Monday, 23 April 2012

An elephant sized celebration - Our wee boy turns 2

This past weekend we celebrated our wee man's second birthday......I can't believe he is two already, where has the time gone? I guess it is true what they say though, that "time flies when you are having fun", and we have had trunk loads....

So many ideas were buzzing in my head when it came to planning a theme for his party, but when it came down to it there was really no debate. Our little man's favourite toy is his constant companion Ellie........a very unusual looking stuffed elephant. So an elephant theme it was to be.

First step was designing the invitation. I had settled on a soft colour palette of grey and lemon with a chevron pattern and balloons as added details. It is a double sided invitation with "Callum is 2" on the reverse. This was used as a poster backdrop for the dessert table as well.

Grey & Lemon - Elephant themed birthday invitation

I sent the invitation through to my super talented mum (Trudy) and she matched the dessert table elements to the invitation perfectly.

Some of the yummy desserts Trudy created for the day:
  • Vanilla Elephant cupcakes - with vanilla butter cream and a fondant elephant topper.
  • Absolutely GORGEOUS gingerbread elephant cookies (also as individual take home favours)
  • Bite sized lemon curd tartlets
  • A beautiful Lemon and Poppyseed birthday cake covered in lemon fondant with a cute elephant topper
  • Passionfruit macarons

 ooops, macarons are not added to the table yet in this image.

 Elephant cupcakes, Gingerbread cookies, Lemon curd tartlets

 Lemon & poppyseed cake, Passionfruit Macarons, Vanilla cupcakes

 We also had a couple of take home party favours:
  • Test Tube Pina-Colada jelly beans with custom labels
  • Mini Lindt chocolate bars with custom wrapper
  • Take home gingerbread cookies with custom bag topper that read "pack one in your trunk for the trundle home".
 Pina-colada jelly beans - take home favours with custom labelling

 Take home gingerbread cookies with custom bag topper

 Lindt chocolate bars with customised chevron wrapper

It was such a fun and beautiful day, Callum had a fabulous time and was spoilt rotten with very generous gifts from his doting Aunt's and Uncle's, family and friends.

Our wee boy enjoying his chocolate milk.

All of the printables from Callum's party are now available for purchase. Prices start from as little as $15 for the invitation. We can also provide a quote for a tailored cake and desserts. Our details are available on the contacts page.

All artwork and printables - Kylie, The Little Oak Tree
Styling and Photography - Kylie, The Little Oak Tree
Catering, Cake and Desserts - Trudy, The Little Oak Tree


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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
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