The inspiration for my daughter’s 8th birthday cake, is our year old working cocker spaniel, Poppy. The pair of them are the best of friends.

When I started the cake I took lots of pictures of the model! I made one large rectangle cake, two 7 inch round cakes, one small bowl size cake, and I also had some off cuts from another cake I had made.

Using a sharp knife, I cut the basic shape out. I then used a buttercream crumb coat. I made my own marshmallow fondant, coloured it, rolled it and laid it over the cake. I used smaller pieces of icing to add layers, for the facial features. I also added fur definition onto the fondant.

I started making this cake at 8am and I didn’t finish until 3pm.

I don’t make cakes as a professional. I am a novice baker who makes a cake when asked by family and friends. This has probably been the hardest cake I have made, but also one of the most enjoyable. My daughter was thrilled when she saw it, and that’s all the pleasure you need when you make a cake!

My only problem now is, “What will she be wanting next year?” At least I have a year to plan.

One difficulty I ran into in making this cake was the colour. Our Poppy is a beautiful lemon colour. The cake version turned out to be a more orange tone. Still, it tasted good and everyone enjoyed it. Roll on next year!

Cocker Spaniel Cake Tips

I would advise anyone looking to make such a cake to bake the cakes the day before. I made the mistake of doing it all in one day. It can be done, but is very hard going.

We are lucky to have our own eggs, which helps with taste, and colour.

I always use butter in my baking. I feel it results in a richer, firmer cake.