Monday, February 4, 2013

Fish Fingers and Custard: A Timey Wimey Birthday

A very fantastic lady I know turns 30 today. This weekend we celebrated with food, friends, *a few* adult beverages, and, or course, cake. Katy is possibly the biggest Dr. Who fan I've ever met, and, therefore, required a Dr. Who cake. Though this is far from a tutorial, I'm going to try and walk you through what I did in case you, too, have a Dr. who inclined person in need of a cake (I link to a bunch of free printables, too). If you are not familiar with Dr. Who, then nothing about the this cake will make sense, so just go with it and smile, ummkay? I've tried to include as many explanatory links as possible for anyone wishing to be who-enlightened.

I'd love to say I invented an amazing new flavor of cake to post here, but what I really did was use the apple cake recipe posted here and pair it with the caramel icing posted here, for an all around caramel apple flavor. Reviews were positive, so, YAY!

In planning this cake, I had to account for the fact that my ideas were bigger than my skill, so I whittled the plan down to including a fez, a bow tie, a sonic screwdriver, fish fingers and custard, and some Daleks.
The cake (ta-da!)
The cake w/ labels in case you are my mom and you already told me you 'don't get' this cake.

I wanted TARDIS blue fondant, which I could not find, so I bought a royal blue and painted it with a coat of blue sparkle gel that, together, resulted in a sparkly TARDIS hue. I like to use Fondarific buttercream fondant because it tastes the best of any fondant I've tried, and because it was recommended to me by a friend of mine who might as well be canonized as a cake goddess. I'm hoping to learn how to color my own fondant more effectively soon, as it would have been fun to get this color just right with out the gel. I'm taking my first ever fondant class next month, so here's hoping!

I then purchased the sonic screwdriver flashlight, and (loosely) used this tutorial to make a fez out of a yogurt container, some felt, and a tapestry tassel. I used this pattern to make the bow tie, and attached wooden skewers to both the fez and bow tie to hold them into place on the cake.

I created the fish fingers and custard out of shortbread, orange sugar sprinkles, and royal icing. I used this shortbread recipe, shaped the dough into fish-finger-esque shapes, rolled them in orange colored sugar, then refrigerated them for about 20 minutes before baking to help them keep their shape in the oven. They puff/grow a little while baking, so as soon as they came out of the oven, I used two spatulas to redefine the shape. Once they cooled, I made some royal icing, added some yellow coloring, and applied it to the ends of the shortbread cookies to look like they had been dipped in custard. They icing took overnight to dry firmly enough to put on the cake, so if you try this, I suggest doing these a day ahead. Save the extra royal icing in a zip-top bag and use it to apply the cookies to the cake the next day. Royal icing is like cake super glue; I used it to put the fish fingers on the cake, as well as to secure the sonic screwdriver.

I didn't end up with room for any Daleks on the cake, but I did wrap them up for the birthday girl to take home for later. I found printable Dalek cupcake wrappers here.  The same site has a ton of free, cool, Dr. Who party printables, for anyone hoping to host a nerdarifficly awesome party anytime soon.

Finally, I downloaded this free Dr. Who font and make a 'Happy Birthday' banner that was added to the cake just before serving. (The box wouldn't close with the banner on the cake, so we had to wait until we were in the restaurant.)

The birthday lady and her cake! Happy Birthday, Katy!!


  1. AMAZING CAKE!!! I grew up on and love Doctor Who - this may inspire a cake or two of mine in the future too! Thanks for posting :-) Check out my cakes on

  2. More proof that my cousin kicks some baked goods booty.

  3. I have also never seen doctor who so I didn't get this cake either, but it looks super cool. :)

  4. That looks very pretty. Great job.