Engagement Party Cupcakes!

08/17

This weekend, Tim and I had our Engagement Party! 💍 You can read all about our evening over on my lifestyle blog; She Who Blogs

I wanted to do some baking for the party but I knew I didn’t have time to make a big cake with everything else we were organising, so instead I took my time over the days and made cupcake toppers in advance and made the cupcakes on the Friday afternoon.

I went with three different flavours; classic vanilla (one to please everyone!), salted caramel and dark chocolate chips and lemon and white chocolate chips (my favourite!). I made them in blue and white cases and topped them all with an aqua blue vanilla buttercream to match our colour scheme. Coloured with Sugarflair Aqua concentrated food colouring.

For all three flavours, I started with a classic vanilla cupcake recipe, (you can find the one I use here as well as the buttercream recipe I use) and I then added either lemon or salted caramel flavouring and 100g of dark or white chocolate chips. Nice and simple!

For the toppers, there were two designs. One of white shells made from Karen Davies Marshmallow Sugarpaste, which is my favourite thing to model with, in a silicone shell mould from Iced Jems sprayed with a pearl lustre spray. The second was a heart, also cut out from the Karen Davies paste, ‘B&T’ letters made from Mexican paste and Tappit cutters (read my blog on these beauties here) and little shell and pearl sprinkles also from Iced Jems. The mermaid tail cupcakes were made using a mould from Iced Jems and Karen Davies sugarpaste, coloured with Sugarflair Aqua and sprayed with pearl lustre spray.

I was super pleased with the end result! They were delicious and fit the beach theme perfectly! I showed them off on a square perspex stand I hired from The Unique Cake Company in Rainham.

Hope you like them as much as we did!

Happy baking,

Britt xo

 

New SundayGirl Company Apron!

08/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New blue apron to go with my new blue tipped hair! By The SundayGirl Company!

The SundayGirl Company are a creative award winning British design brand who take an innovative approach into breathing new life into the glamour of yesteryear with our beautiful Pinnies for Pin ups and Little Misses. Based on original mid century apron styling, we design our own fabrics which are screen printed on hard wearing durable cotton drill. We’re inspired by all things feminine, beautifully vibrant and engagingly kitsch. 

They have a wide range of gorgeous aprons in lots of colours and styles, all made here in the UK. The fabric feels amazing! If you want to feel like a kitchen goddess when you’re baking up a storm, go check these lovely ladies out here!

Have you got one of these beautiful aprons? I’d love to see! Send me a picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Essential Tools For Icing A Cake

08/17

No matter where I am, in my kitchen, teaching or demonstrating, if I’m icing a cake there a few essential tools I have got to have with me so I know I’m going to get the best results. These tools are so well used when I am decorating that I can get them out of the drawer and lay them out like this, pretty much without looking!

I know everyone will have different ways they get the best results, but these tools have never failed me and I recommend them to anyone looking to up their icing game.

I talk about which tools and ingredients you need for cake decorating, including stand mixers in my e-book How To Start A Cake Business From Home, but below is what I would use, just to split, fill and ice my cake.

You can buy the tools below from Iced Jems.

essential tools numbered

  1. A large non-stick rolling pin. I recommend using these kind of rolling pins over wooden ones or a few reasons. Wooden rolling pins can sometimes leave a grain effect on your icing (which is great if that’s part of the design!) and they can be tricky to keep clean. With one like this, it’s non-stick, so perfect for sugarpaste/icing and by having a large one it’s easier to roll out the sugarpaste and get it on to your cake, as I generally use the rolling pin to lift the icing off the surface.
  2. Spacers. These little beauties have been a life saver in my career as a cake decorator. They ensure you roll out your sugarpaste to the optimum thickness, ¼”. Years on from when I started, I can roll out sugarpaste to ¼” thick without too much bother but I still use these as a back up. They are also brilliant for rolling out marzipan and cookie dough.
  3. Cornflour. I use cornflour in a shaker to stop my sugarpaste from sticking to the side. I know using icing sugar may be the standard in kitchens but I much prefer using cornflour. I find it doesn’t make my sugarpaste grainy, I don’t have to use as much, it’s easier to dust off once I’m finished, easier to clean up (sticky surfaces anyone!) and it’s cheaper. Win.
  4. Smoothers. You can buy these individually but I recommend using two. They are for smoothing the sugarpaste onto and around your cake and board. I use two so that I can hold the cake in place with one and smooth with the other, that way eliminating any fingerprints or hand marks.
  5. Cake leveller. If you’ve ever tried cutting the top off a cake with a knife, you will know it’s seemingly impossible to cut in a straight line, I can’t do it to save my life! So, by using a cake leveller, you can level the top with ease and also split your cake into as many layers as you like knowing they will be nice and even!
  6. Cranked pallet knife. With the cranked shape of the knife, it makes spreading buttercream in and on your cakes so much easier and gives a nice, smooth finish and is easier on your wrist!
  7. Cake! It seems obvious I know. But what I mean by this is a good quality, sturdy cake for decorating. Whenever I ice a cake, I use my Madeira cake recipe. It bakes at 3″ deep which is great for splitting into layers, it’s nice and even and has a great crumb structure which lends well to carving, too. Something like a Victoria sponge is really light and I wouldn’t recommend icing it. You will get a better finish with a stronger cake, like a Madeira.

As well as this I use good sugarpaste/icing, buttercream, a thin cake card for underneath the cake and a 12mm thick cake drum (iced too, of course!).

For more information on the different types of icing available and what they are best for, check out my article Which Icing Should I Use?

Also, check out my ebook How To Start A Cake Business From Home for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

It’s My Birthday!

06/17

Today is my birthday and once again I’ve made my own cake!

I’ve made my own birthday cake since I first started baking back in 2011 and I have loved every one of them! It’s always something I look forward to.

This year, I was busy making my friends wedding cake most of the week as well as prepping for my birthday holiday, by the time you read this, I will be sitting on the beach with a cocktail in hand!

As I wasn’t having a party this year, just a few friends over for some nibbles, and I was flying early (5am!) the next morning, I made a simpler cake this year, one that could be easily sliced and popped into some foil for my nearest and dearest to take away with them!

I still love it though. Five layers of coloured vanilla sponge, soft velvety buttercream and coated in aqua buttercream ‘scales’. Topped with edible handmade shells, sprinkles and a Little Mermaid keepsake topper.

Here are a few pictures while I was making it and to answer a few questions;
The cake and buttercream recipes can be found on my classic madeira cake recipe page.
The sprinkles by Scrumptious Sprinkles.
The buttercream and sponge was coloured using concentrated Sugarflair colours.
The buttercream ‘scales’ on the outside of the cake was made by piping dots and using a palette knife to create the pattern.
The board was made using a marbelling technique I talk about here.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

 

Egg Free Vegan Meringues

06/17

If you follow my Twitter or Instagram you may know that a few years ago in 2015, I developed a rather severe egg allergy. It happened almost overnight and one day I could eat eggs fine, and the next I was in hospital in agony. The rather bizarre thing was, eggs baked into cakes and cookies etc, I would be absolutely fine with. But scrambled, poached, omelettes and even quiche was out of the question. I would be rolling around in agony and I wasn’t up for that to be honest so I completely cut eggs out of my diet (with the exception of cakes, luckily!). I found a bit of information about this kind of allergy here and here if you’re interested.

Since then I’ve been researching for egg substitutes in goodies that have made me unwell, meringues being one of them.

I saw online that you could actually make meringue from aquafaba, which is the water from a can of chick peas! I was ultimately rather skeptical, but having watched a few videos and read a few blogs, such as this one from Sainsbury’s, I wanted to give it a go myself to see if I could enjoy meringue again!

It had been on my list of things to make but as of late I had been taking a little bit of a baking break, then this afternoon I had made this gorgeous Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew by Lazy Cat Kitchen and just as I was about to drain the precious aquafaba down the sink, I remembered; MERINGUE!

It’s ultimately exactly the same process as normal meringue. Whisk up the ‘egg’, in this case aquafaba, add in flavouring and dry ingredients, pop on a baking tray and leave in the oven for 7 days. Ok, only a few hours but it feels a lot longer when you wanna see what it turns out like!

There are lots of different variations on this recipe but I went with a basic meringue of –

  • 1 x 400g can chick peas, drained. (For the actual chick peas, I highly recommend the stew recipe I’ve linked above! It was delicious).
  • 120g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I’ve seen other recipes with cream of tartar in it, which I should have probably used but I didn’t have any in the cupboard.

Whisk up the aquafaba on a high speed until it goes white, fluffy and has ‘soft peaks’. NOTE: This took longer than it usually does with normal egg whites so persevere and keep at it.

Add in the vanilla and icing sugar one tablespoon at a time.

There are so many options when it comes to meringue designs. You can pipe it into an attractive shape, blob it on using a spoon, make kisses using a star nozzle, the choice is up to you. Whatever you decide, put your meringue onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

I went with a mixture of kisses and swirls, because why not. I also wanted to add a bit of colour to mine as I love all things bright and colourful.

I fitted a disposable piping bag with a closed star 1J nozzle and painted Sugarflair concentrated food colouring up the sides of the piping bag. For this I used Deep Purple, Aqua Blue and Baby Pink. For more detailed photos on this aspect, check out my other blog post here about dyed buttercream. They piped the same as normal meringue. So far, so good.

I also used a piping bag holder from Iced Jems which has been a life saver. Do you know how many times I’ve dropped a piping bag while trying to fill it one handed? Lots. Lots of times.

 

I then piped my swirls and stars onto a greaseproof paper lined tray and baked at 90ºC fan assisted for 2 hours, then turned the oven off and left them in there until the oven had gone cold. I actually turned the oven off and went out for the evening so I couldn’t tell you exactly how long they were left in there but I would personally leave them in for a further hour at least once your oven is off.

 

The fab thing is, they taste (to me anyway) like ordinary meringues! I’ve not had them in a while now but they certainly taste how I would expect them to! Finally meringue is back on the menu for me and I’m rather happy about it!

Make sure to keep them in an airtight container to stop them going soft. They should last 3-4 days.

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

Happy Baking!

Britt xo

Check out my ebook How To Start A Cake Business From Home for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

 

How To Make Icing Rose Petals

05/17

Edible icing rose petals are a gorgeous addition to any cake, and the great thing is they are relatively quick and easy to make.

I’ve used a pink colour for my petals on this wedding cake but you can use any you like.

 

You will need;

Roll out the flower paste very thinly onto a surface duster with cornflour.

Cut out a petal using the chosen size cutter.

Place this petal into the silicone veiner.

Press firmly and evenly down onto the petal veiner, open and remove the petal carefully onto the shaping pad.

Using a ball tool, go around the petal with half of the tool on the pad and half on the petal, use enough force to bend the petal into shape.

You need to press quite firmly to manipulate the petal but not so hard that it tears.

Once shaped, leave to dry completely (preferable overnight) on drying foam.

Once your petals are dry, use a large dusting brush to gently brush your chosen colour onto the edges of the petal, adding as much or as little as you like.

When you’re finished, your petals are ready for use! If you’re sticking to the side of a cake, like I’ve done in the wedding cake above, I advise to use royal icing. If adding to cupcakes, push into the buttercream. If you’ve allowed the petals to dry overnight, they shouldn’t go soft in the buttercream.

Once the petals are made, they will last for ages.  Pop them in a cake box or a tupperware box with the lid off covered in a single layer of kitchen roll (to keep any dust off) for safe storage. Make sure air can get to them otherwise they may go soft. They will be relatively fragile so be careful when handling.

To find out more about how to make this tiered petal wedding cake, check out my online course here. Currently half price!

Come find me on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy Baking!

Britt xo

Check out my ebook How To Start A Cake Business From Home for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Classic Madeira Birthday Cake Recipe

05/17

A classic birthday cake will have a few elements to it. A soft vanilla sponge, tart seedless raspberry jam, smooth vanilla buttercream and a layer of sugarpaste (ready to roll icing).

Contrary to popular belief, most birthday cakes aren’t a ‘Victoria sponge’. A Victoria sponge is a soft light sponge, baked in two sandwich tins then put together with jam and fresh cream. Lovely for an afternoon tea, but doesn’t lend itself well to be covered in sugarpaste (ready to roll icing). For this, you are better off using a madeira recipe. It’s close textured and firm, whilst still being light and soft to eat. The inclusion of plain flour makes it stronger and better for decorating.

It’s also perfect for carving cakes too, although if you are carving, I recommend popping the cake in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before starting work. This will reduce crumbs and make your life a lot easier! For more about freezing cakes, click here.

Below is my 7″ round (my most popular size of birthday cake ordered) vanilla madeira recipe and vanilla buttercream recipe. It also is perfect to make 12 cupcakes, for more on cupcakes click here. Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature as this will help make a better bake! I also recommend lining your tins. I bake one deep cake and use a cake leveller to cut my cake into there sections (see lemon cake below) as opposed to using individual tins, however, this recipe can be used in sandwich tins, just lower the baking time to 35-40 minutes. I use 3″ deep PME tins that are seamless tins made from professional quality anodised aluminium.

If the cake isn’t baked fully when you cut into it, or it’s squidgy in any way, it needed longer in the oven. Ever oven is different and these timings are an approximation. If in doubt, leave it in a further 10 minutes. Due to the low temperature it won’t dry the cake out and will ensure it’s fully baked. The cake needs to spring back to the touch, be golden brown and a skewer come out clean. This will come with experience, the more you bake, the more you’ll know a fully baked cake on sight.

Should you wish to scale the recipe up or down, a number of helpful charts to work this out are easy to find with a quick google. The convertor on CakeBaker is great and they also have a handy app.  I also like this one found on The Pink Whisk or you can use the water trick I explain here.

To make the cute owl toppers in the above picture, check out my tutorial here.

For more information on how to decorate your cake and go from home bake to showstopper, check out my list of latest online cake decorating courses here.

Madeira cakes

Vanilla Madeira Cake Recipe

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g Stork/butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream together the Stork and caster sugar.
  2. Add in your eggs.
  3. Add in your flour.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. Mix for 4-6 minutes on a high speed.
  6. Pour mixture into a greaseproof paper lined, 7″ cake tin. 
  7. Bake at 140C (fan assisted) for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch. (Check after 1 hour)
  8. Once baked, after 5 minutes on the side, turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave upside down to cool. This ensures a nice flat top.
  9. Once cooled, wrap in clingfilm overnight to ‘settle’.
  10. Once split, filled and iced, this cake will last 7-10 days and will freeze well for 3 months.

NOTE: This recipe is for a 7″ round tin. It is not enough mixture for bigger tin sizes. For this, you will need to convert the recipe here.

For a chocolate madeira;

Follow the recipe above and replace the plain flour for cocoa powder and add 100g melted dark chocolate. For chocolate buttercream, follow the recipe below and add two tablespoons cocoa powder and 50g melted dark chocolate.

For a lemon madeira;

Follow the recipe above and add the zest and juice of one lemon. Alternatively add two teaspoons of lemon extract. For lemon buttercream, follow the recipe below and add two teaspoons of lemon extract and the zest of one lemon.

Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream the butter on it’s own for a few minutes.
  2. Add icing sugar.
  3. Add vanilla.

You can watch me bake this cake in real time on my Facebook page here; PART 1. PART 2.

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 ebook How To Start A Cake Business From Home for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

For more information on how to decorate your cake and go from home bake to showstopper, check out my list of latest online cake decorating courses here.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Lemon Madeira by She Who Bakes

Topped with Scrumptious Sprinkles Lemon Crunch & Lemon Jelly Squares! I LOVE them!! xo

Renshaw Baking’s Recipe of the Month

04/17

This month I’m pleased to announce I’m judging Renshaw Baking’s Recipe of the Month competition. Enter your Easter or Spring themed recipes and cake decorating guides by Wednesday 12th April on the Renshaw website and you could win a Spa Break for 2! I can’t wait to see your entries! Click here to enter!

For a bit of inspiration, check out my below recipe and tutorial video ‘Four Ways To Decorate An Easter Egg Cookie with Renshaw Baking​’ including my best no-spread sugar cookie recipe!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

 

 

 

None More Black

03/17

This week, I made a birthday cake for my friend’s husband. The brief was a very black cake with hints of purple, skulls and other black decorations but with a surprise inside. The surprise was a bright, 6 layer rainbow sponge with white buttercream, a complete contrast to the outside. Scroll to the bottom for a picture my friend kindly sent me when the cake was cut into!!

I absolutely love how this cake turned out! All relevant info on how I made it can be found below –

I used Sugarflair colours inside and out, to find out more about how to make a rainbow cake click here.

To find out more about how to make black buttercream click here.

To find out more about how to make white buttercream click here.

The drips and shards were made with black Candy Melts.

The skulls and other decorations were made with Renshaw black modelling paste and silicone moulds.

Hope you like it as much as I do!

Come find me on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy Baking!

Britt xo

Check out my ebook How To Start A Cake Business From Home for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

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