on a low to medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. DO NOT STIR!!! If you stir it the syrup will turn crumbly and fudgey. If you want to you can swirl the water and sugar around the pan a few times. When the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up and boil rapidly until the syrup turns a darkish golden brown. Take the pan off the heat and add the cream. You may find it bubbles up a bit so be careful. If you find that the caramel is a bit lumpy then return it to the heat and stir until smooth, add the salt and stir in well. Leave the caramel to cool slightly,

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Lin a 9" square tin. Beat together the butter and the sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the dough to the tin, and smooth it over with a palette knife,

Pour in enough of the caramel to cover the dough but leave a 2cm gap around the edge. Add the remaining dough, I find it helpful to add it in small spoonfuls over the surface of the caramel.

Smooth over the surface and then scatter a pinch of sea salt over the top of the dough. Bake for 30 mins until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the blondies to cool down in the tin, then place the tin in the fridge for an hour, before cutting into pieces. Eat until you pass out!

I hope that you find these blondies as delicious as I do. You can download a printable version of the recipe here.


Tuesday 29 July 2014

Styled shoots

I have been very lucky to be involved in some fabulous styled shoots recently, it's hard to have to wait to show you all the cakes I made until the shoots go live, but I can now show you these few.

First up is something a bit different for me...well to be honest when I am asked to participate in a styled shoot I always try to use it as an opportunity to create something I might never normally have the chance to. I had pinned this picture some time ago, and I kept returning to it. I really wanted to create an abstract cake with lots of colour and texture. I showed the Pin to Erica from Mr and Mrs Unique, she thought a cake in that style would be perfect for her shoot at Tunnels beach in Devon...and she was right. You can see the whole shoot here.

I made this cake for a wedding fair, it was inspired by the James Taylor song 'Shower The People You Love with Love', one of my favourite songs of all time. When Erica from Mr and Mrs Unique saw it she knew that it would be perfect for a Summery shoot she had in mind. I made some cookie favours to go with the cake. You can see the rest of the gorgeous shoot here.

Co-ordination & Styling: Erica @ Mr & Mrs Unique
Models: Becky & Edd
Table & Marquee Styling: White Button Weddings
Flowers: Basement Florist
Cake and Biscuits: Nevie-Pie Cakes
Stationery: Style & Joy
Hair & make up: Dollie Mixtures

This final cake is one I made for Sweet Magazine. I was asked by Fay Cahill (she was the guest editor) to create a cake in blush with ranunculous. I had had the idea to do a cake based on peeling wallpaper for a while and I knew that this was the perfect opportunity. If you are in Australia or New Zealand you can buy a copy of the magazine from your local newsagents or if you live further afield you can download a copy here.
Photography - Sharon Cooper

I shall be back soon with more cakey goodness!

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Cakey catch up

It has been some time, I know, since I shared my recent cakes with you. So this post my have to come in two parts! Unfortunately one of the downsides from my business Nevie-Pie Cakes doing so well is that I have less and less time to blog, which is one of my absolute pleasures in life. Hopefully now that the Summer holidays are here I will get a little bit more time to keep you up to date, but I'm not making any promises!

This cake was for an art deco themed wedding with a portrait topper of the bride and groom. I had a really lovely email from the bride about her cake. 'Thank you so much for our beautiful wedding cake! It looked absolutely stunning and tasted delicious - the lemon sponge with passionfruit curd worked really well and made for a summery and unusual dessert. We almost couldn't bear to cut it but had a small army of very over-excited children egging us on! It was a real pleasure to work with you throughout the design process and your attention to detail and skill made all my ideas for the cake come to life.'

This was a dummy cake made for a monochrome themed photoshoot. you can see the whole shoot on the Bespoke Bride Blog

This cake was based on the couples wedding stationary and their flowers. It was a little bit stressful as I was on holiday the week of their wedding, but they really wanted a cake made by me. So we made lots of testers and came up with a cake that would still taste fresh two weeks after being made. I was relieved to hear after the wedding that the cake was perfect and tasted great,

A vintage style cake, again based on the wedding flowers, ranunculus and anenomes.

Sunday 6 July 2014

Decorating cakes with real flowers

Edible flowers are a fast growing trend in the cake industry and one I heartily approve of. It really doesn't take long to whip up a cake, cover it with some lovely buttercream and then throw a handful of flowers over it for decoration, and it will look (and taste) amazing!

Many of the flowers in your garden will be edible, but some will have bitter tastes, and flowers such as chive flowers will have an oniony flavour. Never use a flower that has been sprayed with chemicals and double check anything you use before you eat it. You can find lists of edible flowers online,see here, which will give you advice on what you can use.Many Supermarkets will now sell edible flowers in their salad section, you will also find companies online who can ship you boxes of flowers. You can also use crystallised  flowers, again there are many online companies who will offer this service, I always use Eat My Flowers.
To compliment your flowery cake I have created a summery flower-scented recipe for you, elderflower and gooseberry. You can use shop bought elderflower cordial, or you can make your own using this recipe.
I have to say a big thankyou to Rebecca Fennell for all these fabulous photographs.


Cake mix:
300g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
300g caster sugar
300g self raising flour
6 large eggs (at room temperature)
4 tablespoons of elderflower cordial

450g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
450g icing sugar
4 tablespoons of elderflower cordial
4 tablespoons of gooseberry jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (Celsius) 175 for a fan assisted oven. Butter and line a 7" sponge tin.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until they are creamed. Add the eggs one by one (if the mixture curdles, add a teaspoon of flour).
  3. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold into the mixture with a spoon or spatula. Fold in the elderflower cordial.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 50-60 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for ten minutes then turn out onto a cooling tray and leave to cool completely.
  5. Mix all of the filling ingredients,except for the gooseberry jam, together and beat until creamy.

Decorating the cake:
  1. Cut the cake into three layers with a serrated knife or cake leveller, if the top of the cake isn't level you may need to level this too.
  2. Take the layer that was the top of the cake, turn it upside down and place it onto a cake board or a turntable. 
  3. Using a spatula or palette knife, create a ledge of buttercream around the edge of the cake. This will hold the jam in place and stop it from mixing with the frosting on the outside. Spread the gooseberry jam onto this level of the cake up to the buttercream.
  4. Take the middle layer and place it on top of the bottom layer.
  5. Spread buttercream over this layer.
  6. Take the final layer, turn it upside down, so that what was the bottom of the cake is now the top and place it onto the rest of the cake.
  7. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the top and sides of the cake with a palette knife - this is called a 'crumb coat'. 
  8. Place the cake in the fridge for 15-20 minutes until the buttercream has hardened.
  9. Place four strips of greaseproof paper onto a turntable and put the cake on top of these.
  10. Then with the palette knife spread and good layer - at least 2cm thick - of buttercream over the cake. Carefully pull away the paper to reveal a lovely clean edge.
  11. Decorate your cake with the flowers.
  12. Eat the cake!

I hope that this cake brings you a little bit of summer (if you are in the UK then it's probably raining and cold!)

(This project first appeared in the First edition of Beaten and Creamed)
All photographs copyright Rebecca Fennell Photography