Happy freak’n birthday to us! Four years! Somehow it feels longer but shorter at the same time. What I’m most proud is that I’m still pumping out original content on a weekly basis and (hopefully) inspiring people four years after I decided to start a blog because I was bored at work. Can you imagine? Now I’m juggling 4-5 jobs at the same time with a to-do list that seems to write itself. But of course…. I had to find time to make a hand painted birthday cake. Duh.
Like pretty much every single thing in life, having a blog has it’s positive and negative factors. There’s really only one negative but it’s kinda a big deal – it’s definitely hard work to keep it active with good quality original content. And let’s be honest, unless you’re a blogging super star you have to do it because you love it because your audience can come and go. Anyone who tells you having a weekly (or more frequent) blog isn’t a lot of work has no idea or the worst blog ever. No offence. Ok yes offence.
But the positives are super positive. I’ve probably said this in every birthday post but I could’ve never imagined in a million years the amount of awesome people I’ve met because of blogging. It’s such a positive and supportive (almost all of the time) community of like minded people who just love to make and share. Another amazing thing that’s come from blogging is the cool opportunities to work with lots of different brands and attend so many great events where I always meet new interesting people. And in the last year you can add the dream gig of travel blogging! That’s right. This here little space on the interweb allowed me to go travel on someone else’s dime just so I could share my experience with you all.
I’m not great at highlight reels or setting goals but I’ll say that I feel super proud when I look at all the recipes and DIY projects I created along with some awesome makeovers and a few fun trips thrown in for good measure. Yeah, you could say it’s been pretty good year for The Sweet Escape.
Mostly I want to say thanks to those that come by and visit. I know it’s not like a million readers or anything (may one day?!) but for those that spend a few precious minutes of your day reading whatever I’ve been up to, I really appreciate it and I truly hope that it brings you a little Sweet Escape in your day.
To celebrate I made a hand painted birthday cake, of course. You know how people say it’s what’s inside that really counts? Yeah, not with this cake. This birthday cake was all about the outside. I thought the blog’s 4th birthday was the perfect excuse to finally try painting a cake. Happy birthday bloggy, this one’s for you!
Ok, first up I’ll be totally up front. I didn’t bake this cake. My friend told me you could buy ready made sponge cakes from Nude Cakes so I decided it would be much easier to buy a ready made cake. I’ve had a lot of good luck in the cooking/baking dept. but not this time. Quite frankly the cake I made was a big fail. So I just bought a cake and then slapped some pre-made fondant on it. Maybe next time I’ll try something more straightforward like a pot cake maybe I should learn how to make a pot cake or as the Portuguese would say como fazer bolo de pote. Listen guys – sometimes I absolutely LOVE to make everything from scratch…..and sometimes I absolutely LOVE to take every single unhealthy shortcut available. It’s ok to do both. Don’t be too hard on yourself. For me this whole thing was about the decorating so that was my priority.
If you would like to make yourself, your blog or your loved one a handmade cake then you should make your fav cake recipe then check out this video on how to cover a round cake in fondant. Once you have that part figured out (*she says casually) then you get to the fun part, painting!
– Gel food colouring
– 1 oz. of vodka
– brand new pointy tip paint brushes that have been washed & rinsed
– paper towl
– a plate or similar for mixing colours
In case you’re wondering, the vodka serves two purposes – first you use it to dilute the food colour gel and second keep the whole bottle handy in case you need some liquid courage or to drown in your DIY cake decorating sorrows. Although it may be counterintuitive to the quality of your results, just saying.
If you’re the planning type, which really is the smart thing to do, it’s a good idea to look up some references of the design you want to paint on your cake and then practice on some left over fondant before attacking the real deal. If you’re more of a freestyler like myself and consider yourself a bit of an artiste then go for it girl!
You need to use very little vodka and colour gel, you don’t want your design to bleed. I was inspired by the famous Rifle Paper Floral Designs for my cake. I printed off a pattern and used it as inspiration with my super bright colour palette. My advice is although obviously this project already isn’t the most simple around, if you do decide to take it on, try and keep it simple. Don’t feel the need to fill every single little space.
Take your time and enjoy the process. Take a break if you need to, just stick a cake cover on it. When you’re done you’ll hopefully have something that looks like this! Add a Sweet Escape Occasions cake topper and you’ve got yourself a birthday cake!