Becoming ‘cake boss’: my self-taught journey in cake decorating!

Baking is my stress relief and I have taken up more adventurous forms of cake decorating over the past 2 years while studying for my specialist exams. I am no where near as advanced as many of the other foodies you find on social media, but this is just one of those hobbies that I do because I love it rather than trying to be the best at it.

Perhaps my cakes below can be of some inspiration next time you’d like to try something a little different. If the photos below show anything, it’s that practice clearly makes perfect. While I still have a long way to go, I’m still pretty stoked with how far I’ve come already!

My first proper cake decorating effort as a thank you to my paediatric emergency team: Dark chocolate and caramel mud cake with decorations that were so heavy the cake almost fell apart under the weight!

The bow was to hide the fact the back of the cake was slowly falling apart under the weight. I learnt that using metal skewers to help stack the heaviest decorations at the back of the cake is not the best idea!!

A 30th birthday cake for one of my favourite work friends: vanilla baked cheesecake with triple chocolate brownie, vanilla frosting and a tonne of decorations!

This cake was amazing in taste, but having a dense brownie in the middle of two softer cheesecakes certainly made it very messy to cut. She loved it though, so that’s all that really matters

My bestie’s last minute 29th birthday cake: two store bought pavlova with lemon curd, fresh whipped cream, white chocolate drizzle and her favourite fresh fruit.

You’d think I would have learnt my lesson from my first cake about putting heavy decorations onto a soft cake and praying it doesn’t collapse but it looks like I needed a second reminder about this. Obviously this tasted amazing, and pavlova is supposed to be messy, but there’s nothing quite like trying to blow out candles before they sink into the middle of the collapsing cake…. 


A thank you for my anaesthetics team: red velvet and vanilla cake, with chocolate and cream cheese frosting in between, then topped with more vanilla frosting and a myriad of chocolates.

I was super happy with this one at the time. Yes the ganache looks super thick, and ohmygoodness this was one of the heaviest cakes I’ve ever made, but it was honestly a thrill to see my colleague’s faces light up when they found this monster in the tea room.

Toothpicks and fruit can get a bit squishy, so I’d use ganache to glue them on next time. But otherwise I loved making this!


A thank you to my ICU team: vanilla mud cake with layers of caramel and chocolate brownie, with vanilla buttercream and a mixture of caramel and chocolate decorations.

I was honestly sick of the taste of both caramel and chocolate by the end of making this BUT the cake itself turned out not as sickly sweet as I’d imagined. It helped that I made the buttercream less sweet, so all in all the flavours balanced out. I just adore all the different shapes in the decorations on top (made with toblerone, malteasers, bueno and kitkat).  



Just a casual work morning tea: red velvet, vanilla, chocolate fudge and cream cheese frosting in between, my first attempt at a red coloured buttercream, edible glitter and as always, lots of chocolate!

We have an unspoken rule about bringing morning tea when we’re facilitating education sessions. After arriving with this cake, my colleague asked why I had bought a “4 tiered wedding cake” to work (or topic was ‘trauma’ so I thought it only appropriate to have a dramatic looking cake!). It was again super heavy, very rich, a bit messy, but rather delicious. It also definitely looks lop sided in the photo, which I think is because I used a slightly bigger cake tin for the bottom layer and tried to trim it down.

A goodbye and thank you cake for one of my bosses: chocolate and vanilla mud cake, salted caramel frosting in between, chocolate buttercream and Lindt / Rafaello!

I have no idea what I did differently but this chocolate buttercream was just meant to be – not too sweet, not too rich, perfectly texture and piped like a dream!

This was also my first time using a custom made cake topper by Little Event Boutique and it worked magnificently. I also used plastic flowers that I found in a cake store, which were obviously removed before eating.

My absolute favourite cake so far! A mermaid theme cake on request for a special little 3 year old: chocolate and vanilla with blue vanilla buttercream, white chocolate seaweed and coral and biscuit crumb sand!

I separated the buttercream mix into white, baby blue and a deep blue colour, which I tried to do as a gradient around the cake. I marbled the buttercream in the wiping bag to make the waves on top, and added Guylian chocolate sea shells with silver cake decorating spray. The gorgeous cake topper was again custom made by Little Event Boutique, and the adorable mermaid sprinkles were sourced from eBbay  by CakeConstructions101