Hey y’all! Happy Sunday once again and welcome back to Something Sweet – your weekly slice of the latest news from the world of cake.
Before we get cracking on this week’s issue, I wonder if you will indulge me for a moment. This week, I discovered that Mr Baker’s Blog has been shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards!
I think they struggled to know where to place me – I mean, I don’t exactly follow a standard format do I? Larger-than-life projects, quirky recipes, cake tutorials, interviews, event coverage, class previews, product reviews and whatever else I can squeeze in..?
However, the powers that be have decided that ‘Best Culinary Blog’ category was the best fit.
If I am to proceed to the finalist stage, it is now down to your votes. So, pardon the cringe-factor for a moment, but if you enjoy reading Mr Baker’s Blog and feel like you would like to give me your vote, then you can find the voting form at this link.
Handy hint: I am on the second page of the culinary blogs.
While you’re there, you can also vote for your favourite blogs in all of the other categories if you wish, but don’t feel you have to.
Thank you and thanks for your ongoing support!
What’s new on the blog this week?
It’s been a quiet week on Mr Baker’s Blog this week and it seems like it has also been a somewhat quiet week on planet cake too.
My only post this week was looking ahead to the super fun day I spent with Cassie Brown, Carol Haycox, Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft Magazine and FMM Sugarcraft at their first ever CAKE Live Demonstration Day – a full day of sugarcraft demonstrations at the stunning Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, near Droitwich Spa.
Rather than tell you all about it now though, I’ll be penning a few words to give you the full scoop on it later this week, so make sure you keep an eye on the blog!
Have you heard…?
If you have been hiding under a rock for the last couple of weeks, then you may have missed some pretty exciting news Suzi Witt of Pretty Witty Cakes is back with a brand-new look, thanks to her two – yes TWO – brand new websites, and a brand-new sound, thanks to her brand new weekly podcast: The Suzi Witt Show (available via the Podcasts app).
Over to Suzi to tell us all about it…
The new Pretty Witty Academy is my most exciting business to date. I have taken everything I learnt whilst running Pretty Witty Cakes over the last 8 years and focused on designing a school for what you really need – not just cakes but business too. Because for me, education in the cake industry is more than just endless ‘how to’ videos.
The new Pretty Witty is a site for cakies who want more than just ‘how to’ guides. It is about understanding everything behind the scenes and having someone who really knows that, inside out and who is willing to reveal all, telling you how everything works, from cake-making, to teaching, to getting a book deal!
As many of you may already know, I set up Pretty Witty Cakes with no prior knowledge of the cake industry and went from $0 to $1m in under two years. Pretty Witty went on to become a multi-million-dollar empire, which I created alongside real HUMAN babies (x 3)! It is fair to say I have worked pretty damn hard the last 8 years!
Since 2010, I have experienced just about every side of the cake industry, including:
- Running a cake business
- Teaching face to face classes (with students flying in from over 35 countries to attend)
- Hosting over 60 Guest Tutors in physical classes and for filming.
- Running a physical shop
- Running an online shop
- Writing a best-selling cake book
- Running a Cake Magazine
- Filming and Producing Online Tutorials
- Selling written tutorials and pictorials
- Entering competitions
- Judging competitions
- Making and mass producing my own Cake Tools
- Running an online community (not just a Facebook page)
- And more!
More recently I have learnt how to build websites, advanced marketing and online systems to enable growth of any business. Put simply, I know what works and what doesn’t, and I am going to share it all with you.
The new Pretty Witty Academy is more than just a rebrand of Pretty Witty Cakes. It is an entirely new business model.
The TWO Websites:
Pretty Witty Cakes is now entirely FREE to use. It is where I will add FREE tutorials, podcasts, blog posts, training guides and more. There is also a private Facebook group as well. There are no longer any memberships on the PWC site.
Pretty Witty Academy is a brand-new membership site and it is VERY different to the old one. It is the single best resource on the internet for both learning how to make cakes AND for learning how to successfully set up and run a profitable cake or cake teaching business.
Membership of the Academy includes:
- Over 830 full Tutorials – More than any other cake school in the world! None of these tutorials are sections of other tutorials – they are all stand-alone tutorials.
- NEW Guided Learning Section for beginner cakers needing more hand-holding
- NEW Business Tutorials Section
- NEW Quick Tips section for shorter videos
- NEW Recipes section with over 125 recipes
- NEW Member Perks section with loads of Exclusive Discounts and Perks for Members
- NEW regular Business Mastermind LIVE section with Suzi
- NEW Podcast training so you can learn with Suzi when out and about
- NEW Pictorials section with nearly 100 Pictorials and growing fast!
- Over 80 Guest Tutors
- NEW “Filter by Tutor Page” with individual pages for all tutors showing their tutorials only
- NEW training videos by Suzi who is now back being filmed after years of running Pretty Witty behind the scenes. These are not only cake but advanced business skills
- NEW Private Coaching section for booking to help you one on one with your cake business
- NEW and totally AWESOME Interactive Community (not just a facebook page! I promise you have not experienced anything quite like this one!
- NEW Techniques section
- NEW Section to become a Pretty Witty TUTOR!
- NO Advertising at all
- NEW section for book marking your favourite videos and marking videos and lessons completed when you have watched them
- NEW Dashboard section with Quick Links, Recent Tutorial listings Recent Forum Discussions, Request buttons and more!
On a technical level, I have created some truly awesome features for you including:
- The ability to Cancel in 2 clicks of a button
- The ability to Upgrade and Downgrade your membership between levels and get a Pro Rata credit for any unused periods applied against your new level (this is SOOOOO exciting!)
- The ability for all members to be affiliates which a single affiliate link. Quick and Easy.
- The option for Business Members to become a tutor and earn at Pretty Witty Cakes by submitting your tutorials.
- The ability to lock in low prices so the price you join at is then the price you ALWAYS pay – no price rises in future years even if the price has gone up for the rest of the public! Which means if you join up with the Early Bird Offer – you will only ever pay that price on your renewals in the future.
If you are quick, you can join the brand New Pretty Witty Academy with a special Early Bird Price giving you a huge discount. If you join on the Early Bird Pricing, when your renewal comes up, you will stay at this Early Bird Pricing forever. I have never offered this before but I love it as it totally rewards the Early Birds – year after year!. Early Bird Pricing won’t be there for long though!
Thanks, Suzi! To find out more, head on over to Pretty Witty Cakes – you will be able to join the Academy from there by clicking on ACADEMY in the menu. Alternatively, you can head straight to the academy here.
I’m planning on sitting down with Suzi in the next couple of weeks to find out a little bit more about the new Academy and how this all came about, so keep your eyes peeled for that. I’m hoping she’ll also let me have a bit of a mooch around the new site too – in which case, I’ll be sure to give you all the inside scoop on that too!
This week I am mostly loving…
If you’re an Instagram user, you need to swing by my buddy Etty van Urk of Cake Dutchess’ page and check out her Penguin Challenge.
Four years ago, Etty made these adorable penguins and now she is challenging us all to recreate them!
There have already been some adorable submissions, which you can also check out by searching the hashtag, #mypenguinchallenge.
One lucky person who participates in the challenge will win a copy of my Etty’s new book, which I talked about in last week’s issue.
If you fancy getting involved, you can find out more and a check out a super simple tutorial over at Etty’s InstaStories.
Don’t forget to post your results, tagging them with #mypenguinchallenge and @cakedutchess!
I wanna make that!
Xenia Robeson of Xenia’s Cake Creations got in touch this week to share her absolutely adorable Father Christmas Cake Topper tutorial, which I love!
He would look perfect on top of any festive celebration cake this Christmas, so head on over to Xenia’s YouTube channel to check it out.
She has also helpfully added a full equipment list over at her website too, which you can find here.
The Collaboration Station
What a fabulous week it has been for collaborations this week, with not one but two stunning collections being revealed!
First up, to celebrate the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the Birthday Mischief Managed team, surprised us all with a new collection of fan art inspired by the book and the films.
Headed up, once again, by Michelle Curran AKA Chef Mitchie of Mitchie’s Munchies in Las Vegas, the team also included a sentimental nod for J.K. Rowling, in memory of her mother, Anne, who died from complications related to multiple sclerosis at the age of 45, while Rowling was writing the first book.
Chef Mitchie explained, “This is one of my favourite group projects. As a Wizarding World fan, it’s wonderful to have other like-minded individuals that want to share what has inspired them through edible mediums. It’s also loads of fun to surprise our followers with a brand new collection of fan art.
“Our members did an outstanding job bringing this idea to fruition. The amount of creativity and genius that goes into food art can be magical, but I think J.K. Rowling said it best, ‘We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”
Once again, the team have wowed us with some incredible creations and I hope you will enjoy checking out this small sample of them.
To see the rest of the collection, head to the groups dedicated Facebook page, Birthday Mischief Managed.
The other collaboration that stopped us in our tracks this week was also a returning favourite.
Of course, I can’t feature all of them here, so please do ensure that you pop over to the Incredible India Facebook page to check out the rest of the stunning works!
When the original collaboration was released back in 2017, the cake world marvelled at the stunning collection of artwork created to celebrate a country known for its rich traditions, beautiful languages, world famous cuisine, inimitable architecture and a lot more besides.
Now in its second year, Incredible India sees the team return with even more hugely talented members, including some of most talented cake artists in the world – and little old me! I was hugely honoured to be asked to contribute a piece when I met Tina at Cake International, although it didn’t leave me very long to actually create something! Eek!
When I was searching for my inspiration for my piece, I stumbled across a beautiful advert for… Nilkamal plastic chairs of all things! I loved the whimsical nature of the heavily stylised elephant and the surrounding scene, and decided to replicate it for my piece (in one afternoon!) – I even inserted my jumbo back into the original advert for one of my shots.
This year, the works of Incredible India have also been gathered together, alongside a whole host of stunning tutorials, delicious recipes fusing traditional eastern flavours with western-style bakes, some fabulous interviews with some of our caking idols, articles, inspirations and a lot more besides, into a stunning publication, Incredible India: the book.
I can’t tell you how much time I have spent getting lost in the pages of my copy – it is all too easy to allow oneself to be carried away on a magical journey to a land of mystery.
Whether a fan of Indian culture, stunning sugar artistry, eclectic baking or even just cake – you need this book in your life! To find out more about it, you can contact Tina directly via her Facebook page, Tina Scott Parashar’s Cake Design.
Cake of the Week!
Some weeks, I will shortlist a number of possible contenders for the Cake of the Week slot, but then, in other weeks, I will just stumble across one while perusing my social media channels that halts me in my tracks and makes me stare in amazement – to the point that there is not possible hesitation.
This week, the latter was certainly the case, when I came across this incredible creation by Sandra Draskovic of My Little Bakery.
Sandra’s fabulous Parthenon Cake really captures the mystery and wonder of the Athena’s temple atop the Acropolis in Athens – and it’s crafted entirely from chocolate!
I definitely think that this is one that I would struggle to cut – let’s hope the lucky recipient didn’t feel quite so reluctant!
Congratulations Sandra on a stunning creation and a fabulous Cake of the Week!
WOW CAKES #1!
I’m cheating a little bit this week, as the hugely talented Janette MacPherson of Janette MacPherson Cake Craft actually posted her wonderful cake for Dreamworks last week, but as I didn’t have time to edit it into last week’s issue, I thought I would share it with you this week instead.
In her post, Janette revealed that she had flown over to the beautiful, Cannes in the South of France, to create her incredible showstopper for DreamWorks at the MIP Junior closing night party!
Working on a blank canvas created by local French bakers, Gwen and David, Janette had only five hours in the kitchen of the stunning Carlton Hotel to transform the 4-tiers into this bright and colourful celebration of 5 years of DreamWorks TV.
If you’d like to read more about Janette’s French adventure, you can check out her blog post here.
Before you go, I have a little question for you all.
I had some feedback recently that some of the issues of Something Sweet are becoming a little too… long. I was wondering if others feel the same way?
As I have explained many times before, as far as I am concerned, Something Sweet is a community resource and I want to ensure that I am writing about the things that matter to you.
I would love to know which bits you like, which bits you could do without and any features you would like to see added to the line up. Would you prefer it if Something Sweet was shorter, but there were more midweek blogs instead? This is your chance to have your say and shape the future of Mr Baker’s Blog as we move into 2019…
Please don’t feel you have to save me any blushes, be as honest as you want. And don’t worry, I certainly wouldn’t complain if it took me less time to write it each week!
As always, you can reach me via the usual channels: comment below, message my Facebook page, post in the dedicated Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group or email me directly.
I look forward to hearing from you…
Have a good week! xx