With lights dimmed, a cake is presented ablaze with candles. A couple, surrounded by onlookers, eagerly clutch a knife that is towering over a cake. A dessert table is spread end to end with elegantly decorated cupcakes. These are celebration moments. Birthdays, anniversaries and weddings.
Often my first recollection of a celebration is the cake. (Somehow effortlessly), I remember what cake I created over the years for different birthdays and other occasions. In my head, I can see the cake and ‘play back’ all the surrounding detail. What was the event. Who was there. Where we were. What we were doing. For me, a celebration memory starts and ends with the cake.
This month has been quite a month of celebrations. To commemorate these birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries, I have decided to put together some of my favourite celebration cakes. There is nothing quite like a homemade cake to honour a special day. What ever your flavour of choice – vanilla, chocolate, coffee, lemon, strawberry, caramel – hopefully there is something here for your next celebration.
:: Lemon Meringue Cake ::
Simple yet striking. I have made this cake numerous times. If the lucky recipient adores zesty, tart sweets, this is for you. Make sure you demonstrate the final blowtorching in front of a crowd for added effect!
:: French Vanilla Cupcakes ::
Understated yet complex. Using the intense flavour of real vanilla bean, coupled with shiny Swiss meringue buttercream, this simple cupcake is revamped from everyday to special.
:: Flourless Chocolate Cake ::
Chic and rich. A more-ish cake to serve with the best thickened cream or homemade ice-cream. Just the thing for any true chocolate lover.
:: Devil’s Food Cupcakes ::
Light and chocolately. Ideal as a single serve cupcake or create a multi-layer cake – sandwiched together with lashings of Swiss meringue buttercream or chocolate ganache – for a more impressive presentation. A true chocolate-on-chocolate experience.
:: Caramel Cheesecake ::
Stylish and sweet. A foolproof recipe for baked cheesecake. Use lashings of gooey caramel to fill the cake or your own flavour combination to make it your own.
:: Wedding Cake ::
Impressive and inspiring. A basic rich chocolate mud cake with seven minute frosting is transformed from an ordinary cake to a show stopper with simple tiering and an uncomplicated floral decoration.
:: Rainbow Cake ::
Delicate and colourful. Children will love the multi-coloured layers of surprise inside. Chocolate. Strawberry. Vanilla. It is like Neapolitan ice-cream, but better. Light and dainty flavoured sponge cakes are encased in rich chocolate ganache. Caution – there will be no leftovers.
:: Coffee Cupcakes ::
Velvety and robust. Any coffee lover will be mad for these cupcakes. Create a layered cake with the same cake batter and frosting recipes. Top with golden, roasted hazelnuts for an extra treat.
:: Chocolate and Lemon Layer Cake ::
Zesty and creamy. Lemon and chocolate are a refreshingly complementary union of flavours. The multiple layers is impressive enough for impact, but not so overly sized to be out of place at an intimate gathering.