Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Cupcake Photo Shoot

Last Friday one of my friends very kindly agreed to come over and take some pictures of a few of my cupcakes. She always takes lovely pictures for her website so I was thrilled that she was free to take some nice shots for the new website for Icing Bliss that I am currently trying to put together. I'm anxiously awaiting to see how the photos turned out.....but in the meantime, here are some of the cupcakes I made and the pictures I took of them before the official photo shoot started..........

 Pretty shabby chic rose cupcake

White petunia cupcake - so pretty - I recon these cupcakes would look beautiful as a vintage wedding cupcake tower 

 Bouquet of roses - I love making these cupcakes :)

 Sample of black and white designs

Pink and black chic

Shabby chic blossom cupcake

I made a few other cupcakes but I will wait for the official photoshoot pictures to come through before I share them with you. Stay tuned......

Happy baking xx

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Gingerbread Advent Cookies

I decided to make my own advent calendar this year - in gingerbread form.

The recipe I used for these cookies is here, if you want to make some. You could make sugar cookies as well. Use different shaped cutters for variety and decorate with royal icing or sugarpaste. I opted for a simple white design to match my white christmas tree decorations. These cookies make great decorations hung around the house, or on the Christmas tree.

Happy baking xx

Friday, 19 November 2010

Sugar Cookies

I thought it was about time to share my sugar cookie recipe. I love this recipe - it's so simple to make - and it always holds its shape after baking. Here are some of the cookies I have made using this recipe:

  •  6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. You will probably find that the electric mixer struggles to combine all of the ingredients once the dry ingredients are added so you may have to mix it all together with a spoon. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add a little more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough and dry. Form dough into a fat disk and wrap it in plastic wrap, or put it in a plastic bag. Put it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up a bit.  Preheat the oven to 175C (or 160C fanforced) while you are letting the dough rest.
Once the dough is ready to roll out, sprinkle a wooden board (or another surface you want to use) with flour, place dough on it, and roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. If you find that the dough sticks to the rolling pin, put a piece of plastic wrap or baking paper between the dough and the rolling pin. Cut dough into shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Carefully lift cookies with a spatula onto baking trays lined with baking paper. Be sure to place the cookies a little apart on the trays as they may spread slightly during baking. Try to make sure that all the cookies on a tray are approximately the same size. Larger cookies take longer to bake than smaller ones.

Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes. You'll know when they are ready when the edges just start turning gold - don'[t worry if they are still soft in the middle, they will firm up as they cool. Transfer the cookies from the tray with a spatula to a wire rack. When they are fully cooled, decorate them with royal icing or sugarpaste.

Hope you all have fun making sugar cookies during the holiday season. Stay tuned for some of my cookie creations xx

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Calla Lily Wedding

On Saturday I had the pleasure of creating a cupcake tower of lemon cupcakes decorated with handmade burgandy calla lilies and white cherry blossoms for a gorgeous couple who were getting married at a golf club. Here's the cake all set up - unfortunately it was difficult to get a good shot with the light in the background.....

I made a 6 inch chocolate cake, covered in white sugarpaste and handmade flowers for the top tier of the tower.I used bear grass to give the spray a modern touch.....

And, here's a close-up of some of the cupcakes. There were 100 of these in total.....

In addition to the cake, I made wedding favour cookies for all female wedding guests - all in all I had to make 100 cookies, but they looked so pretty on the tables so it was worth the late nights......

Hope you all have a nice week. Happy baking!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

A Day at Cupcake Camp London

OK, I know the cupcake craze is still strong in London, but last Sunday, the number of people who came to Cupcake Camp London was incredible. There were thousands of people there, all trying to buy some of the thousands of amazing cupcakes donated by amateur and professional cupcakers in the UK to raise money for the North London Hospice. Here's a peek at the crowds....

....and this is just one room, the crowds continued into other stalls, where all the wonderful cupcakes were available for sale. Here's a sample of what was on much to choose from!!!


I particularly loved all of the Halloween-inspired cupcakes. Here's a plate of spooky sweetness.......

During the day there were several competitions for bakers to enter - Best Taste, Best Vegan, Taste of London, Little Work of Art, Most Unique Ingredient,and Halloween-inspired. Here's the table with some of the entries - how amazing do they all look??

The judging panel held some serious talent  Mary Berry, Edd Kimber (winner of the Great British Bake Off), Martha Swift & Lisa Thomas (owners of Primrose Bakery), Lily Vanilli, Elizabeth Hastrop, Ms Cupcake and Alastair Campbell. They spent over 2 hours tasting and judging all of the categories.Here they are at work.....

I entered into the Little Work of Art category with a vintage-inspired creation.......
Here are some of the other entries I was up against - so amazing!!!!..............

There was only one winner in each category and I didn't take the prize. But I was thrilled to get a special mention for my entry in the Best Taste category - my mojito cupcake. I've previously written about this cake and posted the recipe here!!!

Over £4,000 was raised for the North London Hospice....which is such a great achievement. A film was made of the day, which is currently being edited, but it will be available soon on the Cupcake Camp London website. Rumour has it that this will become an annual event - I really hope so, it was such a great day and I can't wait to take part next time.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Cupcake Camp - London

This Sunday (31 October) is CUPCAKE CAMP LONDON!!!!

It is a volunteer-run baking event that has already taken place in Paris, New York and Sydney and this year is the first time that it is coming to London to raise money for the North London Hospice.

The event is being held at Camden’s stylish Proud Galleries, from 2-5pm. Over 2000 cupcakes have already been pledged from amateur and professional bakers so for anyone who likes cupcakes, this is an event you don't want to miss! Cake credits will be avaialble for £1 each on the day, which can be exchanged for cupcakes and frosting shots. There will also be live bands, competitions, prizes, a Create-Your-Own Cupcake Art room and a frosting many things to do - it's going to be a fantastic afternoon!

For more details, check out the website at

I am donating cupcakes and will be there on the day - hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Sugarpaste Cookies

I've been playing around with sugarpaste this week.Here are some cookies which I have made (and eaten!!).

These cookies were embossed with rose patchwork cutters (assorted selection) and then dusted with blossom dusts to add definition....really quick but really effective :)

These cute little pumpkins were covered with orange sugarpaste, and then textured with a cutting wheel. I piped the vines on last with green royal icing.

Happy baking x

Friday, 8 October 2010

Spooky Meringues

With Halloween fast approaching (where has this year gone??) I decided to make some little meringue ghosts. Meringue is really easy to make and you can form it into so many different shapes - I thought it would be the perfect medium to make ghosts from.

Here's my basic meringue recipe:

3 egg whites
75g caster sugar
75g icing sugar
Food colouring (optional)

Perheat the oven to 140C (fan-forced). Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease-free metal or ceramic bowl (not plastic) until they begin to form soft peaks. This can take up to 5 minutes on a high speed with an electric mixer. Add half the caster sugar and icing sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar is mixed in well. Add the remaining sugars and beat until well combined. To check if all of the sugar has mixed into the egg whites, put a little bit of the mixture between your fingers - the mixture is ready when you can't feel any sugar granules and it is silky smooth. Line a baking tray with baking paper and pipe cones of meringue on the sheet. Bake the meringues for about an hour until they can easily come off the baking tray. The merignues will have a crisp shell and a soft fluffy centre.Cool on a wire rack then decorate if desired. I piped faces onto the ghosts with black icing gel.

Happy Baking x

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Broom Broom

Last week I had to make a birthday cake for a guy who loves the finer things in life - including his black Porsche. The brief was pretty relaxed but the client wanted his Porsche featured in the cake somehow and wanted cupcakes for his guests. Anyway, as I'm not a fan of making cakes shaped as things, I decided to make a little porsche cake topper to place on a 6-inch rectangular lemon drizzle cake covered in sugarpaste. I made 36 cupcakes decorated with black and white sugarpaste (to match the cake) and also some decorated with a chocolate mousse swirl. Here's how it turned out:

The cake was placed on a tiered stand with the cupcakes on the tiers beneath it but unfortunately I didn't get a photo of it all set up. You can get the general idea though....

Happy baking x

Friday, 17 September 2010

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

It's National Cupcake Week in the UK - what better excuse than to bake cupcakes!! Here's one of my favourite 'fail proof' cupcake recipes for chocolate fudge cupcakes.

Everytime I make these cakes they always turn out the same - fluffy and moist. Here's what you need:

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudge  Buttercream Swirls


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (golden caster sugar is also ok if you don't have dark brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup skimmed milk (I use 2% fat)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Dutch processed cocoa)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
Fudge Buttercream

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup double cream
  • 70g dark (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180C (or 160C if fan forced). Sift the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar, baking soda and salt. In a medium-sized saucepan combine the milk, butter and cocoa powder over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly while the mixture is heating up. Once boiling, remove from heat and whisk in the flour mixture, until all the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until blended. Spoon the mixture in cupcake cases in baking pan (fill no more than 1/2 of each liner as the mixture rises quite a bit during baking). Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the baking tin for 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the buttercream, combinine butter and cream in a small saucepan, then cook over medium high heat until the butter is melted. Whisk in chopped chocolate and continue whisking until smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to lukewarm (10-15 mins). Next whisk in the sour cream, and then the icing sugar until well combined. Let the frosting rest until thick enough to spread (only takes a few minutes). If it becomes too thick, heat it briefly and whisk again (you may need to do this a few times in order to frost all of your cupcakes). Pipe or spread the fbuttercream onto cooled cupcakes, then decorate as desired. I sprinkled edible gold glitter on my cupcakes for a bit of extra pizazz!

Happy baking!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

National Cupcake Week

Happy National Cupcake Week everyone! From 13-19th September bakeries, shops, supermarkets and cafes across the UK are igniting the nation's fanaticism with cupcakes by offering many wonderful recipes and amazing flavours.

If you want some inspiration, check out Food Network's cupcake corner which has a great selection of wonderful cupcake recipes.  

Monday, 13 September 2010

Masquerade Cake

Here's my first tiered cake - a masquerade cake for a 30th birthday. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

The bottom tier was made with four layers of vanilla sponge cake (10 inches in diameter) filled with lemon curd. The top tier was 2 layers of chocolate fudge cake filled with chocolate buttercream (8 inches in diameter). Each tier was covered with 2 layers of sugarpaste (client was allergic to nuts so I couldn't use marzipan as the first layer) then decorated with black and red sugarpaste decorations and gold glitter.The '30' was made with flower paste to give it enough rigidity to stand up without support.

I have a few more cake projects happening this week so stay tuned for more pics soon!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Marble cupcakes

What a perfect way to spend an afternoon sipping tea in the sunshine and eating girly cupcakes. Here's a quick recipe to make pink and brown marble cupcakes:

  • 180g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup skimmed milk
  • pink food colouring
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 175C (fan forced). Beat butter, caster sugar and vanilla essence in electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes on a medium speed). Add eggs one at a time, making sure that they are mixed in well after each addition. Alternate folding in sifted flour then milk until all the ingredients are well combined. Divide mixture into 2 bowls. Tint one batch of mixture with pink food colouring. Add cocoa powder to the other batch and stir well. Drop a spoonful of each mixture into a cupcake case. Drag a skewer through the mixture to marblise the colours together. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Once done, remove cupcakes from the oven and leave them to rest for about 5 minutes before turning them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I made a glace icing to cover my cupcakes which is done by adding small amounts of hot water to icing sugar until the desired consistency is achieved. Colour your icing with food colouring then spread it onto the cupcake and allow it to harden slightly before eating! Remember to add any decorations before the icing dries so that they stick on!

Happy baking x

Giant Cupcake

I absolutely love the Wilton giant cupcake pan. Here's a giant cupcake I made with it on the weekend:

You can use any cake mixture you want. This cupcake was lemon flavoured - yum! I made a enough lemon sponge batter to fill 2 x 9-inch round tins - it was the perfect quantity to fill this pan. Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect giant cupcake:

  1. Grease the pan really well. Wilton cake release works wonders on this pan - my cupcake slid out of the pan when I turned it upside down - easy!
  2. The part of the pan for the top of the cupcake is not as deep as the cupcake base so you might find that the top part bakes faster. You can cover the top half with foil to slow down the baking and stop it from burning, or once the top half is finished, tip it onto a wire rack to cool then return the base of the cupcake back into the oven to finish baking.
  3. Make sure both halves of the cupcake are completely cool before joining them together or decorating them. You may need to level the top of the base (use a sharp knife) so that the top half can join to it evenly. Stick the halves together with buttercream or a frosting of your choice.
  4. The base of the cupcake looks nice un-decorated (as I have done) or you can decorate it with frosting or sugarpaste.
Hope you enjoy making giant cupcakes!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Pistachio, Lime & Coconut Cake

Last weekend I decided to experiment with flavours and baked a pistachio, lime and coconut cake. I made a lime butter cream to cover the cake - but as you can see from the picture I didn't make enough to cover the cake thickly - the sides could have done with another inch of frosting.

Here's the recipe:


  • 175g shelled, unsalted pistachios (if you need to shell the nuts yourself a 400g bag should be enough)
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 125g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 225g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 200g sifted icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • Food colouring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C (or 170C with fan). Put pistachios into a food processor and grind until finely chopped. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream butter and caster sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (the mixture will turn light yellow in colour after about 3 minutes). Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well after each addition. Next, mix in the rose water. Add the grounded pistachio nuts, coconut and lime zest and mix until smooth. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, making sure they are all well combined. Lastly add the lime juice and stir through. Pour the mixture into a prepared cake pan (23cm), and bake on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in its tin for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn it onto a wire rack and leave it to cool completely. Once the cake is cooled, you can either cut it in half and put frosting in the middle (a layered effect) or you can put frosting on the top of the cake, or in my case - you can do both!

To make the frosting, mix butter and icing sugar on a low speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add lime zest and juice and mix well. If you wish to colour the frosting, add a liquid or gel paste colour to the frosting last and mix well.

To decorate, place the cake on a serving plate and spread the frosting on the top (and sides if desired) using a palette knife or spatula. I made little sugar paste flowers for the centre of the cake, but any decorations could be used. Perhaps try using crushed pistachios and rose petals.....

Happy baking!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Pastel Cookies

Last weekend I made a quick batch of cookies to test out my new ovens to make sure they bake evenly. Here's a sample of some of the cookies - they are just plain sugar cookies decorated with royal icing in pastel colours.

And here they are all together ready to take into work for my colleagues.......

Stay tuned for more baking ventures soon!

Vintage Cupcake

I've recently come across Polyvore which enables you to import images from websites and create your own image. Here's my first attempt at using the software to create a vintage themed picture full of lots of gorgeous cakes.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Back in the kitchen!

Hi everyone - apologies for being offline for so long. I have been enduring renovations to my home for the last 2.5 months and only recently have gotten access to a kitchen again after 5 weeks! I've been having major baking withdrawals so as soon as my ovens (yes I have 2 ovens now!!) were connected up I had to test them out. Here are some little girly cupcakes I made.....

The icing was piped using a PME 57 nozzle to make individual petals. I used 2-tone icing and added lilac glitter and little pearl draguees on the top to make them extra cute!

Happy Baking xx

Monday, 28 June 2010

Flower Cupcakes

Flower cupcakes to enjoy on a sunny day in the garden. I piped buttercream onto each cake to create roses, chrysanthenums, hydrangeas and fantasy flower patterns.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Footy Fever

Fun footy cupcakes to celebrate the start of the World Cup.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

King of the Jungle

On the weekend I made a batch of cupcakes for a friend who wanted lion decorations. While I prefer handmaking individual toppers for cupcakes, if you have an order for a large quanitity of cakes or you need to put something together quickly, then moulds offer a great solution to preparing fun decorations easily. The lion heads for my cupcakes were easy to make using Mexican paste in the Sculpey Zoo push mould.

Happy baking xx

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Mini Tiered Cakes

I love this new cake pan from Willians-Sonoma. Making tiered cakes could never be simpler! The pan makes 6 mini cakes, 3 each of 2 pretty designs.

To decorate the cakes, drizzle a coloured glaze over them then pipe finer details with royal icing. Embellish with draguees or sprinkles if desired. They would make a lovely gift, especially if you individually package them in a clear box with a ribbon.

Happy baking x

Monday, 17 May 2010

Lemon and Blueberry Cupcakes

Lemon and Blueberry Cupcakes (makes 12 large cakes)

  • 125g unsalted butter (softened)
  • Juice and zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 punnet of blueberries

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar (sifted)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Glitter or other decorations (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C. Beat butter, lemon juice and zest, and caster sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes on medium-high speed). Beat in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Stir in the sifted self-raising flour and milk in two batches until all ingredients are mixed in well. Lastly stir through the blueberries. Spoon mixture into a lined 12-hole muffin tray. Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes then leave to cool on a wire rack before adding frosting. Note, if you want your cupcakes to be domed in shape, cook them in a slightly hotter over (~200C).

To make the lemon frosting, mix the icing sugar and butter with electric beaters for about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice once all the icing sugar is mixed in. Mixture should be firm enough to pipe and hold its shape. Add more icing sugar if mixture is too runny. To make two-toned frosting like I did (lilac and yellow) colour half of the buttercream with purple food colouring and use it to fill half of the piping bag. Fill the other half of the piping bag with the other coloured buttercream. Pipe swirls of buttercream onto cooled cupcakes, then decorate as desired. I used a wilton 2D tip to pipe my swirls and edible glitter and handmade royal icing flowers as a finishing touch.

Happy Baking x

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


I love these cup-hugging cookie cutters from Cox &Cox. The cutters come in a set of three (either stars, hearts or butterflies) and have a little slit in them to allow you to hang the cookie on the rim of a cup or mug. Such a great idea! The good news is you can even make these cup-hugging cookies - or 'huggies' as I like to call them - by cutting a slot into any small shape with a knife. Here's my attempt using small heart and flower cookie cutters......

So easy, yet so effective......

Happy baking xx