A birthday cake and a book cover

Today we gathered as a family to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. Family celebrations are always fun and we do have them as often as possible. I like to make an event out of every opportunity, Christmas, New Year, birthday and anniversaries.

I decided to make my Dad a very special cake and I started planning it at the beginning of December 2017. It took a bit of effort.

Firstly, I had to make sugar crystals. This sounded like such an easy thing to do when I looked it up on the internet [my memory from Grade 8 school day science lessons not being very accurate]. It wasn’t that easy. I had to try three times and nearly gave up but third time lucky.

Firstly, I took six wooden kebab stick’s and dipped them into water to half of their length. I then rolled the kebab sticks in sugar and put them aside. I then made the sugar water as follows: Mix 2 1/2 cups of white sugar and 1 cup of cold water. Bring this mixture to the boil and make sure that all the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the mixture cool slightly and pour into three tall glasses. Add 5ml of the liquid food colouring of your choice and mix in completely. Wait until the mixture is completely cool [this is where I went wrong the first two times; if the mixture isn’t cold, the sugar on the sticks melts and the crystals don’t form]. Insert the prepared kebab sticks into the water and put them in a safe and hot place for 1 week. Do not move or disturb them during this time. At the end of the week, remove the sticks from the mixture and you should have sugar crystals like this:


The next item I had to make was the ivy and creepers for the cake. I made these but cutting out a whole lot of small ivy and tree leaves from green fondant. The leaves need to be thick enough to insert a piece of florists wire into them. I cut each length of wire into four, dabbed a bit of sugar glue on the end of each piece and inserted one piece into each leaf. I left the leaves overnight to dry. The following morning I attached the wires together using florists tape as per the pictures below:

Lastly, I baked the two round cakes I needed, a large chocolate cake and a smaller vanilla cake. I spent Saturday morning up to my ears in green and brown butter icing making my ….. cave cake!


This is a picture of the final cake – a sugar crystal cake!


I was pretty happy with the cake.

I also had the cover for my new book: Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Cave Story and Cookbook.

19.12.2017 Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves Cover


Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town


104 thoughts on “A birthday cake and a book cover

  1. Fantastic! Love that you made your own rock candy sticks. And I am delighted with the new book title. This is a cake, fit for a proud poppa! My dad’s birthday is the end of the month and while we cannot be where he is (so many hours away) we may just send him something yummy and sweet to eat. He does love his sugar treats. Happy Birthday to your Dad!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG. That cake is amazing and of course perfect for the cover. I am sure your dad was blown away when he saw it!! You and my daughter are the only people I know with the patience to create something like this. Well done!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such wonderful whimsy, Robbie. Your dad must have been thrilled by the cake — and to have it immortalized as a book cover. I couldn’t figure out what you were possibly going to do with the sugar crystal sticks when you posted them on Facebook. 😀 Purely delightful. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Robbie! That cake was a labor of love and it turned out great! My family and I are the same way, we’re always looking for an excuse to get together and be festive. Love the book cover! 😀 xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your cave cake is absolutely magnificent, Robbie. Thank you for sharing the process of making it, too. Such a clever girl – and so patient! I hope you Dad had a wonderful birthday. Could you dare to cut the cake?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gosh Robbie you are super talented and patient..trying to make the sugar crystals again and again till they were perfect. Wow! Wish I was living in S.A. Would have come to you for classes. Absolutely love your creations. Happy Birthday to your dad! And that book cover looks deliciously perfect😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Robie, a belated Happy Birthday to your Dad!! 😀 What did he think of the cake? It is a fantastic wondrous creation and the crystals are exquisite – you are the epitomy of perseverance and tenacity! Congratulations on your latest book and a superb cover for it. hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Awesome! I love the cake. It looks wonderful as well for your book cover. Thanks for sharing how you did the sugar crystals and the leaves and ivy creepers for the cake. It is indeed a labor of love. I am sure your dad was very happy seeing your fabulous cake.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s