Birthday Celebrations



I recently celebrated my 30th birthday at the Company’s Garden Restaurant in the beautiful Cape Town, city centre. I haven’t written too many posts directly referring to restaurants, but I had such an incredible experience there and love the food and decor so much, that it’s definitely worth a mention. My sister-in-law took these gorgeous pics of the party-happenings and I made my birthday cake (something that happens most years), afraid this is the lot of a pastry chef slash undercover cake critic…

I thought I’d share some tips for this simple rosette cake. This was my first attempt, but surprisingly easy and very big on wow-factor. Firstly, I made a simple butter cream icing, the same recipe I’ve mentioned in another post on my daughter’s birthday ruffle cake. I like to use quite a lot of butter, as this tones down the sugar, but does unfortunately make it a little more pricey to make. It is so worth it though, trust me.

I used a smaller rosette nozzle for the icing, but for bigger rosettes, simple use a bigger nozzle and pipe them bigger. I was trying to go for a ombre look, but realised that my colours weren’t contrasting enough, so be sure to mix your colours slowly and make sure that there is a definite difference between your colours, otherwise they could look too similar once piped (I simply used cocoa to colour my icing sugar).

Start by filling your cake. This was such a moist delicious cake (I’ll have to share the recipe is another post) that I simply used a basic ganache on the inside (same quantities dark chocolate to cream) as I knew the buttercream would be more sweet. Once the cake is filled and stacked, using a small palette knife, I spread my first butter cream crumb coat with the medium brown coloured icing and placed the whole cake in the fridge to set for ten minutes.

Remove the cake from the fridge and now spread another crumb coat, making sure you have a lovely smooth surface to start your rosettes on. Now you are ready to start your rosettes. You want the surface to be wet, so don’t wait too long as the icing could start to dry.


So, using your piping nozzle and a clean piping bag start with the darkest colour and pipe the first rosette (you might want to practice on wax paper to start). Starting in the middle of the rosette, pull your piping bag up and away and around, forming an “e-shape”. Continue all the way around the cake, but leave some space on the bottom to be able to lift your cake.

Now take your medium colour and fill a clean piping bag. Try to place your rosettes in-between the bottom rosettes and finally do the same with your lightest colour. I finished off the cake with a very basic border on the edges, but there are various options depending on how adventurous you are feeling. You can obviously also use the lightest colour to make rosettes onto of the cake too. I simply garnished with fresh berries as I love this ‘fresh’ look.

I hope this helps you somewhat. But what I learnt was to simply give it a try and you’ll only get better at the technique with every cake. So, here’s to lots of cake icing… and eating!




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