Sunday, 18 December 2011

London Calling - A very British farewell party

The Little Oak Tree styled and catered a very British farewell party for a young woman heading to London for a year.

The guest of honour was so touched having all her friends and family around she said it will now be so much harder for her to leave!

The party was themed on the highly popular Keep Calm and Carry On poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of the Second World War, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the event of invasion. It only had a limited distribution, and was therefore little known.

First step in the party planning process was the invitation design. You can find details for the invitation posted here.

Keep Calm Invitations - Available to purchase for $15AUD

The drink station was designed with glasses that the guests could keep all day and re-use. The name tags on each drink were designed to match the London transport signage. The labels came in handy for each of the guests to remember each others name.

Personalised drinks for the guests - Based on London Transport signage

Just look at this fabulous cake that Trudy designed and created. It was so gorgeous that some of the guests thought it was a prop and not actually the cake! This was a red velvet cake with cream cheese ganache, and judging by the fact that there wasn't a single piece left, we think it was a hit.

Yup, that is actually a cake folks! Check out our cake page for pricing details

 On to the dessert table, and we had lots of goodies to satisfy hungry bellies:

~ Individual Raspberry English Trifles
~ Tunnocks Tea Cakes
~ Scottish shortbread
~ Lovely Jubbly Lindt Milk Chocolate Bars
~ Freshly baked scones with double cream and Hanks Raspberry Jam
~ Keep Calm and Eat Sweeties - Departure lolly bags filled with toffees

 A simple paper doily garland hung above the dessert table

We created a wall of envelopes styled as a very abstract Union Jack. The idea being that guests could write a farewell note, pick an envelope of their choice on the wall and then seal it with a sticker. The envelopes are to remain sealed until Heather arrives in London. One of the guests got quite creative with the stickers!

We had so much fun styling all the little elements for this party, but personally my favourite detail was the suitcase cake that Trudy created.

Have a great time in London Heather, we hope you enjoyed your very British send off!


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Saturday, 5 November 2011

Invitation - 2011 Seafood & Semillon Festival

Sunshine, seafood and a cold glass of Semillon......Yummo, so where is the invite!

Funny you should ask, as we recently created these summery little invites for a group of friends that were holding their annual Seafood and Semillon Festival.

DL sized, the invites are double sided with the wine glass silhouette on the front and the wine bottle detailing all of the information on the reverse.

Printed on 300gsm white card stock and presented in translucent glassine envelopes.

The invite is completely customisable and is available for purchase for only $15AUD. Just drop us a line and we can discuss your needs.

Roll on the long hot Summer!


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Invitation - Best of British (London Calling) Farewell Party

We recently created a gorgeous invitation for a very special young woman who is heading to London for a year.

Based on the highly popular "Keep Calm and Carry On" British World War II poster, the invitation is double sided with a full bleed Union Jack on the reverse. The A6 invitation is printed on 300gsm white card stock with a matte cello-glaze finish.

Mailed in royal blue matte C6 envelopes we think these invites look lovely jubbly !

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Stay tuned for photos of the farewell as The Little Oak Tree will also be creating the dessert table and cake.

If you have an upcoming event, we can create bespoke invitations for you at a cost that won't break the bank, just drop us a line.

Have a grand day,

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Surfing Couple Wedding Cake - Beach Theme

Surfing Couple wedding cake

Another fabulous creation by Trudy. This three tier cake was created for a young couple who had a relaxed beach themed wedding. The bottom and top tier was chocolate mud with milk chocolate ganache and the middle tier was butter cake with white chocolate ganache.

Custom designed fondant figurines were created to reflect the couple and the groom had a cheeky hand on the bride's bottom. The shells were hand made out of fondant and individually painted to resemble real shells, even the sand was edible.

Detail of custom made "surfing couple"

If you would like to talk to us about a similarly themed cake for your wedding, an approximate price for a cake of this height and with custom made figurines will cost from $550. Having less tiers and simpler figurines will reduce the price.

We can deliver Sydney wide and we cover the South Coast as well. Contact us by email at

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A Rustic Country Birthday Celebration

Last Saturday was the weekend of the big 30th country birthday party that we were styling. I had already created the invitations weeks earlier (you can read about that post here,) Trudy had completed the birthday cake which was designed as a cowboy hat, and everything was falling into place for the big day.

Sydney had been experiencing some gorgeous weather leading up to the day so I was relatively confident that the outdoor event we had planned would go off without a hitch......Hmm can you sense my overconfidence!!!! Even with all of our planning and detailing we couldn't control the weather, cue freezing temperatures, black clouds and howling wind ! Thankfully it didn't rain though.

Picture a huge bonfire with bales of hay for seating, roasting marshmallows, sun setting and people relaxing on the lawn, drink in hand.....NOT ! The wind was so fierce, if we attempted to light the fire I think we would have burnt down half the countryside.

The marquee where the dessert table was supposed to be nearly blew away ! We had designed the dessert table to sit beneath the white marquee with a sheer white cotton curtain backdrop, bare tree branches with glass ball votive candles were to be suspended above the table and tree logs were to be used as risers for the desserts. Given the horrible weather, this gorgeous design flew out the window, along with every other outdoor activity. Trudy and I quickly turned to plan B, the bonfire was canned, the dessert table was set up indoors, and the drink station was moved under the verandah of the house, but most disappointingly for us, we didn't get to see the full design come to life. Oh mother nature certainly is a cruel mistress.

So, the big lesson for us was to never take the weather for granted and to always have a rock solid plan B, for when everything turns pear shaped.

Here are a few shots of the day courtesy of my gorgeous photographer husband. Thanks babe x

We tied a manila tag with brown string to each of the bottles, the idea being that the guests wrote their name on the tag to "keep their glass for the night". If you have a large party of guests that don't know each other, the tags on the glass make it an easy reminder if a name slips their mind.

Some of the props we placed around the property to help enhance the "country" feel. Used wine barrels old steel wheels and the owners driza-bone and Akubra hat. The birthday boy is affectionately referred to as "tractor boy" this was captured in the invitations with the silhouette of the tractor removing trees from the property. The party wouldn't have been complete without the tractor, so we drove it on to the lawn and it worked well as a cheeky reference.

The drink station under the verandah.

The dessert table was moved inside due to the horrible weather. The cowboy hat cake was designed and created by Trudy, and was nearly picked up accidentally by an unsuspecting guest. The cake was a caramel mud cake with white chocolate ganache covered in fondant.

The Little Oak Tree designed and catered the dessert menu. The key ingredient was caramel, which we were told was a favourite of the birthday boy.

Featured on the table:

~ Lamingtons
~ Rocky Road
~ Chocolate Brownies
~ Caramel Slice
~ Anzac Biscuits
~ Fleur de sel Caramel Macarons
~ Fleur de sel Caramels
~ Belgian Chocolate Mousse w' whipped cream and caramel sauce

As I mentioned in a previous post we trialled a new recipe from the Miette cook book for the Fleur de Sel Caramels. These were such a success, we should have made two batches.

Vendor Credits

Glass beverage dispenser - The Little Big Company
Paper Straws - The Little Big Company
Mosser milk glass cake stand - Sweet Style
Invitations, printables and styling - The Little Oak Tree

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Spring has sprung - Afternoon Tea Lemon Syrup Cake

Spring has well and truly sprung here in Oz, with the cherry blossom trees in our yard in full bloom, the scent of jasmine in the air and to top it off it was 27 degrees the other day, magic !

I was given a bag of lemons recently by my kind neighbour and my thoughts instantly turned to our family's favourite cake recipe, Lemon Syrup Cake. It is an old recipe from my grandmother and I have made it so many times now I think I could bake it in my sleep.

 Lemon Syrup Cake

This recipe is my 'go to' if I have to whip up a quick afternoon tea for unexpected guests, but 9 times out of 10 I bake it for the hubby and Callum who are both big fans.

You only need a couple of ingredients and most will be staples in your pantry or fridge.

Place the sugar, lemon rind and butter in your mixer

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind until light and fluffy

After beating your eggs into the butter mixture, fold in the milk and flour

 Our little man is always on hand to lick the spoon

Serve it hot out of the oven with a cup of tea and I promise you won't be disappointed ! My grandmother's recipe for Lemon Syrup Cake is posted below for you and your family to enjoy.


Recipe - Lemon Syrup Cake

125g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of self raising flour sifted
1 cup caster sugar
Rind of one lemon finely grated
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Lemon Syrup
2 lemons juiced (approximately 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 7 inch springform cake tin or loaf pan.

Using your electric mixer, cream butter, 1 cup caster sugar and rind until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add half the flour and half the milk to egg mixture and gently stir to combine, then fold in the remaining flour and milk. Spoon the mixture into your cake tin. Bake for around 45 to 50 minutes (depends if your oven is fan forced or not). Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and make sure it comes out clean.

For the syrup, combine 1/2 cup caster sugar and juice of two lemons, use a fork to mix well. Pour the lemon syrup over the cake whilst it is still hot. I like to skewer the cake a couple of times to allow the syrup to really sink into the cake. Stand in the tin until cooled (I can't bear to wait this long and usually start cutting up the cake when it is still warm from the oven. Yum !)

all images - the little oak tree

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Current Obsession - Vintage Blue Mason Jars

My current obsession is the Mason jar. Not any old mason jar though, it has to be vintage and it has to be blue. My absolute favourite colour is soft blue in all of its hues and these little beauties just sing to me. Such a humble little item, but they are just so gorgeous, especially filled with peonies *love*.

The biggest obstacle to me not having these all over my house is that they were manufactured in America  and are very hard to come by in Australia. Their popularity has soared with their use in weddings, parties and as highly collectable items. If we were lucky enough to be living in the US you could potentially pick them up at flea markets and bric-a-brac stores for as little as a dollar !!! Not so in Oz unfortunately as they are quite pricey to import.

I will definitely have these on my list to hunt for if I ever make it over to the USA. If anyone has a Mason jar that they no longer want, it can find a loving new home with me!


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Miette Cookbook

I have been coveting Miette's new cookbook ever since I heard about it over at Eat Drink Chic and more recently Bakerella posted the recipe for the Tomboy cake which is the cover image on the book.

The demand for the book has been so great that I was on a wait list with the Book Depository, but when they finally had it back in stock I quickly ordered my copy. I have been waiting with bated breath for my little package to arrive in the letterbox and today it finally came! yay, I love getting something special in the mail other than the dreaded bills.

Miette is a gorgeous little bakery in San Francisco and this is their first cookbook filled with their signature sweets. One of the things Miette is known for is their sweets of a smaller scale with a lot of their cakes only 6 inches.

Don't you just love how a new cookbook inspires you to rush back into the kitchen and start baking. Look how delightfully sweet this book is with it's scalloped edges.

Such big, beautiful, full colour images, certainly have me inspired. I love a cookbook that provides an image for every recipe, I like to know what the finished product is supposed to look like!

Check out the mouth watering Fleur de Sel Caramels. Yum yum, these will definitely be featuring on the dessert table of our upcoming 30th Country birthday party.

 Delicate pale pink meringues

Who could resist this raspberry tart?

I have been searching for a good lemon curd recipe, so this is on my to-do list.

But, first and foremost I am going to have a crack at the Tomboy cake. It just looks so cute and yummy, and at only 6 inches I won't feel half as guilty if I end up eating half the cake!

I am off to the kitchen to rattle some pots and pans, if you would like the recipe for the Tomboy cake you can find it here on Bakerella's site.

Have a lovely day.

Friday, 19 August 2011

30th Country Birthday Invitations

Just finished the print and assembly of the invitations I designed for the rustic country 30th birthday party. 
A lovely package all wrapped up with brown paper and string ready for delivery. Hope the birthday boy likes them. 

I loved using the brown and blue colour palette. I wanted to make the matte brown envelopes a little more interesting, so I customised them by adding lovely striped paper on the inside flap which was individually hand cut and glued in, this was madness in retrospect as it was a time consuming task, but I was happy with the end result.

Invitations all wrapped up and ready for delivery to the client
Hope you have a lovely weekend, let's hope we see a little sunshine.

Take care,
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