Meet the baker-Honey bee bakes

So firstly please introduce yourself and your business, and where in the UK/World are you

My name is Lauren Smy, I run Honey Bee Bakes from my home in Epping, Essex. I’m a mum of 2.5yo twins and a part time teacher so I only manage a couple of cakes a week at most.

Are you a self-taught cake decorator/baker or are you trained.

Self taught

meet the baker honey bee bakes 1

How long have you been baking?

I have been baking for around ten years but decorated my first fondant covered cake three years ago.

How long have you been running your cake business?

I was registered in August 2015 so around 9 months. Before that i had been making for friends and family for a year or so to build my portfolio.

How do you attract customers to your business?

Mostly through word of mouth, repeat business, recommendations. I also advertise on a few local mums facebook groups which has generated some business.

What do you find is the hardest aspect of running your cake business?


The late nights – I work on cakes when the boys are in bed so often means up into the small hours, on friday nights especially!

What do you love or find the easiest aspect of running your cake business?


Working with people to create their bespoke cake, discussing their preferences and requirements and designing their dream cake!

Do you have a niche?


I have really got into painting on cakes lately! I love the effect. I would describe my favourite style as elegant and pretty.

meet the baker honey bee bakes 3

Who is your favourite cake artist, cake business or you tube channel.


I love the really sharp, neat yet beautiful designs of Caking It Up, Fancie Buns and The Pretty Sugar Cake Company all of whom I love to follow on Instagram!

What one piece of cake decorating/baking equipment could you not do without?


My kenwood mixer! And the Mat. The Mat changed my life, literally!

What was the last bit of cake equipment you purchased?


A new turntable as the old one was squeaking and driving me crazy!

What is the one piece of cake equipment you regret purchasing?


Oh there’s lots of moulds and cutters that haven’t been used
!

What is your favourite brand of sugarpaste?


Tom Anderson own brand never lets me down and has got me some lovely compliments for its taste.

Is there a new skill you would love to learn?


Wired flower arrangements and how to create perfect stripes on cakes!

meet the baker honey bee bakes 2

What are the goals and ambitions for your business over the next 12 months?


To develop the wedding cake side of my business – to offer more consultations, do some wedding fairs and get onto the list of preferred suppliers for local venues. This summer I plan to improve my marketing to attract brides to be.

And lastly what do you prefer a slice of cake or a cupcake?


Slice of cake – with a cup of tea every time!

Thanks Lauren for giving readers an insight into your business. And if you would like to contact Lauren you can do so here http://www.facebook.com/HoneyBeeBakesEpping 

 If you would like to feature please email hello@kakeandcupkakery.co.uk 

Product review: Foodie flavours

When I’m baking and flavouring a cake or buttercream I always tend to add a teaspoon or two of Vanilla extract which is usually the Delish Nielsen Massey brand and then if making a flavoured cake I tend to keep it natural, lemon cake is lemon rind and lemon juice, strawberry buttercream is fresh strawberry purée, blueberry cake I use fresh or frozen blueberries, avocado (yes avocado) buttercream yep you guessed it real avocado. 


But sometimes you get a flavour request where it’s either not that easy to obtain the natural product or your unsure how to properly incorporate that ingredient and so you need a little help and that’s where the Foodie flavour brand came to the rescue.

 I came across this particular brand on Twitter via a friends Twitter feed and looking on the website I realised that they have a dizzying array of flavours, I counted 51 which is very impressive and very quirky bubblegum, lychee, cream soda anyone???

Me finding Foodie flavours was perfect timing because i needed to find some Rose and Lavender flavouring for some wedding cake samples.

I ordered via the website and delivery was quite quick which is always a bonus, and after opening the box I realised I had also received a complimentary Almond flavouring which was a pleasant surprise and I’m  already thinking about how Im going to use it.

One of the cakes I was making was a Rose and Pistachio cake which just speaks romance to me so is perfect for a wedding cake tier.

I used the flavouring in both the  cake batter and buttercream. There is guidance on the box for usage as it does state it’s “super strength” so I used sparingly as you can always add but you cannot take away. 

The flavour seemed to work really well in both the cake and buttercream and the feedback reinforced this as my clients really enjoyed it.

So my verdict? I’m still going to be using fruits, vegetables and chocolate in my cakes (it’s my thing) but the foodie flavours  range will definatley have a place in my Cakey cupboard and will be perfect for when i am looking for some quirkier flavours and I must admit the bubblegum flavour does intrigue me .