When Morgan asked me if I could give her a baking lesson to help her make her little boys birthday cake I was thrilled to help. I thought that my dinosaur cake was the perfect model for him. I pre baked the cakes (one 4pt pudding basin and one 2 pint pudding basin) with a vanilla sponge recipe. (Here’s one I made earlier: http://www.cookiegirl.co.uk/blog/2016/9/20/dinosaur-cake?rq=dinosaur%20cake) . We spent the first part of the cake class assembling the sponged together (securing them with wooden skewers) to make a cute dinosaur shape. Morgan and I then set to work creating the eyes, tail, mouth and teeth out of rolled fondant. We made up a large batch of bright green buttercream and I gave Morgan a demonstration in using a palette knife to cover the cake with a thick layer of icing. We then added the eyes, teeth, mouth and tail to create a cute and friendly edible dinosaur. We managed to finish the whole thing within our 3hr half day private baking lesson. Morgan sent me a video of the cake which was a huge hit and she got lots of great feedback for her work.
Here is our first cake making class at our new venue in White City. When we decided to move back to our own flat for various reasons we knew that we would not have space to have anything other than small private lessons there. Initially, we put all our group cake decorating classes on hold. I really wasn’t sure what we would do with regards to a location. Then I remembered that when we had left the area 8 yrs ago the company that were building the Imperial College building at the end of our road, offered to build us a community centre. I went to have a look at it and I couldn’t believe how perfect it was for our fun filled cake making hen parties, team building events and cake classes. Now that we have done a few events there they seem very keen for us to book in as many cake workshops as possible. Also, because it seats up to 80 and even has a projector screen (perfect for powerpoint) it is ideal for conferences, networking and client events. I look forward to sharing lots more images of the various cake classes and workshops that we have planned there.
I had a lovely morning on Saturday teaching Aimee and Beejal how to make sugar paste roses by hand in our full day cake making class. They also used cutters and moulds to create a variety of different sugar paste flowers and leaves to create a stunning range of floral cupcakes. We also spent time working on their buttercream piping techniques and using rolled fondant to cover the cupcakes. Although both of them are keen bakers neither of them had any experience with piping icing or working with fondant icing or sugar paste. They were surprised to discover how straightforward it was to construct these beautiful adornments. It is really about knowing the correct equipment to use and having the process broken down into simple step by step instructions. The girls absolutely loved their cake making class and are looking forward to coming back to do more soon.
I’d had the idea ages ago to do a Hawaiian themed party for Cosy Mae’s 8th birthday party. The combination of palm trees, pineapples and Hula girls just seemed like an inspiring combination for a cake table. Also, being June I thought we were pretty much guaranteed sunshine- ha! In the lead up to the forecast every report I read predicted rain all day which was hardly surprising as it had pretty much rained every day leading up to the party. By some miracle the sun came out and we were blessed with blue sky and temperate weather. It was a big relief as we had 20 kids coming and had recently moved out of a house and into a flat with a huge communal garden. It would have been really depressing (and very claustrophobic) if we’d been rained off and had to be inside. We had some brilliant games; limbo, hula dancing statues, Hawaiian treasure hunt and of course parcel parcel, as my kids call it (when will they grow out of it?!). As usual, like a nutter, I spent weeks planning the cake table and then a couple of weeks prepping and making the contents for the cake table. On it we had; Hula Girl Birthday Cake (Oreo flavour), Tropical flower cupcakes, iced biscuits (Palm tree, Pineapple, Mermaid and Ice cream), Hawaiian Hula Bark, Tiki Cake Pops, Sea and Starfish Meringues. I used an orange cotton fabric to make a sunset colour back drop and table cloth (I finally got a piece of foam board to use as a backdrop base.) I was pretty pleased with the over all effect although I do always wish there was a professional photographer on hand to capture my hard work before it is all devoured and demolished by ravenous kids.
It was a real treat to have the opportunity to go back to The Milestone Hotel to host this fab cake making baby shower. Amy, who organised the cake making workshop, had seen the cake decorating event we did for Celeste Bickle at the Lanesborough Hotel and wanted to do something similar. We were happy to suggest The Milestone and the girls were absolutely thrilled with everything about it; the setting, the service and the superb afternoon tea. And our cake making workshop of course. Cupcake decorating is the perfect activity for a baby shower (as well as hen parties) and the girls, many of whom had travelled all the way from the USA for the baby shower, absolutely loved it. They found it a great ice breaker and really got inspired by all our fabulous sprinkles, Especially the unicorns and mermaids. This was a double baby shower and most of the guests were friends they had made at London Business School. They really loved getting to so such a creative activity that is so different to what they do in their work lives. We had a lot of requests for our contact details so we are lookig forward to seeing some of them again at team building, networking and client events where they can further improve their cake making skills.
It was an absolute blast working with WeWork as a part of their brilliantly curated Christmas activities and experiences for their staff. The lovely Annick had done a terrific job creating a varied and inspiring range of pursuits for both WeWork employees and members as client events. We set up ‘Pop Up’ cupcake decorating area and we were absolutely inundated by people wanting to have the opportunity to try their hand at cake making. I was really impressed by the standard of cake decorating and their were a lot of really imaginative cupcakes being created. It always surprises me when people talk about cake decorating being a women’s thing. On this occasion there were definitely a lot more men than women taking part. And there was a lot of competition between them. I always find this when we are doing team building and conference activities, the guys always take it much more seriously than the women do. It’s such a great idea to create all these varied experiences for their member’s to get involved with and fosters a real sense of community and belonging as well as a great opportunity for some networking. I have worked for WeWork before hosting a cupcake decorating workshop as a team bonding activity for one of their monthly mixer evenings. It was really fun and they were a lovely group. I was really impressed by the London Bridge venue and loved the concept of what they do and how they do it. This time working at Devonshire Square I learnt so much more about the company ethos and discovered just why their employees love working there. They are a really young company and have such a fresh approach to running a business. They are really into sustainability and have a no plastics policy. They also support refugees as their priority charity. As you know this is close to my heart with my fundraising for help Refugees through my initiative #Bake4Refugees. A lot of businesses are wary of showing support for this cause as it has become so politicised so I really admire and respect them for this. We had such great feedback from everyone and they were so appreciative of what we offered we are really looking forward to going back to do more cake events with them soon.
For her birthday Dan wanted to bring his wife Ellie for a private cake baking class with me. She was already an able baker but wanted to learn to lift her cake making skills to a more professional level. It was such a thoughtful present and she was thrilled that he had splashed out on a private lesson rather than a group cake making lesson. We had a really fun 3hrs together. She had never made red velvet cupcakes before so was really excited to try the recipe out. They came out absolutely perfectly which was a great boost to her confidence. As Dan was not sure about that flavour and much preferred good old classic vanilla cupcakes we made those as well! Dan got involved with the swirl piping too. They were very happy to be taking home two dozen cupcakes and a signed copy of my recipe book. What a great couple!
The Specialist Works were having a conference for their clients. So, Channel 4, asked us to create a ‘Great British Bake Off’ inspired cake making area to remind the brands what great advertising potential the baking show created. It was a fantastic conference. As we were right next to the stage I heard most of the speakers. My favourite was the one called ‘Be More Pirate’. It was all about being a disruptor and creating ‘good trouble’- right up my street! Our cake making conference activity proved to be a big hit with the delegates. They had a brilliant time bonding with colleagues and making new connections whilst piping buttercream. The pop up cake decorating area was perfect for people to wander up to during breaks throughout the day. The guys from Channel 4 were great fun and embraced the cake making workshop wholeheartedly. In fact they really got quite competitive with their cupcake piping techniques. There were people from lots of different brands there and loads of interest in us providing cake making team bonding, networking and client events for them. The guys from The Specialist Works were absolutely lovely. I made sure I took plenty of cupcakes over to the reception area to give them a little lift at the end of the day. I had to leave before the party kicked off but they had gone to so much trouble with everything that I’m sure it was great bash. I did manage to see the brilliant ‘rap battles’ where opposing companies battled it out to see who had the ‘best game’. What an imaginatively curated conference it was.
Jessie is a really keen baker, so for her cake making birthday party she wanted to bake her own cake from scratch! As you can see she did a fantastic job doing every step herself (with a little help from her friends) weighing, creaming, mixing & beating. She basically had her own private baking class. I then taught her how to create a stunning pastel watercolour effect on the finished cake. Whilst the cake was baking I had the opportunity to teach her and her friends and cousins how to pipe gorgeous ruffles and swirls in a kids cake class. They did a fantastic job with their cupcake decorating. Especially considering some of them were only 6yrs old! They loved the taste of the buttercream icing and cream cheese frosting in a variety of gorgeous colours. They were super excited by the huge range of sprinkles we have. The unicorn sprinkles were a big hit! The girls left the class with a good bag of their own cupcake creation to take home and share with their families. They behaved beautifully and Jessie had the best time having learnt cake decorating as well as having had her own private baking class. And she had the wonderful sense of achievement of having made her own birthday cake to take home.
We were thrilled to be invited by Conde Nast Brides Magazine to do a cake making workshop at their live show as they thought it would inspire their visitors to do it as a fun hen activity. . I went to host the workshop myself and I took along a small film crew who are making a little promo for us. I really wanted to give the group of 16 a taste each of our different cupcake decorating levels. So they had the opportunity to work with cream cheese icing as well as buttercream. The girls applied themselves to the cake making lesson and got some amazing results. After piping a variety of swirls and leaves they did an amazing job on their buttercream ruffles and buttercream flowers during their cake class. Some of them were really keen on booking their hen parties with us. One girl wanted to know if we could come to Oxford for her hen do and I said that as long as it was a large group we would be able to do that. At the end of the cake decorating class they were very happy with their end results and we packed every ones cakes up for them to take home and share with their families. We are really looking forward to seeing ourselves featured in Brides magazine in a couple of months.