“I dream for a living”
Steven Spielberg

How would you like to attend the New York Cake Convention thanks to the wonderful people at the U.S. Confection Connection? That’s right, I read it correctly, but sadly a contest I am not eligible for because I don’t stay in the US or Canada.
Still, anything with cake decoration, especially a theme based one gets me thinking, and a few mails exchanged with Ivonne where she said… “I really hope you take part, Deeba! Even though it’s for US/Canada residents, we are offering a prize to a participant outside of North America. It’s a cookbook but still … we hope you take part!” … and I continued to dream!
Heck, The Daring Kitchen, in conjunction with the U.S. Confection Connection, is offering one lucky person the chance to attend the New York Cake Convention from January 2 to January 5 on an all-expenses paid trip. You’ve still got time to submit your creation by midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on November 9th. All you Daring Baker kind of people who qualify… go for it!
Cake decorating is a passionate hobby for me. I don’t get it professionally perfect, as I have no professional training, and lack the tools & basic ingredients like whipping cream etc, but I manage to some extent. A comment by Manggy on twitter a while ago on this Chocolate & Strawberry Mascarpone Cake for Pink October, made me do a jig of joy. He said something to the effect of it being my signature style, and then it dawned on me. He was right , (like he always is…LOL)! COOL! I’ve actually developed a signature style over the years without realizing it!

So when I saw the shout out for the competition on Daring Kitchen and Ivonnes blog, Cream Puffs in Venice, I knew what I wanted to do. Even better that the contest was theme based; so much easier to focus. My thought … a fat less sponge with a butter/clarified butter/cream frosting & my signature piping on top. Turned out to be a bit of an uphill drive as piping the buttercream wasn’t as smooth as I wanted, so I had to scrape it off & begin all over again. I finally smoothened the cake out with a light whipped cream cover, left it to set & then piped swirls free-hand.
Mr PAB was kind enough to film it as I had promised Happy Cook I would definitely take a video the next time I attempted the piping. I promised her a lesson in piping, but distances being what they are, this seemed a better idea. I recycle milk bags we get here for piping designs etc. Pardon my green nails but I hastily abandoned making marzipan leaves to get this filmed. My first video…

Simplistic cake decorating is my passion, and I enjoyed doing this. A contest asking you to decorate a cake to represent what the Autumn means to you…Starting with a 9-inch cake as your base, create a visual representation of one of the most colourful, beautiful seasons: Autumn.

Your cake can be homemade or store-bought, but you MUST start with a completely undecorated cake. It can also be a single layer cake or a multi-layer cake, that’s up to you!You can use any medium to decorate your cake (i.e., buttercream, fondant, sugarcraft), however, it must all be edible (no non-edible decorations) and it must all be made by YOU!!! This is my cake on Autumn … a beautiful season, when the leaves beginning to turn beautiful colours, where brightly coloured pumpkins stand out in contrast to pale leaves. Colours that weave dreamy designs, each complimenting the other. My inspiration … Colours of Autumn & Pumpkins. My cake … Cinnamon Buttercream Autumn Cake, with pumpkins made out of home made marzipan!

Cinnamon Buttercream Autumn Cake
4 eggs (200gms)
125 gms powdered sugar
125 gms plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour/optional (makes the cake texture lighter)
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon powder

Buttercream filling & frosting
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 tbsps clarified butter
2 tbsps low fat cream
3-4 tbsps powdered sugar
2tsps cinnamon powder (to taste)
Icing Sugar – 3-4 Tbsp

200ml low fat cream
1-2 tbsps powdered sugar food colours as required
Marzipan for pumpkin patch
Home made/from scratch recipe here
For the sponge
Preheat oven to 190C , reduce to 180C after 10mins of putting the cake in. Grease and line a 9″ spring form cake tin.
Sift the flour + baking powder + salt + cornflour + cinnamon powder 3 times.
Beat the eggs and sugar well with beater till very thick ribbon falls and holds in place for at least 5 seconds (beat for approx 10mins).
Add vanilla extract and beat for 1 min. Gently fold in the sifted flour; mix lightly so that air doesn’t escape.
Turn gently into tin and bake for 30-35 mins till done. Once done, remove from tin after 5 mins and leave on rack to cool completely.
Cut horizontally into 3 layers. (Mark side with colour to make it easy to stack back later)

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting/Filling
Whip all ingredients until thick and frosting holds peaks. Sandwich & frost cake with cinnamon buttercream. Leave to set in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Whip the low fat cream & sugar till holds peaks. Colour as desired.
Reserve about 2-3 tbsps in a baggie, and lightly frost the cake to give a smooth finish. Garnish with marzipan pumpkins & leaves.
Chill well before serving.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

Don’t miss a post
Just got a mail from the lovely ladies of the Daring Kitchen…

Hi Deeba!!!
Guess what … you’re our winner of the copy of Roland Mesnier’s Basic to Beautiful Cakes! While we’re sorry your entry couldn’t count towards the trip to NYC, your creation was so beautiful you were the hands-down winner among our non-North American entries. Congratulations! Send us your address and we’ll send you a copy of the book!
Ivonne and Lis
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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. Vivian says:

    Deeba, this is absolutely gorgeous! Such a shame that you are not eligible to compete. You make it look so easy. And yet I know it takes a steady hand to do what you do.

  2. Steph says:

    Deeba, I love your style, not just for cake decorating, but with all your desserts. They're always sophisticated without being overdone.

    You make the piping look so easy, but I wouldn't know where to start. Thanks for the vid!

  3. The Cooking Ninja says:

    Deeba, if u didn't tell me that, I wouldn't have known that you have no training on it. Thot u are a professional. :) Your cake looks smashing. Hope you win that trip.

  4. Barbara Bakes says:

    Now I'm even more impressed with your skills after watching how quickly you designed that beautiful cake! You cakes do have a simple elegance, but also a wonderful sophistication! Bravo!

  5. Snooky doodle says:

    wow what a nice cake. delicious. i m sure you ll win .

  6. Tracy @ Sugarcrafter says:

    Gorgeous cake!!

  7. Gloria says:

    Dear Deeba Im mute!!! absolutely and is so difficult je,je!! I have seen your cake and Im in love!! absolutely, look delicious tasty, nice, delicious and etc. the pictures georgeous, huggsss!! tres belle! gloria

  8. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    Beautiful post as always and I really enjoyed the vid.

  9. Asha @ FSK says:

    Gorgeous cake!! and the swirls are indeed your signature style! :))

  10. Wow, it looks so elegant! It's beautiful!

  11. Ramya Kiran says:

    Lovely looking cake. loved the color, design and your clicks. Perfect!

  12. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Wow, you are so talented! That cake is magnificent and I love the beautiful decorations!



  13. Susan @ SGCC says:

    Your cake is just gorgeous, Deeba! It is very clear that you are really passionate about this. It shows in every one of your luscious creations!

  14. Amanda says:

    Deeba, this is truly a work of art! All of your cakes are, they are simply gorgeous. I think you should enter, even if it is just for a cookbook, you are sure to win!

  15. zurin says:

    Beautiful Deeba! absolutely so…I love the muted green (my fave colour) n the design is simplicity and sophistication in one…I mite just steal the design one day….so lovely…tq 4 sharing :))

  16. Namratha says:

    Simple and elegant, very nicely done Deeba! I wish you were in the US, definitely competition worthy 😉

  17. The Cooking Photographer says:

    Deeba. I cannot eat this cake. It is so pretty that it should be on display at an art gallery!

    I wish you could enter the contest. You would win hands down.


  18. alice says:

    I love your whimsical piping and your marzipan pieces. Well done!

  19. Federica says:

    questa torta è uno spettacolo!! complimenti!!

  20. Alicia (The Red Deer) says:

    The cake looks fantastic – I love the swirl pattern. I just don't think my hand would be steady enough for it.

  21. Trissa says:

    It's too bad that you can't win the grand prize but I hope you win the book because you did an amazing job!! The cake is not only beautiful but I do love the sound of that cinnamon buttercream.

  22. Megan says:

    Simply beautiful. Your creations make me want to run into the kitchen and start baking. I'll see something (like the last pie) that I want to make for Thanksgiving, then you come up with something else I want to make. What's a girl to bake? :)
    Why cant veggies do that to me???

  23. Jamie says:

    Oh Deeba, I am trying to figure out a way to be able to come and spend a week or two with you in Deeba's Magic Kitchen so I can learn how to do this! It is gorgeous and I was stunned watching the great video (BTW love the sanding/hammering side effects :-) at how easy you make it look! I so need to try this too, though I'll definitely need a template. And now I want the video on how to make those fantastically gorgeous marzipan pumkins! Please??? Deeba, your cake is fabulous! And I love the flavors, too, most definitely Autumn. You deserve to win!

  24. Bethie says:

    Oh Deeba, your cake is so lovely. Feel free to enter it into the contest, just use my name!


  25. Tangled Noodle says:

    I am always in complete awe of your beautiful creations! This truly took my breath away – I adore the little marzipan pumpkins and the piping is so elegant. Just gorgeous!

  26. Bombay-Bruxelles says:

    Deeba, Great first video! Loved it – and the cake is so beautiful!

  27. Helene says:

    This is gorgeous. That would be so nice if you could participate. I love your video. You did an amazing job.

    Your friend Hélène.

  28. lorenabr says:

    This is so great. You have a wonderful cake amazing. It´s pure gourmet art.

  29. lisaiscooking says:

    Such a pretty cake, and I loved seeing your technique on the video! The cinnamon cake sounds delicious too.

  30. Cucinista says:

    Wow! What a great recipe and what cute pumpkins. Welcome Autumn!

  31. As always you are an inspiration. Your cake is gorgeous. I loved the video. Thanks for sharing your talents.

  32. Johanna says:

    wow that cake is beautiful – I would give it a prize – I especially love your pumpkins – so gorgeous

  33. Julia @Mélanger says:

    I do love all your gorgeous cake decorations. You certainly do have a signature style. How great is that? I am just terrible with such detail. It's something I certainly need to improve. You have inspired me!

  34. Nachiketa says:


    That's Deeba written all over the cake n post…..

    Fabulous stuff……

    It took you just 3 minutes to decorate it… would have taken me 300….. along with a stencil… LOL….

    Great going… :-)

  35. Happy cook says:

    I am so late in comming here this time, was really busy yesterday.
    Thankyou so much for making the video, i always wanted to make a beautifully decorated cake like this, but me and cake deco don't go well.
    Wish my hand moved so fast in making decoration like this.
    My hubby loves sponge cake with vream ( ofcourse i have never made one)
    I will sure try to make one during the christmas holidays so we all can enjoy them.
    And a big thnakyou and hegs to you for all the work.

  36. sunita says:

    Deba, this looks fantastic;the last time I did free hand piping was probably years ago. Makes me want to decorate cakes too, which I do not do too much nowadays. Very beautifully done, Deeba.

  37. Hi Deba, when I saw the picture on Tastespotting I knew it was your cake because of the signature piping. Yes, you certainly have developed a style of your own of time. And it is such a beautiful cake as well.

  38. Absolutely stunning as usual Deeba! You have such precision in handling the piping bag – hats off to you!

  39. Cristie says:

    Stunning, just beautiful. So glad to have found your blog.

  40. this is a beautiful cake! and yes it would be wonderful if you could've attended the convention. you show em yea! :) oh well but at least there'll still be cake on the blog for me to ogle at. i love the cake top. the way you've decorated it reminds me of henna :)

  41. Mowie @ Mowielicious says:

    Gorgeous Deeba – I was mesmerized watching that video. Although I don't know how you can work with all that noise in the background – I'd go insane. I need absolute silence when baking or taking shots =)

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos.

  42. Dragana says:

    Lovely cake, Deeba! I love the video – you make it look super easy! I hope you win the cookbook.

  43. sandhya says:

    Gorgeous cake deeba….u make it look so easy…

  44. The contest should really do itself justice and extend the borders – I mean isn't baking really without borders???

  45. Vrunda says:

    Deeba, it's a beautiful creation. You are very talented. I hope it will fulfil your wish.

  46. Sophie says:

    What a fabulous & georgous looking master piece!!

    My grandmother was also a master in making fabulous cakes like this!!

    Congrats!! The full filled cake looks stunning!!

  47. Sophie says:

    What a fabulous & georgous looking master piece!!

    My grandmother was also a master in making fabulous cakes like this!!

    Congrats!! The full filled cake looks stunning!!

  48. cookeaze says:

    Wonderful and really amazing.This shows your talent and the effort you made to prepare this.Absolutely stunning as usual and always you are an inspiration.Good presentation in video and i really loved and enjoyed it.Thanks for sharing.

  49. Gera @ SweetsFoods says:

    An exquisite cake with gorgeous contrast in colors and the decoration is superb!!

    You're a sweet master :)



  50. So Classy and Elegant! You make it look so easy, but I would be struggling with just filling in the cream in the bag. I am speechless Deeba.

  51. Spice says:

    your cake looks like an art piece…sooo perfect…and u even don't have access to all the fancy cake decoration stuff easily. OMG I wish if i could only do 10% of that cake dec. i'll be happy for myself….looks so yummyyyy.

  52. Peggy Bourjaily says:

    Oh! I hope you win that cookbook!! Those pumpkins are darling.

  53. Lauren says:

    Stunning Deeba. Simply gorgeous! Good luck winning the cookbook =D.

  54. the pumpkins are adorable Deeba. Lovely!

  55. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Deeba, this is as always stunning! I love the swirl detail, the kind of thing I am too nervous to do so I really applaud your cake! :)

  56. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    Your pumpkins are gorgeous! Congratulations on your first video. Good job recycling the milk bags – it's a clever idea.

  57. Shabs.. says:

    Deeba, I simply adore u….U always leave me speechless with ur AMAZING creations and cake decorating!The cake looks fabulous and too good…..Thx for the info on the LONDON blogger meet…..Wish i cud join…..eventhough far from london!
    By the way, ur pics are too good too…!!!
    Keep up ur great work…..U r really inspiring….

  58. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    Beautiful stuff, Deeba. :)

    I make my marzipan with confectioner's sugar and almond powder at a 1:1 ratio and add Amaretto until I achieve the right consistency. My friend tells me it tastes just like Italian marizpan. 😉

  59. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking says:

    BEAUTIFUL and elegant cake, Deeba!!

  60. Purnima says:

    Amazing speed at piping ( I used the plastic bags as well! Eqpts. missing, untrained..yet so magnificient!!)
    Deeba I WISH you win , u deserve every bit of it! Congrats on ur first video n tks for sharing it as well! With ur Birthday around the corner, hope it will be GRANDEST!!!!!!!!

  61. this is so gorgeous and i love the simplicity in ingredients. it's wonderful. would make a nice top wedding cake! *wink*

  62. The Purple Foodie says:

    YAY Deeba! Congratulations on your first video! You pipe with so much ease! I'd take 10x the time you took…

  63. Michelle says:

    OH Vindee, what a gorgeous cake! Absolutely love the design and so perfect for this time of year too!

  64. AManda says:

    YOu did so beautifully… I am sorry you didnt qualify, you should win it all! :)

    Thanks for the video… I was so thankful to watch it, I have wanting to try that technique forever!


  65. Purnima says:

    RT @VINDEE 😀 Deeba, CONGRATS on the truly deserving win! Njoi ur new book whenever it reaches you! Tks to Daring Kitchen ladies to hv showered true appreciation for your perseverance! HUGS!

  66. Sunita says:

    Wow Deeba!! Your creations are always a masterpiece. This one I must say is "the master of all". The colours, the design and everything is so perfect!
    Hearty Congrats on winning the book! Best Wishes always ~ Sunita

  67. Jeanne says:

    Only somebody who is TRULY passionate abotu baking could create that – I would never have the patience, or the flair. Stunning!

  68. Arlette says:

    Hello Deeba

    I cannot stop from shouting a big WOOOOWWWWWWWWWWw… Its Gorgeous a true master-piece… I love the frosting and flavours….a true artist ….

    Congratulation my friend.

  69. telecommande xbox 360 says:

    The frosting and looks of the cake makes me go yum yum! Indeed a fantastic cake! The pattern and decoration makes it look adorable.

  70. nutties420 says:

    Hi Deba,

    Thank you for this lovely post. Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday and am planning to try this cake. Hope i get an end result like you have.

  71. This post gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very awesome one and gives indepth information. kudos for this awesome blog post! Respectfully, Era.

  72. Woh I love your blog posts, saved to fav! .

  73. So pretty!
    Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden´s last blog post ..Baby Shower Pumpkin CupcakesMy Profile

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