Best of...August 2018

Some of my favourite moments from August..the heatwave subsided a little and I delivered to some new venues like Hampton Court House and Horsley Towers. Plus some old favourites like Kew Gardens.

To see everything we got up to check out our instagram feed

Best of...July 2018

Heatwave vs cakes…no casualties! I spent a lot of time at my favourite venue, Syon House, which is a gorgeous, beautiful greenhouse. It was 30C in the shade but even the butter creamed cakes survived! Time for a family holiday in France too.

Literally Literary Wedding Cakes

I've writen about naked and semi-naked cakes recently, but my real love is for iced cakes. Once a cake is iced, you can do almost anything with it, decoration-wise, as the icing can take all sorts of pimping! One of my favourite quirky ideas is my 'book club' cake.

I first made this cake for Michelle and Graham in 2013. They had met through an on-line book club, and they came to me with the idea of a pile of penguin classics. I grabbed some books from the bookshelf to try and demonstrate how we might stack them. Graham said that most of the books I'd (randomly) grabbed were books they'd have on their cake. And that was the exact moment I fell in love with these two!! The link above is well worth a look, not least because their photographer was awesome Assassynation.

Since then, I've made this cake so many times. Every time is different. Two things stay the same:

(1) I'm told that all the guests wondered why there was a pile of books on the table, not realising that they'd be eating them later!

(2) Someone, somewhere, will see the cake and ask me if the couple get to choose the books. Yes. Yes they do. It would be some kind of weird cake maker that met a couple once and then made sweeping generalisations about which books they'd want!! I'd never have got to ecclectic lists such as Noam Chomsky / Black Beauty or The Very Hungry Caterpillar / Wuthering Heights!

The top book can be a 'real' book, or it can be something to summarise things, such as "The Next Chapter by Georgina and Daniel", or "A Day at The Zoo by Julia and Jeff", who were married at London Zoo.

Of course the books don't have to be penguin classics. They just lend themselves so well to making a fun cake as they are iconic, beautiful and - my favourite bit - brightly coloured! I can make them any colours though so you could have some more muted colours if you prefer. I believe that the aforementioned 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' is yet to be published as a penguin classic, but the campaign starts now.

Louisa and Sam sent me a lovely card after the wedding, and I think Louisa's words serve as a pretty ace review for this design. Lousia says, "What can I say? THE CAKE WAS AMAZING!!! Seriously, we had fairly high expectatoins but you completely blew us away! Your cake was the talking point of the whole wedding, people were wondering at it for days afterwards: it basically stole the show! Several people even confessed to me they thought it was a bit odd that we had a stack of books on the table - until we cut it...And I have to agree - we were marvelling at the level of detail: the way you had added individual pages, the way each spine wrapped around the books. Incredible!" 

If books are the way to your heart, then do get in touch. I WANT to hear from you!!

Semi-naked Cakes

At the start of the year, I wrote a post about Naked Cakes. I've made looooads of beautiful naked cakes this year, but there is a new rising star on on the horizon - the semi-naked cake - so I thought I would jot down a few thoughts about those! I've made loads of them this year and I'm expecting them to be just as popular next year. Why? Here's why....

A semi-naked cake? That just sounds weird.

Yeah, not the greatest ever name. I don't know who came up with it. A naked cake has no icing on the outside - a semi-naked has a bit. Just a scraping so you get nice straight lines, but with a bit of cake peeping through.

Let's call them something else.

Fine with me - I go for 'Salome'. She was the biblical character who perfermed the dance of the seven veils. In my head, this cake is doing a strip-tease.

What do they look like?

Pretty! Check out the pictures. They can be dressed with fresh flowers and/or fruit. They are a really ace mix of rustic and contemporary. If you like your rustic to be tidy, then this is what you want.

Do you supply the flowers?

Normally, you will just order them from your florist, and I'll arrange them on the cake.

Are they a good budget option?

Yep. I charge a little bit more than a naked cake, as they are a little bit more work, but they are still less work than a fully iced cake and that's reflected in the price.

Can they be any flavour?

Yes - you can have different flavours in different tiers. Some flavours work better than others.

Can I have one?

Drop me an email and I'll sort it all out for you!

Naked Cakes

The new year always brings with it a flurry of enquiries and this year is no exception! As usual I'm getting lots of enquiries about one design more than any other - I call it "Lady Godiva", but the cake world calls them naked cakes.

Naked cakes are as popular as ever, and it's not hard to see why. All your guests will be love it: the ones that love eating cake, the ones that like cake to look like cake, and the ones that want to see something really different. They are quirky AND traditional, all at the same time, and they look soooo delicious!

Lots of people don't want iced cakes. They've been put off sugarpaste (aka 'fondant', the smooth icing most cake makers use) by those supermarket birthday cakes with a thick wodge of sugarpaste on the top. These naked cakes are perfect for you, sugarpaste haters. However, in defence of icing, I usually tell clients that my cakes don't have a big slab of icing on the top, it's much thinner - I'm not mass-producing these things like the supermarkets do so I can take the time to make it nice. Also, once the cake has been cut each slice only has a tiny bit of icing on the top so it doesn't dominate. But if you're still anti-icing, go naked!


Mmm, Cake. What flavours work best?

For me personally, I love naked cakes to be a traditional jam-and-buttercream cake, like a viccy sponge. I like the way the jam oozes out of the sides! So I'd go for a combination of vanilla ad raspberry, and strawberry and champagne tiers.

But then again....they look ace with lovely chocolate cakes filled with lighter coloured buttercream, so chocolate and salted caramel, or choc orange, or chocolate and peanut butter....

I make lots that totally mix and match the flavours, too, and you can see from the pics above that they look fantastic too - so anything goes!

Fruit? Flowers? How should we decorate it?

I love them decorated with fresh fruit and fresh flowers. I supply all the fruit, and I'll ask you to order your flowers from your florist. Obviously, they can't be toxic flowers! The flowers sit on top of the cakes but they are in contact with cake you'll eat, so if you hate the idea of fresh flowers on cakes (some people do, and that's fine!) then just stick with the fruit. You can see it still looks fab! Either way, I'll set the cake up and arrange all the fruit and/or flowers on it.

Oh but I read that they dry out...

I have never worried about this. I bake them at the very last minute, and use great recipes that really aren't dry, and I set it up as late as I possibly can for you. They don't get a chance to dry out! Sure, if you baked it a few days in advance, or set it up the night before, it wouldn't be nice, but I'm not going to do that. So don't believe all the internet scaremongering, but do select your baker carefully!

Budget-busting?

Not at all, Naked cakes are obviously less work for me than an iced cake covered in sugarflowers, and that's reflected in the price.

I want one now!

Yay! Drop me an email!