The Cake Gallery

I love making decorated celebration cakes for my family so I thought I’d create a place to share them with you all. For the most part I make them up as I go along, but for the odd occasion that I think I could explain how to recreate them, I’ve also created a few cake decorating tutorials and useful recipesย and I will be continuing to addย more in future.

My Latest Creation – Cars & Lorries for Joshua’s 4th Birthday

A week before Christmas we had a party for Joshua’s 4th Birthday. It was the first time either of the boys had wanted a “proper” party (with a hall and disco and lots of friends) and believe me trying to get it all booked just before Christmas wasn’t the easiest.

This new type of party presented me with a whole new cake challenge. Usually when I bake it’s a case of carefully balancing any bits onto the cake as the furthest they needed to travel was from the kitchen to the lounge, whereas this cake needed to survive a trip in the car. I decided to keep it really simple with most of the design on the side of the cake and chunky letters on top secured in place with cocktail sticks.

Josh requested a lorry cake and sat for quite a while pointing at pictures of cakes he liked on Google before spotting something similar to the one I’ve made here which we both agreed would be perfect. The cake underneath is my easy chocolate birthday cake (three layers), which is then covered in a layer of chocolate buttercream and fondant icing.

A child's transport birthday cake with cars, lorries, tractors, buses and even a cement mixer!

Construction Site for Daniel’s 6th Birthday

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Daniel’s 6th birthday and he requested a construction site cake. Not just any construction site cake though, it had to be based on the toy construction site in his school. When he asked for it I had absolutely no idea what it looked like, but fortunately I know the teachers in the school quite well (as I volunteer to read with some of the children once a week) so they didn’t look at me too strangely when I asked if I could see it and take a few pictures. I was a little shocked to discover that it had a 1m high crane, but fortunately I managed to convince him that this wasn’t essential ๐Ÿ™‚


As well as requesting something I’d never seen for the cake, the boys also wanted to help this year. We had great fun making the actual cake, we used my chocolate sponge cake which I designed to be really simple, perfect for getting children involved. I really had to battle my control-freak/perfectionist tendencies when it came to the decoration, I did most of it myself the night before and let them help out with the bushes and flowers. Daniel was brilliant being so careful and trying to make them perfect (so proud of that ๐Ÿ™‚ ), whereas Josh liked to squash them as much as possible – they were all added onto the finished cake and I have to admit that it felt even more special for having them involved, I might even let them do a bit more next year.

The Three Kings for Christmas 2015

three kings cake 4

Disney Cars for Joshua’s 3rd Birthday

This Car’s cake was for Joshua’s 3rd birthday, he’d had bit of a Disney Cars obsession so it seemed like the obvious choice for his cake.

cars cake 2

One thing I love about making cakes for the boys is the fact that Daniel likes to pop into the kitchen to critique the cake as I go (I used to try and keep the cake hidden away, but I’ve realised that it either means staying up ridiculously late or shutting myself away in the kitchen for hours when I am supposed to be looking after the boys – neither seemed like a great idea!).

His feedback this time included… “the tunnel doesn’t come out the other side” – something which I quickly fixed, and “it’s better than the cake you made for my birthday”. It turns out the reason for this is that it has a tunnel and his didn’t (clearly tunnels are a big deal in the world of a five year old).

cars cake 6

The back of the tunnel – well I couldn’t leave Daniel disappointed could I?

Octonauts for Daniels 5th Birthday

This Octonauts cake was for Danielโ€™s 5th birthday. I have to say I was really rather proud of this cake, sculpting Octonauts is tricky and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Josh (who was 2) wandered into the kitchen and recognised them.

A few old favourites

I’m sharing this post with CookBlogShare hosted byย Hijacked by Twins.


  1. Fiona Pembridge

    Hi Charlotte, they are fabulous!! I’m going to attempt the lightening Mcqueen cake for my son Finn’s 6th birthday, I’m working nights this week, finish Friday morning, plan to make the cake Friday pm for his Saturday birthday. please can you send me step by step instructions, I’ll be tired and my brain will be fried. Many thanks

    • Charlotte Oates

      Unfortunately I don’t have step-by-step instructions for the cake as I tend to make them up as I go along. Sorry.

  2. Wow!! What a talented lady you are, they are cakes definitely made with love :-).

  3. Hi Charlotte,

    Your birthday cakes looked amazing! I am planning to bake a cake for my daughter’s 7th bday for the first time. May I know If I can just double up the ingredients if I want to bake a square shape cake which is good for 20 to 22 people?

    • You can use my calculator to get the ingredients for pretty much any size tin you want. For 20-22 people I’d suggest using a 23cm square tin. If you’d prefer to use one deep tin rather than two sandwich tins then you’ll need to cook the cake for 45-50 minutes rather than the 30-35 minutes suggested in the recipe.

  4. Hi Charlotte, your cakes are absolutely amazing and you are extremely talented. I am going to be making and decorating 2 cakes for my twins 3rd birthday in a couple of weeks time. Their party is on a Sunday and I have the Friday before allocated to make and decorate the cakes. I will be using your vanilla recipe and covering with buttercream and fondant icing. If i decorate them on the Friday will they survive until Sunday? How do you recommend I store them until the party? Would they need to be refrigerated if I use buttercream? Sorry for lots of questions! I have never decorated cakes before!

    • They should be fine. I tend to make my cakes on a Thursday for a Saturday party and they’re still fine to eat for a few days afterwards. If you’ve got room in your fridge then it’s best to store them in there but my fridge is only small so I don’t have the room so I store mine on the side somewhere cool (i.e. not right in front to the radiator or next to the oven) and they’ve always been absolutely fine.

  5. Hi Charlotte
    I have been asked to make a “panda face ” cake for my grandson’s first birthday on Jan 19th. Any ideas?

  6. You are very talented!! I make all the birthday cakes at my house and it is almost a tradition now of how much of a wreck they will be. Literally. Last year I made a train for my son and it was called the train wreck. HAHAHA. He loved it though. I so wish I could bake like this sometimes.

    • Ha ha – that’s mean! It sounds like they appreciate them really though and I think that’s the most important thing (that and tasting yummy too of course!)

  7. Hi Charlotte
    I made your all in one vanilla for my sons birthday and my husband said it was the best birthday cake he’s tasted! I’m attemping to make the chocolate this week for my daughters party on saturday and I’m attemping to do some models on the top! Ive only ever iced and done flat decoration. How do you get the different parts of models to stick together and the models to stick to the icing on top of cake? Ive read about edible glue or do you just stick with water?
    Thanks x

  8. Hi Charlotte what did you use for the jam layer in the birthday cake and how and when did you put it on? I’m doing a trial run for my daughters 1st birthday cake today!
    Thanks xx

  9. Hannah | The Simple Things Blog

    Wow that looks fab, they all do! I have made a few birthday cakes in the last year, so I really appreciate the work that goes into them now, especially the modelling! You are very good

  10. Wow – your workmanship is amazing!

  11. Wow they are all amazing! I wish I was more artistic with icing! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

    • Thanks Kirsty. I enjoy making the cakes, I don’t think I’d bother if I didn’t because they take so much time to make.

  12. Ooh – I love Daniel’s 6th birthday cake – very impressed! And well done for letting the boys help – I wouldn’t be able to let my husband help, let alone the kids! I get very stressed decorating cakes – probably because I’m not very good at it – I think it very unlikely a kids’ birthday cake of mine will ever be featured on Easy Peasy Foodie!! Very disappointed there’s no crane though ๐Ÿ˜‰ Eb x

    • I don’t mind the boys helping but I wouldn’t let Jon anywhere near my cakes, he’s barely allowed to carry them across the room when we sing happy birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

      You should share your children’s cakes, even if just on FB, Twitter or Insta, I always love seeing other people’s creations.

      • Haha – that made me laugh!! I always have that dilemma with the cake – do I take the photos or carry the cake. Ideally I want to do both but that’s obviously not possible!! I usually take the photos but holding my breath!!

        Nooo…I would be too ashamed to share my kids’ cakes – actually I had to buy a cake for my little boy’s 6th birthday this year as he was worried a cake I made myself might be ‘too messy’!!! ๐Ÿ™ Actually in some ways I was relieved – they cause me a lot of stress! I think I’ll stick to savoury food – much more my thing!! Xx

  13. Wow Charlotte these are amazing you’ve inspired me! It’s my son’s birthday at the weekend and he really wants a cake with a lifeboat on it (well 2 actually – the big one and the little inflatable one!) and I can’t even begin to think where to start with that – any ideas? I did manage to persuade him last night that he might just like a large lifeguard cake instead i.e. the yellow t-shirt and red shorts with his name on the t-shirt although that seems a little dull to me! Thanks x

    • Charlotte Oates

      Hi Laura,

      I’m completely with you on the idea of encouraging my children towards a cake I think I can do, I do that all the time!

      If my boys asked me to make a lifeboat cake then I’d probably go for something like this (5th cake down). You could make the main part of the boat from 2 layers of sponge (it would need carving but it’s not to awkward a shape so should be OK – I always draw a template on paper first so I’ve got something to work to). Then either make the orange bit on top purely from fondant, or use some rice crispy treats (e.g. Kellogg’s rice crispy squares) to make the shape and then cover it in fondant (rice crispy treats are easier to shape for fiddly bits that cake). If you put some blue fondant covering the board you’re using then you can then put a small fondant inflatable lifeboat next to it in the “sea”.

      Alternatively, if he’s got any toy lifeboats you could focus on making the cake look like the sea (I usually colour my fondant a few different shades of blue, twist it together and then roll it out and it has a marbly effect, then add a few rocks made roughly the same way and a bit of brown sugar sand) and the pop the toys on top.

      • Great idea Charlotte I’m definitely going to give it a try – thanks so much I would not have thought of that on my own – wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. You are sooooo clever, is this a business of yours! Beautiful cakes x

    • Charlotte Oates

      No, they’re definitely a labour of love for my family. I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much if I made them day in day out. Plus there’s so much regulation around catering businesses and I think I’d have to completely change my kitchen to stay on the right side of all the health and safety rules.

  15. I know you say you are not a professional but your cakes are fabulous. I am just starting to get the bug again after about 20 years, I hope I can do them 1/21st good as yours.

    • Thank you Barbara, they take a lot of patience and love (and over time I’ve got better at hiding any dodgy bits behind a strategically placed fondant tree ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  16. Hi! I would love to know if this recipe will work well with a 3 tier fondant cake? Thanks!

    • Charlotte Oates

      I’ve not tried it. It it’s quite a soft cake so I’m not convinced it’ll hold that amount of weight. I think it would be OK for 2 tiers but I’d be nervous about trying 3.

  17. Hi I was going to attempt to make my sons 1st birthday cake … I was wondering if you just use the same amount of ingredients if I were to use a number one shape ? Also if I were to use the butter icing for the decoration but wanted it blue do I just add a bit of colouring in ? And how long before his birthday would the cake last ? Thanks X

    • Charlotte Oates

      Hi Ashley. The amount of ingredients you’ll need really depends on the size of 1 you’re making. If you can give me a bit more of an idea then I should be able to help.

      Yes, you can simply add blue colouring to the butter icing. I’d suggest putting a thin layer, leaving it to chill for a couple of hours and then adding another layer, this will help to make it smooth and help prevent you getting crumbs in your icing. Add a little food colouring at a time as it’s very easy to make the colour too dark.

      I usually make my cakes a couple of days before and then eat them up to 3-4 days later. You can freeze the cake (uniced) if you want to if you wrap it tightly in cling film.

      I hope that helps.

  18. Hi I’m just about to make a cake for my sons 3rd birthday and we are thinking of doing a octonauts cake I just saw yours and am wondering what icing your using

    • Charlotte Oates

      Hi Kate, I just used fondant for everything. However, it’s really too soft for the figures and I found their little legs collapsed a little as they were drying so I’d suggest using modelling paste for them to make them sturdier.

  19. Hi Charlotte, would you recommend modelling paste for doing letters i.e name on cake or just ordinary fondant, ideally I would like the letters to stand on the cake.

    • Hi Ally, I tend to use fondant but keep them laid flat on the cake. If you want them to stand up then you’ll need modelling paste as fondant is too soft.

  20. Wow! These are truely inspirational! Any idea how to make a radio cake? I need one for my hubby’s 40th next week ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks Vicki. I really just make them up as I go along, but if I’m stuck for ideas I’ll have a good search through google images and Pinterest to see what others have come up with.

  21. Love your Octonauts cake – seriously impressive!! My little boy would love this cake as he is really into Octonauts at the moment. x

  22. Wow, Charlotte! They’re amazing! They must have taken an age to decorate so beautifully.
    Angela x

    • Charlotte Oates

      Thanks Angela. Some took longer than others – the Chuggington cake took 2 days, a labour of love for my little boy.

  23. Wow Charlotte, they are fabulous. I bet Josh was amazed with the Chugginton one. I did a Lego Movie one at the weekend but it was nowhere near as good as the cakes here.

  24. Wow. You’ve made some great cakes!

  25. Can I have a Fairy Castle for my 60th please?

    • Charlotte Oates

      No. You didn’t make one for me so I’m not making one for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Hi love the sound of this recipe! Want to trial it for a 30th birthday but I am worried it will spoil. Any ideas how I can keep the cake from going stale I wanted to make it thursday but will it keep till Saturday?
        Thanks Ashleigh x

        • Hi Ashleigh,

          I usually make cakes for a Saturday birthday on a Thursday then I’ve got time for it to cool and be decorated. Not only is it still fresh on the Saturday, it’s still good for a few days afterwards. To ensure it doesn’t go dry simply store in in an airtight container (or wrap it in cling film if you don’t have a container the right size).

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