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The cheat’s guide to making a garden cake

A garden cake

by Cybele

I’ve had a lot of questions, after this birthday party post, about the cake. It’s a bit embarrassing, because I kind of cheated and I suspect you guys could do a much better job, as mine was a bit experimental.
There are lots of possibilities with this basic idea: train tracks or roads going through forests, a playground with licorice slide and see-saw or prehistoric forest with dinosaurs, etc.
Anyway, this is how I did it. Apologies the photos aren’t the best, because I just took a couple of snaps to remind myself in case I wanted to do something similar in the future.
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Ingredients:

2 cakes: one in a square tin (approximately 22cm) and another in a loaf tin, this chocolate cake recipe on the fabulous Not Quite Nigella looks easy and perfect.
Lots of icing or frosting, probably twice this icing/frosting recipe from the very talented What Katie Ate
1-2 packets of Oreo or similar cookies
1 cup dessicated coconut
Green food dye
9 chocolate sticks (chocolate coated raspberry or licorice sticks work well) or 40-60 sticks if you’d like to cover the whole thing
Chocolate truffles and other decorative handmade chocolates
1. Bake two cakes, one in a square tin (approximately 22cm/ inches) and another in a loaf tin. I made mine with Milo malt drink, because I had a lot of it in the cupboard and I had hoped (in vain) that its slow sugar release might reduce the mania… Unfortunately, it turned out a bit dry, so I need to play with the recipe. How to make a garden cake
2. Add drops of green food colouring to dessicated coconut and mix well. Keep going until you’re happy with the colour. Just bear in mind the more colour you add the darker the little lips will be stained after eating.How to make a garden cake
3. Scrap away the cream centres of the cookies and crush in a mortar and pestle until you’re happy with the consistency, probably the finer the better.How to make a garden cake4. Make the icing/frosting recipe at least double the mixture. Start by joining the two cakes together with the icing with a nice thick layer. Trim edges of the cake to create nice smooth walls (I should’ve done more of this). Slap some icing or frosting on the top garden bed and sprinkle the crushed cookies over, pressing lightly with the fingers as you go.
To lay the turf for the lawn, clean your hands and apply some more icing or frosting to the lower garden bed. Press the green coconut into the cake with your fingers.
To add the garden wall, smooth icing on the cake wall and on the back of the chocolate sticks. Press into place. I had planned to wall the back and sides of the cake, but most of the chocolate came off a lot of the sticks during our adventures around the city. So we ate them instead. You can either continue the garden wall around the cake or coat with Oreo ‘dirt’.How to make a garden cake5. Add the chocolate decorations, the truffles and the fancy handmade chocolate basket.How to make a garden cake6. Wash the dirt off the seedlings.How to make a garden cake7. Plant the seedlings by poking a hole in the cake and using the blunt end of a skewer to press the seedling in place. The thyme seedlings pictured, held up well, but I ended up replacing the basil seedlings, because they started drooping. A couple of stalks from a bunch of mint proved to be worthy replacements.How to make a garden cake
 Don’t go too crazy with the planting if you want to use candles, as you’ll need to leave them some space!Sq-cake
Enjoy!
Bell x
 
 

About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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2 comments

  1. That is such a great idea. I have never seen one before. It came out so beautifully and I am at a loss to know how you do all this with a practically new baby on your hip.
    Carolyn

  2. Thank you! To be honest making things is an outlet for me and I’m lucky that so far he enjoys sitting in his highchair chatting. No doubt that will change and I’ll have to find new ways…

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