Christmas Trees and Christmas Cakes

A heavenly messenger

Coming up is the big, tree-selling day and not wanting to be knocked over in the rush, I went down to see John the Italian greengrocer to kindly ask him to set me aside a tree. When I got there I saw he had a few scrawny and draught-affected looking trees that were knee-high to […]

Snowman Cake

A snowman cake

Alfie is so skinny.  When he is in his swimsuit Arabella always says to him, ‘Can you cover up your skeleton?’ But he’s been this way since he was born.  In the hospital there were two babies that were over 10lbs, Alfie and a baby girl.   Apart from their weight they had little else […]

Festive Fruit and Nut Cake and…Morning Drama

Festive fruit and nut cake

Do you all have morning drama?  We have it in spades. This morning Arabella had a very important interview.  She had to be in the city and ready for her appointment by 9.30am.  That shouldn’t be a challenge.  But when she woke, first she had to go out for a takeaway coffee and then she […]

Pink Champagne Cake

Pink Champagne Cake

Today is the last day in our 10-part series of recognising and sharing some of the recipes that have inspired, intrigued and challenged me from blogs I love.  I thought it would be good to finish the series with a bit of a celebration and there’s no better way than with a sparkle. I promised […]

A Dud Dachshund Cake

Pretty cute

Not every day in the Hotly Spiced kitchen is a happy one.  In the lead-up to Arabella’s birthday party I set about making the cake she had requested, a dachshund.  What could go wrong! Pretty much everything. But not the baking-the-cakes part; that went very well except for being too heavy-handed with the tint.  I […]

A Cake of Joy

Decorated in heart sprinkles

Prior to sculpting the Titanic cake, I had no idea of exactly how much cake I would need to make.  Just to be safe I made four very large cakes that were 30 x 40 cms (12 x 16 inches) and stored them in the freezer.  Running out of cake turned out to be not […]

How to Make a Titanic Birthday Cake

A ship of Titanic proportions

As soon as Archie announced the theme for his party, my mind raced to the cake and I knew instantly, there was no way of avoiding the issue.  It had to be the ship.  As daunting as this sounded, the good thing is a few years ago, a friend asked me to make a ship […]

A Titanic 21st

Arabella and the waitresses

Thank you so much for all your enthusiasm and best wishes and interest in Archie’s 21st.  I’ve been bursting to share this with you and would have done it sooner if there hadn’t been so much cleaning up.  Right now I’m still in a daze; it was a very special and wonderful evening that I […]

Shark Attack Birthday Cake

The birthday cake arrives on the table

Alfie has just celebrated his ninth birthday with a shark party where nine boys watched Jaws in his bedroom then had pizza and jelly cups followed by a Mintie scramble and a shark attack birthday cake. Hooray!  It’s all over for another year.  That probably sounds a bit mean but I’m currently organising a 21st […]

Ladybird Cupcakes

Ladybirds out on the lawn

It’s Alfie’s birthday on the weekend and he’s going to be nine.  At his primary school, when it’s your birthday, you’re allowed to bring in something for the class to share. The school does suggest that you order cupcakes from the canteen or that you can bring in a box of ice blocks and I […]