Meet the baker- Bindweed Bakery

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So here is the very first Meet the baker feature and i hope you enjoy reading about Kie and her business as much as i have.

So here it is.

 
So firstly please introduce yourself and your business, and where in the UK/World are you based?
My name is Kie Spate and I own and run Bindweed Bakery (http://bindweedbakery.com) which is based Six Bells, Abertillery, in the picturesque South Wales Valleys.

Are you a self-taught cake decorator/baker or are you trained?
I am a self taught baker have no formal training in cake decorating, but have learned a huge amount through experimentation, trial and error and by watching various online tutorials.

How long have you been baking?
I have loved baking since I was big enough to wield a wooden spoon, and have many fond childhood memories of making delicious welsh-cakes, breads, and cakes with my mother.

How long have you been running your cake business?
I developed an interest in cake decorating in December 2013 when my youngest son asked if I could make him a dragon cake for his birthday. I started searching the internet for ideas and stumbled across the wonderful world of sculpted cakes! Sculpting has always been a passion of mine (and I have sculpted in polymer clay for quite a few years) so you can imagine my delight as I quickly realised that it was the perfect opportunity to combine both of my passions into one! Not being the sort of person to start with something easy and work my way up to making something more difficult I jumped right in with a sculpted 3D dragon cake – I learnt so much while making it, and loved doing it so much that the month later I registered with my local council and Bindweed Bakery was born!

What was the last cake you made?
The last cake that I made was actually a gift for my beautiful niece Lauren, who had her little boy Oscar ten weeks early – thankfully both mother and baby are both doing well.
The top tier was carrot cake filled with lemon buttercream and the bottom tier was chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream.

The last cake topper that I made was a vintage lady

  
How do you attract customers to your business?
As a still quite new business I’m still trying to figure out the best ways of attracting customers. Going to craft fairs and selling simple cakes and tray bakes but taking photographs of my more elaborate creations has helped in getting my name out there and even though I have only just really started trying to promote myself on it, social media (mainly Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BindweedBakery has its merits to.
I have also recently opened an Etsy Shop http://bindweedbakery.etsy.com where I sell my hand sculpted sugarpaste toppers.

What do you find the hardest aspect of running your cake business?
For me its definitely the ‘grown up’ stuff like keeping on top of my accounts! That and pricing.

What do you love or find the easiest aspect of running your cake business?
I love being able to be creative – and still sometimes can’t believe that people will pay me to sit and turn a piece of sugarpaste into a dog, animal or object!

What is your specialty? Wedding cakes, novelty cakes, cupcakes etc…..
My specialty is hand sculpted sugarpaste cake toppers and sculpted cakes – they are definitely what I enjoy making the most.

Who is your favourite cake artist, cake business or you tube channel
There are loads of cake artists that I really admire.
Some I admire because they are so innovative, some because they make the sorts of cakes and cake toppers that I love to make, but they make them so much better than I currently can; and some I admire because they simply make beautiful, perfectly pristine cakes that aren’t the sort of cakes that I make at all, but they are just so beautiful I can’t help admire them!
Among those that I really admire are Shawna Mcgreevy, Carlos Lischetti, Jessica Harris, Michelle Sugar Art, Avalon Yarnes, Mike McCarey and Rosie Cake Diva.

What one piece of cake decorating/baking equipment could you not do without?
I love my modelling tools and my stand mixer.

What was the last bit of cake equipment you purchased?
I’ve been pretty good recently and have stopped myself making spontaneous cake related purchases, but I do currently have some Dinkydoodle airbrush paints in my online shopping basket with my finger hovering over the checkout button!

What is the one piece of cake equipment you regret purchasing
I can’t actually choose just one – when I started out I bought a ton of cake decorating stuff that I thought would come in useful – but the sad truth is that half of it has never been used!

What is your favourite brand of sugarpaste
For modelling I like Asda’s own brand sugarpaste. I’m still trying out different brands when it comes to covering cakes.

Is there a new skill you would love to learn?
Having warm hands, I would love to learn how to model with modelling chocolate without having it melt on me! Its the main reason I model with sugarpaste, but would love to find a way around it as I’ve seen amazing things made with it.

What are the goals and ambitions for your business over the next 12 months?
I love what I do, so all I really want is for Bindweed Bakery to continue to grow so I can carry on doing what I love!

What advice would you give a new cake business just starting out?
I guess my biggest piece of advice would be don’t try to do to many things all at the same time – decide what your best at, most interested in and work on that.
Find your own style and believe in yourself.

And lastly what do you prefer a slice of cake or a cupcake?
Neither! I don’t eat cake at all anymore – Gluten and eating lots of carbohydrates don’t make me feel well so I tend to avoid them as much as I can – but even though I don’t eat cake I still love to bake, and spend most of my time thinking about different ways to decorate it!

  

if you would like to take part in the Meet the baker feature please email hello@kakenadcupkakery.co.uk

 

Product Review: Lakeland Message Stamps

Finding the perfect bit of cake decorating kit can not only give fab results and a professional finish but also save us Cake decorators precious time. So when I received an order for some Frozen Cupcakes (yes Frozen) I wanted to add a little birthday message to the cupcake toppers and was planning on using some impressits Cupcake and cake stamps that I had but unfortunately I’ve lost a couple of the critical letters (don’t you hate it when that happens) so my contingency was to either pipe the message or paint it on.

The impressits are pretty straight forward to use and if you want to check them out here is the link, they are available from Purple Cupcakes.

http://www.purplecupcakes.co.uk/ourshop/cat_396128-impressit-Cupcake-Cake-Embossing-Stamps.html

But before I got my bake on with baking the order I decided to take an overdue trip to my closest Lakeland store as conversations on Twitter with other bakers made it sound like a must do trip for bakers, so today the weather was nice, sun was shining so I went for a short drive to Droitwich.

While on my visit I purchased a few items and one of those items was the message stamps set suitable for use with cookies or with Sugarpaste.

What I like about this set is that they are of a decent size, come in upper case and are in a nice clean font. But I especially like the way they click together to form your words (you have to just remember to assemble backwards) and clicking the letters together they form a nice grippable ridge at the back so you can totally control how much pressure you are applying to your sugarpaste or cookie dough.

They cost £6.99 and You get a 96 Piece set, with all of the alphabet x2, numbers and punctuation and a little bag to store them in, here is the link http://www.lakeland.co.uk/18978/Message-Stamp-Set They are a simple but effective design.

used Lakeland message stamps

So for me a they are a great time saver, good value for money and a fab edition to my cake decoration kit, think I’m going to ❤️them.

Just to add my reviews are non paid, simply sharing my cakey bakey finds

Things to remember

Nearly the end of January and l am just writing my first post of 2015, its a bit later than i wanted but as they say better late than never.
So after a teeny tiny break after what was Christmas cakeageddon its back to ovens roll.

So the first couple weeks into January saw my first cake delivery of 2015 which just so happened to be a wedding cake with mixed flavoured tiered with a design brief of a very classic style wedding cake decorated with Ruby red roses and swags.

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To decorate the cake I used Red wine beau flower paste, I’m a bit of a convert to this flowerpaste which comes in a fab range of colours and doesn’t dry to quickly so giving you plenty of time to use before it dries out. The roses were unwired and made petal by petal as i know there are so many different methods to make roses but this method gives great results.

 

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The cake covering l used was Culpitt sugarpaste, I do tend to use either Bako paste or Culpitt but Culpitt just pips it for me, slightly more pricey compared to other paste but i like the way it covers which doesn’t graze or give that elephant skin effect.

Both paste come in Ivory or white, I used the Ivory as this was chosen by the client and was a very good choice.

Anyway all went well with delivery and set up and l arrived at the venue and received some lovely comments from the venue staff, so after having a quick chat i headed off home but then as I was half way l sudden realised arghhhh forgot to take a pic of the cake set up but luckily for me the mother of the bride kindly sent me a picture of the cake. So with this in mind it made me think about things to remember when delivering a Wedding cake.

  • Emergency kit – Edible glue, cocktail sticks, royal icing, extra roses, what ever you have used on your cake always have extra in your emergency kit incase anything goes a miss upon arrival at the venue.
  • Camera or phone – make sure you have your batteries or phoned charged up
  • Two hands are better than one- Never underestimate how heavy wedding cakes can be so you may need a helping hand or two or three
  • Sat Nav- Country hotels, Golf clubs, wedding venues in general can sometimes be off the beaten track so be prepared
  • Order form –  I always take the original order form with me including the wedding planners phone numbers as sometimes its only the set up staff that will be at the venue and the front door isn’t always open so always give them a quick call if that’s the case.

If you have any other suggestions about things to remember please feel free to comment.