Well, first off, for those of you who don't know, it's always in honour of William Morris's birthday (1834 - 96). This link will show you previous year's efforts.
Secondly, this year's big cake project isn't a big cake at all. It's 99 little cakes... 99 triple chocolate cupcakes each featuring one of three elements pulled from three William Morris wallpaper patterns: Marigold, Acanthus and Willow (a blog favourite, and it was a cake all on its own in 2010.)
Each cupcake is made of devil's foodcake, topped with ganache and swirled with chocolate frosting. On top of that will be the little Morris-inspired sugar tile. Each will sit in a little box made of paper printed with a shrunk rendition of its wallpaper inspiration. My co-cake-creator Laura has been brilliant at sourcing and resizing and testing a box pattern. They take a long time to create but are very satifsying. Each box is lined on the bottom to give sturdiness and to soak up any cakey butteryness that soaks through the cupcake paper holders.
Below you see us working on boxes, Laura flooding the willow leaf outlines (more finessing and detail work will come later this week), the outlines of the marigolds and acanthus leaves, and finally trying to figure out how to display all these cupcakes. We're thinking of blocking them all together (as opposed to mingling them). It will be a more bold design.