Make A Blackbird Cakes Magazine With Shaz Frantz - Preview

SomethingGood

Welcome To Make A Blackbird Cake Magazine with Shaz Frantz. In this preview of her popular magazine, Shaz, our cake decorating guru gives you a teaser of how you too can become a cake decorating expert with step by step videos, 6 inspirational cake projects, recipes, project sheets and all using just the one Dolly Varden tin. How cool is that! Everything you will need is right here. Check it out and visit blackbirdcakes.com.au/buy to purchase. 1) Digital Course $29.95 2) Digital Course + Print Magazine $34.95 3) Print Magazine only $24.95

MAKE A

BLACKBIRD

CAKE

WITH SHAZ FRANTZ

DOLLY VARDEN

ISSUE

You

+ Me + 1 Tin

= 6 AMAZING

CAKES!

VIDEO

TUTORIALS

tips & tricks

to have you

caking like

A PRO

EASY

to follow,

step by step

instructions

Blackbird’s

CAKING

TIMELINE

- hour by hour

guidance

blackbirdcakes.com.au

Photo by Miki Frantz


Join our fun-loving community to chat,

share, and learn all things cake.

I am in complete awe and admiration of your skill,

Shaz! – ALLISON S

We loved the flowerpot class Shaz!

Thanks so much! – KARYN S

Shaz is a true artist. Her cakes bring so much joy

and I love that I can make a Blackbird Cake too

– ALI F

Thanks for a great project! – ANDREA M

Thanks for the recipe, tutorial and for being

a great teacher, Shaz – ANGELA V

Thank you Shaz - 3 hours of absolute

entertainment and resulting in the best little cake

we’ve ever baked at home! – JANE W

ISSUE 1

Sharyn Frantz

Blackbird Cakes

37A Anslow St

Woodend 3442 VIC Australia

All enquiries to -

shaz@blackbirdcakes.com.au

Ph: 03 5427 2473

facebook.com/groups/chattingcakeswithblackbird


Learn in the comfort of your own home

BLACKBIRD

TV

Stress-free, step by step video guides for filling & frosting your cake,

as well as working with fondant to cover and decorate your very own

Blackbird Cake

youtube.com/channel/blackbirdcakes

3


8

27

14

13

38

WHAT’S

INSIDE?

16

7

8

What Is A

Blackbird Cake?

10 Inspo

Blackbird Cakes

& Shaz

12

14

Welcome

Why I Love

This Tin

PLANNING

18

20

21

Caking Timeline

Blackbird Cake

Project Planner

5 Pro Tips

For Success

4 blackbirdcakes.com.au


48

68

56

52

74

RECIPES

Cake Release

Goop

26

27

28

30

31

33

Simple Sugar

Syrup

Chocolate

Mud Cake

Whipped

Cream Cake

Chocolate Or White

Chocolate Ganache

Easy Meringue

Buttercream

62

SKILLS

40

42

44

44

45

How To Fill And

Frost Your Dolly

Varden Cake

How to Cover Your

Dolly Varden Cake

with Fondant

How To Work

With Fondant

How To Make

Fondant Shapes

How To Make

Cutesy Eyes

And Bow

PROJECTS

49

53

57

63

69

75

Beanie Cake

Christmas

Tree Cake

Unicorn Cake

Elephant Cake

Panda Cake

Cactus Cake

blackbirdcakes.com.au

5


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Wow! This has been a blast…! And it has all

happened because of a bunch of amazing people

that I am surrounded by.

Thank you Mel Panteli (Mel Panteli Photography),

your beautiful photos tell the story perfectly

- as always. melpanteli.com.au

Kim Selby Photography, your sublime photography

has represented Blackbird Cakes beautifully since

day dot. kimselbyphotography.com.au

Thank you Emily, & Zali. You lovelies keep me going.

Nicole (Anrol Designs), you support my crazy ideas

and produce the goods, every time.

My aprons look amazing King Georgie - thank you!

Mort & Pestle is the place to go for gorgeous

kitchenware - Catherine, you are the best!

Thank you Andrea & Valerie (Mum), your

proofing and suggestions are always spot on.

Something Good Magazines, not only are you

something good, you are everything good! Ali,

Diana and the team, you have showcased what

I do perfectly - I am ever so grateful.

somethinggoodmagazines.com

My right hand gal - Michaela Frantz … your amazing

skills are priceless - I love you!

Tom and Phillip - I love you too…

The Make a Blackbird Cake With Shaz Frantz Magazine by Sharyn Frantz is owned and published electronically by Sharyn Frantz. Copyright 2020 Sharyn Frantz.

All rights reserved. No part of this electronic or printed magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of Sharyn Frantz. Requests for permission

should be directed to: Sharyn Frantz at hello@blackbirdcakes.com.au


Well, hello and welcome to the

Make a Blackbird Cake

magazine Dolly Varden Issue!

I

am so thrilled that you have joined me here

and I have so much to show you. Getting

this far, you are obviously keen to learn

how you can make your very own Blackbird cake.

The recipes, instructions, tips and tricks to make

that happen are right here, so let’s get started.

We have a series of recipes for you to choose from,

the basics on how to prepare your baked cake so

that it’s ready to decorate, and then the projects

themselves. I’ve also created a special bonus inspo

section, illustrating a number of different cakes

you can create using your new skills gained in

this magazine. And the best thing is that all of

these cakes are made using only one tin, so once

you have nailed the preparation phase, a world of

choice opens up for you.

While it may seem daunting at first,

there is plenty of support for you on

your cake making journey.

I have some great videos here to help you tackle

things you might find a little challenging, and

there is always our Facebook group, Chatting

Cakes with Blackbird where you can meet likeminded

cake lovers, who are there to support and

cheer you on.

I pop in there often to answer all of your

questions, and love seeing all the cake creations

posted by our awesome community. So grab a

cuppa, browse through these pages and pick your

first project - it’s going to be so much fun!

With love,

blackbirdcakes.com.au

groups/chattingcakeswithblackbird

blackbirdcakes

blackbirdcakes

blackbirdcakes

blackbirdcakes

https://youtu.be/UYsQxzlGGFQ

7


WHAT IS A

BLACKBIRD CAKE?

And why you need one …

When celebrating that special

something, a cake is the go-to menu

item that everybody just loves. It’s the

centrepiece of the table, the talking

point. It brings wonder, conversation

and cherished memories. That is

exactly what we do here at Blackbird

Cakes. We are all about bringing

joy and happiness to the table, and

now you can too, with your very own

Blackbird Cake ‘made by you’. Share

the love - make a Blackbird cake! ■

8


Shop online for everything you need

to ‘Make a Blackbird Cake’

blackbirdcakes.com.au/shop

PROJECT KITS • SPECIALTY TOOLS • INGREDIENTS • COOL MERCHANDISE


INSPO

One tin – unlimited cakes …

elephant, page 63

CHRISTMAS TREE, page 53

unicorn, page 57

BEANIE, page 49

PANDA, page 69

cactus, page 75

10 blackbirdcakes.com.au


When I first set out to see how

many cake designs I could

create using just one tin, I

was astonished. I was filling up page,

after page, after page of sketches of cake

ideas, from an avocado to a zebra… there

were just so many cakes just waiting to

be created.

In addition to the six projects I have

created for you, here is a glimpse of what

else we can make with just one cake tin...

I will be releasing additional worksheets

on how to make these cakes, so make

sure you join us in my Facebook Group

- Chatting Cakes with Blackbird,

for all the details and all of my tips and

tricks to cake like a pro!

dinosaur

llama

shark

frog

owl

sloth

bear

penguin

dog

koala

pig

hippo

cat

hedgehog

blackbirdcakes.com.au 11


BLACKBIRD

CAKES

& SHAZ

Blackbird Cakes

Blackbird Cakes is not your standard

cake shop or bakery… we do things a

little differently! We are a custom cake

studio, creating delicious, one-off cakes for your

celebrations.

Blackbird Cakes was created in 2012, and since

opening our doors we have blossomed from a small

start up to a thriving cake studio.

Located in the quaint village of Woodend in

Central Victoria, we supply delicious cakes to our

customers from across the state.

We specialise in cakes that are designed specifically

for our customers. We work from their brief, not a

catalogue, to produce a cake that shows their people

how much they love them. Our cakes are made

from scratch using the best ingredients and they

taste as good as they look.

Blackbird Cakes has a fun,

friendly and

a little bit cheeky personality.

We will give any idea a go and are keen to stretch

the boundaries of what can be made in cake. We

care deeply for our customers and followers and

are truly invested in supplying deliciously amazing

cakes, along with sharing and teaching our skills to

students of all levels. We very much want to be a

part of people’s lives as we are in a very emotional

business. It seems weird to say that we are in

the business to make people cry (happy tears, of

course!).

Blackbird Cakes is all about black and white, with a

splash of red. Our murals on our walls are our take

on street art, and the Blackbird brand is flooded

with black and white illustrations of flowers, leaves

and all things cake.

12

blackbirdcakes.com.au


Sharyn (Shaz) Frantz

I

have baked for what feels like my whole life,

encouraged by my bakery-trained Grandmother

and my fabulous-cook Mother. Weekends

during my teens were spent perfecting choux pastry

swans, while my childhood consisted of hours

watching my Mum and Nan delicately fold their

light as air sponge cakes and create the perfect apple

pie pastry. My childhood was marked by needing to

know everything about baking.

My love of cakes and all sweet pretty things was

magnified when my cherubs were babies, and I

HAD to make them fabulous cakes… and of course

I started with the Women’s Weekly kid’s birthday

cake cookbook. Guinea pig (... I mean child)

number one, was the first. He received the train

with the lolly carriages. Looking back,

I would possibly classify it as a train wreck,

but all that matters to me is that he loved it,

and he did! Look at the drool on the bottom

of his chin!

Things have come a long way from the days in the

western suburbs of Melbourne as a cheeky kid,

and the early years of baking for my babies. I have

estimated that I have made thousands of cakes

(yes thousands). Now you know why I don’t take

photos of them all! My skills have evolved, and I am

constantly learning, which brings me great joy –

I love being a student.

What drives me is that I have the unwavering

belief that with the right instruction, everyone

can make their own version of a Blackbird cake.

Sharing my knowledge, along with the mix of

creativity, project planning, interaction with our

beautiful customers and making people cry (in the

good way!) fills my soul each and every day. ■

I devoted my earlier working life to academic

psychology, before returning to TAFE and

undertaking my award-winning studies in

Patisserie. A home-based catering business

was next and Blackbird Cakes emerged

soon after.

Left: Two-year old Tom and Jaclyn, with my very first novelty cake

Right: Miki and her Nannu Frank with my first ever Dolly Varden cake

blackbirdcakes.com.au

13


WHY

I LOVE

THIS

TIN

When you start your novelty making

career (as the nominated cake maker

for your family and friends - it can

often feel like a career!), it’s super easy to be

scared off from anything more elaborate than

your basic round cake with something little on

top. “This looks too hard,” “I’ll need specialist

equipment,” or “I’m not sure that I can do this!”

are thoughts that can deter you from giving

it a go. But hold those thoughts… I’m here to

show you that a fabulous novelty cake is easily

achievable, with not much more effort that you

might think!

We have all seen the staple of a young girl’s

birthday party during our childhood, that famous

cake (or sometimes even an ice cream cake - as for

my 2 year old daughter) - the Dolly Varden cake.

A Barbie, or some other doll, has her legs cling

wrapped (or removed) and she is “nestled” (i.e.:

forced) into the top of the cake, with the cake

then decorated according to the preference of

the birthday girl. You know the one.. It has often

been compared to the ‘toilet roll doll’ - which is

less than ideal when talking about a cake.

14 blackbirdcakes.com.au


But when we think outside the square, there is so

much more we can do with this humble cake tin.

From as simple as a giant rice bubble cake or box

cake mix with no frosting, to a decadent mud cake

with a couverture chocolate ganache filling, we can

turn the tide on thinking that the Dolly Varden

is no longer cool, and repurpose these cakes into

something wonderful!

Once the basics are mastered, the sky’s the limit

of what can be created with just this one tin. I

just love the versatility, simplicity and unlimited

creativity this tin affords. From simple designs, to

cakes that provide a drool-worthy challenge, you

can become that cake rockstar that down deep you

know that you are! ■

blackbirdcakes.com.au

15


16 blackbirdcakes.com.au


PLANNING

blackbirdcakes.com.au

17


Caking

Timeline

Make A Blackbird Cake –

its easy, fun and delicious!

With every specialty cake, there is a little preplanning

that needs to take place. First you need

to decide on the project, what flavour cake and

filling you would like (or if you are really kind,

what flavour your special someone would like)!

You will then need to organise your shopping list

for ingredients and equipment, work out your

cake deadline and then make yourself a schedule.

By working backwards, you can plan out your

tasks and enjoy the process of creating without the

dreaded feeling of running behind.

STEP 1

Decide

on your project

STEP 6

Have loads

of fun!

STEP 2

Pick your cake

flavour and filling

STEP 5

Make yourself a baking

& decorating schedule

- pick your end date

& work back from there

STEP 3

Make sure your have

all your equipment

and ingredients

STEP 4

Read through

the recipes

& watch the videos

beforehand

Make ahead where you can...

I have outlined 3 timelines that you can follow

to undertake your next cake decorating project.

I would highly recommend the 3+ Day option

if you can manage it. The 1 Day option is really

a tough ask, and you will need to put aside

virtually the whole day, so don’t start this

the night before the party, once the kids have

gone to bed… it really doesn’t end well.

1

2

3

You can freeze your plain cake or your frosted & filled cake for up to 3 months.

Make sure you double wrap with cling wrap before freezing and take out of the

freezer 24 hours before filling & frosting and/or decorating.

Ganache and Easy Meringue Buttercream last in the fridge for 1 month.

Label, date and store in an air-tight container.

Store sugar syrup in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 month

18 blackbirdcakes.com.au


3+ DAYS

Time Saver

5 - 6 HOURS

2 DAYS

Focus Time

7 - 8 HOURS

1 DAY

Mission Accepted

9 - 10 HOURS

DAY THREE

Decorate

2 - 3 hours

DAY TWO

Torte, fill

& coat

your cake

1 hour

DAY TWO

Torte, fill

& coat

your cake

Set the cake

Decorate

5 - 6 hours

DAY ONE

Bake your cake

& make filling , 3 hours

Cool cake, 2 hours

Torte, fill

& coat your cake,

1 hour

Set the filling, 1 hour

Decorate, 2-3 hours

DAY ONE

Bake your cake

Make your

filling,

syrup etc...

2 hours

DAY ONE

Bake your cake

Make your

filling,

syrup etc...

2 hours

ENJOY

THE

PROCESS

GET YOUR

CAKE

GAME ON

NINJA

EFFORT

REQUIRED

blackbirdcakes.com.au

19


Blackbird Cake Project Planner

When planning your foray into cake

decorating, being organised is of the

utmost importance. Grab a cuppa, sit

down and work out when you will make

the time to get each component done.

The beauty of these projects is that they

don’t have to be done the day before.

You can bake and freeze, or bake, fill

& frost and freeze, up to 3 months in

advance. The fillings and syrup can also

be made in advance and stored in the

fridge. And if you want to get super

organised, you can bake 2 or 3 cakes

at a time, and freeze them for the busy

birthday months in your household.

Cake Project

Cake Flavour

Event

Cake Filling

Event Date

Timeline 3+ Days 2 Days 1 Day

Shopping

Prep Time/

Day

Ingredients (pg 34)

Equipment (See Project page)

Order cake kit from Blackbird

Sugar syrup:

Filling:

Baking Time/Day (2hrs + cooling)

Filling & Frosting Day (1 hr + setting)

Decorating Time/Day (2-3 hrs)

Incidentals

Candles

Sparklers

Cake

Presentation

Cake board

Cake stand

Balloons

Cake plate

Table decorations

20 blackbirdcakes.com.au


5

PRO TIPS

FOR SUCCESS

Have you ever promised that you would make

your loved one a special cake, but found yourself

in a mess, running out of time, and not pleased

with your finished product? You are not alone

… we have all found ourselves in that exact

situation somewhere in our caking career. What

if I told you that you could avoid the pitfalls,

work cleanly and efficiently and produce a

swoon-worthy cake to be proud of?

If you are looking

for a professional finish on your cake,

do what the professionals do.

1

It

will always take you

longer than you think… so

give yourself plenty of time!

After making thousands of cakes, there are five

fundamental concepts that underpin my awardwinning

cake studio:

1. It will always take you longer than

you think…

2. Things will probably go wrong

somewhere along the line…

3. There are NO shortcuts…

4. Keep your workspace clean…

5. It’s most likely that only you will

see the mistakes…

The only way to run a successful cake studio is

to manage your time and tasks well. While the

fun part of cake decorating may look like the

artistic placement of the decorations and the

delicious spreading of the filling over the cake,

it takes quite a bit of effort and organisation

before you even get to these tasks. To be able

to enjoy each of the necessary processes and

tasks, I find giving myself the right amount of

time to get the job done a beautiful thing.

What you need to do:

Pick your Timeline - 1, 2 or 3+ DAYS with the

Blackbird Cake Project Planner (pg.20)

Make sure you have all your equipment and

ingredients - see the Checklist (pg.34)

blackbirdcakes.com.au

21


3

There

are NO shortcuts -

avoid the need to shortcut by

planning ahead

Sometimes, when pressured for time, grand

ideas about how you can do things faster

appear… ignore them! I have fallen into this

trap only to find that my ‘shortcuts’ take extra

time. If you are prepared, organised and have

given yourself plenty of time, you won’t even

need shortcuts. Are you starting to see the

underlying theme here?

What you need to do:

The 3+ day timeline will eliminate the need to

create shortcuts.

2

Things

will probably go wrong

somewhere along the line –

if you can, pick the 3+ day

timeline

We are only human and things happen.

A forgotten ingredient, a slip and drop,

or circumstances beyond your control

interrupting your schedule can temporarily

derail your plans. These interruptions to your

plan can’t be predicted and can throw you off

the rails if you are attempting to create your

masterpiece in one day.

What you need to do:

Where possible, plan to create your project

over 3+ days to minimise the impact of any

unforeseeable events.

22

blackbirdcakes.com.au


4

Keep

your workspace clean

- it will save you time in the

long run

I always found my workspace reflected my

mental state - if I was flustered and disorganised,

stuff would be everywhere… so I tried a little

experiment. I kept my workspace clean and

tidy, no matter what was on my mind. I did my

dishes as I finished with them, or stacked them

neatly to do while I was waiting for a process

to conclude. And with an organised kitchen,

follows an organised mind.

What you need to do:

Wipe, wash, pop things away and keep an

ordered space while you work - you’ll feel like

a real-life pastry chef while you do!

5

It’s

most likely that only you

will see the mistakes - be kind

to yourself

I am going to hazard a guess here and say that

you would really like your cake to be perfect!

You’ve seen the pictures in this magazine and

on Pinterest, and would really like your cake to

be as perfect as those, or it just won’t be good

enough. My advice - don’t aim for perfection,

aim for a good job. If you think things are

going pear-shaped quickly, step away from the

cake, change focus and give yourself a breather.

I often take a photo of the cake and look at the

photo - it gives me a different perspective. A

second pair of eyes is also another perspective.

Ask for an opinion from a loved one, either in

person or text them that photo. You will often

find what you are obsessing over doesn’t even

register on their radar.

What you need to do:

Step away from the cake, take a breather, take

a photo, and ask a loved one for their opinion.

blackbirdcakes.com.au

23


24 blackbirdcakes.com.au


RECIPES

blackbirdcakes.com.au

25


Cake Release Goop

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

100 gms

100 gms

100 gms

Vegetable Oil

Plain Flour

Soft Shortening/Margarine

Electric Mixer

Bowl

Spatula

Tools/

Equipment:

Method:

Place all of the ingredients into your mixer

bowl, and mix on low speed until combined

and smooth. Store in an airtight container in

the pantry or fridge.

Paint your cake tins liberally with the Cake

Release Goop instead of lining your tins with

baking paper, or using the butter and flour

method. It’s a game changer!

MAKE AHEAD

STORE 1 MONTH IN PANTRY

BLACKBIRD TIP:

As an alternative to Goop, to prepare your cake

tin, coat the inside of the tin with a knob of

butter. Make sure every square millimetre is

covered evenly.

Sprinkle in some plain flour and shake the tin

so that all of the butter is coated with the flour.

Make sure you don’t touch the butter/flour

coating - at all! Your cake will stick to the tin if

you do!

26 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Simple Sugar Syrup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

150 gms

150 gms

Sugar

Water

Scales

Saucepan

Metal Spoon

Tools/

Equipment:

Method:

Place the ingredients into a saucepan, place on

medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar has

dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil for three

minutes. Cool and store in a jar in the fridge.

MAKE AHEAD

STORE 1 MONTH IN FRIDGE

blackbirdcakes.com.au

27


Chocolate Mud Cake

Prep Time: 45-60 minutes

Cook Time: 120+ minutes

Ingredients:

275 gm

200 gm

¾ teas

275 gm

500 gm

1 teas

5

65 gm

150 gm

165 gm

165 gm

45 gm

Butter

Water

Instant Coffee

Chocolate

Sugar

Vanilla Bean Paste

Eggs

Vegetable Oil

Sour Cream

Self-Raising Flour

Plain Flour

Dutch Cocoa Powder

Tools/

Equipment:

MAKE AHEAD

Scales

Large bowl, medium bowl and small bowl

Saucepan

Knife

Whisk

Spatula

Tea towel

Cooling rack

Dolly Varden cake tin

FREEZE 3 MONTHS

28 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Method:

1. In a saucepan, add your butter, water and

instant coffee. Heat until butter is melted

and it is just below boiling point.

2. While your butter mixture is heating, place

your chocolate, sugar and vanilla in a large

bowl.

3. Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate,

sugar and vanilla. Give it a quick stir until

the sugar is coated in liquid, and let sit for

5 minutes.

4. Combine your self-raising flour, plain flour

and cocoa in a small bowl. You can sift this

or whisk to remove any lumps.

5. Now that your chocolate mixture has had a

chance to soften, mix well with a whisk to

combine all ingredients. Make sure you have

a glossy and smooth chocolate mixture once

you finish mixing, and that all the chocolate

and sugar is dissolved.

6. In another bowl, combine your eggs, sour

cream and vegetable oil. Whisk lightly to

combine.

7. Allow your chocolate mixture to cool to

room temperature. This can take up to

half an hour depending on your kitchen

conditions. You can speed this process by

stirring regularly or popping the bowl on an

ice pack.

8. While your chocolate is cooling, it’s a great

time to prepare your cake tin and make your

filling (ganache or buttercream - see sugar

syrup and recipes for instructions).

9. Once your chocolate is almost at room

temperature, turn your oven on (160°C)

and goop your cake tin. Nestle the Dolly

Varden tin into a smaller tin lined with

scrunched up tin-foil.

10. Mix the egg mixture into the chocolate

mixture until combined. Add the flours

and cocoa in two batches and mix until

combined, making sure there are no lumps.

Don’t overmix here or you will add too

much air to the mixture.

11. Pop your cake batter into the tin, filling

to about 4cm below the top of the tin

(pretty much most of the batter!). Tap the

bottom of the tin on the bench to settle the

mixture. Then into the oven it goes!

12. Bake for around 2 hours or until a skewer

inserted into the centre of the cake comes

out clean. Allow to cool in the tin and turn

out onto a cooling rack when cool.

BLACKBIRD TIP:

To stop your Dolly Varden tin from toppling in

the oven and to assist with even cooking, scrunch

up some tin foil into a donut shape and place into

the base of a 6”/15cm cake tin. Nestle in the

gooped Dolly Varden tin, fill with your cake

mixture and then pop in the oven.

If the cake is domed when it comes out of the

oven, grab a clean tea towel, place it over the cake

and gently press to level the cake.

blackbirdcakes.com.au

29


Whipped Cream Cake

Prep Time: 0.5 hour

Cook Time: 90+ minutes

Ingredients:

360 gms

400 gms

Pinch

600 ml

1.5 Tsp

4

Self Raising Flour

Caster Sugar

Salt

Thickened Cream

Vanilla Bean Paste

Eggs

Method:

BLACKBIRD TIP:

When using cake goop, turn the cake out of

the tin while the cake is just warm, and then

nestle back in the tin until it cools. This will

make turning out the cake when it is cool

much easier.

1. Coat your Dolly Varden tin well with Cake

Release Goop (or use the butter and flour

technique). Preheat your oven to 170 C.

2. Combine the flour, salt and half of the

sugar in a bowl and whisk to mix well and

remove the lumps.

3. Beat cream with an electric mixer or whisk

until it thickens and holds a medium peak.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until

combined. Then beat in the remaining sugar.

4. Add the flour mix into the cream mix

in three batches, mixing well after each

addition. Finish with a smooth batter, being

careful not to overbeat.

5. Pour the batter into your prepared Dolly

Varden tin, and bake for 50 minutes, or

until a skewer inserted into the centre of the

cake comes out clean.

6. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes,

and then gently turn the cake onto its side

so that the cake loosens in the tin. Turn

upright and allow the cake to cool fully in

the tin before turning out on a wire rack.

30 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Chocolate Or White Ganache

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

*

750 gms

375 gms

OR

*

Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate

Cream

White Ganache

750 gms White Chocolate

250 gms Cream

Tools/

Equipment:

Scales

Medium heatproof bowl

Saucepan

Knife

Chopping board

Whisk/Electric hand beater

Spatula

BLACKBIRD TIP:

MAKE AHEAD

If you have overheated your ganache

and it has split, you can

• Add cold ganache into your bowl

to attempt to bring it back together

• Whisk furiously, but don’t overbeat it

- yes I know! It’s a fine line…

• Start again

STORE 1 MONTH IN FRIDGE

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31


Method:

1. If your chocolate is larger than a regular

chocolate chip, chop your chocolate into

chip size pieces. Place in a heatproof bowl

2. Heat your cream in a saucepan until it is

just about to boil

3. Pour hot cream over chocolate and agitate

so that the chocolate is covered by the

cream. Let sit for a couple of minutes.

4. Stir your ganache mixture so that the

chocolate melts.

Any lumps can be whisked away using your

electric hand beater. For cake decorating,

we like to add a bit of air into the ganache,

so beat with your mixer for a couple of

minutes or until the ganache thickens and

lightens slightly.

5. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Microwave in short bursts to soften when

you are ready to use your ganache.

32 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Easy Meringue Buttercream

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

120 gms

500 gms

500 gms

1 teas

Pasteurised* Egg Whites

Icing Sugar Mixture

Butter, softened

Vanilla Bean Paste

Scales

Stand Mixer

Spatula

Tools/

Equipment:

Method:

1. Weigh your egg whites into your mixing

bowl and add the icing sugar. Add the

paddle to your stand mixer.

2. Mix on low until combined, then ramp up

your mixer to medium-high and beat for

5 minutes.

3. Turn the mixer down to medium-low to start

adding your butter. Your butter should be

squishable - soft enough to press between

your thumb and finger. Add butter, 1-2

tablespoons at a time and beat well after each

addition. The butter should be completely

combined before adding more.

4. Once all the butter is added, add your

vanilla and scrape the sides of the bowl with

your spatula.

5. Beat buttercream on medium speed for

about 10 minutes. Watch it transform to

a light and fluffy frosting before your eyes!

6. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge

for two weeks or store for two months in the

freezer. To use, defrost/take the buttercream

out of the fridge for a few hours, pop it back

in the mixer, and beat on medium speed

for 5 minutes to bring back the light and

delicious texture.

MAKE AHEAD

BLACKBIRD TIP:

* Egg Whites MUST be pasteurised.

Do NOT use raw egg whites! You can buy

a carton of pasteurised egg whites in the

supermarket.

FREEZE

2 MONTHS

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33


Shopping/Equipment/

Ingredient Checklist

Pantry Staples:

Self Raising Flour

Plain Flour

Caster Sugar

Chocolate

White Chocolate

Instant Coffee

Vanilla Bean/Paste/Extract

Vegetable Oil

Cocoa Powder

Icing Sugar Mixture

Baking Powder

Salt

Wooden Skewer

Spaghetti

Fridge Staples

Cream

Butter

Eggs

Sour Cream

Pasteurised Egg Whites

Shortening/Margarine

Basic

Equipment

Dolly Varden Cake Tin

Stand Mixer

Scales

Saucepan

Metal Spoon

Measuring Spoons

Pastry Brush

Whisk &/or Electric

Beater

Small, Medium &

Large Bowls

Small & Medium Knives

Chopping Board

Silicone Spatula

Crank-Handled Spatula

Cake/Bread/Serrated Knife

Cooling Rack

Tea Towels

Rolling Pin

Cake Sharpie

Fondant Smoother

Small Scissors

Clean Paintbrush

Specialty

Equipment

Fondant

CMC/Tylose

Dresden Tool

Polystyrene Ball

White Opaque

Food Colouring

Leaf Cutters

Star Cutter

5 Petal Flower Cutter

Balling Tool

Fondant Mat

Gold Lustre Dust

Decorating Alcohol

34 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Terminology

Plain Flour

Self Raising Flour

Icing Sugar

Caster Sugar

Bi Carb Soda

Baking Sheet

Cake Tin

Tea Towel

Extract

Cling Film

Vanilla Bean

Margarine

Cornflour

Cake Flour

All Purpose Flour;

Flour

Self Rising Flour

Powdered Sugar

Superfine Sugar

Bicarbonate of Soda;

Baking Soda

Baking Tray

Cake Pan; Baking Pan

Dish Towel

Essence

Plastic Wrap

Vanilla Pod

Shortening

Cornstarch

Soft Flour

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35


Conversions

Temperatures

140℃ 275℉

160℃ 325℉

180℃ 350℉

200℃ 400℉

220℃ 425℉

Flour Measurements

¼ cup flour

35 gms

½ cup flour

70 gms

¾ cup flour

105 gms

1 cup flour 140 gms

Millilitres/Spoon/Cups

5 ml 1 teaspoon

10 ml 2 teaspoons

15 ml 1 tablespoon ½ fluid ounce

30 ml 2 tablespoons 1 fluid ounce

60ml 4 tablespoons ¼ cup 2 fluid ounces

83 ml 5 tablespoons ⅓ cup

125 ml 8 tablespoons ½ cup 4 fluid ounces

165 ml 11 tablespoons ⅔ cup

180 ml 12 tablespoons ¾ cup 6 fluid ounces

250 ml 16 tablespoons 1 cup 8 fluid ounces

375 ml 12 fluid ounces 1.5 cups

500 ml 16 fluid ounces 2 cups

1 litre 1 quart 4 cups

Butter Measurements

115 gms 4 ounces 1 stick ½ cup

173 bms 6 ounces 1.5 sticks ¾ cup

230 gms 8 ounces 2 sticks 1 cup

Sugar Measurements

¼ cup sugar 75 gms

½ cup sugar 100 gms

¾ cup sugar 150 gms

1 cup sugar 200 gms

36 blackbirdcakes.com.au



While it may

seem daunting

at first,

there is plenty

of support for

you on your

cake making

journey.

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38 blackbirdcakes.com.au


SKILLS

blackbirdcakes.com.au

39


▶ Video 1

How To Fill & Frost

Your Dolly Varden Cake

https://youtu.be/DRwT5qe714s

Tools/

Equipment:

Crank handled spatula

Cake sharpie

Cake board/plate/stand

Small knife

Cake/bread knife

Cake marker or ruler

Method:

Step One - Cut your Cake:

Trim your cake so that it is flat. Use the edge

of your tin as a guide. Turn the cake out of

the tin.

Make a cutting guide by marking two lines

around the entire cake, 5cm (2”) and 10cm

(4”) from the bottom, using a ruler and a

small knife to score the cake. If you have a

cake marker, use that to score the cake lightly.

40 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Score one side of the cake with a small knife,

with three vertical lines from the top of the

cake to the base, approximately 1cm (0.5”

apart). This will guide you when putting your

cake back together once it is filled.

Cut the cake into three layers. Place the edge

of your knife into the cake along the scored

line, so that the blade is just inside the cake.

Turn the cake and run the knife along the

score line. Repeat until you have cut all the

way around and through the cake.

Step Two - Fill your Cake:

Brush the cake with sugar syrup using a

pastry brush. Place a dollop of your filling

of choice (I use ganache) onto a cake board,

cake plate or cake stand and place the widest

(bottom) layer of cake on the filling. Press

down to secure.

Add a large dollop of filling and spread over

the bottom layer evenly.

Place the middle layer, lining up the three

vertical scored lines. Cover this layer with

filling and smooth. Place the top layer of

cake, lining up the vertical score lines with

the other two layers.

BLACKBIRD TIP:

Let your cake cool completely

before cutting

Step Three - Smooth your Cake:

Smooth any filling exuding from the layers

onto the cake with your cake sharpie. Add

more filling to coat your cake evening.

Smooth the cake with the sharpie.

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41


▶ Video 2

How to Cover Your Dolly

Varden Cake with Fondant

https://youtu.be/7NDtjQv-ogg

Tools/

Equipment:

Sharpies/Fondant smoother

Small sharp knife

Rolling pin

Pastry brush

Small bowl

Method:

Step One - Prepare your fondant:

Mix your colours and roll 800gms of the

base colour fondant into a 40cm circle

around 4-5mm thick.

Step Two - Cover the Cake:

Brush your cake lightly with water using

a pastry brush to moisten it.

Cover the cake with fondant by draping the

fondant over the cake, from the back to

the front.

42 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Smooth the front side and back side of the

cake, gathering excess fondant to each side

(like a wing).

Press the fondant onto your work board

pushing towards the base of the cake - you

will notice a crease form at the base of your

cake. This gives you a line on which to cut

your excess fondant off later.

Smooth the fondant onto the cake at the

sides of each wing, then press the edges of

each wing together, at the side closest to the

cake.

Cut the wings off approximately 5mm away

from the cake.

Once cut, make sure your wing edges are

touching and no cake is showing through.

Trim the wings again, close to the cake and

smooth the joins with your sharpie/fondant

smoother.

Trim off excess fondant from around the

base of the cake by cutting along the crease

at the base of the cake. Roll leftover fondant

and store in a ziplock bag.

BLACKBIRD TIP:

You need to work quickly when using

fondant. Keep any fondant you are not

using either in a ziplock bag, or covered

with cling wrap. When fondant dries out, it

is difficult to handle.

Step Three - Smooth your Cake:

Using your sharpie or fondant smoother,

gently smooth your fondant, focusing on

any lumps and bumps.

Make sure your wing joins are nice and

smooth and the base of the cake has no creases

or lumps.

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43


▶ Video 3

How To Work With Fondant

Watch Shaz demonstrate

how to knead your fondant,

mix your fondant together

to get the right shade, and

how to roll fondant like a

professional. Step by step

instructions will guide you

along your journey to a

superstar cake decorator.

https://youtu.be/QXS09IstgUs

▶ Video 4

How To Make Fondant Shapes

The secret to making fantastic

fondant creations boils down

to just three basic shapes.

Watch Shaz show you how to

create the legs and arms, ears,

hair, noses and snouts from

just a fondant ball, teardrop

and sausage. It’s really that

simple.

https://youtu.be/Wl1eqQ6HOPE

44 blackbirdcakes.com.au


How To Make Cutesy Eyes

Method:

Roll two pea sized pieces of black fondant

into balls and press flat.

Roll small spots of white fondant and

press them into the upper corners of the

eyes, to make little glints.

Roll out four tiny tapered sausages, for the

eyelashes.

How To Make A Fondant Bow

Method:

Roll two rectangles of

fondant,approximately 3mm thick,

measuring 18cm x 5cm (7” x 2”) and

6.5cm x 5cm (2.5” x 2”). Flip your fondant

over so that the right side is facing down.

Gather each of the short ends of the

larger rectangle into about 3 pleats and

then fold the ends towards the middle of

the rectangle. Gather the centre of the

rectangle in slightly to match the ends.

Gather the short ends of the smaller

rectangle into 2 or 3 pleats for the

centrepiece.

Wrap the centrepiece over the middle of

the bow, with the pleated ends wrapping

around to the back.

Stick together with a drop of water if

required.

Place the bow on it’s side, adjusting the

bow so that it looks puffy and sits well.

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46 blackbirdcakes.com.au


PROJECTS

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48 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird

Beanie Cake

I love the idea that you can make your

favourite sports fan a beanie cake in their

team’s colours… I made this cake for a Dr.

Who fan, being inspired by the colours of the

Doctor’s scarf. You could even just make it in

their favourite colours to celebrate a Winter

birthday, trip to the snow, or for no reason at all!

This cake is a little different to the other

projects in the magazine. Instead of covering

the entire cake first and then decorating, we

cover the cake in fondant strips, one at a

time, from the bottom up.

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49


Blackbird Beanie Cake

Tools/

Equipment:

Rolling pin

Knife

Small scissors

Cake Sharpie or Fondant smoother

Blackbird Kit contains:

• Dresden tool

• Polystyrene ball

• Skewer

• Fondant (approx 1.2kg total)

Video 3

Video 4

WATCH:

https://youtu.be/QXS09IstgUs

https://youtu.be/Wl1eqQ6HOPE

Method:

Step One: Prepare your fondant

Decide on your colours, then mix and knead

your fondant for your desired colour palette.

▶ Watch video 3

Step Two: Beanie Band

Make the band by rolling 450gms of fondant

into a 60cm x 7cm rectangle that is about

10mm thick. Wrap band around the base of the

cake, cutting the short end of the fondant so

that it overlaps by a couple of millimetres. Press

the overlapped fondant together onto the cake

to seal. Rub join with your sharpie or fondant

smoother to smooth the join. Trim the height

of the band to 6.5cm high.

Step Three: Cover the cake

Roll the rest of your fondant into rectangles

around 3-5mm thick, approximately 55cm

long and however wide you would like your

strips to be. If you are emulating your favourite

teams colours, cut your fondant into widths

to represent their jerseys. Wrap each layer of

fondant around the cake,above the last layer,

sealing each join as you go. Make sure you mark

and trim the top edge of each layer before you

add the next, so that your stripes are nice and

straight. Use a ruler or a cake marker to make

your trimming line.

50 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird Beanie Cake

Once you are at the top of the cake cut your

last colour fondant into a circle the same size

as exposed cake. Gently press the fondant to fit

the space and smooth the entire cake with your

sharpie, ensuring you don’t stretch the fondant

vertically.

Step Four: Make your marks

To make the ribbed knitting pattern in the beanie

band, use the edge of a steel ruler, a long, thin

knife or a Dresden tool to make vertical marks

approx 1cm apart. Mark the entire way around

the cake. Once you have made the vertical marks,

use the dresden tool (or the back of a small knife

if you don’t have one) to make five diagonal

marks in each column, alternating their direction.

Once you have made the vertical marks, use the

dresden tool (or the back of a small knife if you

don’t have one) to make five diagonal marks in

each column, alternating their direction.

Starting from the top of the cake, score the

fondant diagonally down and across the front

of the cake. Repeat the whole way round.

Once you have scored in one direction, score

the cake in the opposite direction to produce a

criss-cross pattern.

Step Five: Make your pom pom

If you are using a polystyrene ball for your pom

pom, brush it with water and then cover with a

5-8mm layer of fondant. Roll in your palms to

ensure it is smooth and evenly shaped.

If you don’t have a polystyrene ball, knead ½

teaspoon of CMC into 240 gms of fondant,

and roll into a ball. Let firm up for 10 minutes.

▶ Watch video 4

Snip your fondant ball with your small scissors

so that it looks textured. Be careful not to snip

too deep that you hit your polystyrene ball.

Place a skewer into the centre of your cake with

approximately 5 cm exposed at the top of the

cake. Carefully place your pom pom onto the

skewer to secure.

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52 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird

Christmas Tree

Cake

Why does it always seem like Christmas

is just around the corner? Can you

imagine the feeling of having your

Christmas dessert sorted from the outset,

and with something that everyone will

love…? This cake is a staple on our

Christmas table, and it always brings

cheers of delight. With our make ahead

options, you will have plenty of time to

create this magnificent centrepiece for

your Christmas table. Merry Christmas!

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53


Blackbird Christmas Tree Cake

Tools/

Equipment:

Rolling pin

Cake Sharpie or Fondant smoother

Blackbird Kit contains:

• Leaf Cutters

• Star Cutter

• Skewer

• Gold Lustre Dust

• Decorator’s Alcohol

• Clean Paintbrush

• Green, Yellow, White and Blue Fondant

(approx 1kg total)

• Assorted coloured fondant

(approx 10 grams x 5 colours) for baubles

WATCH:

Method:

Step One: Prepare your Fondant

Mix and knead your fondant for your desired

colour palette. I mixed the green fondant with

yellow, then I took a little of that resulting

colour and mixed in a tiny bit of red. I also

mixed some of the green with blue. If you want

to bring down the brightness of any of these

colours, just add some of your colour you would

like to lighten to white, bit by bit, until you end

up at your desired shade. Place your filled and

frosted cake on your cake display plate or stand.

▶ Watch Video 3

Step Two: Roll and Cut your Fondant

Roll out the assorted green fondant to 3mm

thickness. Cut assorted leaf shapes, using the

different leaf cutters with each of the different

coloured fondant. As you will need to cut quite

a few leaves, cover your leaves with cling film

while cutting so that they don’t dry out.

Video 3

Step Three: Place the Leaves

Place your frosted cake onto the serving plate or

cake stand you will be displaying the cake on.

Video 4

https://youtu.be/QXS09IstgUs

Starting from the bottom of the cake, place a

layer of leaves around the base of the cake, so

that some of the leaves are half on the cake and

half on the plate. Place at differing angles so

that the tree looks natural and dynamic.

https://youtu.be/Wl1eqQ6HOPE

54 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird Christmas Tree Cake

Continue up the tree in layers, covering the

cake as you go. Twist the leaves to give them a

bit of movement. Place the darker holly leaves

on the cake last, peeking out from under other

leaves in random places.

Step Four: Make Baubles

Roll pea sized balls in your coloured fondant

and attach to the cake with a tiny drop of water

if they are not tacky.

▶ Watch Video 4

Step Five: Make Star

Add ¼ teaspoon of CMC into a golf ball size

piece of yellow fondant and roll it to 15mm

thick. Using your star cutter, cut your star shape.

Insert the skewer 2/3rds of the way into the star

and let it firm up and dry.

Place a small amount of gold lustre dust into a

small dish, and add a few drops of decorating

alcohol and paint your star gold. Allow to dry

between coats.

Place the painted star into your cake, stand

back and admire your work.

BLACKBIRD TIP:

• Use the darkest green for your holly, and

place sporadically for a great Christmas tree

effect.

• Use the tiniest dab of water on the back of

your leaves to help them stick to the cake.

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56 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird

Unicorn Cake

Here’s the quintessential unicorn cake

– with a difference! This adorable creature

is sitting just waiting to be loved by your

special one. Cuteness overload with this

cake, and you can customise the colours of

the mane to personalise it to your delight …

mine would be a mix of greens, teal

and purple – oh, the fun you can have!

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57


Blackbird Unicorn Cake

Rolling pin

Knife

Cake Sharpie

Tools/

Equipment:

Blackbird Kit contains:

• Paint brush

• Gold lustre dust

• Decorator’s alcohol

• Skewer

• White Fondant - 1.6kg

• Coloured Fondant - 275gm yellow;

100 gms pink; Assorted colours for

main approx 40gms each

Method:

Step One: Cover the cake

Cover the cake in white fondant and place on

your cake plate or stand to decorate

▶ Watch Video 2 and 3

Step Two: Front Legs

Take 160gms of white fondant and roll into

a 11.5cm/4.5” sausage. Cut it in half on a

diagonal and smooth where you have cut. Take

70gms of yellow fondant and make two hooves.

Attach to the base of the legs with a tiny drop

of water if needed

▶ Watch Video 4

Video 2

WATCH:

Mix a small amount of gold lustre and

decorator’s alcohol in a small dish, and paint

the hooves gold. Allow to dry between coats,

until you have the look you are after.

Place legs on the front of the body so that the

hooves touch the cake plate. Use the tiniest

amount of water to attach to the body if they

do not stay put.

Video 3

https://youtu.be/7NDtjQv-ogg

https://youtu.be/QXS09IstgUs

Step Three: Back Legs

Take 430gms of white fondant and split in

half. Roll two large tear drop shapes with a flat

bottom, 10cm/4” long and around 6cm/2.5”

in diameter for the base. Flatten the thin end of

the teardrop.

Video 4

https://youtu.be/Wl1eqQ6HOPE

58 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird Unicorn Cake

Take 130gms of yellow fondant to make two

hooves. Attach to the end of the legs and paint

with a couple of coats of gold lustre dust,

drying completely between coats.

▶ Watch Video 4

Place the thin end of the legs at the side of the

cake, wrapping them around to the front. Use a

miniscule drop of water on the body to attach

the legs if they don’t stay in place.

Step Four: Snout

Using 60gms of pink fondant, make a snout

approximately 8cm/3” wide and attach to the

body (with a drop of water if needed), just

about the front legs.

▶ Watch Video 4

Step Five: Horn

Take 65gms of yellow fondant and roll into

a 35cm/14” sausage, tapered at both ends -

thicker in the middle. Fold in half and twist the

thin ends together. Roll on your workbench to

smooth and help fondant adhere to itself. Trim

the bottom of the horn on an angle so that it

will sit on the Unicorn’s head.

Using the skewer, pierce a hole into the cake

where you want the horn to go. Remove

from the cake. Place the skewer into the horn

approximately three quarters of the way.

Using the gold lustre and decorator’s alcohol,

paint the horn gold. Allow to dry between

coats, until you have the look you are after.

Place the horn into the hole and adjust until it

is in position.

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59


Blackbird Unicorn Cake

Step Six: Ears

Make two ears with 50gms of white fondant.

Make the ear inners in the same fashion with

7gms of pink fondant and attach with a drop

of water. Place ears to the side of the horn,

adjusting their shape to suit the personality of

your Unicorn.

▶ Watch Video 4

Step Seven: Eyes

Make your cutesy eyes - see page 45 for

instructions

Place the eyes at the top of the snout, making

sure that they are straight.

Step Eight: Mane & Tail

Roll long tapered sausage shapes in the assorted

coloured fondant. Flatten the thick end and

twist into a spiral.

▶ Watch Video 4

Place the flattened thick end onto the cake,

in front and behind the horn, layering them

on top of one another and curling the ends to

create a lustrous mane.

For the tail, roll 9-12 tapered sausage shapes of

different lengths and thicknesses. Join together

at the thick ends and twist. Curl the short ends.

Attach the tail with a drop of water if necessary.

BLACKBIRD TIP:

If the gold lustre happens to get on your white

fondant, take a clean paintbrush and some

fresh water, wet your brush, wipe away the gold

then dry your brush with paper towel. Repeat

until it is gone.

60 blackbirdcakes.com.au



It’s most

likely that

only you

will see

the mistakes

- be kind to

yourself

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62 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird

Elephant Cake

This sweetie is the perfect choice for a first

birthday, baby shower or for those who

never forget. Customise your elephant with

coloured ears and feet pads to suit your

party theme, or dye your vanilla cake or

ganache for a super fun gender reveal cake.

This cake presses all the cute buttons

at once.

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63


Blackbird Elephant Cake

Tools/

Equipment:

Rolling pin

Knife

Cake Sharpie or fondant smoother

1cm round piping nozzle

Dresden tool (optional)

Blackbird Kit contains:

• Paint brush

• CMC/Tylose

• White Fondant 1.5kgs

• Black Fondant 100gms

• Pink Fondant 50gms

WATCH:

Method:

Step One: Colour your Fondant

Knead together the black and white fondant to

make grey, adding the black bit by bit until you

reach the desired colour.

▶ Watch Video 3

Step Two: Cover your cake

Using 800gms of the grey fondant, cover your

cake. Knead together the remaining fondant

and cover in cling wrap. Place on your cake

plate or stand to decorate.

▶ Watch Video 2

Step Three: Front Legs

Using 250gms of grey fondant, roll a 15cm/6”

sausage with flat ends, then cut in half on a

diagonal

▶ Watch Video 4

Video 2

Using a round piping nozzle (about 1cm in

diameter), press 3 semi circles into the bottom

of the legs to resemble toe nails.

Video 3

Video 4

https://youtu.be/7NDtjQv-ogg

https://youtu.be/QXS09IstgUs

https://youtu.be/Wl1eqQ6HOPE

Place legs on the front of the body so that the

bottoms touch the cake plate. Use the tiniest

amount of water to attach to the body if they

do not stay put.

Step Four: Back Legs

Take 300gms of grey fondant and split in two.

Roll two large tear drop shapes with a flat

bottom, 15cm/6” long and around 6cms/2.5”

in diameter for the base. Flatten the thin ends

of the legs.

64 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird Elephant Cake

Make toe nails for the back legs in the same way

for the front, marking with the end of a 1cm

piping nozzle.

Take a small amount of pink fondant, roll to

about 2mm thick, and cut two circles about

5cm in diameter to place as the soles of the

feet. If you do not have a cutter that size, just

roll a small marble sized piece of pink fondant

into a ball, and then press flat. Attach the pink

fondant circles to the bottom of the back legs.

Place the thin flat part of the legs to the side of

the cake, wrapping them around to the front.

Use a miniscule drop of water on the body to

attach the legs if they don’t stay in place.

Step Five: Trunk

To make the trunk, take 190gms of grey fondant

and roll into a sausage shape. Flatten one end

that will attach to the cake, so that it is straight

along the on edge. Press so that the straight top

edge is thinner than the remaining trunk.

Make an impression into the bottom of the

trunk with your pinkie to make it appear

hollow.

Attach the flattened end of the trunk to the

body of the cake, just above the front legs,

using a tiny dab of water if the fondant is not

tacky. Make the trunk curve slightly upwards,

resting the end of the trunk on the back leg.

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65


Blackbird Elephant Cake

Mark crease lines into the top of the trunk with

a dresden tool or the back of a small knife, and

also inside the curve so that it appears nice and

chunky.

Step Six: Eyes

Make your cutesy eyes - see page 45 for

instructions

Step Eight: Bow

Make the bow in your chosen colour

- see page 45 for instructions.

Place the bow on top of the elephant’s head,

leaning against the top of the ear. Use a drop of

water to adhere if needed.

Place the eyes at the top of the trunk, making

sure that they are straight.

Step Seven: Ears

Take 300ms of grey fondant and split into two.

Shape the elephant ears.

▶ Watch Video 4

BLACKBIRD TIP:

If you want that extra cute factor for your

elephant, take a small amount of grey fondant

and make three teardrop shapes. Attach to the

top of the head for an adorable shock of hair.

To make the ear inners, take the remaining pink

fondant and split into two pieces. Shape as the

elephant ears, rolling them flat. Place at the

inside edge of the ears with a drop of water if

needed.

Attach the ears to the side of the head, using a

drop of water if you need. Curl the edge of the

ears towards the front of the cake.

66 blackbirdcakes.com.au



Blackbird

Cakes has

a fun,

friendly and

a little bit

cheeky

personality.

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67


68 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird

Panda Cake

Up your teddy bear cake to the next level

with this playful creature. Customise with

a red bow to surprise your loved one on

Valentines day or perfect as it is for birthday

celebrations. Cuddly and delicious, it will

be a hit with all the kids, young and young

at heart.

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69


Blackbird Panda Cake

Tools/

Equipment:

Rolling pin

Knife

Cake Sharpie or fondant smoother

Blackbird Kit contains:

• CMC/Tylose

• Paint brush

• White Fondant 850 gms

• Black Fondant 900 gms

Method:

Step One: Cover your cake

Cover the cake in white fondant and place on

your cake plate or stand to decorate

▶ Watch Video 2

Step Two: Black Body Band

To make the black body band, roll 250 gms of

black fondant, into a 22.5cm/9” circle, about

6mm/1/4” thick. Cut a 10cm/4” hole in the

middle of the circle.

Video 2

WATCH:

Place the circle over the cake, so that the centre

hole delineates the head from the body.

Rip a small amount of fondant from the

bottom edge of the band, so that it has a

raggedy edge.

Secure with a few dabs of water if the fondant

is not tacky.

Video 4

https://youtu.be/7NDtjQv-ogg

https://youtu.be/Wl1eqQ6HOPE

Step Three: Back Legs

Take 370gms of the black fondant and split into

two. Roll two large tear drop shapes with a flat

base, around 15cm/6” long and 6cms/2.5” in

diameter at the base. Flatten the thin ends of

the legs.

Shape the feet by holding the leg and pushing

the thicker part of the teardrop back onto your

hand to form the foot. The edge of your hand

will make the crease of the ankle.

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Blackbird Panda Cake

Roll two small marble sized pieces of black

fondant into a ball, and then press flat. Attach

the black fondant circles to the base of the back

legs. Make three smaller balls, flatten them and

place above the main circle to form a paw print.

Place the thin flat part of the legs to the side of

the cake, wrapping them around to the front.

Use a miniscule drop of water on the body to

attach the legs if they don’t stay in place.

Step Four: Front Paws

Using 160 gms of black fondant, roll a 15cm/6”

sausage and cut in half on a diagonal.

Smooth down both ends of the sausage and

round off the uncut end to resemble a paw.

Place the cut ends on the side of the body

and wrap around to the front. Use the tiniest

amount of water to attach to the body if they

do not stay put.

Place one paw higher than the other, or in the

position you deem the cutest.

Step Five: Snout

Take 30 gms of white fondant to make your

panda’s snout

▶ Watch Video 4

Place the snout just above the black body band,

using a drop of water to attach if needed.

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71


Blackbird Panda Cake

To make the nose, take approximately 15 gms

of black fondant and roll into a ball. Shape

it into a nose by flattening the top and back

of the ball, and making a v-shape at the base..

Attach with a tiny drop of water.

▶ Watch Video 4

Using the end of your paintbrush, make two

holes in the nose for nostrils.

To make the smile, roll two tiny sausage shapes,

and place on the snout under the nose.

Step Seven: Ears

Take 75 gms of black fondant and roll it into

two balls and ten shape into panda ears.

▶ Watch Video 4

Attach the ears to the side of the head, using a

drop of water if you need.

Step Eight: Tail

Roll a ball with your white fondant and place

as the tail.

Step Six: Eyes

To make the black eye patches, take 25 gms of

black fondant and split into two. Roll into balls

and flatten into an irregular shape. Place on the

face, butting up firmly against the snout, but

not touching the band.

Make two white patches to go on top of the

black eye patches, by rolling two marble sized

pieces of white fondant into balls and flattening

them. Place so that they are also butting up to

the snout.

BLACKBIRD TIP:

Paint the smile on the face with a slightly damp

paintbrush, and then place the fondant, so that

it adheres easily.

Make your cutesy eyes as per instructions on

page 45.

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“ What drives me

is that I have the

unwavering belief

that with the right

instruction, everyone

can make their own

version of

a Blackbird cake.

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73


74 blackbirdcakes.com.au


Blackbird

Cactus Cake

Want to gift a pot plant with a difference?

This project will put a smile on every plant

lover’s face. Not only can they enjoy their

new pot plant, they can eat it too! This sweet

cake is perfect for that house-warming gift

- with a difference, or for a special birthday

cake for your plant loving teen/twentysomething.

Just for fun, you could add some

green food dye to the vanilla cake mix or

your choice of filling!

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75


Blackbird Cactus Cake

WATCH:

Tools/

Equipment:

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

https://youtu.be/7NDtjQv-ogg

https://youtu.be/QXS09IstgUs

https://youtu.be/Wl1eqQ6HOPE

Rolling pin

Knife

Cake Sharpie or fondant smoother

Blackbird Kit contains:

• Paint brush

• CMC/Tylose

• Flower cutters

• Balling tool

• Fondant mat

• Green Fondant 500 gms

• Yellow Fondant 300 gms

• Orange Fondant 500 gms

• White Fondant 100 gms

• Black, Red, Brown

& Pink Fondant 50 gms each

• White Opaque Food Colouring

• Uncooked spaghetti - a couple of strands

BLACKBIRD TIP:

• Paint a smile on your cake with your

paintbrush and a tiny bit of water. Place

your smile onto the damp section of your

cake to help it stick.

Make additional smaller flowers and place

them on the end of the cactus arm to ramp

up the cute factor.

Method:

Step One: Colour your Fondant

Knead together the green and yellow fondant to

make a brighter green, adding some white if you

would like it lighter.

To make the terracotta colour, mix a small

amount of brown and red into the orange

fondant until you reach the colour you desire.

▶ Watch Video 3

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Blackbird Cactus Cake

Step Two: Cover your cake

Using 800gms of the green fondant, cover your

cake. Knead together the remaining fondant

and cover in cling wrap. Place on your cake

plate or stand to decorate.

▶ Watch Video 2

Step Three: Terracotta pot

Roll the terracotta fondant into a long strip,

approximately 8cm/3.25” wide x 60cm/24”

long around 5mm thick.

Trim the bottom (long) edge so that it is

straight. Cut one short edge straight.

If the terracotta fondant is not tacky, lightly

moisten the cake with a dab of water on a clean

paintbrush, but only where the terracotta strip

will go. Wrap fondant around the base of the

cake starting with the straight cut edge.

Where the fondant meets, overlap the fondant

and cut the overlapped edge so it is 2mm longer

than the straight edge. Smooth this join by

pressing lightly and rubbing the fondant with

your cake sharpie or fondant smoother.

Mark the terracotta fondant approximately

8cm/3.25” from the base of the cake and cut

along this line, removing excess fondant. Roll

excess fondant into a ball and knead together.

To make the lip of the pot, roll out a thick piece

of the terracotta fondant, roughly 6cm/2.5”

by 50cm/20”. Wrap it around the top of the

terracotta pot, joining as you did the base layer.

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77


Blackbird Cactus Cake

Mark the bottom of the terracotta pot lip

4cm/1.5” from the base of the cake, and cut

off the excess fondant in a straight line. The

top lip of the pot should now measure roughly

2.5cm/1” in height.

Step Four: Cactus stripes

Make some light green fondant by adding a peasized

piece of green fondant into about 40gms of

white fondant. Knead together to mix.

▶ Watch Video 3

Roll out the light green fondant into a long

rectangle about 2mm thick. Cut six long strips

around 3mm wide.

Run strips from the top of the cake, down

the sides of the cake, to meet the top of the

terracotta pot, cutting off the excess that

overlaps.

I chose to put on eight stripes - three on each

side, two at the back - leaving the front clear for

a face.

Step Five: Cactus arm

Using 75gms of the leftover green fondant,

add ¼ teaspoon of CMC/Tylose and knead

together. Roll a short sausage with one end

rounded. Cut the other end on a diagonal and

place the cut end onto the cactus at the top of

the pot.

▶ Watch Video 4

Step Six: Cactus face

Make cutesy eyes for your cactus, following the

instructions on page 45. Place the eyes about

halfway up the cake, and quite wide apart.

Roll out another pea-sized piece of black

fondant into a long, thin sausage, about

6cm/2.5” long. Place this piece underneath the

eyes, in the shape of a smile.

Roll out two pea-sized pieces of pink fondant,

pressing flat to create two flat circles. Place

them underneath the eyes for the cheeks.

Step Seven: Flower

Add a small amount of CMC/Tylose to the

remaining pink fondant and knead well. Roll

out to 2mm thick.

Cut three different flower sizes and smooth the

edges of the petals with your balling tool (on

the fondant mat) to give them a little flair.

With a tiny dab of water, stick the middle sized

flower into the centre of the large flower, and

then the smaller flower onto the medium flower.

Using a dab of water, attach the flower to the

cactus just above the eye.

Step Eight: Cactus prickles

Take a small amount of spaghetti and line them

up on a piece of paper towel. Using a clean

paintbrush, lightly paint the spaghetti with

opaque white food colour. Make sure all sides

are covered.

Break the spaghetti into small, uneven sizes.

Press them gently into the stripes of the cake,

placing them at even intervals.

78 blackbirdcakes.com.au


MAKE A

BLACKBIRD CAKE

COMING SOON!

“Santa Koala”

Instructions and all the ingredients you need to

make this cheeky Christmas cake

Available

31st October 2020

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