In an exclusive crossover event, my latest tutorial spans both my own blog as well as a guest feature over at Fabricake Sugarcraft Ltd, offering you the choice of making one or both of these cute and adorable Easter bakes: The Easter Buddies. Read on to find out more…
I don’t know about you, but if a holiday gives me the chance to whip up a tasty cake to share with my family and friends, then I’m a fan – and Easter is no exception. Whether it’s a traditional Simnel Cake or something a little more contemporary, nothing makes your celebration table shine more than something homemade and gorgeous.
When I was designing my Easter tutorials, I took my inspiration from the growing trend of icing-decorated Easter eggs. But rather than decorating an egg like a cake, I decided to decorate a cake like an egg – as you do.
Luckily, I think they worked out adorably and I am delighted to introduce you to Chip the Easter Chick and Doug the Easter Bunny.
I have designed the pair with the intention that you can make Doug, Chip or both of them – depending on how much cake you need for your Easter celebration. Read on to find out how to sculpt your very own Chip the Easter Chick and then head over to Fabricake’s Blog to find out how to make his loveable companion – and while you’re there, take advantage of an exclusive 10% saving on all your purchases using discount code MRBAKER10.
- Four 7” round cakes (I used a chocolate marble cake)
- Filling of your choice (I used chocolate buttercream)
- Milk chocolate ganache (Find my foolproof recipe here)
- Renshaw Extra Ready-to-Roll Icing
- Renshaw black Ready-to-Roll Icing
- Renshaw orange Ready-to-Roll Icing
- Renshaw lime green Ready-to-Roll Icing
- Renshaw baby pink Ready-to-Roll Icing
- Renshaw white Flower & Modelling Paste
- Sugarflair Egg Yellow/Cream gel colour
- Cooled boiled water
- Edible decorations
- 12” cake drum
- 6” cake card
- Cake leveller
- Sugarpaste smoother
- Acetate smoothers
- Edge scraper
- Rolling pin
- Small offset spatula
- Dresden tool
- Small circle cutter
- Two circle plunger cutters – one smaller and one larger
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Cornflour dusting pouch
- Cake steamer (optional)
Begin by levelling your cakes – I set my Agbay to a height of 2”.
I like to carve my cakes before filling them as I find it creates less mess. Layer your four cakes on top of each other and, working from a 5” circle at the top, carve them into an egg shape (see pic).
Once you are happy with the shape, use a small amount of your filling to adhere the bottom cake to the cake card. Then fill your layers ensuring you maintain the shape you carved.
Remove the excess filling using an edge scraper and leave to stand for a few minutes.
Combine some of the cake filling or ganache with your cake cut-offs and mix them together to create cake pop mix.
Use this to create the dome shape at the top of your cake. This will set harder than normal cake and will stop the weight of the sugarpaste squashing the shape when you cover it. Allow to chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
Once chilled, crumb coat the cake using the milk chocolate ganache and then place back in the fridge for another 20-30 minutes.
Give the cake a second coat of ganache and, using a flexi-smoother, scrape until smooth.
Leave this to set, at room temperature, preferably overnight.
To cover your board, combine equal parts of Renshaw Extra Ready-to-Roll Icing and Renshaw lime green Ready-to-Roll Icing. Knead them together until smooth and then roll out to approximately 3-5mm thick. Mist or brush the cake drum with cooled, boiled water and place the sugarpaste on top. Smooth with a cake smoother and then, using a brand-new scrubbing brush, impress the grass texture all over the board.
Once you are happy with the finish, trim the edges with a sharp kitchen knife, using only a downwards motion and cleaning it regularly to avoid tearing. Finally, set the board aside to dry (ideally overnight).
Later (or the following morning if you have time), colour 1.5kg of Renshaw Extra Ready-to-Roll Icing with your Egg Yellow/Cream gel colour. Knead until completely combined and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes. Roll this out to approximately 3-5mm thick. Cover the cake and smooth the top as quickly as possible. Working your way around the cake, begin to smooth the sugarpaste against the cake in a downward motion to avoid trapping any air. Trim around the cake leaving approximately 1cm extra around the base and then use your acetate smoothers to work this under the cake. Continue to use your acetate smoothers to ensure an even finish all around the cake.
Combine 250g of Renshaw orange Ready-to-Roll Icing with 250g of Renshaw white Flower & Modelling Paste (minus a tiny amount you will need later). Remove approximately 50g of the combined mixture and set this aside (wrapped in cling film to avoid it drying out). Divide the remaining mix into two and hand-shape two tear drops. Press these flat, before using a knife to cut three toes.
Using your fingers, soften the edges of the toes into a more cylindrical shape, before using your dresden tool to add grooves around the feet, neatening these up with your fingers, a dry paintbrush or a silicone-tipped tool.
Set aside to dry and set.
Using the Renshaw baby pink Ready-to-Roll Icing, roll out a small amount and lay a piece of clingfilm on top. Use the circle cutter to cut out two circles – the clingfilm will ensure a perfect dome effect to the cut. These will be Chip’s rosy cheeks.
Repeat step 14, using the Renshaw black Ready-to-Roll Icing to make the eyes.
Apply a small amount of royal icing, chocolate ganache or sugarpaste gunge to the centre of the set cake board. Carefully place the cake onto the board, ensuring that it is in a central position.
Using cooled boiled water, attach the eyes to the cake, followed by the cheeks.
Take the pinch of Renshaw Flower & Modelling Paste that you reserved and roll it out. Cut out four small circles – two with each plunger cutter – and add these to the eyes.
To complete the face, Roll the 50g of orange paste that you reserved into a small cone.
Attach this to the face, using cooled boiled water, under the eyes and between the cheeks.
For the ‘hair’/feathers, I hand-shaped three long tear drop shapes from the excess paste I removed when covering the cake and simply placed them in a pile on top of the cake.
Finally, use a small amount of royal icing to attach the feet to the front of the cake, allowing them to rest on the board.
Optional: Steam your cake to remove any excess cornflour and finger marks. To decorate the base of Chip the Easter Chick, I used a combination of complimentary mini blooms and chocolate mini-eggs, but the possibilities are truly endless. Why not adorn him with a pile of Easter goodies, a spring arrangement of sugar flowers or even some adorable fluffy Easter chicks?
Finally, attach a complimentary ribbon around the edges of your board to give it that professional-looking finishing touch.
And there you have it, a deceptively complex-looking cake that is actually really simple to accomplish. I made both Chip and Doug over two days – one for baking and one for decorating, so there is still plenty of time for you to whip up one – or both of them – in time for the big day!
Don’t forget to head over to the Fabricake Blog (https://www.fabricake.co.uk/blog/) to check out my Doug the Easter Bunny tutorial and, as always, if you have a go at either of my Easter Buddies, don’t forget to get in touch and let me know! I love to see what you’ve been baking at home!
Until next time, happy baking – and Happy Easter! X