How I Combat Over Thinking With Cake

Hey hi hello!

So I’m taking things in a little bit of a different direction this week. Instead of caking I thought I might give a little insight into how I use cake decorating to help me stay calm and focussed when all my brain wants to do is run amok reminding me of all the socially awkward things I did that day.

The way it helps me is really simple. Baking is pretty precise, and you have to really focus on not just what you’re doing but how things feels too. Is the butter fluffy enough? Is the batter lumpy? Has the chocolate cooled? It needs you to get immersed in things which means your brain automatically has to pipe down and give you the space to do it. Genius! And then when we add decorating to the mix, this technique is on fire! Its such a tactile project, from smoothing the buttercream to kneading the fondant or rolling it or shaping it, everything requires you to use your senses. Before you know it, you’ve even forgotten that you were even trying to forget in the first place.

If like me, you’re in need of some inner monologue quiet time I’ve put together this handy list of my favourite 5 bakes to calm my inner critic. Oh, and at the end, you get a fuzzy feeling of accomplishment too, it’s freaking awesome.

  1. The Giant Custard Cream Cake

how to make a custard cream cake

This one is perfect because it’s way easier than it looks which weirdly amplifies the warm and fuzzy feeling at the end. Like I looked at it like damn I made that! But I swear, even beginners will easily tackle it. I use a mix of templates and parchment paper transfer but essentially the whole design comes down to rolling ropes of fondant, what could be easier?

2. The Easiest Unicorn

Ain’t she cute?? So, the reason this little beaut made the list is that cracking mane of hair she has. Each strand is a small piece of fondant rolled into a rope that tapers at the end and the placed on top with the cutest little curls twists and turns. There is something so soothing and comforting about repetitive actions. It makes it really easy but because you you wanna keep them even you’re still paying attention enough to not think about anything else. Score!

3. Van Gogh Cookies

So this one is all about timing, you need to pay really close attention to how quickly the icing is drying to find the sweet spot where it’s soft enough to indent but stiff enough to hold the shapes. All the while, icing the rest in the gaps. Its a dream to focus on mainly because its so damn pretty but also kinda cathartic scratching beauty into the surface, I love it!

4. Stained Glass Beauty

Have you ever used a jigsaw as a way to calm down? Cos this is basically an edible jigsaw and you have to design the pieces too which means, yes you’ve guessed it, all your focus will be so consumed with the task at hand that that loser you dated 5 years ago won’t get a look in on mental replay. Amazing! And you get to eat it at the end, I do love a Brucie Bonus.

5. Fab Ice Lolly Cake

Another super easy one that’s dressed up as a a much more difficult feat. Trust me, when people see that you made this they are gonna be so impressed. But the best part is the giant sprinkles. Those lovelies are made by rolling fondant into super thin ropes and then trimming to about 1-2cm. I love me some repetitive tasks, they work like an absolute charm and before you know it, shoulder tension begone.

Amanda ColliganComment