My Great-Uncle Jackie turned 80 on Boxing Day. As we were both back home between Christmas and New Year I was asked to make a cake to mark the occasion.
My Uncle Jackie is a pretty special person to me. All of my grandparents had died by the time I was 2 so I never had that grandparent experience that so many people take for granted. My Uncle Jackie was married to my Aunt Nellie and she was my Granny's sister. When Granny died they became honorary grandparents to my 3 brothers and I. My Aunt Nellie died almost 4 years ago and I still do my best to see my Uncle Jackie whenever I am back home. He really is the Granda I never had.
I wanted to make something pretty special for his birthday. Reaching 80 is pretty massive achievement and I wanted to show this on the cake. After doing a bit of digging online I spotted some cakes that showed a timeline of events which was exactly what I was after. I wanted a cake that told a story and covered many milestones in his life. He was married to my Aunt Nellie for 51 years and during that time they had 4 children and 7 grandchildren. With the help of his kids we put together a story of photos charting his life as a wee boy in Belfast to the present day.
I felt under immense pressure to make this cake and make it perfect. All my baking tools were packed in my suitcase to bring home with me and I had to deal with the stress that is using another oven. Thankfully everything turned out great. The birthday boy loved his cake and I even managed to whip up some cupcakes to use up the leftover photos.
It was a challenge but I'm so pleased with it, it's definitely one of my favourite cakes I've ever made.
Happy Birthday Uncle Jackie!