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 recipes and I will be continuing to add 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 🙂


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 🙂 ), 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 Daniel’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 by Hijacked by Twins.


  1. Hi
    Is you recipe dense enough to use for a tiered cake? In the past I have used Madeira. Are recipes, but I would like to try something else.
    Many thanks

    • I haven’t made this as a tiered cake, but I’ve had many pictures from people that have done two tiers successfully. Just make sure you add some dowels for support.

  2. Hi. I have seen your cakes and it has inspired me to attempt my daughters 4th birthday cake. Any time I have made a cake it always sinks in the middle so has put me off making cakes. I would like to make a number 4 shaped cake but would like to put jam in the middle. Should I tier the 4 with 2 4’s or slice it. Please help advise me on the best way and also on the sinking. Thank you in advance.

    • It would be good to try and get to the bottom of why the cake has sunk. Which recipe did you use? When you first opened the oven to check the cake, was it cooked or still raw in the middle?

      Personally I find baking two cakes and the layering them easier than trying to slice a cake so I would go with that approach. Are you planning on using a no. 4 shaped tin or are you going to bake a rectangular cake and the cut out the shape?

      • I was thinking of hiring a 4 shaped tin but wasn’t sure if it being tiered would make it look strange. I used a basic recipe self r flour 4 eggs sugar – I only had margarine so used that instead of butter. It was cooked when I opened the oven and I put on the over as I was measuring out the ingredients. I did a trial cake yesterday. It didn’t sink as much, but it didn’t raise very well either. I don’t know how to measure the square cake to cut and tier.

        • Try my vanilla cake recipe (it gets lots of great reviews) and it’s an all-in-one sponge so very easy to make. There’s also a calculator so you can find the ingredients for other sizes if tins. I don’t think layering would work for a shaped tin as they’re usually tapered, so it might look a bit uneven when you put the two layers together. If it were me I’d probably bake two rectangular cakes. Fill them and put them together. Chill them and the carve them *(they’ll be much easy to carve when chilled.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *