Sunday, 15 December 2013

Renshaw Christmas Cake Competition

Renshaw are currently holding another cake competition, and I was very kindly invited to take part.

Renshaw are a long established company who make sugarpaste, marzipan and frostings. You can find the Renshaw website at

This competition is for a Christmas Cake, and I was sent a pack of icing to use to decorate the cake. I opted for the Traditional Pack, which contained 500g white decor-ice, 250g of red, green and black decor-ice's, 500g Whitworths Superfine Icing sugar and a tube of Whitworths Twist and Sprinkle Icing sugar shaker.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit cakes, so I decided to make a chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream. As I got some hemisphere cake pans for my birthday (Thanks Mum!), I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try them out.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Guest Post - Five Bits of Bakery Equipment You Need to Buy

Have you ever thought about opening your own bakery? If so, I've got the perfect Guest Post for you!

This post is by Barnaby and details "Five Bits of Bakery Equipment You Need to Buy"

If you are planning to start a bakery, you should know what are the most essential tools and bakery equipment that you need to buy to get your business moving. Of course, you can make do with all the stuff in your kitchen for the time being. In the long run, using home appliances and tools will limit the amount of product you can produce. It will also definitely take a huge toll on your mortal body, especially if you are planning to work alone.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Update No 4

Hi everyone,

I've been a bit quiet on here lately so I thought I'd share a bit of what has been going on behind the scenes.


Earlier on in the month, I was asked to make a Camouflage birthday cake for the Mr's niece. After a bit of research into techniques, I had a go and the birthday girl was really pleased with it!

Since then, I received my latest delivery of "Cake Decorating" magazines, and one of the issues had instructions for camouflage cupcakes... If only it had arrived a few weeks earlier!

Peggy Porschen

Remember the Royal Baby Cake Competition held by Renshaw back in July? The course I'd chosen as my prize at the Peggy Porschen Academy finally came round and I had an absolutely fantastic time!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday Guest Post - Icing Bags and Nozzles by Sophie

This week, I've got another Window Shopping Wednesday Guest Post to share with you all. The lovely Sophie, of Sophie Loves Food, has been looking at icing bags and nozzles. 

Hello! Sophie from Sophie Loves Food here. I'm so excited to do something a little different and to be writing a guest post for Kate’s lovely blog. I've been drooling over the idea of her recent post, vanilla sponge with matcha buttercream!

I've chosen to do a little window-shopping today for icing bags and nozzles.  Has anyone else ever noticed how each bakery has a ‘signature swirl’? Is it just me that stares at cupcakes and wonders what nozzle they used?

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Vanilla Sponge with Matcha Buttercream

Growing up, I was always interested in Japan and Japanese culture, and after living with a host family and attending a university in Japan, I fell in love with Japanese food too.

Recently, I've been inspired to make a few Japanese inspired recipes. I love Japanese green tea - it's bitter flavour contrasts brilliantly with sweet things!

Sweets are always served with green tea in traditional tea ceremonies, so I was inspired to balance the bitter flavour of the tea with the sweetness of a vanilla sponge.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Guest Post - Carrot and Cardamom Cake from Little Bertha Bakery

Recently, I was contacted by Ivy who works with Little Bertha bakery based in Melbourne.

Ivy and Little Bertha were keen to share one of Little Bertha's most popular cake recipes, so without further ado, here is their Carrot and Cardamom cake.

The Famous Carrot Cupcake from Little Bertha Bakery

Thursday, 26 September 2013

An Evening at Vinny & Vito, Village Hotel Leeds North

Recently, I was also invited to dinner at the newly opened Vinny & Vito at The Village Hotel, Leeds North, situated just outside Headingley. I was really excited to go and it was great to be able to take the Mr along too!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Vintage style Pie Dishes

There's no guest post for Window Shopping Wednesday this week, so I'm afraid you'll have to make do with me! Next week, there will be another Guest post - I really can't wait to see it!

With the weather turning autumnal here in the UK, I've been starting to think about heartier, more autumnal bakes. With apples now in season, it got me thinking about pies - what is more autumnal than a nice fruit pie?

An evening at Iron Cupcake: Leeds

Recently, Charlotte from Iron Cupcake:Leeds very kindly invited me to visit Leeds' very own monthly cupcake competition.

I first found out about Iron Cupcake:Leeds around a year ago, but I wasn't brave enough to enter! Charlotte's invite was the perfect opportunity to go along and see what Iron Cupcake: Leeds was all about - I couldn't wait to go!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday Guest Post - Cookie Cutters by Samantha

Welcome to the first Window Shopping Wednesday Guest post!

Hi there! I'm Samantha from PlanetBakeLife and I'm honoured to be doing a quick guest post for Kate today.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Cake Turntables

If you've decorated a cake before, you probably noticed that there is quite a lot of cake manoeuvring involved. You need to be able to turn the cake as much as required, and also stop it sliding away from you while piping or smoothing the sides.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Update No 3

There are a few things that have been going on in the background since my last post that I wanted to share with you all.


Firstly, I'd like to thank you all for taking my little blog up to 10,000 page views. I really appreciate all of your support and lovely comments!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Cake Levellers

For Window Shopping Wednesday this week, my friend asked me to cover cake levellers.

It can be difficult to get a cake perfectly level ready for decorating, but a cake leveller makes things much easier.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Dress Cookie Cutters

After a long delay, Window Shopping Wednesday is back!

Decorated cookies are a great gift and are fun to make too. I've seen all sorts of decorated cookies, but dress cookies are one of my favourites!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Review - Squires Kitchen Coloured Sugarpaste

 Recently, the lovely people over at Cake Decorating Store sent me some new Squires Kitchen Coloured Sugarpaste to try out. I'd like to say thanks to Rachel for arranging it!

The new Squires Kitchen coloured sugarpaste is available in 13 beautiful, vintage-esque pastel shades. When Rachel asked me to pick three of them, I was spoilt for choice!

After much deliberation, I ended up choosing the "Vintage Pink", "Frosted Leaf" and "Sweet Lavender" shades.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Update No 2

It's been a while since I've posted, so I'd like to say thank you to my readers for bearing with me!

July was a fairly hectic month for me. I had a lot of cakes to do at the start of July, including the Royal Baby Cake for Renshaw's competition. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Angled Pallet Knives

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for the lack of "Window Shopping Wednesday" last week. A lot of cakes and packing for a camping holiday made things a bit hectic! The plus side is that making the Royal Baby Cake made me go hunting for a new piece of equipment.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Renshaw Royal Baby Cake Competition

Last week I was invited to take part in a competition held by Renshaw. Renshaw are a long established company who make sugarpaste, marzipan and frostings. You can find the Renshaw website at

The competition task was to design a cake for the birth of the Royal Baby. The first prize in the competition is a full day class at the Peggy Porschen Academy in London. There are also two runner up prizes, consisting of a signed copy of Peggy Porschen's "Boutique Baking" book and £25 off an order from the Renshaw website.

I was so excited to be asked to participate! I was sent a pack containing 500g of white sugarpaste, 5 x 100g of coloured sugarpaste and 500g of white marzipan to decorate the cake with.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Happy Birthday Stencils

There's always a demand for birthday cakes, and as I've made a few, I'd like to get a Happy Birthday stencil or embosser. I haven't seen too many embossers though - there are a couple around, along with some kits to make your own, but the ones I saw weren't really what I was looking for.

I started looking at some stencils instead as there seems to be a larger variety.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Vintage Style Scales

My kitchen is currently fairly modern in style, but I've been acquiring some more vintage style pieces recently. I'd love to redecorate the kitchen with a more vintage feel! Unfortunately, it's one of the last things on the list so I might have to wait for a while...

I've got a set of digital scales, but there are a lot of vintage style scales around at the moment. I'd really love a set of the vintage style ones - they'd look great on display in a vintage themed kitchen!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Giant Cupcake Tins

I've seen a lot of people making giant cupcakes recently, so I started having a look at Giant Cupcake Tins. I'd love to have a go at making a giant cupcake, they look so pretty once they are all decorated!

Giant cupcakes are popular for kids parties, and there are a few different tins on the market.

Guest Post - Ten at Ten for Foodies100

Last weekend was fairly busy, so I didn't get much of a chance to do any baking or blogging. I did make some more shortbread for a family member though - it went down very well!

Towards the end of last week, I wrote a "Ten at Ten" guest post for Foodies100.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Cake Lifters

I've made a few layered and decorated cakes so far, and the prospect of moving them onto a cake board always fills me with panic. I currently use a pallet knife and cake slice to manoeuvre the cake into place and hope for the best!

After being recommended to try a cake lifter, I decided to have a look and add them to the "Window Shopping Wednesday" series.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Scottish All Butter Shortbread

I was born and raised in Scotland before moving to Leeds, and I've always had a bit of a soft spot for shortbread. I love the sweet yet salty taste and crumbly texture - just perfect with a cup of tea!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday - Baking Beans

I'm always on the look-out for new baking items - I can spend hours online looking at different tools and colourings! I thought I'd start sharing them here as a bit of a weekly feature.

Hopefully it'll help me keep track of them too!

Window Shopping Wednesday

When I made the treacle tart for World Baking Day recently, I used broken up spaghetti to blind bake the tart cases as I don't have any baking beans. You can also use rice, lentils or split peas as a substitute.

Monday, 27 May 2013

World Baking Day 2013 - Treacle Tart

If you follow me on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, you may have noticed that it was World Baking Day last Sunday.

The task this year was to "Bake Brave". The World Baking Day website listed 100 recipes of different skill levels. To take part, bakers were to be brave and pick a recipe that they had never made before.

I ended up choosing Lisa Faulkner's Treacle Tart at level 71. I love treacle tart, but I've never made one before (or pastry for that matter!)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Review - Cake Decorating Magazine

It's been a while since my last post as I've been a little busy lately! If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you'll have seen the cupcakes I've made recently for family and friends, and also the treacle tart I made for World Baking Day on the 19th of May. I'll be posting more about the treacle tart shortly!

I've also had a design and layout update - please let me know what you think!

As I mentioned in "An Update", I've been planning on doing some review posts. I've got a few books I'd like to review, along with some equipment, but I thought that De Agostini's "Cake Decorating" magazine should be my first.

I subscribed to "Cake Decorating" around a year ago on their first publishing run. The magazine was an instant success, and De Agostini have recently started a second publishing run due to the demand.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Guest Post - What Bread Means to Me

As I mentioned in An Update, I was asked to write a "What Bread Means To Me" guest post for Sam over on Planet Bake Life. I'm very honoured to be asked to guest post on her blog!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Chocolate Bicycle Birthday Cake

Over the last year or so, I've been making cakes and cupcakes for friends and neighbours birthdays. This is something I really enjoy doing, and I'm noticing that my technique is improving each time.

Usually, if a covered cake is requested, I make a basic vanilla sponge as it's one of the most broadly liked sponges. 

As my Twitter followers already know, I've recently been asked to make a birthday cake for a bicycle lover. This time, the cake was to be a chocolate cake rather than my usual vanilla.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Liebster Award

I've recently been nominated for the Liebster Award by Emma of Bake Then Eat. I'm really pleased to be nominated for this, and I'd like to thank Emma for the nomination!

For those of you that don't know, the Liebster Award is a way to let other bloggers know that you like their blog and to share links and information about yourself.

You can check out the questions posed to Emma over at her Liebster Award Post.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Chocolate Easter Egg Cupcakes

I thought I'd have a go at getting an Easter recipe up on the blog, but I was a little stuck as to what to do. I'm not a fan of fruit cake or marzipan, so a traditional Simnel cake is not for me. 

I got thinking on what to bake, and I was inspired by chocolate Easter eggs. When I was little, most Easter eggs came in gold foil, so I decided to make some golden eggs to sit on top of the cupcake in a buttercream nest.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

An update...

As I haven't written a post for a few weeks, I thought I'd give you all a bit of an update.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Double Chocolate and Walnut Brownies

"Two chocolate posts in a row?" I hear you say! I know, it's very naughty, but I just love chocolate!

I love the gooey centre of chocolate brownies, and the chocolate chunks and walnut pieces give a satisfying bite to this yummy chocolate treat. I can't resist trying one while they're still warm!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sachertorte - Chocolate Heaven!

I'm a huge fan of chocolate, and it's even better when it comes in baked form! I first fell in love with the Sachertorte when I saw it being made on "The Great British Bake Off", and instantly wanted to try it.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Colouring and Flavouring Buttercream - The un-natural way

Basic buttercream has a great flavour, but you might want to jazz it up a bit with colourings and flavourings.

There are two ways you can do this, both naturally and un-naturally.

We'll cover the un-natural way here. I'll go into fruit buttercream at a later date.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Covering Cupcakes

Most cupcakes you'll see for sale when you're out and about are covered in buttercream or frosting. For something a little different, you can also cover them with sugarpaste.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Covering a Cake

It's been a while since I last updated, and now we're into the New Year and I'm (a little) more organised, I'll hopefully be updating more often. Please bear with me!

Firstly, I hope that you all had a great Christmas and New Year, filled with lots of baked goodies!

Previously, we've looked at baking, crumbcoating and sandwiching cakes.

Now all that's left to do is to get your creation covered.
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