As a real foodie it probably comes as no surprise that I love baking. But I had never properly iced a cake and decorated it, so with my boyfriends 25th birthday approaching. I started thinking about a Unique Birthday cake.
It needed to be his favourite – lemon. This was the easy part as I have developed quite a good technique for baking it. The second part of the challenge was it needed to be a Unique Birthday cake and something that reflected his passions and interests, I had the choice of making a car or going down the electrical engineering route. As I’m sure you realised from the promotion image I opted for the later and set about researching lighting and sound desk images and cakes that other people had created for some inspiration.
Although it’s harder work, I’m sure you will agree that baking a homemade unique birthday cake is a lot more satisfying than buying a shop made one or ordering something with a local baker. In the past I had always made lemon drizzle cake, but in this instance that wouldn’t be appropriate, a nice zesty lemon cake without the drizzle was my focus.
I already had most of the ingredients and equipment needed to bake this unique birthday cake at home in my dedicated baking cupboard, but I did need to pop out for the decorating items. Here are the things you will need to replicate this Unique Birthday cake for the engineer in your life.
Ingredients needed for this Unique Birthday cake
- 225g Butter
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 4 Large eggs
- 225g Self raising flour
- zest of 2 lemons
- 600g icing sugar
- 300g butter
- 500g of ready to roll black icing
- 100g ready to roll red icing
- strawberry laces
- Tic Tacs
- Wine gums
- White writing icing
- Liquorice allsorts
- Square white chocolate chunks
Unique Birthday cake Preparation
My first step when baking anything is to lay out the ingredients and the equipment that I will be using on the worktop. Use butter to grease the cake tin and then line it with baking parchment covered with butter, this prevents the cake from sticking to the tin and I use it even if the tin is non-stick just to be extra careful. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees/ 160°C fan/ Gas 4. Measure out all of your ingredients and be sure to grate the lemons to get the zest. I used two which was the right balance in my opinion, but you could add or reduce.
Unique Birthday cake Method
I’ve always found mixing a cake together a relaxing experience and it fascinates me how the ingredients blend together to create something so tasty. Since getting my kitchen Aid I took a while to get used to the different additions and the settings, but I am in love with the ease of the machine and so far I’ve been delighted with the results. The texture of my cake mixes since using it have been so light and airy. But maybe you prefer the old-fashioned manual beating (a great way to let out any frustration).
Follow my quick and easy 7 steps to baking this Unique Birthday cake.
- Place the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl or kitchen aid and cream together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs into the mix one at a time, adding a little flour with the last egg.
- Fold in the remaining flour and add the lemon zest.
- Place the mixture into the rectangular tin that you greased and lined earlier.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes and then cool on a wire tray.
- Place the butter cream ingredients in mixing bowl and beat together until smooth.
- Cut the rectangular cake in half and sandwich together with the butter cream.
Unique Birthday cake Decorating
Now for the fun and slightly scary part – something I hadn’t done much of before the decorating. During this process I had help from my sister-in-law and mum to advise me on how to actually ice and decorate a cake! Plus, my mum was very handy with her advice about lighting and sound desks. Keen to learn how you can engineer a unique birthday cake for the engineer in your life then read on….
The design was a based on the Unique Birthday cake below:
I wanted to create my unique spin on this though and combined some of the design elements from real life desks I had researched online. My mum and sister-in-law were very helpful with this.
Here are my easy steps to follow for re-creating the Unique Birthday cake that I made.
- Using the rolling pin roll the black icing out into a square that will cover the top and go underneath the cake itself.
- Cover the whole cake with butter cream and then lay the icing over the cake and underneath.
- Add the milk chocolate squares using sugar glue. Poke the six tic tacs into the cake to form the control panel. Add two round black wine gums for dials.
- Place a few wine gums at the top left corner and using letter and number cutters (if you wish) cut into red icing for age and initials. Using sugar glue attach this to the cake.
- Using a knife carefully score four lines on the left side of the cake in various places. Ideally place them in twos near each other. This is where your switches will go.
- Place one liquorice allsorts near the control panel and attach a strawberry lace – your power supply!
- Finally using white writing icing add lines stretching across the two scored lines and cut the liquorice allsorts into switches and attach using sugar glue. Draw little lines on the black dials and inbetween the wine gums at the top left.
- Step back and admire your work.
The finished product: A Unique Birthday cake
**Disclaimer this Unique Birthday cake is purely a creative representation and not being an engineer myself I am aware its not totally accurate**
This cake was a lot of fun to make and I’m very pleased to say my boyfriend loved it! The texture was very light and flavour wise had the right balance of lemon. I’d definitely recommend adding a butter cream or lemon curd for the filling for an extra boost. For my first-time icing a cake I’m very happy with the results. (Even if it was a little wonky in places). This Unique Birthday cake was a great 25th birthday treat for my boyfriend’s birthday and hit exactly the right spot. It has inspired me to start icing cakes and getting creative with my bakes more often!
Let me know in the comments what you think. Have you have created a unique birthday cake for a loved one. For more recipes take a look at the Bake like Elle section of my site.