This cake was a christening gift for our friends' baby Alexander. His mum had asked for a two tier blue and white cake with rocking horses, bunting and baby blocks with his name.
I considered making a 5" and a 7" tier but that didn't seem substantial enough for the big party so I settled on a 6" and 8" tier for a truly massive cake. This is the first two tier cake that I've made since we bought a new stove. It seemed a great opportunity to try out the side oven, in which, I'd been assured by the salesperson, I could bake four tiers at the same time and they'd all cook evenly. This oven had only been used for cooking many frozen pizzas so I was certainly pleased to put it to a more worthy use. In this case I'm pleased to say that the salesperson was correct! They look a bit sunken in the picture below but I think that was more to do with me shaping the batter in this way before they were baked.
The letters and rocking horses are cut from a modelling paste made of sugarpaste and CMC. If there's a way to use the cutters to cleanly cut out pieces such as these then I do not know it! This time I've found that the easiest way to use them without distorting the letters is to cut each letter but not remove them from the surplus icing until they have been left to dry overnight. I then needed to use a scalpel to carefully neaten up the edges; a time consuming but ultimately rewarding task.
I fashioned a template for the bunting swathes from a piece of greaseproof paper and used a scalpel to etch a line onto which I could glue the bunting triangles and pipe the rope. I haven't practiced piping royal icing in over a year and it does show, but I'm reasonably satisfied with the overall result.
The rocking horse on top of the cake is made from two cutouts glued together only in the top half. The bottom halves were then held apart as the model dried. Finally I added a saddle made of modelling paste and piped eyes, a mane and tail.