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And now for something a little bit different…

Recently, I made a wedding cake for my sister-in-law, Hayley and her new husband, as they celebrated their wedding day at the stunning Three Choirs Vineyard in Wickham, Hampshire.

Hayley was keen to keep things simple, with a fresh, buttercream-finished design and the only decorations were some fresh blooms and foliage from Peony Blue Floral Design.

As someone who has to deal with a number of severe dietary allergies, including gluten and dairy, Hayley had to be very careful to avoid any of her allergens during the wedding and I must give huge props to the venue for catering for her needs perfectly – and even better, the rest of us barely noticed the difference.

Similarly, the cake had to be equally allergen-free, so I was faced with the prospect of creating a gluten- and dairy-free cake – with a buttercream finish, no less – that needed to stand up to being stacked and sat out for the majority of the day.

Now, a disclaimer: I am not a specialist allergen-free baker by any means and I don’t think I have ever posted a gluten- or dairy-free cake recipe here before. However, after the wedding cake was posted online, I received a few requests asking me to share the recipe that I used, so I thought I would do that in the hope that it gives others, who find themselves in my position, a bit more confidence when tackling a gluten- and dairy-free celebration cake.

Find the recipe for my Free-from Wedding Cake here.

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New Recipe: Cheat’s Birthday Cake

Do you wish you could whip up a show-stopping cake for that special birthday, but have no idea where to start?

As cake trends evolve and cakes grow taller and more complex, it can be somewhat daunting for the beginner to know where to start, when it comes to baking that special person in your life a fabulous birthday cake.

Obviously, I have more complex recipes and tutorials on my website, but whenever I talk cake with my non-cakey friends – or muggles as some of us in the cake world like to call them – I hear a lot of, ‘Oh, I could never do that!’, ‘I don’t have the time’ or the classic, ‘I wouldn’t know where to start…’

With that in mind, I decided that my latest ‘recipe’ (although one can barely call it that) would be the ultimate cheat’s guide to creating a beautiful and trendy birthday cake, whilst considering every possible shortcut to allow you to achieve a cake that you can be proud of, without all of the stress that goes into learning to bake the ‘proper’ way.

Everything I used in this recipe was obtained from my local supermarket at the weekend, to ensure that I didn’t use any specialist ingredients or tools that you can’t easily buy as part of your weekly shop and I think the results speak for themselves.

With just some lemon-flavoured boxed cake mixes, a few ready-made finishing touches and a couple of fresh ingredients, you will be able to create this beautiful birthday cake that will put a smile on anyone’s face.

Who knows though. You might just pick up a couple of tips along the way that will give you the confidence to tackle something slightly more complex next time.

My Cheat’s Birthday Cake is the perfect starter recipe for anyone who dreams of being able to make modern, beautiful cakes, but is lacking the confidence to give it a go.

Head to the recipes tab to check it out now!