Learn how to make your own beautiful cakes in this new book by baker Jade Lipton.

It's hard not to forget the cool and gorgeous Aussie Jade Lipton as the judge of last season's Hottest Home Baker as she poked and prodded icings and murmured encouragement to the hot and bothered contestants.

In her new book, Cakestar, she shares the cakes that made her Brisbane cake boutique a global star.

Somehow she makes the constructions seem do-able in calm steps. Before you panic at the perfection of this cake, repeat Jade's mantra: a cake is a gift of your time, skills and thought - remembered long after the last crumb has been wiped from the plate. Do allow a few days to prepare the cake and flower. For the detailed recipes and step-by-step pictures, click here.

"Many years ago, a customer brought in a party invitation that featured a beautiful open silk flower. I designed this simple cake for her and it has been a regular request ever since." - Jade Lipton speaks of inspiration for the 'in full bloom' creation she has shared with us.
Cake requirements:


1 x 23cm round cake (recipe below)

Decorating ingredients:

1 x ganache (recipe below)
1 x royal icing (recipe below)
1 x apricot glaze (recipe below)
2.2kg fondant icing (pre-coloured store-bought or coloured with gel paste food colouring), set aside in plastic wrap - 700g white, 1.1kg pale green, 400g pale pink
Pure icing sugar (for kneading)
Cornflour (for rolling out and diluting powdered colouring)
Tylose powder
Tylose glue (recipe below)
Powdered pink food dust

1 Prepare cake. Level cake, removing crust from top to give a flat surface and invert so trimmed surface becomes base of your cake. Secure cake to heavy board and cover with ganache. Allow cake to set overnight if possible.

2 Making petals. Knead tylose powder into pale pink fondant. Working a petal at a time to avoid drying and cracking, roll out fondant to a thickness of 3mm and use a knife and petal template to cut each petal. Immediately shape using a ball tool and flower mat to ruffle edges before drying them in bowls dusted with cornflour to avoid the petals sticking. You will need to make seven large petals for the outer layer, six medium for the next layer, and five small for the centre layer.

Allow to dry for several hours or overnight.

3 Cover cake. Brush cake with apricot glaze and cover using kneaded pale green fondant. Smooth and trim off any excess fondant.

4 Cover board. Knead white fondant and roll out a piece large enough to cover board. Cut a 23cm round from the centre, lift fondant over your cake and on to board, fixing with tylose glue and smoothing and trimming. Roll a snake of green fondant to cover the join between cake and iced board and glue in place with tylose glue. Trim board with pale pink ribbon, securing with non-toxic glue.

5 Vines and leaves. Knead tylose powder into the remaining pale green fondant. Roll a snake of icing, tapering one end using the smoother. Position this on the cake trailing down the side and on to the iced cake board, creating natural-looking bends and loops. Use a leaf cutter to cut two leaves and mark veins. Attach these using tylose glue.

6 Colour petals. Mix powdered pink food dust with a little cornflour to lighten and use a large soft, dry paintbrush to add colour to the edges of each petal.

7 Arrange petals. Use royal icing to stick petals in position on cake, starting with larger petals on outer layer and working inwards.

8 Centre. Make a hook at the end of a piece of decorator's wire. Fold small bunches of stamens in half through the hook and secure with florist tape. Keep adding stamens in this way until you have a nice full bunch. Tape down the length of the wire and push into centre of cake.

White chocolate and vanilla cake recipe
This recipe makes a beautiful vanilla cake with true homebaked flavour. The white chocolate acts to extend the freshness of the cake, but has a very mild flavour, making this recipe perfect for children and adults alike.

11/3 cups plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
250 g butter, softened
150 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
2 cups caster sugar
300 ml full-cream milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract (we use Queen vanilla bean paste)

1 Preheat oven to 160°C (150°C fan forced) and prepare cupcake trays or cake tins. Sift flours into a bowl and set aside.

2 Fill a medium-sized saucepan to a third full with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Put butter and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over saucepan, ensuring base of bowl does not touch simmering water. Stir occasionally until butter and chocolate have melted.

3 Add caster sugar and milk to chocolate mixture, mixing gently with a hand whisk over gentle heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

4 Remove bowl from saucepan and mix in sifted flours in three lots, ensuring there are no lumps of flour.

5 Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract or flavouring of your choice (see below).

6 If you are filling cupcake cases transfer mix to a jug. Fill cake tin or cupcake cases to two-thirds full.

7 Bake until a skewer inserted in centre of the cake comes out clean. Test after 1 hour 20 minutes for a 23-cm (9") round cake and around 20 minutes for cupcakes.

8 Leave large cakes to cool completely in the tin for several hours or overnight. Leave cupcakes for 5 minutes, then remove from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Flavouring suggestions
* Citrus: Add finely grated zest of 1 lemon or orange. Lemon or orange essence can also be used.

* Raspberry: Swirl (but don't completely mix through) 1/3 cup crushed raspberries through finished mix.

* Caramel: Caramel oil can be bought from specialist stores. Add a small amount to taste.

Dark chocolate ganache recipe
Dark chocolate ganache is a decadent mixture of boiled cream and chocolate. A delicious base coat of ganache is the secret to a perfectly iced cake, concealing any imperfections to give a smooth surface, neat edges and a stable base to cover with fondant icing. Our cakes have to be able to withstand high temperatures during the summer, so our ganache recipe has a high ratio of chocolate to cream. If in a cooler climate, use a little more cream so your ganache doesn't set too quickly. Ganache can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

1 kg dark chocolate (preferably couverture), buttons or block broken into pieces
440 ml cream

1 Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

2 Heat cream to just boiling and pour over chocolate. Allow to stand for 2 minutes, then stir with a whisk to combine. Stand a further 2 minutes then whisk again.

3 Cover bowl of ganache with plastic wrap and leave to sit at room temperature overnight before use.

Microwave method

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and pour cream over. Microwave on high power for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the microwave, stir, then return to the microwave for another minute, stirring again afterwards. Repeat until ganache is smooth.

Royal icing recipe
Royal icing is an essential for any decorator to master. It sets extremely hard, making it perfect for putting together the layers of tiered cakes and securing decorations on an iced cake. Correctly made royal icing with a soft-peak consistency is perfect for piping borders, decorations and messages on cakes while a stiff-peak consistency can be used for piping raised flowers and so on. Royal icing sets very quickly if left open to the air. If you are not using your icing immediately, ensure it is covered with plastic wrap or a crust will form. Instant royal icing is available in supermarkets but it is very simple to make your own.

1 egg white
250 g pure icing sugar, finely sieved
1 tsp lemon juice

1 Ensure all utensils are clean and dry.

2 Place egg white in a bowl and whisk lightly with a dessertspoon to break up.

3 Add icing sugar a spoonful at a time, mixing well after each addition, until you are happy with the consistency - for piping you will need a soft-peak consistency.

4 Add lemon juice and mix again, adding a little more icing sugar if consistency becomes too soft.

5 Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. Royal Icing keeps for up to 1 week in a cool dry place; refrigeration is not recommended.

Apricot glaze recipe
This glaze is brushed over cakes coated with ganache directly before covering them with fondant. It allows the fondant to stick to the set ganache.

50 ml water
40 g apricot jam

1 Boil water and pour over apricot jam in a small heatproof bowl, then whisk with a fork to combine.

2 Strain through a sieve to remove any lumps.

3 Use immediately or store in the refrigerator until needed (for up to 1 week).

Tylose glue or decorator's glue
While some decorators just use water, we combine tylose powder with water to create an edible glue to assemble decorations, attach decorations to cakes and to adhere icing to cake boards. A small artist's paintbrush is perfect to apply tylose glue exactly where it is needed. If glue is too thick, add a little extra boiled cooled water.

1/4 tsp tylose powder
60 ml boiled and cooled water

1 Add tylose powder to water and stir. Allow to sit until dissolved and the mix becomes a clear gel (around 10 minutes).

2 Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until needed (for up to 1 week).

Be in to win
Weekend Life has one copy of CakeStar by Jade Lipton, to give away.

To enter, go to nzherald.co.nz/weekend, enter your details and the keywords Jade Lipton's CakeStar by midnight Wednesday May 16.

* Reproduced with permission from Cakestar by Jade Lipton, $39.99.

Published by Penguin Group NZ. Copyright © Jade Lipton, 2012. Photography by Paul Giggle.