The cake itself was a plain sponge. I baked two and sandwiched them together with strawberry jam and buttercream. To create a crumb barrier between the icing and the cake I then covered the whole cake in strawberry jam and a layer of marzipan. This also creates a smooth base for the roll-out icing - I used white.
Using various sizes of circular cookie cutters, I then lightly pressed them into the surface of the icing to give a template for laying on the decorations. To stick the smaller decorations to the cake I used a clean paintbrush and edible glue. For the larger decorations I used icing sugar and water to create a thick paste. Sticking icing to icing simply requires a little water.
Now onto the decorations, what did I use? I had coloured roll out icing in pink, blue, yellow, green and orange. I rolled it out thinly with a rolling pin and sprinkled cornflower to prevent sticking. The cookie cutters again came in handy to cut out the circles I required. I also rolled out icing 'sausages' by hand to add a ring of an alternate colour around the outside of some of the circles.
I used chocolate m&ms to add additional decoration and colour. The bonus was, as the red and brown m&ms didn't match my colour scheme, the lovely Tim and I enjoyed a bit of a scoff.
I also used some cake decorating sprinkles and sugar balls. The large flower in the picture above is formed by four sugared almonds, a yellow m&m and blue sugar 'glass' (bought at Waitrose).
I also used large white chocolate circles covered in multi-coloured hundreds and thousands, bought at the local sweet shop. Really there was no plan, I just bought anything that took my fancy.
Finally, here is the birthday girl enjoying her cake (she wasn't actually that keen!). She even blew out her birthday candle - a child genius for sure.
Happy Birthday Emma, love Auntie Sally