We create Memories

I came to the  realisation that we are memory makers recently while working on a business planner called Dream|Plan|Do by the design trust http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/ and this fab planner was recommended by my jewllery making friend http://www.kathrynpartington.com/ (check out her work it’s stunning)


So within the March segment of the planner it ask us to define 

“What do you do” ?? 

For example if your a jeweler who makes wedding and engagement rings you sell love, if your a photographer you capture memories and how someone wants to be seen,you get the idea.

So for me and when I asked myself the question “what do I do” my first thought was “I make and decorate cakes”

But when I really thought about what I do like thousands of Cake makers/ cake designers/ cake decorators I realised we not only create great cakes we also create lovely memories.

Who doesn’t remember their birthday cake or there babies christening cake.

Many clients order cakes to make an impact for a special event or occasion and along with this they want to create a memory that the recipient won’t forget.

I have made Birthday cakes for children and when I go to deliver there  cake they always recall the last cake they had or the cake before that. 

Wedding cakes are immortalised and play a pivotal part of a wedding day and the memory is captured forever with the cutting of the cake, we as cake professionals have helped create this memory.

Mother’s Day and mums across the land will be receiving cards, flowers, jewelry and of course cakes of which they will love and remember.

With this is in Mind for this Mother’s Day I created a selection of cupcakes and macarons which instead of presenting in my lovely kraft brown boxes I decided to go with something a bit more special and present in a keepsake box to help create a Mother’s Day memory, maybe a box to store Mother’s Day cards in.


I love packaging and thought these boxes were perfect for a special day like Mother’s Day.

So next time your asked “what do you do” just say you help create memories.

What’s trending?

Every year we are guaranteed a new Cake trend and when they blow up they are everywhere.

Remember the Malteser Jaffa cake puddings that resurface every Christmas or the Rainbow and superhero cakes, I’ve lost track of how many of these I’ve seen across social media but yep once a trend gets hold you can bet you will be seeing them for a while.

So Unless you have been living under a rock you cannot ignore the current trend of all things Unicorn, yep Unicorn the legendary mythical beast associated with rainbows has now evolved into cakey sprinkles, rainbow cakes, unicorn cakes and macarons.


I must admit I am a little bit amused regarding the whole unicorn thing and don’t really get the fascination but it does make for some pretty cakes and macarons.

So with this in mind what are the trends that are emerging this year? Apart from everything unicorn that is. 

This is purely my opinion of what I see trending, or rather what I’m loving right now. 

let me know if you agree or not.

So cake trends how, who, where???

Well my first place to look to see what’s trending is Instagram. (credit for the cake artist used in this blog post are stated via there profile on each picture) so feel free to check out there Instagram feeds.

This particular social media platform has overtaken twitter as my new favorite . It’s  fab for inspiration and a great resource to see what’s likely to be trending. You could say Pinterest is the better of the two for imagery but I personally prefer Pinterest to help me create themes around ideas, for me Instagram is instant pictorial gratification.

So first up…

Buttercream florals: 


whether on cupcakes or larger celebration cakes there is skill involved to create some stunning looking florals with piped buttercream, i am loving this trend and will need to attempt to give these ago and as for the cakes they adorne #Gorgeous

Sugarflowers: 


yes they have been around forever but lately the art of creating sugarflowers has become really popular again, I realised this when I searched for a couple books I used to have and realised I donated to a charity shop because “no one wanted sugar flowers”, yep I regretted that decision so bought a new book to get me started.

Drip cakes: 


Have been phenomenal in 2016, so many different variations and the trend is still going strong moving away from tons of chocolate and taking on a very femine look with the use of fresh flowers and acrylic gold and sparkly toppers as well as using metallics on the drips gives for a strong look. but my fave has to be cakes by cliff who I think was partly responsible  for the drip cake trend in the first place his cakes are gorgeous and I think he was the first person I’ve seen do an upside down drip.

Marble effect: 


I’m liking this trend especially when teamed with a plain hue in a contrasting or similar colours. This one seems reasonably easy to achieve (says she who hasn’t tried it yet)

Beaded wedding cakes


I have made one of these a few years back and have slowly begun to see these having a stronger presence on social media, either all neutral or dark backgrounds with beautiful beaded shimmer, this trend is definatley one to watch.

Black/celebration cakes/ wedding cakes

A post shared by Tortik Annushka (@tortikannuchka) on

looking absolutely stunning with some serious black Ganache, key players on Instagram for me is Tortikannuchka her work is stunning.

Painted cakes
 There are some serious picassos out there and some stunning work being achieved with painting on cakes. 

I did a fab workshop with the Chocolate strawberry last year and this is a trend I can see growing but helps if your nifty with a paintbrush 

Macarons


  The classic Parisian cookie is ever present and it would be rude to say it’s a trend as they are too much of Classic but almost daily on my Instagram feed I’m seeing more and more macs as confidence grows in preparing them as well as them morphing into unicorns, flamingos, rabbits and teddy bears.

Flavoured cupcakes 

 Making a strong case and with staying power and thanks to you tubers like The scran online and Cupcake Jemma from crumbs and doilies they are definatley holding there own, as well as unique flavour profiles (which is my own niche)  a bit like the macaron they are well and truly here to stay and for all those who said cupcakes were a fad its time to eat those words and why are they not on the Great British bake off???


http://www.facebook.com/kakeandcupkakery

Sharp edges/Pro froster

http://www.profroster.com


Hardly a trend but deserves a mention because us cakers have been blessed with the Pro froster a long awaited cakey gadget that will give a cake that enviable sharp edge wether with buttercream or ganache. Any business that saves us time is a winner as the process of achieving a sharp edge is a little labour intensive and we spend long enough on cakes as it is, I’ve yet to try  but so far it seems be a cakey gadget that is being well received.

Brush stroke cakes

A brand new trend I’ve seen popping up on my fb newsfeed which comprises of colored chocolate used to decorate cakes 


Had a little go myself and found the process was quite easy to achieve, I think to colour the chocolate powdered colors might be the best to use but the brush stroke I think gives quite an edgy dramatic look.

Special mention: Royal Icing 

Katy sue designs have bought out a creative cake system https://katysuedesigns.com/creative-cake-system/ which are a range of molds that look like royal icing, and I’ve noticed royal icing being used more on wedding cakes for piping and scrolls. 

So Royal icing is back or rather the roya icing look is back.This I feel will become more popular and I’m keeping an eye out for more Royal icing at Cake international.

I’ve used Royal icing here to create some “S” scrolls and some shells to the base of the cake below 



I’ve also used royal icing on the Run out work above.

 I’m glad it’s having a revival as it’s a lovely medium to use.

So that’s it,what do you think of my selection of trends?

Have I missed anything?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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 .

Product Review: Cakes away postable Cupcake boxes 

So incase you didn’t know my business creates Dessert style cupcakes, celebration cakes, layer cakes and I also do the occasional stall and event. I’m kept very busy and at the moment my business operates from my registered kitchen and runs online via a website, I get customers from word of mouth recommendation and also various Social media platforms.

I deliver my orders to your door which is convenient for my customers but at times delivery can be limited regarding the distances to deliver cakes, so I deliver within Birmingham and occasionally out of town. 

Sometimes I do receive request for orders from different parts of the UK and unfortunately many times I have had to turn down these Cakey request simply  because of the delicate nature of cake and my fear of posting cakes.

That is until now as it was with utter joy when I heard about postable Cupcake boxes.

I can’t deny I was extremely skeptical regarding getting cupcakes from A to B without them being tossed about and arriving in a crumbly cakey mess and I  was aware that cupcakes via post services do actually exist so I wanted to look into it this further.

So when I received a request for a wedding out of town I thought sending cupcakes by post would be a perfect way for my customer to try my cupcake samples, and also a great way to try out the postable cupcake boxes.

So via Twitter I found a company called Card cuts who specialise in Cupcake and Gift packaging

http://www.cardcuts.co.uk they are also on Facebook  http ://www.facebook.com/card.cuts.1  and Twitter @card_cuts the boxes are marketed as Cakes away postable cupcake boxes and you can get a 6 hole and singular box with a card which I think is rather cute.

I ordered Via their website and the cost was £5.75 for a case of 2 Cakeaway boxes.

The boxes arrived already assembled and are made out of corrugated card so extremely sturdy.

 

 Inside was a 6 hole insert tray, an all in one plastic pod cover to cover the cupcakes an extra cardboard support to help keep everything in one place, and some special Cupcake cases that you can bake without placing in a muffin tray.

You also receive instructions on the best way to bake and prepare your cupcakes and a handy little guide regarding your baked cakes in their case.

Every angle had been covered, and receiving a call from the company was the icing on the cake and added an extra little touch in that they wanted to ensure you had a good experience of using the boxes.

So back to the cakes, I was attempting to send buttercream cupcakes in various flavors:

Raspberry White Chocolate,Chocolate, Triple lemon and Pina Colada.

 

I was told I could send really high swirls so I had to give it a try and purposely went high with the piña colada flavour, probably a bit too high as there was some squishing going on (my fault)

 

So with all the cakes baked, swirled and boxed  i labeled up and decided to send an extra box as a test to somewhere that was a bit further afield so decided to send a box to ScotIand to my Aunt as a surprise.

Now curiosity was begining to tickle me and I wanted to give the box a mini test so I turned the box with the cupcakes in upside down with a good 360 degree twist, put the box back down and had a peek, and hey presto cakes where fine, (I breathed a sigh of relief) so now confident in my preparation etc…. I was ready to post the following day.

No need for a courier service as the cakes could be sent via Royal Mail The box was classed as a small parcel so I decided to send one box First class £4.30 confirmed delivery and the other box Second class £3.90 Confirmed delivery . You can send as standard but I wanted that extra assurance

So as I waved goodbye to my Cakes I then patiently awaited messages of there safe arrival.

Then a couple days later I received an email (from my customer) and text (from my aunt) to inform me that the cakes had arrived safe and sound, no damage and tasted delicious.

I was over the moon, successful delivery made and I was so impressed with these boxes. 

I’m not sure about sending in the height of summer (if we get one ) with the heat, as we know heat and buttercream do not mix but I think that could easily be remedied by either chilling or freezing in advance.

I now am working on offering cupcakes by post and working on a specific range, so using the boxes can lead to brand extension of products you already offer so I’m giving them a big 10/10 as I was suitably impressed as it was obvious a lot of trial and error had gone into the creation and manufacture of the boxes to allow safe delivery of the cakes.

So have you ever used them? And what was your experience like, I would love to hear.

 

 Cupcakes no longer a fad?


It’s National Cupcake week this week so I’m reblogging this blog post from s couple years ago.

On my Twitter feed a couple weeks ago I came across a list of the 101 best Cupcakes in America http://www.thedailymeal.com/entertain/101-best-cupcakes-america-2015-slideshow?slide=010&_mobile=1 And it got me thinking so many years on and cupcakes are still here after many people put them down to being a fad.

So with this the cupcake was supposed to be over thrown with the cake pop, whoopie pies and Macarons, but in my opinion Macarons are exempt as they truly are a classic so dont deserve to be put into the fad category.

And then there was the cronut the croissant and doughnut hybrid, created by Chef Dominique Ansel and actually is now a trademarked pastry item for his New York Bakery.

  

But through this the cupcake staying power has remained due to its hardcore fans. You only have to look at the list to see in America they are still as popular as ever.

Here are a few from the list that I have followed and lusted over

  
        I love these list, I love to see what our American  cousins are up to regarding Cupcakes.

I remember watching an episode of Sex and the City (i am such a huge fan) and watched how Carrie and Miranda tucked into Cupcakes while Carrie confessed she had a crush on Aiden (told you i was a fan) and the Cupcakes they were tucking into were Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes.

Based in New York City Magnolia bakery are famed with being responsible for the beginning of our love of Cupcakes and they are famous for their candy coloured buttercream and distinctive buttercream swirl, a true New York institution.

you can watch Magnolia Bakery – Putting frosting on there cupcakes here https://youtu.be/uh7bMgUlpTM using a spatula, I’ve tried this method but not very successful at achieving it.(will stick to my nozzles)


But  In the UK we have our own little army of Cupcake bakeries flying the flag


  

Peggy Porschen
Including yours truly Kake and Cupkakery https://www.facebook.com/Kakeandcupkakery


The Cupcake part of my business is as popular as ever and  I love to create new flavours and some of my creations are below.


 Of course Cupcakes still they have their haters who say they are too sweet etc…. but they have moved on so much and the UK appetite for these little cakes is still alive and well.

 You can get boozy ones, gluten free ones, eggless cakes and it’s not just regular buttercream anymore,cupcakes can be topped with whipped ganache, Italian meringue buttercream, filled with caramel or flavored buttercream, crush oreos into the buttercream, top with meringue the possibilities are endless. So much so I’m surprised that they don’t feature in cake week on the great British bake off. 

Even the Telegraph reported our love for anything red, notably Red velvet http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/11473794/How-the-red-velvet-phenomenon-took-over-the-world.html and you cannot beat a red velvet cupcake topped with a silky smooth cream cheese buttercream.

Also in the UK Cupcakes are celebrated Every year of which this week is National Cupcake week

This Annual celebration of cupcakes also has a Cupcake Championship with different category’s for bakers to enter their cupcake creations and every year it just keeps  getting better.

I myself entered in 2013,2014 and 2015 and made it to the final on all occasions.

So Cupcakes a fad? How can they be they are just a little cake.

So my verdict I don’t think so but what do you think?

#LongLiveTheCupcake.

The Double Decker Cupcake challenge


Another post, l am on a roll, l am trying to be consistent and luckily for me there’s an “app for that”, so i can write on the go so really no excuse not to keep on blogging.

Anyway if you read my first post you will all know I’m still doing the full time thing while I work on my business part time.
So that means from time to time all my lucky work colleagues get to eat some Cupkakery Cupcakes and l consider myself to be the self titled Cupcake queen.
I Often get request for various flavours or they just want me to bring in cake l don’t always oblige but l do from time to time.
Anyway one certain flavour came up in discussion around the lunch table, it was for a Double Decker cupcake.
The challenge was set by a couple of colleagues who absolutely tormented me day in day out to make this cake, the one stipulation they set was not just to bake a chunk of Decker into a cake but make a Double Decker Cupcake . So l got to thinking how??? But like most of the flavours I create a bit of deconstruction takes place, so I looked at a Double Decker, the base is chocolate crispies, then nougat then covered in chocolate, so I decided just replicate the bar but in cake.

So that’s exactly what I did, l made a rice crispy and Belgian chocolate base, vanilla cake, nougat baked into the center  chocolate buttercream and finished with some slivers of double decker( well would be rude not too) I tweeted Cadburys https://twitter.com/CadburyUK  , got a RT, and gained some great comments and new followers.

20130412-233058.jpg

Took them in to work and Hasten to add they went down a storm and all l get now is “when you bringing in more deckers arghhhhh.
Anyway thanks to the lads it’s another cake flavour added to the Cupkakery repetoire.
Now I’ve done that l can sleep easy, well until the next challenge which in fact has just been set, by Kathryn Partington http://www.kathrynpartington.com/ ,Lavender and Vanilla Cupcakes (lets see if i can get it not  to taste of soap) all I can say is watch this space. Oh and feel free to suggest flavours, what would you like to see me create next ??