A very dear friend at work celebrated a special birthday today, and we volunteered to make a cake for the afternoon tea party. This eventually led to someone saying: ‘Could you make a ukulele cake?’ because Jackie is a super uke player! As we never like to turn down a challenge, we said yes!
It was quite a challenge, so this was a definite team effort! We knew that it would have to feed quite a few people, but that I’d be bringing it into work on my own (because Thursday is one of my craft days) so it needed to be transportable too. By making it over two cake boards we could place them in position once it was at work, and I could get them there in a taxi!
We decided to make a lemon sponge for the cake, because it’s a tried-and-tested recipe that always goes down well and I also had a jar of homemade lemon curd to go with it! Click here for our cake recipe – we made two 12 inch square cakes using 5 eggs and 10oz/280g of butter, sugar and flour. Once baked and cooled, we cut around a ukulele template that we had printed out to fit the size of the tin.
Then we spread buttercream and lemon curd on the bottom layer, before placing on the top layer – we turned the top layer upside down so that the top is flat. We placed the cake on a 14 inch cake board, covered in white royal icing.
The next step was to cover the whole thing in icing!
To make the neck of the ukulele, we made a large gingerbread biscuit – we cut around a pre-printed template to get the right shape. We did a little test run with the sound hole to check how much the biscuits would spread when cooking, but they didn’t spread too much which was very helpful! We also made the bridge out of gingerbread, but cut a rectangle after baking. Click here for the recipe!
We used white and brown water icing for the frets and the strings, and I also iced ‘Kala’ on the top, which is the make of ukulele that Jackie has. The last step was to cut out the words ‘Happy Birthday Ukulele Lady’ out of the coloured icing. In order to support the gingerbread neck, Tom made a white card support that looked a bit like a Toblerone – but it worked amazingly well! You can’t see that on the photo above because that was placed underneath once I had taken it into work. The neck sat on the cake a little and because the card was white it blended in really well with the board – you can see it on the next photo!
I was so worried about actually getting the cake to work in one piece, but it made it ok! Only one slight blip was on the bridge, but it still looked fine so I was so relieved!
Tom was teaching when we had our little get together this afternoon, so I took lots of photos!
Here’s one of the ukulele lady herself! Happy Birthday, Jackie! 🙂