Moon ice-cream cake

I usually take great pleasure in baking birthday cakes for my kids. However I made Lukas birthday a little differently this year as it was made entirely out of ice-cream! This might be odd for some, but in my childhood ice-cream cake was normal. Besides, don’t you find that kids tend to eat the icing of the cake first? With ice-cream cake the whole cake gets eaten by your little party guests. Trust me! Ice-cream cake is the best! You can thank me later ūüėČ

This ice-cream is super easy to make. I chose this recipe as it does not need churning therefore it can just be frozen in a dome shaped dish. I used a metal mixing bowl, but I would recommend a silicone dome shaped baking mould.

MOON ICE-CREAM CAKE

  • 1l whipping or double cream
  • 2 cans condensed milk (784g)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence (optional)
  • black food colouring (as needed)

1. Whip the cream and add the rest of ingredients into the bowl.

2. Mix to combine, add more of food colouring if necessary.

3. Transfer the mix into the mould if using. Otherwise freeze it in the bowl overnight.

4. To remove the cake out of silicone mould should be easy. But if you froze it in a metal bowl there is a trick you can use for safe removal. Put the bowl upside down and place damp hot cloths on top. Keep swapping cloths for freshly heated ones till ice-cream comes out. With this method the cake came out not in the best shape, but considering it is meant to be a moon like I decided the wobbly lines give an authentic character to it.

Once tidied up, decorated with some authentic craters ūüėČ , and with space themed candles I think it turned out pretty well!

Another good reason why this cake is good to make for birthdays is because it can be prepped weeks before and decorated with very little to be impressive.

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What we learned hosting a kids party

Last month we have celebrated Lukas 4th birthday and we decided to host his party at our home. I always dreamed to host kids parties so I was quite excited about it! The only problem we came across was the lack of space. But then we thought to rely on doing some activities in our back garden. And this is when we learned the lesson, never rely on British weather! Seriously! What were we thinking. All 14 kids and their parents got stranded indoors, because it was pouring all day! That of course would not have happened if we hired a venue. And if you are local to us, we will certainly be hosting kids parties at the cafe once it opens!

I began planning the party two months in advance and because I am very visual I started with a theme. Prior to deciding on the theme I asked Lukas what he would like to have, it was instantly clear that we were having a space themed party (he loves rockets!). It was easy for me then to create the invites as this is an area where I thrive. As usual with my design I made it as visually interactive as I could.

Next up is the cake, I wanted something unusual but certainly moon shaped ;-). I will be sharing how I made this ice-cream cake very soon!

Food? I went with a simple menu! I have been very fortunate to work at a kids cafe in the past and I quickly realised that kids are very simple, they prefer their party food fun and uncomplicated.

Snacks, star shaped sandwiches, pizza, and astronaut food pouches (aka fruit puree baby pouches) were our favourites! We had a separate food platter laid out for adults too.

Besides the food we had party activities! In fact we had a whole party program planned out, which of course was messed up by the bad weather we had on the day. We ended up taking most of messy craft activities indoors.

Luckily kids painted their rockets, but not the walls (phew!).

The moral of our story? Unless you have a mansion or want to host a small party we recommend to hire a venue. At our cafe we will help you to come up with the best decorations for your chosen theme, simple or more experimental menu, activities and more. Check out our shop for more details ;-).

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Spring-inspired celebration cake

Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipeI always wanted to try and bake a cake using sweet peas, but I never had an opportunity. Sweet peas is such as spring vegetable and no one in our family have a birthday in a spring. Eventually I decided to just go for it for Tomas birthday. It almost feels like a spring now! Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipe SWEET PEA CAKE WITH BEETROOT FROSTING adopted from Veggie Desserts
(for the cake)

  • 180g sweet peas, steamed or boiled
  • 130g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest and a drizzle of juice
  • 165g flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt

(for the frosting)

  • 250g soft cheese
  • 70g icing sugar (plus some more for later stage)
  • 1-2 tsp beetroot powder
  • 1tsp other type of natural frosting such as turmeric, matcha etc (optional)

1. Puree the sweet peas in the food processor and set aside
2. Cream the butter with sugar either in the large bowl with the wooden spoon or in the mixer.Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipe 3. Add the rest of the ingredients (including sweet pea puree) into the butter cream and mix again to combine. Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipe 4. Bake the cakes in the 15cm (6inch) tins in 180C preheated oven for about 20 min. Alternatively you can bake these in the sheet tray and use a large cookie cutter to cut out the rounds. I ended up cutting off the crust as I wanted bright green colour to show through the frosting.Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipe5. Meanwhile make the frosting. Using the whisk, mix the soft-cheese with sifted icing sugar.
6. To assemble spread a little of the frosting between the layers of the completely cooled cakes and sandwich together. Cover the cake with some more frosting reserving a little for later. Using palette knife gently scrape of the icing creating that naked cake look.Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipe 7. Split the remaining frosting into 2 or more bowls, unless you only want to dye it in one colour. I personally would have had only one colour (pink) now when I tried the multicolour. Add the beetroot powder (or other natural colour) and more icing sugar till the frosting reaches the right consistency. It needs to be stiff in order to keep its shape.Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipe 8. Pipe the frosting on the cake using a piping bag and large round nozzle.Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipe 9. Decorate the cake with wild flowers and herbs. It is amazing what you can find in the garden or in the park. These daisies are actually edible and were growing on my lawn.Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipe Spring-inspired celebration cake (with sweet peas) recipeHappy spring waiting everyone!
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Date night in: paper and pen games

Idea for date night in: paper and pen games table layoutMe and Joni have not gone out for ages. When you got kids it’s just not easy. Everyone who have young kids I am sure can relate how difficult it is to find a babysitter! And when you do find a babysitter this once in the while outgoing can cost you at least ¬£40. Am I right or am I wrong?
Recently Joni had an idea to have date nights in. And that changed the dating game completely! We set to have the date night in every Friday and we reduced the amount of tasks we need to do that day so we are free. This gives me something to look forward every week! Since the Valentines day is coming up I though I will share how we do these night ins ;-).
Me and Joni take turns who organises the date. If any money spend we budget into our own budgets. This time it was my turn therefore I could share the preview with you. I picked games theme and this is often what we like to do on our dates. We (I mean me) get a bit competitive sometimes!Idea for date night in: paper and pen games table layoutSince I decided to do paper and pen games this time round I used craft brown paper for the table layout. To be honest I don’t even have that many dining table setup props! This is why I mostly used what I already have. Kitchen towels instead of napkins for instance was one of those replacements when I did not want to buy something I may not use again.
First I rolled brown craft paper out on the table and drew what is needed using permanent oil pen. I am sure you can use any other pen you like. I was tempted to use metallic pens and I used black marker pens before. I used plates and cutlery to trace out the table layout. I wrote out the menu here as well.Idea for date night in: paper and pen games table layoutI decided to play battleships for the night. So I did make a grid so we did not need to do that on the date.¬†¬†Idea for date night in: paper and pen games table layoutNext I arranged some items related to games such as dices, pens and books (for protecting the battleships). Candles and some leafy twigs were not related but pretty and I could not help myself.Idea for date night in: paper and pen games table layoutThe date night was a complete success. Joni was very very surprised! I did not want to spend too much time in the kitchen so I used the take away to order some of the food. I made the dessert and rice myself. So I only spend ¬£20 (half of the price to compare how much we would have spend if we went out).¬†Idea for date night in: paper and pen games table layoutAnd do you know who won the battleships this time? It’s Joni. I may not want to play this game again ( ha ha).Idea for date night in: paper and pen games table layoutHappy Valentines day everyone and don’t forget the dates does not have to be spend with you husband or boyfriend. I am sure your BFF would appreciate this kind of date too ;-).
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Aeroplane themed birthday cake

Aeroplane themed birthday cakeSo here it is, my vision became a reality. This year I made Lukas birthday cake aeroplane themed which he really enjoyed. I have been dreaming about this cake for ages (not really I practically copied the idea from here). The only thing I wanted to do differently is to try and dye the frosting with natural dyes….
But as you may know the colour blue is hard to find in nature! I know i know, the sky is blue, but you can’t exactly put that in the icing. With a bit of research and friends recommendation I went with butterfly pea tea that is sort of blue. You see I had fun with experimenting and realised that butterfly pea tea changes colour according to the ph of the liquid you mix it into. With a bit of lemon it turns to a burgundy violet and with milk it turns into bluish sky blue. Although this might sound easy, the blue that I get from mixing the tea with milk is not concentrated enough for what is needed when you try to dye large amounts of frosting. I ended up using it in¬†soft cheese frosting¬†and it turned out a little more lilac then sky blue. Shall we imagine that the planes are flying over a sunset sky?Aeroplane themed birthday cake¬†BLUEBERRY YOGURT CAKE WITH BUTTERFLY PEA FROSTING
(for the cake)

  • 3 eggs
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 450g greek yogurt
  • 180g rapeseed or olive oil
  • 300g ground almond
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 2 handful blueberries

(for the meringue)

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • few drops of lemon
  • pinch of salt

(for the frosting)

  • 600g soft cheese
  • icing sugar to taste, sifted
  • butterfly pea tea, brewed in little water

(for the “aeroplanes”)

  • cocktail sticks
  • wafers in the finger form

1. To make the cake beat the eggs with sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix again to combine.¬†Pour equal amount of cake mixture into two lined baking tins. Bake in 180C oven for 40-45min.Aeroplane themed birthday cake¬†2. Meanwhile prepare the meringues for baking. Baking these will take few hours on the low heat once the cake is baked presuming you don’t have two ovens. Mix the egg whites with drop of lemon, salt and half of icing sugar. Start whisking the mixture while gradually adding the rest of icing sugar. In the past I struggled to make meringues and later I realised that all it needs a little patience. It takes really long time to achieve stiffly whisked egg whites, so bear with it till you can see the results. Don’t worry you can’t over mix it ;-)! Pipe the meringues on the baking sheet into cloud shapes using large round nozzle or no nozzle at all. Bake in C60 preheated oven for 3-4h. I find the longer the baking the whiter the meringues!Aeroplane themed birthday cake with merengue clouds ¬†3. To make the frosting whisk soft cheese with icing sugar (I like it less sweet so I don’t add much). Gradually mix in the butterfly pea tea till you like the shade.¬†Aeroplane themed birthday cake¬†4. For the plane, cut the wafer finger into aeroplane body shape and small triangle for the fin. Glue the plane using icing sugar and water mixture. Use the cocktail sicks to hold the plane together.Aeroplane themed birthday cake Aeroplane themed birthday cake5. To assemble the cake apply the frosting starting from the top and working your way to the bottom. Arrange the “the clouds” and “the planes” as closer to serving as you can. Sadly, the meringue have a tendency to go soggy.Aeroplane themed birthday cake Aeroplane themed birthday cake Aeroplane themed birthday cake¬†I especially liked the cake. Although it was difficult to apply the frosting due to it being crumbly and moist, I feel it was worth it!Aeroplane themed birthday cakeHope you enjoy it!
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Make your own triangle garlands

Triangle garland DIYAs a follow up from a previous post here is what we had as a decoration for Tomas’s birthday last month. These triangle garlands fitted really well with our “cheerful, exciting and bold” theme. If you would like to¬†make these for your next party (does not have to be kids party at all) then you are in luck, I am sharing how I made mine (along with the struggles I had too).¬†Triangle garland DIY¬†So first I cut some card/paper into triangles. I used the same technique to cut it as I used to make confetti¬†just on a bigger scale of course! I was not bothered about being precise, the important thing is to be fast as there are quite¬†a lot of them to cut in order to make an impact. Having done this myself however I do not recommend choosing different thickness paper/card (will tell you why later).¬†Triangle garland DIY¬†Next up is stitching all the triangles together and this is where I struggled the most. You see the different thickness paper/card can really confuse the sewing machine (unless my machine is not very good… hmm). It stitched either tight or loose or was cutting the thread in the middle of the job, it was really really frustrating for me. So if you can avoid it, please do! I think this project could be relatively quick otherwise.Triangle garland DIY Triangle garland DIY¬†And there we are, its done! I hung mine from the light fitting in the centre to different corners of the room. I am sure you can hang from corner to corner too!Triangle garland DIYHope I inspired you xx
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Natural frosting birthday cake

Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling Few weeks ago we celebrated Tomas birthday, which is why I baked the cake. Anyone who knows me I like the cakes with minimum frosting, made with natural ingredients and most of all I like good flavours. This cake ticks all the boxes for me!!
When I was thinking of Tomas birthday party theme I was thinking of something cheerful, exciting and bold (exactly how I would imagine Tomas when he grows up). This is why I thought bright yellow frosting on the cake would be ideal. But what natural colouring could I use for a bright yellow? I did not need to think for too long, I suddenly remembered the power of turmeric that is vibrant with not much taste to it. The flavour of the cake followed of course. I thought what goes better with turmeric then other spices such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I was completely right, when testing the cake I realised everything just work really well together. I used plum jam to neutralise the taste of richness which also turned out a very good choice.
Hope I got you seduced to try to bake this cake yourself. You will find the recipe below ;-).Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling HONEY SPICED CAKE WITH TURMERIC FROSTING AND PLUM JAM FILLING
(for the cake)

  • 200g butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 170g honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 260ml milk
  • 325g flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 3tsp mixed spice
  • finelly grated zest of 2 oranges

(for the frosting)

  • 150g softened butter
  • 150g soft cheese
  • 150g icing sugar, plus a bit more for white frosting
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 jar plum jam

1. Over the hob melt the butter together with sugars and honey till everything is incorporated and the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix again to combine everything well.Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 3. Split the cake mixture into two ready tins (same size, springform are the best). Bake in 150C preheated oven for 1h and 15min.Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 4. Sandwich the cake with some plum jam. My tip is to put the cake upside down so the top is completely flat (really felpful when you do frosting).Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 5. To make the frosting place all the ingredients except turmeric into the mixer and let it run for few minutes. Put few table spoons of frosting aside for the white frosting. Add turmeric and let the mixer do its job one more time.  Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 6. Next job is to apply the frosting. I always add almost all the frosting on top to begin with and then push it down gently to the sides and then I work with frosting palette knife to the top again (I make the frosting thin for a reason so it flows easily). Once the base frosting is done I recommend to place the cake into the fridge so it sets.Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 7. Meanwhile add more icing sugar to the frosting left on the side. Continue adding the sugar till you are satisfied with the stiffness of the cream. Transfer white frosting into the piping bag with large round nozzle attached. Carefully pipe your decorations on the cake.Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling 8. Finally decorate with any cake toppers. I used water balloons to make these mini balloon cake toppers which made the cake look very fun like I expected :-).Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling Spiced honey cake with turmeric soft cheese frosting & plum jam filling Hope you like it too!!
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How to make mini triangle confetti

Handmade confettiConfetti was not the love at the first sight but something that I fell in love with over time. Now when I see some confetti sprinkled anywhere I get really really excited! It makes everything so much more joyful and thats what you need when the new year is approaching. And it can be used in soooo many ways! It can be sprinkled on the dining table, party floor, letters, present wrapping and anywhere you need some happiness sprinkles. Of course not everyone likes confetti (very sad, I know!!), but for those who do, here is how I make mini triangle confetti. Trust me, it is very simple to make and you don’t need any special punch for it.mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)First I cut the cardboard into strips. I use the ruler and the scalpel knife to make really straight strips.
mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)Then I cut / and then \ to get the triangle shapes.mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)Did I forget to mention that confetti is brilliant in making fab photography effects and backgrounds. Try it for your next photoshoot ;-).mini triangle confetti diy (no need for punch)Happy celebrating!!!!

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Nicola's birthday cake

Nicola's birthday cake¬†Last weekend we headed down to¬†Devon again to celebrate my sister in law Nicola’s 30th birthday and I was¬†asked to bake a cake (what a privilege!!). It had to be gluten and dairy free so it was a fun challenge to accept. If you have been following me on social media then¬†you probably have seen me doing bake tests over the past few weeks. I originally wanted to make a matcha cake, but was not sure if that would have been a crowd pleaser. At the end I decided to go with more simple flavours such as lemon and poppy seed. I used a very similar method to this chocolate orange cake which essentially uses citrus fruit pulp instead of butter or oil. This method has never let me down producing¬†a very moist and tasty cake. I just need to find a way to reduce the amount of sugar (hmmm…a tough one to do in cake!).Nicola's birthday cake¬†GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE WITH COCONUT BUTTER FROSTING
(for the cake)

  • 16 lemons
  • 18 eggs (it’s a very large cake!)
  • 750g golden caster sugar
  • 750g ground almonds
  • 6tsp baking powder
  • 4tbsp poppy seeds + for decorating

(for the frosting)

  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (butter)
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • about 1kg icing sugar

1. First things first, cook the lemons as that takes the longest. Peal them and try to pick out any pips out of them (I know I know this might take forever, but its worth it as your cake might end up tasting a little bitter). Boil the lemons for about 30 min. Once they are cooked, drain them and check any leftover pips. By now your lemons should look like puree, but whizz them anyways with the hand processor just to get it extra smooth.
Baking with cooked lemon2. Whisk the eggs with sugar till its pale and creamy. Add the rest of ingredients into eggs (including lemon puree) and mix to combine everything well. Split the cake mixture into three lined baking springform tins. Bake the cakes in 150C preheated oven for 1.5h.Baking with cooked lemon3. Meanwhile make the frosting. Sift the icing sugar into the coconut oil and add lemon juice. Mix everything using electric mixer until smooth and creamy.Lemon poppy seed cake with coconut butter frosting4. As for frosting the cake I did it very lightly. I applied thin layer of frosting between the layers and more on the sides so I could scrape it off later (still keeping a natural “naked” cake look).¬†Lemon poppy seed cake with coconut butter frosting5. Decorate it with poppy seeds, berries and flowers in keeping with the “au naturel” look¬†;-).Lemon poppy seed cake with coconut butter frosting Lemon poppy seed cake with coconut butter frostingHope you are feeling inspired.
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Baby friendly birthday cake

Baby friendly birthday cakeLast week we celebrated Lukas birthday and today I would like to share with you the recipe of the cake I made for him. I aimed for something sugar free of course that is suitable for a baby. I made sure to include banana in it just because Lukas loooovesss banana very much (maybe he is a minion who knows :D) and also because it adds some sweetness. The cake of course wasn’t very sweet. I would say it was a brioche sweetness level. I also thought that it is better eaten warm, but I had to cool it down unfortunately to decorate it and make it look a little bit more festive ;-). For “butter cream” I just used whipping cream, so it wasn’t sweet at all, but actually Lukas liked it very much so I guess it’s ok ;-). ¬†Baby friendly birthday cakeBABY BIRTHDAY CAKE
(for the cake)

  • 150g banana (about 1-2 bananas depending on size)
  • 1 egg
  • 60ml oil (I used refined olive oil, but rapeseed oil would probably be better)
  • 330g plain flour
  • 27g oats (I used pack of portioned porridge oats that actually comes in 27g)
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 125ml milk
  • 3tbsp yogurt (I used greek style yogurt, but natural yogurt would work fine too)

(for decorations)

  • whipping cream, whipped till stiff (one tube of 300ml will do)
  • no added sugar chocolate (there is no such thing as sugar free chocolate my friends!)
  • blueberries (or any type of other berries that are sweet)

1. Whizz bananas, egg and oil in the food processor. Add all other ingredients and mix everything to combine.
2. Spoon the cake dough into small lined spring form tins (mine filled 4 tins).
3. Place the tins into preheated 180C oven and bake the cakes for 20min or so.
Baby friendly birthday cake4. Meanwhile I made chocolate cake decorations. I must admit I got little rusty, because I have not done it for aaaaages! I melted some chocolate, poured into pouch I made out of backing paper and cut the hole in it so I could pipe the chocolate out. I lined a metal baking tin with backing paper and piped chocolate on it in the leaf shapes. Placed it in the freezer for few minutes to set. Done!Baby friendly birthday cake5. Next up is decorating! Sandwich the cake by spreading whipped cream in between and then spread more on top and around to ice the cake. My tip is to really wait till the cakes are cool and trim the tops off, that really helps to make¬†the cake square and therefore easy to ice.Baby friendly birthday cakeOnce the cake is iced, decorate it by piping some more whipped cream on top, sprinkling with blueberries and arranging some chocolate decorations on top if you wish.Baby friendly birthday cakeBaby friendly birthday cakeHope your baby likes it too ūüėČ
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