How to make a Moana face cake…

I always pride myself on making the girls’ birthday cakes myself every year, and no cake is too big a challenge!

For Olivia’s birthday, in keeping with her Moana themed party, I had to attempt a Moana birthday cake…

Here’s how you can do this one from the comfort of your own kitchen!

What you’ll need for the cake:
  • 4 eggs
  • 8oz self raising flour
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 8oz butter
  • vanilla essence
  • 2x 8 inch cake tins
  • greaseproof paper
  • mixing bowl
  • an oven also tends to help ๐Ÿ˜‰
What you’ll need for the filling:
 
  • 3oz butter
  • 6oz icing sugar
  • strawberry jam
 
What you’ll need for the decoration:
 
  • pink fondant icing
  • orange fondant icing
  • white fondant icing
  • brown fondant icing
  • black icing pen
  • 4oz butter
  • 8oz icing sugar
  • cocktail sticks
  • rolling pin
So, you’ve got all of your bits, time to get down to the cake business!
For Olivia’s birthday, I baked the cake the night before, and then decorated it the morning of her birthday, giving the cake time to cool in the fridge and be easier to work with. You can decorate the cake the same day, but just make sure it’s cooled enough not to wreck the icing!

The Prep…

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees C.
2. Grease your tins with some greaseproof paper, spreading the butter all around the inside of the tins.

The Cake…

1. Put 8oz of butter into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add 8oz of caster sugar and mix well until the butter and sugar cream together.
3. Add the 4 eggs and mix these in.
4. Slowly pour in the 8oz of flour using a sieve, mixing it in stages until there is none left to pour in!
5. Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and mix it again.
6. Pour the mixture equally into the two cake tins, spreading it as evenly as possible.
7. Pop the tins into the oven, on the same shelf (and if they don’t fit, you’ll have to do them one at a time as they can’t go on top of each other in the oven!), and check back in about 25/30 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the cake has risen nicely, and you can stick a knife in the middle of the sponge and it comes out clean!
8. Lick the bowl ๐Ÿ˜‰
9. Once cooked, place the halves onto a cooling rack.
10. Once cooled, take a long knife and even the tops of the cake-halves.

The Filling…

1. Make a buttercream using the butter and icing sugar. You may need more or less depending on how  much you want inside the cake, but you’ll be using it for the outside of the cake too. Always make sure you have twice as much sugar as butter to get the right taste and texture.
2. Spread the buttercream onto one half of the cake.
3. Spread the jam onto the other half of the cake, and gently place the buttercream half on top of the jammy half!
4. Leave this in the fridge for a little while to cool and set the buttercream.

The Decoration…

While the cake is cooling, you can prepare some of the features of Moana’s face – her eyes, the flower in her hair, her lips, and even her hair!
Eyes:
 
1. Prep your work surface by sprinkling some icing sugar down to work with.
2. Make two balls (the size of a Brussels sprout each) of white fondant by rolling them in your hands.
3. Roll the balls out on the surface until they are about half a cm thick, keeping them in the shape of how you want Moana’s eyes to look.
4. Repeat with brown icing to get her irises, then fix these on top of the white icing shapes with a bit of buttercream.
5. Use the black icing pen to draw on Moana’s pupils.
6. Pop them on a small plate and put them in the fridge for the black icing to set – you don’t want the pupils to run into the white fondant!
Flower:
 
1. Make 5 flower petals by rolling small balls (again the size of a Brussels sprout each!) of the pink fondant icing in your hands.
2. Roll the fondant out on the surface until it’s about half a cm thick again, and, using a small knife or cake tool, make petal shapes out of the fondant. Repeat this until you have 5 petals.
3. Prop the petals up on a plate, curving the petals if you want to, and pop them in the fridge to set.
4. For the centre, roll a small ball of orange icing in your hands, flatten the top, and insert a cocktail stick through the bottom, so that it almost looks like a drinks umbrella!
5. When you’re ready to attach the flower to the cake, affix the petals first using small amounts of buttercream, then place the cocktail stick through the cake in the centre of the petals.
Lips:

1. Roll a small ball of brown icing out onto the surface and cut out a lip shape.
2. Indent a lip line in the middle of the shape – you don’t want two separate lips to fiddle about with!
Hair:
 
1. Take larger chunks of brown icing and roll them into sausages that will fit around Moana’s face.
2. Roll these into a mixture of sizes to use for her fringe, tufty bits and the rest of her hair. You will need quite a few to layer these up.
3. Leave these ones out of the fridge! You need the hair to stay soft and easy to mould.
Putting it all together:
 
1. Spread buttercream evenly over the entire surface of the cake.
2. Roll out brown and white icing – you will need a fair amount.
3. Mix the white icing in with the brown icing to lighten the colour of Moana’s skin. Knead the colours together and add as much or as little as you want.
4. Once you have the perfect colour, roll the icing out onto surface. You will need to lift the icing up and turn it to prevent it sticking. Use more icing sugar on the surface if necessary!
5. Make sure the icing will cover the whole cake – you can pick it up and test it by holding it over the cake. Once you have enough, lay it gently on top of the cake and flatten the sides down with your hands, cutting away any excess.
6. Gently rub the top of the cake in a circular motion to flatten any air bubbles.
7. First, add the eyes and lips. Use a small amount of buttercream to fix them to the top of the cake.
8. Add the hair next, using little drops of water on the hair to fix them to the cake. The can be moulded around the cake fairly easily, layering them up and creating her fringe. This works best if the hair strands are not put into the fridge as they need to be easily pliable.
9. Fix the petals on top of the hair, using water to make them stick. Then put the cocktail stick with the orange top through the centre and into the cake (remember it’s there when it comes to cutting slices!)
10. Use a black icing pen to draw on the nose, eyelashes and any other features!
VOILA!
You’ve done it! Successfully made a cake like Moana’s face!
Share your pictures below!

Dear Fellow Mama… We all NEED to let our hair down!

One thing I always feel really strongly about is when mums get criticised for going on a night out. Obviously, I’m not saying every week, but once in a while, I think it’s really important that mothers are given the opportunity to go out and let their hair down.

I recently got criticised for going out once/twice a month with friends, and my argument to this is I work full time (plus overtime), as well as having ‘mum duties’. I honestly believe Mums need a night out once every now and then for their wellness – they need that time to switch off and just have a night off.

I really feel for celebrities, stuck in the lime light, who get harshly judged for going on a night out when they do, because as if being a mum isn’t hard enough? God forbid they go out and let their hair down.

I definitely feel that over the years society has almost gone back in time when it comes to motherhood. There is this barbaric idea that we’re stay at home housewives… As if it’s 1950 again, as hard as it is to believe, guess what? Mums are perfectly capable of holding down a career, a home, a social life and raising children.

It’s no secret that I love a night out. I love my job, my friends and most importantly my son. Under no circumstances do I ever sacrifice time with Oliver for that, I work my social life around him. Of course, I link my social life with Oliver wherever I can. I have friends with children and friends without. It was only recently that I went to a garden party arranged through work and my friend Lucy and her fiancรฉ Liam came… They were AMAZING with Oliver! Oliver loved wearing them out and I loved watching them entertain Oliver (side note: cannot wait for them to have a baby because after watching them with Oliver, it’s obvious they’re naturals). Plus there’s my friend Charlotte who recently came to the funfair with me and Oliver, and Oliver loves her to bits, not to mention my mummy friends such as the mummykind girls and Jacey who was even coming on days out with me and Oliver while heavily pregnant! Of course not forgetting Sarah, Oliver’s godmother, fellow mummykind girl and practically my life coach, who is getting mentioned here at her own request ๐Ÿ˜‰

I love having two different groups of friends and being able to have the best of both worlds.

Anyway I’m straying from the topic, where was I? Yes, mums NEED time off. When I was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis one thing my doctor said to me was, when do you get time to yourself? I sat and paused. “Well… When I’m asleep I guess,” and he stressed to me the importance of having time to myself.

Whenever I go out it’s with one of two groups of friends, and each have a different agendas!

Work friends/friends without children

Pros:

  1. Baby free
  2. Always about
  3. Know how to have a good time
Cons
  1. Sometimes cannot understand why I’m not always about
  2. Have a way better alcohol tolerance/stamina than me, leaving me to play catch up
  3. there is usually a drama on a night out
Mum friends
Pros:
  1. Rarely go out so appreciate a night out more
  2. Have the same alcohol tolerance so I’m not feeling like playing catch up
  3. Completely understand if I can’t come out
Cons:
  1. Rarely able to arrange a night we’re all free
  2. When we are all free we’re all too shattered
  3. Mum life – need I say anymore???
So to any mum reading this, sit and ask yourself when was the last time you let your hair down and just had a night off from it all? If it was longer than 3 months then you’re 100% due a good night out with your mates.

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