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Is there any better gift… than cake?

If you’re following my social media (and if you’re not, why not?), then at the weekend you will have seen that I dashed up to the outskirts of High Wycombe to celebrate one of my oldest friend’s baby shower in the beautiful surroundings of Bedlow Ridge.

I have known Rhonda for almost 15 years and so it was an absolute privilege to be able to create a surprise cake to mark such a special occasion.

Originally created as a Christmas cake for a school fundraiser last year, my Gift of a Hug cake proved very popular online, and those of you who made it along to the NISE Show back in February will already have seen me create a birthday version on the demonstration stage.

However, since then, I have often wondered what it would look like as a more ‘babyfied’ design. Teddy bears for babies tend to be less fluffy, with more of a fleecy texture, so recreating that was the key challenge for this cake. I wonder if any of you can guess how I achieved it?

I also decided to give my favourite wood-effect board a bit of a makeover (find my tutorial for that here), opting to start with a pale grey base (using Renshaw’s Cool Grey), airbrushing with Fractal Colors’ FlowAir in Black, rather than my usual brown. I loved how it came out and it provided the perfect backdrop to really make the baby blue and white colour palette pop.

Rhonda hadn’t been told that I was coming to the party, let alone that I was making a cake, so the combination of my arrival and it’s unveiling actually brought her to tears (happy tears, I hope… 😳) and I don’t think I could have asked for a better reaction than that!

Inside, the cake was made up of six layers of deliciously moist and fluffy lemon sponge, sandwiched with alternating layers of a light lemon buttercream and zingy lemon curd, before being crumb coated with white chocolate ganache and covered with my favourite Renshaw Extra sugarpaste, coloured baby blue.

It went down an absolute storm with the guests and was certainly the perfect end for a wonderful day.

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Following my previous social media posts about Mr Baker’s Cakes potentially moving into teaching sugarcraft classes, my Gift of a Hug design could provide the perfect launch pad for someone who is looking to start moving on from basic round cakes into simple, more-sculpted designs – covering simple techniques including my hand-finished wood effect board, sculpting a teddy bear bust from either RKT or cake, texturing, basic airbrushing and simple finishing touches (such as ruffles and sugarpaste appliqués). If you would be interested in learning how to make my Gift of a Hug cake, then be sure to let me know in the comments down below…

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