Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies books were first published in 1923, way before most of us were even thought about. However these stunning books which contain 170 illustrated images between them along with poetry or verse have enchanted both children and adults alike around the world.
These books have a personal meaning for me as my own mother introduced them to me as a small child at which time I fell in love with them.
When I was thinking about what I could possibly do to wow the judges at Cake International this year, I happened to come across one of the old books that my mum had given me, and it gave me a huge lightbulb moment of inspiration.
Why couldn’t I re-interpret some of my favourite images onto cake?
So I did.
The cake consisted of four very tall tiers, with the bottom tier in petal shape, just to add an extra little floral link. Each was iced in white, before I could faithfully hand paint the eighteen images that I had selected onto the cake. Once this was done I hand made the 3D elements of the flowers that went with each flower fairy, and also made them all tiny edible gelatine wings. Having not done much work with gelatine before, I actually found it really nice to work with, and would definitely utilise it again.
Last but not least I modelled a little 3D version of the Gorse Fairies to sit atop the cake. Afterall, this was for a wedding cake competition so the cake really needed a girl AND a boy on the top.
Once the cake was all stacked and boxed, it only just managed to fit into the back of my car for the journey to The NEC. In fact, we did have to take it back out and trim the box down a bit!
I travelled up to Birmingham the day before the big event, and that was terrifying. Every single bump in the road threatened the fairies on the cake, and I fully expect them to be in pieces by the time I arrived. Luckily, the Cake Gods were looking down on me though, and there was only one amputated limb on arrival which I was able to repair.
In all the cake took a staggering SIXTY FIVE hours to complete. It was a long old trek, but worth it, as it won a Bronze Award, which I was very happy with.
My Mum is sadly no longer with us, so she never got to see the cake that I made in her honour. But then who knows, maybe those angel wings that she now has meant she was looking down on it after all.