Little girls with great big dreams » Grow through gratitude, good health, grace and plenty of giggles.

mandala birthday cake

mandala birthday cake

I think I caused a bit of stress over the weekend sharing a preview of Liana’s birthday cake ~ but only showing the side as a teaser and telling everyone that they would be pretty impressed when they saw the top.  The cake was (as I expected) mind-blowingly awesome, a gorgeous mandala cake and I am so happy with how it turned out!  But I wanted to keep it as a surprise for all those coming to the party, and just stare at it and admire it myself before I share it with others…

So, let’s rewind a little, and I will start from the beginning of the story about the mandala cake… (and then I will share some pics)


little girls with great big dreams, hearts


I first met the amazingly talented Vanessa Anderson and her husband Jon about 5-6 years ago when I was photographing weddings, and they were running Sugar Rush, a Designer cake studio in Newcastle. [Nowadays, Vanessa shares her cake talent by teaching people all over the world via YouTube.] Back then we ran into each other at the occasional wedding, and somewhere along the way started to collaborate on events and photo shoots.  Vanessa has made several of Liana’s birthday cakes, provided cakes for events I have hosted, I have attended some of her in-person cake decorating classes and I have also photographed her family many times…

It made sense that in the lead up to Liana’s birthday party that Vanessa and I decide to work on another cake together.  The brief was simple – the party will be a combo of mandala’s (we love mandalas so much!!), drawing and aromatherapy, and Liana’s favourite colours are blue and green.  Go wild, and create what ever comes to you…


Here is the vision that Liana and I were greeted with when arriving to pick the cake up late Saturday afternoon…

mandala cake
Can you even imagine how agonizing it was to wait almost 24 hours before the party even began, and not share any photos!!  The cake was more amazing that I had even imagined…

From Vanessa:
Mandala’s are a hot trend in the arty world at the moment, and I’m always looking for a great way to turn the birthday cake into a work of edible art. My fans love buttercream piping just as much as me, and I love coming up with new, modern ways to put a twist on the traditional cake technique of fine piping. The final result – a rainbow coloured free-hand mandala cake.


The birthday girl was very excited 🙂


mandala cake cut

mandala design cake inside

The cake was orange peach and the filling was peach jam and wild orange buttercream. The inside as you can see had three different layers of coloured buttercream.

And it tasted…. as amazing as it looked!



Here is a video from Vanessa at Cake Style on how she did the intricate piping on the cake

If you head over to the Cake Style You Tube channel and click ‘more info’ you can get all the info on recipes, ingredients and instructions.
If you want the recipe ~ Orange Peach cake recipe here


More posts just like this…

Birthday cake Liana 7

rainbow circus party

Liana’s 7th birthday party.. The theme was rainbow circus party – loads of tips and inspiration for planning your own party here!

floral naked drip cake newcastle

So much gorgeous cake!!!

Photographing cakes for Newcastle cake designers Fifi La Femme and styling them up with some gorgeous florals! I love my job (and I love cake!!!)

floral decorating party

floral decorating party + flower buffet!

This floral decorating party was so much fun! Instead of a candy buffet – have a flower buffet! Celebrate in style with something different and fun!


Stay in the loop. (That’s where all the fun is).

  • […] about this fabulous mandala cake from Liana’s 11th birthday here (incl a video on how to make […]ReplyCancel

  • […] mandala birthday cake […]ReplyCancel

  • […] and photograph to show off your masterpiece when it is ready to be eaten! More about this fabulous mandala cake from Liana’s birthday last year here (incl a video on how to make […]ReplyCancel

  • Diane KindigMarch 24, 2016 - 12:09 pm

    I don’t see the recipe for the fillings peach jam and wild orange buttercream. Could you please send these to me…

    Thank you
    Ps I love your videos!!ReplyCancel

    • littlegirls_greatbigdreamsApril 5, 2016 - 6:10 pm

      Dianne – I emailed you, but the post has now been updated with the recipe. thanks, ReneeReplyCancel

  • […] Blog post ~ For details on the Wild Orange Oil I used in this recipe, email […]ReplyCancel

  • THE HUNGRY MUMAugust 25, 2015 - 6:24 pm

    that cake is crazy beautiful. Can;t imagine how much work went into this. Stunning.ReplyCancel

    • littlegirls_greatbigdreamsApril 5, 2016 - 6:10 pm

      Thank you!!! It was just gorgeous and tasted amazing too 🙂ReplyCancel

  • LisaAugust 5, 2015 - 9:29 pm

    Wow this cake is truly beautiful and the video is great! A very belated Happy Birthday Liana xxReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsAugust 5, 2015 - 10:17 pm

      Thank you Lisa!!! We loved the cake too!ReplyCancel

  • BecomingnessJuly 29, 2015 - 3:14 am

    so pretty ReneeReplyCancel

  • EricaJuly 27, 2015 - 8:47 pm

    Seriously!! So amazing, best looking cake ever! I bet it tastes just as good ?ReplyCancel

  • liana kathrynJuly 27, 2015 - 3:43 pm

    The cake tasted AMAZING!!! I LOVE the orange butter cream and peach jam filling. It was my favorite (other than the top!) You did an awesome job Vanessa! Thank you 🙂 🙂 🙂ReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsJuly 27, 2015 - 6:29 pm

      So happy you loved it Liana 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Naomi ArnoldJuly 27, 2015 - 3:19 pm

    Best. Cake. Ever.

    That’s all.

    PS. Happy birthday Liana!!! xReplyCancel

    • liana kathrynJuly 27, 2015 - 9:57 pm

      Thank you Naomi 🙂ReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsJuly 27, 2015 - 9:56 pm

      Agree completely Naomi!!!
      Thanks for the lovely wishes xxReplyCancel

  • Alice NichollsJuly 27, 2015 - 10:56 am

    Ah-MAZING! This is trult a ‘piece’ of artwork. Liana must have been so chuffed. Were the guests left waiting wondering what in the heck you were doing taking pictures when there was cake to be eaten, or do all 11 year olds understand that food has to be photographed before being eaten now? 😉ReplyCancel

    • littlegirlsbigdreamsAugust 4, 2015 - 12:44 pm

      Haha Alice Nicholls – I had activities planned for the girls – they were sitting on the grass in the gorgeous sunshine we were lucky enough to have colouring mandalas and chatting. It was amazing how happy and well behaved they all were (12 girls).
      I cut and photographed the cake while they were outside and after they had already seen it on the table. When we did candles and singing, I actually left the portion I had cut inside – the girls didn’t even question why a whole chunk was missing, they just thought it was cool to see the inside…ReplyCancel

      • littlegirlsbigdreamsAugust 4, 2015 - 12:44 pm

        and Liana, of course, would have known it had been cut and plated to be photographed, lolReplyCancel

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