Hey hey, cake chums and welcome back to another issue of Something Sweet – your weekly slice of all the latest news from the world of cake!
After all the excitement of celebrating our first birthday last week, I’ve worked hard to keep the fun going in this week’s issue – not only will we be finding out who has won last week’s birthday giveaway, in partnership with Renshaw and Rainbow Dust Colours, but this week there is also the chance to win TWO pairs of tickets to April’s Cake International on Tour!
Read on to find out more…
What’s new on Mr Baker’s Blog this week?
This week’s spotlight here on the blog was most definitely on the launch of the new Cake Design Academy, The Sugar Lair – with a brand-new, exclusive Mr Baker’s Blog interview with The Sugar Lair’s founder, Kate Parsons (find it here) AND a new video over on my YouTube channel, with highlights from the Academy’s launch party.
We were joined by some of our favourite cakers, including one of Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers, Phil Jensen of Peboryon, who, along with wife Christine, had provided an awesome cake for the event.
If you haven’t check out the video yet, you can find it here!
And while we’re on the subject of YouTube, as I explained in the description on my The Sugar Lair video, not all of my videos are going to be event vlogs – I promise! I’m working hard to sort out my new cake studio, after which you can expect lots of more cake-focused content. In fact, this Thursday’s video will tell you a little more about that, so make sure you have subscribed to ensure you don’t miss it when it goes live!
Have you heard…?
Big news from Renshaw this week, as they announced that they will be sponsoring the ‘Celebration Cake Business of the Year’ category for the 15th year running at the Baking Industry Awards 2019. That’s 15 years of celebrating the achievements of cake decorating businesses and sharing their inspirational work with the world!
The awards celebrate innovation and achievement, and recognise excellence in the UK bakery market. As we all know, there are an incredible amount of talented cake decorating businesses out there, but imagine taking home the title of ‘Celebration Cake Business of the Year’!
As Renshaw explain in their dedicated blog all about the awards, not only does the award recognise your achievements, but being a winner or finalist can increase your profile within the industry, deliver new business and exposure for you and your company, and reward and motivate your team. There is also the small matter of the £750 prize money and an amazing £250 worth of Renshaw Baking and Rainbow Dust products for the winner!
This year, the Renshaw team have added a celebrity cake artist to the ranks of their judges, so to find out who that is, and to learn more about the awards and what you need to do to enter, be sure to head to the Renshaw website! You can find their section all about 2019’s ‘Celebration Cake Business of the Year’ category at the Baking Industry Awards right here.
And if you do decide to enter, let me know so I can cheer you on!
Cake Show Showcase:
Can you believe, we are only five-and-a-half weeks away from the new Cake International on Tour show at London’s Excel?! It seems like only a matter of weeks since we were packing up after all of the excitement of the main show in November!
The world’s biggest and best-loved cake decoration show, Cake International is hitting the road alongside the Creative Craft Show and the organisers are hoping to bring a slice of the flagship NEC event to London with an incredible display of sugarcraft talent, with over 500 competition entries expected from across the globe.
As well as the competitions, Cake International on Tour will feature Live Championships, feature displays and show pieces, a demonstration theatre with star presenters, a shopping zone with the latest supplies and a range of full day workshops, where participants can learn close up from some of the world’s greatest tutors.
The show’s organiser, Melanie Underwood explains: ‘From jaw-dropping competition entries, to floral bridal headpieces and wedding cakes, visitors will be in awe of what can be created with sugarcraft. This show brings a real taste of our flagship November show to London and will also be packed with the latest supplies for cake fans to stock up on. Plus, we have some of the industry’s leading experts running demonstrations and workshops.’
The workshops will include a variety of the very latest techniques in the cake decorating world. For those wanting to hone their wedding cake skills, Suzanne Esper will be teaching participants how to make Sugarcraft floral hoops to adorn their wedding and celebration cakes, while Ben Fullard will be showing how to create his signature chocolate bark effect and striking magnolias. Tapping into the growing popularity of hand painting, Emily Hankins will be on hand to share her top tips on how to achieve a striking butterfly design on your cakes, using cocoa butter and dusts.
For more information on the workshops at Cake International on Tour at London’s Excel and to book your place, you can visit the official website right here.
Rather excitingly, I have teamed up with the team at Cake International to be able to offer you the chance to head to April’s show for FREE!
Yup, that’s right, I have not one, but TWO pairs of tickets to give away!
To enter, you simply need to head to my Cake International Giveaway video over on my YouTube channel and post a comment telling me what you are most looking forward to seeing at the show! You can find it at this link – while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe – and I’ll look forward to seeing you in London!
This week I am mostly loving…
Now, I have never really been one for using moulds on my cakes, but after seeing the beautiful knit effect range by Karen Davies Sugarcraft, I knew I had to try them!
I loved using them on my Festive Llama cake and have since also added the Sugar Flowers mould to my collection too – I’m just itching to use it on a cake soon!
This week, Karen Davies Sugarcraft have caught my attention once more, with the announcement of the latest additions to their range: Brush Embroidery and Ruffled Roses.
If you’ve ever spent hours (and I mean HOURS) creating the effect of ruffled roses on your cakes, you will realise what a welcome shortcut this new mould in particular will provide!
The new moulds go on sale tomorrow (Monday 25th February) and, if you’d be interesting in adding them to your stash of cake gear, you will be able to order them directly from the Karen Davies Sugarcraft website right here.
If you do pick them up, be sure to let me know what you think!
The hottest ticket in town!
This week, a certain Extreme Cake Making couple got us all talking, after they posted a very cryptic teaser video.
The event is something that the pair had been thinking about for a long time, as they had realised that there is nothing like being surrounded by people who ‘get’ what you do. As we all know, professional cake artistry can be a very lonely vocation and we all end up living for those few opportunities that we do get to meet up with our colleagues in the industry.
Unfortunately, those opportunities don’t happen very often and, even when they do, they are usually cake shows, during which many of us are still working, competing or even just frantically running around trying to take it all in.
Phil and Christine hope that The Cake Professionals Conference will provide a rare chance to actually sit down and talk, face to face with other cakers AND provide us all with an opportunity to get better at this business of baking – to actually make it work.
“It’s an oasis in the world of cake, like a spa day for your cake brain, but you don’t need a swimming costume”
As Phil explains, ‘As small business owners, we’re continually learning; looking for ways to make our businesses successful whilst not forgetting to keep ourselves fuelled as human beings. The juggle is real. Together we’ll learn better and grow healthier than alone.’
In regards as to who the event is for, the couple is quick to clarify that, ‘You don’t need to have a massive business or be a cake celebrity – you just need to make your money from the world of cake. It’s as simple as that. Whether you’re a cake maker, a cake school owner, a cake supplies company, a crazy cake product inventor or something else entirely, if you want to grow your business, if you want to step out of isolation and meet other people who run cake businesses of all shapes and sizes, if you’re ready to learn from each other, and fellow experts in small business and you’re open to change, conversation and community, then this is the event for you.’
If this sounds like an event that you would be interested in attending, then this is what you need to know:
There will be good food, expert speakers, and a choice of workshops to scratch particular business itches. There will be time and space to connect with people who genuinely understand the challenges of small business in the cake world. There will also be massage therapists. Yes, you read that right.
There will be no trade stands, no sales pitches, no competitions, and no demos. You’re welcome.
The Madejski Stadium Conference Centre, Reading, Berkshire, UK.
29th of April 2019 – which is a Monday.
This includes delicious food and drinks throughout the day, expert speakers, a workshop to dive deeper into one of three business topics, an inspiring keynote speaker, and an informative panel of industry leaders to grill at the end of the day.
Your hosts for the day will be Christine & Phil Jensen of Peboryon and parking is also included.
The day begins with registration at 9am and will ends at around 4:30pm.
150 tickets will go on sale on March 1st and when they are gone, they’re gone.
I’ll leave the final word to Phil:
‘At the heart of all this is that there is this amazing community of cake businesses working so hard and we rarely get to meet when there is not a million other things happening.
‘We kind of craved that and so decided to do something about it rather than talking about it.
‘We also value getting great input from people who know their stuff and so that is in there too.
‘Last and certainly not least, we all need to look after ourselves a bit which is why we invited the massage therapists.
‘Creating a space to breathe, to gather, as business folk. It seems like a pretty great idea all round.’
The first ever Cake Professionals Conference is sponsored by Cake Stuff.
I wanna make that!
You all know that I am a big fan of Natalie and Dave over at Sideserf Cake Studio and so, when they post up a new YouTube video, you know that I am going to be all over it!
Their latest video is a wonderfully detailed tutorial to allow you to create a realistic lemon, using just a little cake pop mix and some modelling chocolate.
Now, you might be thinking, ‘Well, why on earth would I ever want to create a lemon out of cake?’ and that may well be the case (although they would look great adorning a tasty lemon cake, would they not?).
But as always, Natalie covers some great core skills within the video, so even if you DON’T want to make a lemon cake ball, it is still a very useful watch for anyone who is planning on working with modelling chocolate, wanting to develop some of their modelling techniques, exploring hand painting or even just working from real life inspirations.
I have embedded the video here, but don’t forget to swing by the official Sideserf Cake Studio YouTube channel to check out the rest of their awesome videos.
Thanks for another fantastic video, Natalie and Dave!
The Collaboration Station
Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think we have had any new collabs this week? As always, if I’ve missed one, don’t hesitate to let me know and I’ll edit it in as soon as I can.
Meet the maker…
It’s time to meet yet another incredible artist…
What is your name?
How long have you been making cakes?
Since I was 13, and I’m now 31. I’ve never been good at maths! Lol.
Hobbyist or professional?
Errr, professional I think?
What was your first cake?
My first cake was for my mum’s birthday. It was two tiers, with no supports and covered in plastic decorations, royal icing star piping and even some dragees for good measure.
What is your favourite of all the cakes you have made?
That’s a tough one, but one that stands out for me was this large pirate ship figurehead.
It was out of my usual comfort zone and it actually went to plan for once!
Who is your cake hero?
Always got to be Mike’s Amazing Cakes, and Zoe’s Fancy Cakes
Where can we see more of your work?
I also have a YouTube channel where I regularly post free tutorials. You can check that out here.
Meanwhile on Twitter…
It’s not often that this feature makes an appearance, but when it does, you know that it’s going to be good.
One of the amazing cakers I regularly chat to over on Twitter, Liz Fox of BuBakes has had a fairly epic week this week.
Not only did she post up this INCREDIBLE Terry Pratchett-inspired cake…
…but she also created a wonderful centrepiece for this year’s British Wedding Awards.
To see more of that, you might need to scroll on down a little bit further. 😉
You need to be Insta-following…!
Yup, I’m sneaking in another new feature. I keep stumbling across so many amazing cake artists over on Instagram and I want to share them with you all! So, from now on, I’ll be doing just that – in our new ‘You need to be Insta-following…!’ section every week!
This week, I thought I would share the work of @finecakesbyzehraofficial, whose fabulous cakes are just simply divine – we’re talking serious #cakegoals here!
You really do need to be insta-following…!
Make sure you swing by and show their feed some love!
And if you stumble across an awesome Instagram that you think we all need to be Insta-following, then be sure to let me know! You can find my contact details at the end of this issue.
Cake of the Week!
Well, I have already introduced the lovely Liz Fox of BuBakes to you all via her awesome Pratchett cake above, but this week, it’s her centrepiece cake for The British Wedding Awards 2019 that has scooped her this week’s Cake of the Week gong.
The Alice in Wonderland inspired creation was displayed front and centre at the event (as you can see in the following image)…
…I can only imagine the pressure that goes into creating a centrepiece cake for such a huge event – especially when you know that the audience will contain a whole host equally talented cake artists – but I think Liz more than lived up to the challenge!
Congratulations on a fabulous week, Liz and a stunning Cake of the Week!
Please join me in wishing everyone’s favourite cake artist, Calli Hopper of Calli Creations and her husband Martin a very happy anniversary this week.
The much-beloved couple celebrate their special day with a rich royal iced fruit cake (Martin’s favourite), topped with some of Calli’s wonderful signature hand painting.
The likeness is literally perfect and I can’t imagine how they were able to bring themselves to cut into it. But then, as a fellow fan of fruit cake, it would definitely be hard to resist!
I hope you both had a wonderful day and I wish you many more years of happiness together, Calli and Martin.
And the winner is…
Thank you to everyone that took the time to enter Something Sweet’s birthday giveaway, with prizes kindly donated by Renshaw and Rainbow Dust. I gathered up all of the names from both the comments here on the blog and over on YouTube and entered them into a random name picker online, and I am pleased to announce that the winner is…
Congratulations, Jayne Udall! If you could get in touch using one of the channels below, I will arrange for Renshaw and Rainbow Dust to get your prizes out to you!
Sorry to those of you that missed out this time, but don’t forget, there is another chance to win an awesome prize this week, thanks to my Cake International on Tour ticket giveaway over on YouTube. Head over there now to enter!
I say it every week, but Something Sweet relies on your submissions and contributions to remain topical and interesting, 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, do make sure you get in touch…
Mr Baker’s Blog
PO Box 752
Until next time… happy caking! x