Loop Bow & Paint Drip Cake Tutorial


Today, I’ll be sharing with you how to make this loop bow and paint drip cake!

Firstly, you need to split, fill and ice your chosen cake or cakes. I’ve made this into a small two tier (7″ and 5″ round) as it was for my friend’s daughters birthday. However, this effect is great on a single tier too! The choice is yours.

Once you have iced your cake or cakes, it’s important to let them ‘set’ overnight. That way when we are sticking our bows to the icing, we aren’t going to damage it and it will be easier to create the paint drips on dry icing.

To make the bows, I’ve used modelling paste which I have coloured with Sugarflair concentrated colours as I find them to make the most vivid colour! You can similarly use Mexican or flower paste if you prefer, but I would not recommend sugarpaste as it’s simply too soft. (My article on the different types of icing and their uses can be found here.)

Roll out your modelling paste on a cornflower surface to an even thickness. I’ve used a set of small rolling pin spacers. (You can buy them from Iced Jems.)

Once rolled out, cut into even strips using a sharp knife or a cutting wheel. Then, glue the end of a strip and fold it over gently to create a bow. It should hold its shape when placed on its side. If it doesn’t, chances are the paste you are using is too soft. Add in a stronger paste (Mexican or flower) to counteract this.


Repeat with any and all colours and leave them to dry on foam, preferably overnight. Drying on foam allows air to circulate all the way round the loop so that they dry completely.

Don’t worry if you have got cornflour in the middles, once they are dry, this can be brushed off with a large dusting brush. For stubborn cornflour marks, use a little rejuvenator spirit or vodka.


For the paint drips, colour up royal icing however you would like but you need to make sure it’s on the runnier side. We don’t want it stiff for piping delicate details. Add in a little more water than you would usually until is flows off a spoon. (Think, run out consistency.) You can always make your own royal icing, but I find royal icing powder, available from all good supermarkets, is perfect for this.

Starting from the top middle of your cake, squeeze out a little coloured royal icing and let it drip down the side of the cake. You can do small amounts at a time, changing the colours when you like. I wanted quite a bright and shocking effect with this cake which is why I went with black icing and rainbow colours, however, when I taught this cake as a two day class, one lady did white icing with pink and yellow ‘drips’ for Easter and it looked awesome!

You can really let your imagination run wild with this design.

If you don’t want to use royal icing, you can use white chocolate and colour it with concentrated colours, I would recommend powder colours when working with chocolate to stop it seizing.

Once you have ‘painted’ the cake and you are happy it’s finished. (It can be hard to step away from it!) let your drips dry completely.

Then, to assemble your loop bow, create a circle on the top with your loops, then using a little royal icing as glue, layer them on top of each other in another round, finishing with a few sticking out of the top.

Leave this all to dry overnight and there you have it, a loop bow, paint drip cake!

Loop Bow & Paint Drip Cake Tutorial

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Give it a try and let me know how you get on either on Facebook or Twitter and Instagram.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

How To Make Easy Ganache


Chocolate ganache makes an excellent covering for cakes. If you’re using it as a base for sugarpaste, using it on it’s own like my Chocolate Orange Fudge Cake, or for piping onto cupcakes, it’s really very versatile and delicious!

Lots of different bakers will have lots of different ratios and ways of making ganache, but this is the easy and simple method I use and it’s never failed me. I use the microwave and not over a pan of hot water, meaning you have to be a bit more careful not to burn it but once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be a pro!

For dark chocolate I use a 2.5:1 ratio and for white chocolate I use a 3.5:1 ratio. Also, when I make it, I make a lot. Usually because I will be completely covering a cake or two, if you don’t need that much you can always halve these recipes (which I’ve put in brackets) but keep the ratios intact. The full recipe below is enough to cover an 8″ round twice. I tend to do two coats to make it nice and smooth.

Chocolate Ganache*

  • 750g dark chocolate (375g)
  • 300ml double cream (150ml)

White Chocolate Ganache

  • 1050g white chocolate (525g)
  • 300ml double cream (150ml)

* Because I use a dark chocolate that is low in cocoa density, by adding the cream it makes a milk chocolate as you can see in the picture above.  For proper dark chocolate you would need at least 70% cocoa in the bar.


  1. Put the chocolate and cream into a microwavable bowl.
  2. Microwave on full power in 30 second bursts, whisking furiously in between.
  3. Do this three times until it is nice and smooth.
  4. Once you’ve done this, it will be thick but liquid. (it is at this stage you can pour over a cake for a drip effect)
  5. Cover and leave to set for two hours, preferably overnight.
  6. Once set, give it a good whisk and it’s ready to use!

Top Tips

  • If, when using, it goes too hard to spread, microwave on 10 second busts, stirring in between.
  • Once finished with, should you have any left over, cover and leave in the fridge. I find it usually lasts about a week. Again, pop it back in the microwave following the above instructions to bring it back to life.
  • Use affordable chocolate. The thing with ganache is because you use so much chocolate, it can get quite expensive. For this, I just use supermarket own chocolate and it has never let me down.
  • Dip your palette knife in hot water occasionally when covering to help you get a nice smooth spread.
  • If it’s a hot day and it’s runnier than you need it or you need it to firm up, pop it back in the fridge. Temperature is key with ganache, leave the ratios of chocolate to cream alone.
  • If using ganache as a base to cover a cake in sugarpaste, leave to set and cool completely on the cake before covering. If the ganache is still wet there is a chance it can seep through the sugarpaste.
  • If you want to pour it over your cakes and bakes, do this at step 4. If you leave it to set, it’s great for spreading on, but you won’t be able to pour it on.
  • You can flavour your ganache when it is liquid using good quality concentrated flavourings.
  • You can also colour your white chocolate ganache at the liquid stage. I recommend using powder food colourings to stop the chocolate seizing but you can also use a tiny amount of concentrated paste colouring.
  • If you find it’s too hard to pipe onto cupcakes, beat it with a hand whisk or stand mixer until fluffy. Do this after it has cooled.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on, either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Cake International London – Show Report


This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to report on Cake International at Alexandra Palace, London. The sugarcraft and cake decorating show always pulls in the crowds with it’s world renowned competitions, exhibition stands and tasty treats to take home.


I am always amazed by the sheer level of talent on display at Cake International. The competition entries are out of this world and with 18 different categories and hundreds of entrants, it makes for some amazing viewing!

This year, it was held at Alexandra Palace, making a change from it’s usual home at ExCeL. It’s a beautiful building and on Sunday when I went, the sun was shining and the grounds looked exquisite. A life-sized wedding cake dress, which I had seen on social media on the build up to the show, greeted you as you walked into the bright and open entrance hall. It was stunning.

Wedding Dress Cake made by Fun n Funky Cakes & Selba Ltd.

There were lots of companies there selling all sorts of cake, baking and sugarcraft equipment including FMM Sugarcraft who make the wonderful tappit cutters I use for all of my messages, (for a step by step tutorial, click here). They have recently brought out an Emoji cutter set that I can’t wait to try and also a Farm Animals and Tractor sets, don’t they look adorable on this cake! Topped with the More Than A Birdhouse cutter to look like a barn! Adorable. As well as Dawn Butler with her Cake Frame sets which I think are amazing! They really add a WOW factor to your bakes.

Farmyard Cake by FMM Sugarcraft

Cake Frame by Dawn Butler

As well as tool stands, there were tasty treats on offer from The Brownie Bar (I’m slightly obsessed with their Lemon Meringue Blondie and I *meant* to take a picture but I ate it as soon as I had my hands on it…) and The Ice Cream Cab, which is so cute. I got a two scoop Mint Choc Chip and Toffee & Honeycomb. It was amazing.

The Ice Cream Cab

The Cake Carnival by Sugar Show Productions was a nice touch! You could go in and see the amazing works of art from the traditional Punch & Judy, ringmaster and circus tent, through to the weird and wonderful two headed lady, Zoltar and even a human heart under a glass dome. Fantastic work!

Batman vs Superman by Rose Masefield

Maleficent by Emma Jayne Cake Design

Hollywood was represented at Alexandra Palace this weekend to in the form of Batman vs Superman by Rose Macefield and Maleficent by Emma Jayne Cake Design. Amazing work!!

And of course, it wouldn’t be Cake International without the competitions. Bakers from around the world are eligible to enter in one of the 18 categories including celebration cakes, decorative exhibits, wedding cakes (of three or more tiers), cupcakes and sculpted novelty cakes. Young bakers also get a chance to show off their skills in four categories including a decorative exhibit (under 18 years) and birthday cakes in under 9’s, 10-12 years and 13-16. I think this is great, I wish I had my passion for baking now at that young age!

Here’s just a few of the amazing works on show this weekend. Congratulations to everyone who entered. I know from having lots of caking friends that it is a ridiculously stressful thing to undertake and you all have my utmost respect and are all winners! Your hard work is amazing and they all looked incredible.

And of course, there was Best In Show. The competition entry that surpasses all others and the one the judges deem worthy of taking home the much sought after title. I am very pleased to say that the winner this year was Dawn Butler for her Albert Einstein bust. It’s incredible and Dawn has done exceptionally well. It’s a work of art and VERY well deserved in my opinion. I know how hard Dawn works on everything she does so seeing her win makes me very happy indeed. Congratulations, Dawn!

That’s all from me for Cake International April 2016 at Alexandra Palace! I had a fantastic day. I hope you enjoyed my coverage and if you went, enjoyed the show! The next Cake International is at the NEC Birmingham on 4th – 6th November.

Come find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and if you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Baking My Way Out Of Depression


Back in 2006 when I was 17, I was officially diagnosed with depression. “It’s no wonder, really, considering what you’ve gone through.” my GP said sympathetically. “We’ll put you on some medication to make it a bit easier to cope with.” I didn’t know much about anti-depressants. Even though my mum was a mental health nurse when she was alive, it wasn’t something we spoke about much. After all, I was just a kid.

Just under a year before that appointment, my mum had died after a 4 year battle with cancer. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I remember the day she was diagnosed, she came to my school and my name was called out over the tannoy. My friends joked that I was obviously in trouble. My mum told me but I didn’t really understand. She told me they had given her 3-5 years but that they were going to fight it and her doctor was hopeful they had caught it in time. I was 13 and in complete denial that anything would ever happen to her. A year before that, her own mum, my nan, had died from breast cancer. It hit my mum hard and now she was terrified of leaving me.

“We’ll start you on a small dosage to see how you go” said my GP. I said ok and went on my way. After a few days of taking them I didn’t notice any difference but I was told it might be a while before they took effect.

By my 18th birthday, I was working in an office as part of a sales team. Turns out, I was pretty rubbish at it. Hard selling was not my strong point. “No, I’m not interested in buying advertising” said a potential customer. “Ok, sorry to bother you, bye.” would always be my reply. Needless to say, I didn’t last long in that job. I thought maybe something a bit more dynamic would suit me, so I got a job as a waitress. This one, I was better at. I was good with people, good at organisation and I liked eating. But my depression had other plans for me. I would spend my days serving food and my nights crying alone. I didn’t want anyone to see just how weak I felt. I had a meltdown at work in front of everyone and was too embarrassed to go back, so that was the end of my waitressing career.

“Can I have something stronger?” I asked my GP nervously. I didn’t want her to think I was mental but with tears in my eyes and shaking hands, I didn’t look well. “Please.” I found myself saying in what can only be described as the tone of a woman who is ready to quit trying. “Of course” she said. In the months that followed, not a lot happened. I was looking for a new job, had ended a relationship and spent my time watching daytime TV. I had started to feel better, though. After a few particularly good days, I felt the medication must finally be working. But then the following week was the lowest I had ever been. I was so low, in fact, that I decided to end feeling anything once and for all. I bought too many painkillers and made up my mind. I wrote a note and swallowed pill after pill. Then, I waited.

I woke up in hospital the next day. A friend had come to surprise me with a visit and was concerned when she couldn’t get hold of me. I woke up with a heavy sense of relief, I was happy to be alive. I don’t know what came over me. The GP prescribed me an even higher dose. I was now 21, 4 years into taking them and on more than double the original amount I was put on. “Chances are high, you’ll be on this medication for the rest of your life.” the nurse said with a comforting smile.

Six months after this, I felt pretty balanced. I would be happy one day, and distraught the next. It was a 50/50 balance and it seemed the best I could do. I was in a good relationship, had a good job and had good friends around me. I was recovering from an appendix operation after getting septicaemia when a friend asked if I would bake a cake for a Children in Need bake sale. “But I’ve never baked a cake in my life.” I said. I decided to give it a go. Off I went to the supermarket, picked up a packet mix, icing and squeezy coloured icing tubes and set about making a Pudsey face. I didn’t have a round tin, so used a square roasting dish. Halfway through making the packet mix monstrosity, I realised I had been smiling the whole time. I didn’t know what I was doing but I was enjoying myself. I baked the cake and decorated it to the best of my ability. I was so proud. I was so happy.

In the days and weeks that followed, I must have made in excess of 30 cakes. I loved it. I felt great and I was being complimented on how well I looked. “Happiness looks good on you.” someone remarked. Every time I baked or decorated a cake, even if it went wrong, I was smiling. I decided to set up a blog to document my baking and recipes I was trying for myself. I kept it set to private as I didn’t think for one second anyone wanted to read about the 5th time I’d tried to perfect a Victoria Sponge. I would rush home from my day job in an office and the first thing I would do is turn the oven on. “What shall I make today?” It was a question that both excited and appeased me.

I had realised that my bad days were getting few and far between. Don’t get me wrong, I still had them, and when I was low, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I missed my mum and hated the world. But coming back up wasn’t as much of a struggle as it once was. I kept baking and I kept blogging. By January 2013 I’d even turned my blog public. I started being brave and making my own recipes, even reviewing baking products. I didn’t think anyone was reading it. Being creative in the kitchen and on my laptop was a better anti-depressant than any magic pill they could give me.

In 2014, after being made redundant and by the time I had decided to start my own business as a cake decorator, I also made another decision to come off medication for good. The first few weeks were tough. My body had to now make something on it’s own that it hadn’t had to do for 10 years. But with a lot of baking, I got through it.

I now stand before you, as someone who has been off any kind of mood enhancers for over two years and is out the other side of, what felt like a dark and treacherous tunnel. Someone who still has bad days, still has duvet days, but who knows that those days pass, and great days follow. “Chances are high, you’ll be on this medication for the rest of your life.” I still hear the nurse saying those words in my head sometimes. How wrong she was. Accepting the award for Best Blog at the Kent Digital Awards last year made me so happy. If I hadn’t found baking, if I hadn’t found blogging, I honestly don’t know where I would have ended up. My passion has fuelled my career and will continue to do so. The days when I had nothing, I had my oven and my laptop and I felt like the richest girl in the world. I hope that anyone going through a similar situation can take some comfort in my words, it really can get better.

I bake and I blog. I smile and I laugh. I try each day to make my mum proud.

I am She Who Bakes. A baking blogger. Thank you for reading my story.

What Temperature Should I Bake At?


Recently, I posted a picture of my AEG oven on social media. Mainly because by the end of the day it had been on for 6 hours! When I posted it, it was set to 140°c. This prompted a lot of questions and comments asking what on earth I was baking at such a low temperature.

I’ll let you in on a (not so big) secret. I bake nearly all of my cakes and cupcakes at 140°c (fan assisted). I find a lower temperature and a longer duration makes for flat tops and moist bakes. The ‘Low and Slow’ method! But, just like every baker, every oven is individual. With it’s own personality and temperament, every oven made pretty much does what it likes.

My 7″ round Madeira cake, for example, bakes at 140°c for 1 hour and 30 minutes, as opposed to 180°c at 45 minutes. But by doing so I get nice, deep cakes with flat tops and an even bake. I baked all four of these cakes at the same time in one oven. Two on the top shelf, two on the bottom.

With a lower temperature, the heat can be more evenly distributed. So even though my cakes take longer to bake, it saves me time than having to bake them all individually.


When it comes to biscuits, cookies and brownies, I tend to bake at a higher temperature, around 160-180°c but it will always be listed on my recipe.

According to several tests, different ovens set at the same temperature can vary so much as 90°. It’s pretty mad. The only way to really know what’s going on in there is to buy an oven thermometer. They are easily available online for a few quid and will make the world of difference to your baking. My old oven was 15° hotter than it said it was. This made baking a nightmare in the early days because I thought it was me that was the problem!

If you find that your cakes and cupcakes are dry and always have a peak and a crack, chances are your oven is too hot, and very probably through no fault of your own.

It’s taken me a while to get used to my oven and I know that when I set it to 140°c, I get perfect cakes and cupcakes each time. It sounds obvious, but knowing the exact temperature inside your oven takes the hassle and stress out of baking.

Getting to ‘know’ your oven takes time. It takes patience and practice. Also, the older the oven and the more frequently it is used, the more off the temperature can be. When it comes to gas ovens, unfortunately they aren’t something I have experience in using when it comes to baking, but according to Google, 140°c is Gas Mark 1. Try that and let me know how you get on.

Have a play around with temperatures. Just because it says one number in a recipe book, doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. Experiment, test and try.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Happy baking,

Britt xo


How To Make White Buttercream


As butter is one of the key ingredients of buttercream (the clue is in the name!), it’s very common for buttercream or butter icing to be a pale shade of yellow. Most of the time, this is absolutely fine! However, if you want to colour your buttercream or you need it to be white for a specific design, follow the steps below! I have found this is the best way to get white buttercream, perfect for your cakes and bakes.

I recently used this method for the filling in my Creme Egg Cake.

Cut your butter into cubes and pop it in your mixer bowl. Then beat it on a high speed for about 4-5 minutes. This will aerate the butter and create a paler colour.

Next, add in your icing sugar and make your buttercream as usual. I use 250g butter to 500g icing sugar.

Here’s where we get clever. To neutralise the natural yellow colouring in the buttercream, add a TINY amount of purple. For best results, you need to use a concentrated food colouring, I’m using Sugarflair Grape Violet. I need to emphasise how small an amount you need, what you can see on the cocktail stick in the above picture is about right for the amount of buttercream I had but I would start off with an even smaller amount. The key is to add just enough to see the yellow start to turn white, we don’t want purple buttercream.

And there you have it! White buttercream. Perfect for colouring or enjoying in all it’s pure glory!

Alternatively, if you’re interested in how to make black buttercream, check out my blog here.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on either on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy Baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!




How Much Should I Charge For A Cake?


“How much would you charge…?”

I see a lot of posts online with cakes asking how much others would charge for a cake. Please be aware, asking others online their costs is NOT a good indication of how much you should charge. Pricing cakes is a very personal thing. What may be an acceptable price to charge to one person, may be too much or too little to another. Also, asking someone what they would charge then purposely charging cheaper and undercutting them is not cool. They have worked out the costs they would need to run their business and with a little calculations, you can do the same.

The following has exerts taken from my book Cakes, Bakes & Business. (Included with my book is a pricing template which will help you calculate the best costs for your cakes!)

Pricing is a very personal topic. The frustrating answer unfortunately, is one I can’t tell you. No one can. It is something you have to come to on your own. But I can give you some tips to get there. Firstly, you have to know your costs exactly. This means busting out a calculator and every penny of your cake needs to be worked out. You need to consider;

  • Ingredients. If you work out how much 100g of all your basic ingredients cost (flour, sugar, butter etc) and how much it costs per egg, it will make it a lot easier to cost per cake. If in doubt, there are some great apps out there that don’t cost very much (and it’s a business expense!) that will be able to help. If you use online grocery shopping, it’s usually worked out for you in the description of the item
  • Overheads. I’m talking about your gas, electricity, petrol (if delivering), rent etc. Again, this is best off worked out to an hourly rate, then you can calculate how many hours it takes to bake.
  • Equipment. Boards, boxes, dowels. If you need to purchase a special cutter for a project. It all needs to be included in your costs.
  • Your time. This is the one most people struggle with. If you were applying for a job, what is the minimum amount per hour you would accept? It’s at this stage that everyone will undercharge as they are scared of pricing their time too highly. If you don’t pay yourself a decent wage, you will struggle to run this as a business, especially if you are counting on this being your main source of income.

Once you have calculated how much a certain cake would cost you to make, including your time, you can then start to think about how much you want to charge for it. I guarantee in your first few months you will undercharge. You may think you are asking for too much. I promise you, you’re not. Once you have been making cakes for a few months and you realise that you cannot put your heart and soul into a project, only to be paid £1.21 an hour (yep, that’s how much I was paying myself at the beginning!) you will realise something has to change. Your time, your talent and YOU are worth more than that.

Make a pricing guide and stick to it. One thing I did was work out how much I would charge for a basic 6” round, 7” round etc up to a 14” round. I did the same for square and I did the same for fruit cake. That way I knew what my prices started at. When I say started at, it’s because the price we are working out is just for the cake itself.

If someone ordered a cake from you with just a ‘Happy Birthday’ message on it and someone else ordered the same size cake but with two 3D models of the birthday girl and her cat, a message, small models of her favourite things and they wanted the cake to be a specific flavour that you will need to buy extra ingredients for, you simply can’t charge the same amount.

What I would do is have my starting cake cost and then add on costs for modelling/extras. You can do this either by pricing per model (again, work out your ingredients cost to see how much that will cost you and then your time also) or by the hour. It’s up to you. By having a pricing chart to know what your cakes start at, it also makes tiered cakes easier to price. You will need to take into account extra costs for dowels and cake boards etc.

At the end of the day, if you are making cakes for friends and family, you can charge what you want (although, contrary to popular belief, if you are making cakes regularly your kitchen MUST be registered with the council and you must register yourself as having another income, or you could be in serious trouble. For more information on this, check out my book which has everything you need to know regarding this), however, if you want to make cakes for people as a business, you need to work out a proper pricing structure. It will only take a few months of sleepless nights and no money to make you start to resent what you do and if you are turning your hobby into a career, it’s very probably because you love it, and you don’t want to lose that passion.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

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