Hey hey hey, cake chums and welcome to 2019’s first issue of Something Sweet from Mr Baker’s Blog, your weekly slice of all the latest news from the world of cake.
Plenty of you got in touch this week to tell me what has been happening in your corner of planet cake, so thank you to everyone who dropped me a line. I’ve done my best to ensure that as many of you are featured as possible.
So, without much further ado, let’s get to it!
What’s new on Mr Baker’s Blog this week?
This week, I posted a lil’ update to tell you about all of the big changes I have planned for Mr Baker’s Blog in 2019.
Don’t panic – I’m still planning on sharing all the latest cake news in weekly editions of Something Sweet. However, rather than ad hoc posting of other content, this year, I also want to formalise my offerings so you’ll know what you can expect from the site, week to week.
As such, starting from the beginning of February, every Tuesday will see me upload some new, original and exclusive content:
First Tuesday – a brand new recipe from Mr Baker’s Cakes.
Second Tuesday – a new Mr Baker’s Cakes sugarcraft tutorial.
Third Tuesday – an exclusive interview with one of our favourite cake artists.
Fourth Tuesday – a guest tutorial, created exclusively for the readers of Mr Baker’s Blog.
This will, of course, continue to be supplemented by additional posts, including product reviews, event coverage, comment pieces and lots more besides.
If you would like to contribute an original recipe or guest tutorial to Mr Baker’s Blog during 2019, then please feel free to get in touch via the usual channels. You can reach me through my Facebook page, the dedicated Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group or by emailing me directly.
This week also saw me share some exciting news that I have been sitting on for a while. Following some very generous Christmas presents from my family and a crash course in video editing from my buddy Etty van Urk of Cake Dutchess, I am nearly ready to add a YouTube channel to the Mr Baker’s Blog line up!
I have lots of exciting plans for new and original content, the likes of which you haven’t seen on a caking channel before, but unfortunately you still have a little bit longer to wait before it officially launches, while we convert our spare room into a new, improved and, more importantly, larger cake studio.
In my original post (which you can find here), I did post a tongue-in-cheek request for a sponsor for the conversion, but unfortunately there have been no takers as yet… 😉
In the meantime, if you’d like to subscribe to my channel in advance of my official launch and be one of the first to receive a notification when I post my first new video, then you can find it here. When I hit 100 subscribers, I gain access to a custom URL, so I would really appreciate it! Thank you in advance!
All in all, I’m you’ll agree that it is looking to be a VERY exciting year here on Mr Baker’s Blog and I do hope you’ll come along for the ride!
Have you heard…?
Hayley and Michael Wisken of Fabricake have been in touch this week to let me know about a very exciting development to come out of Fabricake HQ recently. In their own words:
At Fabricake, our customers’ needs are the heart of our business! We asked you guys how we could improve and postage prices came up time and again. As a result, we have some exciting news:
We have lowered our minimum spend to just £40 to take advantage of our FREE UK Premium next day delivery!!!
Speaking as someone who has taken advantage of Fabricake’s next day delivery shipping many times, it can really be a lifesaver.
Don’t worry, they still have plenty of deliver options for orders below £40 too, including:
- Economy (3-5 days) just £3.25
- Standard (1-2 days) just £3.75
- Premium (Next day) just £4.95
They’d also love to hear from you, if you have any other suggestions for how Fabricake can improve their customer service experience. To get in touch with them, you can contact them via their Facebook page, which you can find right here.
Cake Show Showcase:
Can you believe that we are now only five weeks away from the first UK cake show of the spring season?!
The Welsh National Cake Show falls on Saturday 9th February and will feature some of the biggest and brightest talents of the cake industry – including legends such as Jacqui Kelly, Emma Jayne, Mark Tilling, Catalina Anghel, Rhianydd Webb and a lot more besides.
There are also a variety of mini workshops available for pre-booking, including painting on Easter Eggs with Cara Maiden, making sugarpaste mini-dragons with Zlatina Lewis and edible roses with Sarah Garland.
To find out more about what you can expect from the show, head to the What’s On section of the Welsh National Cake Show website here.
Be aware, places at the classes and on the demonstration tables are limited, so be sure to buy your tickets quickly, before they’re gone.
I look forward to seeing you there!
The hottest ticket in town!
This week sees Suzanne Esper of the Suzanne Esper Cake School launches her latest online eight-week sugar flower course starting today, Sunday 6th January.
Suzanne would like to invite you all to join over 200 students as she teaches you to make a variety of modern sugar flowers, perfect for 2019’s top predicted wedding trends, including avalanche roses, cafe au lait dahlias, David Austin roses, various varieties of peonies, anemones and many many more.
I was lucky enough to meet Suzanne last weekend and can easily see how her open and friendly personality would make it easy to learn! But don’t just take my word for it. Why not road test the night school by watching Suzanne’s Free Peony Tutorial over on her newly-launched on YouTube channel (don’t forget to subscribe while you are there!).
You can join Suzanne’s eight-week sugar flower course until midnight tonight, so to find out more and to sign up, head to this link.
And don’t worry if this round of classes isn’t convenient, you can also pre-register your interest for the next round of classes later in the year, by heading to this link.
I wanna make that!
In the Winter Wonderland Wedding Cake tutorial, filmed exclusively for Sugar Geek Show, Ashley presents an amazing cake project, featuring a winter theme and lots of amazing details and skills, including how to make a winter-themed floral arrangement, complete with rose hip fruits, amaryllis, fern leaves and pine cones.
She also breaks down every step of the process, including how to secure the floral arrangement to the cake, tips for travel and delivery, how to deal with flower breakage, time-saving tricks for making the flowers and filler elements, how to create the beautiful tree bark texture and a lot more besides.
You can check out a little preview here:
Now, as you know, I don’t often share paid tutorials here, but luckily, Liz is currently offering a seven-day free trial over at the Sugar Geek Show website, meaning that you can check out Ashley’s stunning tutorial, as well as all of the rest of Liz’s amazing content, before deciding if you want to commit to becoming a permanent member.
To see more of Ashley’s Winter Wonderland Wedding Cake tutorial and to find out more about Sugar Geek Show, you can head to this link.
The Collaboration Station
This week, I had a lovely email from Gabriela Doroghy, one of the admins of the latest collaboration to come out of the Cake Page Circle Collaboration group, Christmas with Family and Friends.
She got in touch to tell me about the stunning collection of Christmas-themed confections which were created by a team of international sugar artists to celebrate the spirit of Christmas: friendship, fellowship, giving, family, friends and love.
Each artist chose their own edible medium to express their favourite thing about Christmas and they all did a wonderful job.
As always, I have included just a mere taste of the wonderful works that went into the Christmas with Family and Friends collaboration and would invite you to visit their dedicated Facebook page to check out the rest of them.
Meet the maker…
What is your name?
My name is Karen Geraghty and I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, a few years back! My life has seen me travel around a lot, including stops in South Africa, Nigeria, Belfast (again), Dublin, Paris and finally a return to Dublin in 2006.
How long have you been making cakes?
I have been making cakes since I was a wee tot. My mum was, and still is, an amazing baker and I was always there to ‘help’ or, at the very least, lick the bowl. My grandmothers were both amazing bakers too and, every time we visited, the table would be laden with at least five different cakes and bakes. It was definitely in my blood.
Hobbyist or Professional?
I was a hobby baker for many years, catering for my own family’s special occasions, but the cakes I made for my boys were certainly not of a professional standard. They made them grin from ear to ear though and that’s all that mattered to me.
I turned professional in 2011 (having given up a career in the pharmaceutical industry when my children were born). Once both of my boys were in school, I wanted to do something for me, which still allowed me to be with them when they got home (although I didn’t anticipate the late nights to make up for that flexibility!). I had always been creative and that, combined with my love of baking and a lot of practice, eventually led to me starting my business.
What was your first cake?
My first ever cake was probably a good old coffee cake, made as a youngster. My first novelty decorated cake though was for my eldest son, in around 2004. It was so bad that I don’t think I even have a picture of it.
What is your favourite of all the cakes you have made?
Oh, this is a very difficult question to answer! But… I think my favourite is this wedding cake.
Many of my cake friends know that I usually shy away from wedding cakes because I get so nervous about them. I really only make them for very special people.
This one was made for a fabulous customer called Amy, who sadly lost her beautiful daughter, Miss Ellie, a few years ago. She had previously asked me to make a cake to celebrate her birthday, which was full of sunshine, joy and 3D butterflies flying upwards.
When she later asked me to make her wedding cake, she wanted to represent Ellie too for such a very special occasion. I just think the little butterfly is so poignant in this cake and, for me, this has to be my favourite.
Who is your cake hero?
Ah goodness, so many! Starting locally, there’s Corinna Maguire, Tanya Ross, Maria McDonald, Maria O’Connor and Anjali Tambde. We honestly have some amazing talent here in Ireland and I could go on and on.
Internationally, I love Shawna McGreevy, Avalon Yarnes and Liz Marek – all amazing innovators and so generous with their knowledge.
I also love Lulú Lucero, Marc Suárez, Claire Anderson, Lesley Wright, Janette McPherson, Kelly McWilliam, Angela Penta, and my new crush is Elza Baldzhiyska. Her cakes are absolutely incredible, from the pug dog pooping Christmas cupcakes right through to her Vivienne Westwood.
I feel bad for leaving out so many others, but I know I have to keep it short.
Where can we see more of your work?
You can visit my Facebook page, Bake Cake Create here.
You can also check out one of my tutorials in The Celtic Cakers Tutorial Book, available here.
Cake of the Week!
As the festive season draws to a close, the last few Christmas cakes are still gradually finding their way on to social media, including this stunning Snow White-themed cake by Branka Vukcevic of Moya Sugar Art.
I absolutely loved her festive reimagining of the traditional Disney characters.
To see more of Branka’s beautiful work, you can visit her Facebook page by clicking this link.
Congratulations on a stunning creation, Branka and a well-deserved first Cake of the Week of 2019.
WOW CAKES #1!
On New Year’s Eve, one of my favourite cake artists, Becky Jenkins of Becky Jenkins Sugar Artist, celebrated her brother’s wedding day and made him and his new wife Samantha the most beautiful cake.
The combination of marbling, metallics, geometric on lays, sugar flowers and delicate fairy lights made for a really striking and contemporary design and I bet the groom and his new bride were thrilled with their special cake.
If you haven’t yet discovered the beautiful work of Becky Jenkins Sugar Artist, be sure to head to her Facebook page to check out more of her stunning creations.
This week saw the Global Sugar Artist Network post their annual Editor’s Choice awards,
A highlight of the new year, the Global Sugar Artist Network awards always feature the brightest talents of the cake world and include some of the most incredible work that we have seen across the year.
This year’s line up included the best hand-painted and airbrushed artworks of 2018…
…the most creative edible artworks…
…the most amazing sugar sculptures…
…the most inspiring sugar flowers…
…the most amazing collaborations…
…the most glamorous wedding cakes…
…and the most artistic cookies.
It was a real pleasure to see so many of our favourite artists featured and I would like to offer my congratulations to all of the individuals and artists included.
They also announced the winner of their prestigious GSARN Artist Of The Year Award, which recognises an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to the world of the sugar & cake art over the past year.
Massive congratulations to the insanely talented Dorothy Klerck of Eat Cake Party, who is the winner of the 2018 GSARN Artist Of The Year award.
Special thanks must also go to the GSARN team for all their hard work in 2018. Keep it up, you guys!
As I’ve said a gazillion times before, Something Sweet is written for the cake community by the cake community and, as such, it relies on your submissions and contributions to work. So please do make sure that you are getting in touch each week to let me know all about your latest cakes and projects, collaborations, events, special announcements and more.
And if you have more to say, I also welcome guest posts on the blog too. If you would like me to publish a comment piece, a tutorial, a recipe or coverage of an event, experience or even just a topic you are passionate about, make sure you get in touch…
You can reach me through my Facebook page, the dedicated Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group or by emailing me directly.
Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to my new YouTube channel before you go to be one of the first to know when I post my official launch video! You can find it here – don’t forget to share it with all your #cakechums too!