There's a new series of Extreme Cake Makers on TV at the moment and I really enjoy seeing all the creative designs that the cakers come up with. There are so many talented cake decorators around the country and I am constantly surprised by new cake designs. Cakes seem to be getting bigger, bolder and wackier these days but it occurred to me recently that a cake doesn't need to be big to be extreme, as so many of them on the show seem to be. In my humble opinion, an extreme cake can be quite small but it should be technically challenging, something that requires skill and artistry to complete and something that is not your every day party cake.
In the years that I have been making cakes I like to think that I have made a few extreme cakes myself. Although usually on a smaller scale to the ones on the show, there have certainly been some challenges to overcome. I have been looking back at a some of them and here are a few of my favourites:
This surfing cake with its curling wave. The challenge with this one was how to create the curl so that it would sit suspended over the cake board and not collapse into a heap!
This rainbow layer cake with multicoloured flashing lights. I had to figure out how to create an arch in the middle that would be strong enough to support the layers of cake on top and how to hide the LED lights inside without the wires trailing everywhere. You can see how I did it in this post.
This hanging cradle cake that took quite a lot of planning (and my husband with his DIY tools 😀) to prepare the base board and to work out how to get it to hang so that it wasn't lopsided.
Cinderella's pumpkin carriage, which was not only spherical (in itself, not an easy shape to work with) but also needed to be raised up high enough for the wheels to be attached.
And whilst we are on the subject of Spherical cakes, this ten pin bowling ball and skittle which gave me two challenging shapes to cover.
Cakes that stand on a point like this bunch of red roses for Valentine's Day or this carrot which, incidentally, had carrot cake on the inside too. Their conical shape makes them top heavy and prone to toppling over. Also not an easy shape to cover in fondant as the top requires more than the bottom.
Gravity defying cakes can also pose problems resulting in cake collapse if balance and structure are not carefully worked out.
Cakes that require the skills of an architect are always challenging and can throw up all sorts of problems during the construction process.
This six tier wedding cake for the sheer size of it with its extra deep tiers and the number of flowers cascading down on the front and back.
And last, but definitely not least, one of my all time favourites - this hanging basket cake. I love this cake for so many reasons but mostly because it combines two of my favourite things - cake and flowers 😍😍 It was also my very first hanging cake.
I am sure there are some that I have not included, after all, every cake comes with its own particular set of construction requirements and challenges. One thing I like about the Extreme Cake Makers programme is that it shows that even those bakers that make it onto TV sometimes have the same struggles as everyone else when things won't go according to plan and that working into the small hours seems to be quite common in the cake world, no matter how much we try to avoid it.
If you would like to challenge me and would like a free, no obligation quote for your own extreme cake, then please feel free to contact me here