Retro nautical naming day cake

Over the weekend, I made this cake for a special little guy named Max for his naming day party. His mum, Cassie, was after something nautical to go with the theme: Welcome Aboard Max.

Before I get into the cake details, you might notice the quality of the photos in this post has risen, DRAMATICALLY. I must send a HUGE shout out to the incredible Tricia King over at The Itchy Eyes. When I turned up to deliver this cake on Sunday morning, I was delighted to see Tricia there, setting up to take snaps of the party. She promised to send over any cake pictures that she got. I can’t even begin to thank her for the photos she sent, they make my cake look a zillion times better than in real life (not to mention what my dodgy photography does to them!). If you need wedding, party or anything photos, or if you want to see something pretty spesh, you have to check her out.  She also produces the bespoke online magazine, Hearth, that you must check out and follow. She’s a deadset Aussie legend!

Now, onto the cake:

I love love love nautical colours and had been lucky enough to make some Ahoy it’s a boy cupcakes for my lovely friend Sam’s nautical baby shower.

Cassie was pretty easy to make it for, she asked for something simple, with a big anchor and the words ‘welcome aboard Max’ (such a cute idea). I had lots of ideas from nautical flags to life bouys, and really had to hold myself back. In the end I suggested some bunting style flags, the anchor and some waves around the bottom. And of course, you can’t have a nautical cake without baking a big fat red velvet cake!

I baked two 22 x 33 cm cakes – a double batch red velvet cake and a single white sheet cake (I tried out a new recipe for this one, because I wanted it to be as white as possible, less creamy/yellow coloured than a butter cake. See here for the recipe – but don’t believe the sizing – Martha says it will make a 12 x 18 inch sheet cake, her cake would be incredibly thin in that sized tin). Again, I used my new DIY bake even strips (you can learn about them in my last post), which meant they turned out perfectly flat. They are saving me from wasting (aka eating) so much cake!

I am really happy with how it turned out, red and white nautical stripes on the inside!

Those of you with good eyesight may have spied the blue filling in there. Cassie and I had a little giggle over her mum’s dislike of blue icing – so I had to go for it! But I think I kept it pretty tame, I filled it with pale blue cream cheese filling and covered the bare cake with the rest of the non-blue cream cheese frosting.

Next, I covered the cake with the white fondant and made the waves, the flags and the anchor out of coloured fondant. I can reveal that I started getting very technical with that damn anchor! I had The Creative printing me out authentic looking anchor shapes so I could get it perfect. Luckily, I checked myself and remembered that this was a cute little guy’s naming party, not a gathering of hardcore sailors. A retro kiddie style anchor was the result, and I love it!

After I made the flags with white lettering I felt the letters were lacking something, so out came the edible gold dust. I also used edible blue shimmer dust to paint the crest of the waves – I will track down some white/pearly dust next time so I can get a real seafoam happening!

Lastly, I had to paint the welcome aboard lettering. I can’t lie, I was nervous! I knew as soon as my paintbrush hit the fondant there was no turning back. I did a few practice sessions on paper and found out I was terrible at lettering with a paintbrush! When I realised that the trick was to trace out the words with pencil I found it much easier. So when it came time to do the real deal, I wrote the wording on paper, used a sharp skewer to trace over my pencil and lightly indent the fondant. A few positive affirmations later, I took to the cake with the paint brush. I think I’ll definitely get better at it, but for a first go, I was pretty pleased.

Cassie has been so gracious in her feedback about the cake, it is such a good feeling to be able to make something that people can celebrate, share and enjoy.

Happy naming day Max, and thanks to Tricia and Cassie for supporting my little cake business.

P.S. The Cake Tart is finally on Facebook! Follow me and share the love  ♥

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