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Dare to Dream…?

As someone who already has a full-time job that they love – well, most of the time anyway – and who only dabbles in cake for fun, albeit a lot, I always find it really hard to return to ‘real life’ after spending any sort of period of time exclusively in the ‘cake world’. Whether it’s going back to work after a cake show weekend or even, like in this case, just going back after spending the school holidays playing at being a full-time caker and cake blogger, it always seems somewhat jarring to suddenly just be Mr Baker-Gall the teacher again.

I think, if I’m honest, the contrast between cake, where creativity is celebrated and respected – at least for the most part – and education where, as I’m sure most people realise, we are gradually being buried under more-and-more bureaucracy and where opportunities for creativity are gradually being eroded away, is what is possibly the most difficult aspect for me to reconcile myself with.

A recent Guardian headline…

Inevitably, it does make me wonder, every now and then, if I could do this full time – whether I could ever give up my other passion to concentrate on this one – but I do think I would miss the joy that comes from working with young children. I’ll be honest though, for me one of the biggest considerations are the financial implications – I don’t know if I could ever leave the security of a monthly salary to head out into the unknown.

Quite honestly, I don’t think I could ever just make cakes to order. A lot of my enjoyment within cake artistry comes from the freedom I have to create what I want and I think that would soon vanish if faced with a never-ending order book of 8” round cakes every week.

*whispers* I do have a Rolls Royce model of my cakey dream though, but you can’t tell anyone.

Sometimes, I daydream about opening a little cake decorating supplies shop with an attached teaching space to host some of the amazing teachers and tutors that I know, while continuing to write my blog – and perhaps making a few awesome sculpted cakes on the side.

I adored my recent visit to Zoe’s Fancy Cakes in a little village on the outskirts of Leeds…

For me, just making cakes would never be enough – a huge part of my enjoyment within cake is about celebrating the amazing artistry we get to see every day, the travelling to meet some of the wonderful talents that make up the industry and obviously writing about it all right here. I’m not sure I will ever find anyone who wants to pay me to do that!

But, as always, the ‘coming down to earth with a bump’ of returning to work got me thinking about those people out there who perhaps WOULD love to make a living from cake decorating and who would like nothing more than to make cakes to order.

I wondered if we put our collective heads together, we could help them figure out just how they could make that not insignificant step and give up their guaranteed income each month to follow their passion.

For that reason, I would love to hear from those of you who have already done it. What advice would you give those people who are thinking about following in your footsteps? What do you wish you had known in advance? What helped you along the way? Are there any pitfalls to avoid? Sadly you see too many people burn out in this industry, but let’s just see if we can’t come up with some essential advice to help the next generation of cake artists navigate their way into this fabulous industry and not lose sight of their passion along the way…

A Weekly Slice of Something Sweet, All Content, Blog

Keeping you up-to-date with what’s new in cake…

Can you believe we are already at Issue 9 of Something Sweet? It has been a real pleasure spending time really getting to know what people are doing out there in the cake world.

This week, I have had an advance preview of a beautiful new book that is launching at the end of this month; I introduce you to the faces behind the UK’s newest cake show, launching in 2019; there is an awesome new collaboration opportunity for an amazing cause; and, of course, I announce this week’s cake of the week.

If you hadn’t read it yet, grab a cuppa and get comfy… you can find it here.

And don’t forget to join the Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group to ensure you never miss another post.

Oh, and you can also subscribe using the box in the sidebar (or at the bottom of the page if on mobile).

Here’s to a fantastic week ahead! x

All Content, Blog

Meet the Maker: the Cake Dutchess

As I said yesterday, Mr Baker’s blog is all about sharing what all the talented individuals in the world of cake are up to all year around.

Sometimes this means I get to speak to some truly inspirational people and I feel truly honoured that so many of them are happy to give me a little bit of their time – particularly when it comes to agreeing to interviews, as they can be pretty time-consuming for them.

I know you guys have been enjoying them though and so – teaser alert – I have some real humdingers heading your way in the next few weeks…!

I thought we’d kick off the latest round by sitting down with the legend behind the Cake Dutchess brand. Etty van Urk is well-known for her stunningly adorable modelling and for being the creator of the hugely popular Cake Dutchess Modelling Paste, but that is just the start of things as far as this entrepreneurial whizz is concerned.

Originally from the Netherlands, Etty now lives in Scotland and originally started decorating cakes in 2009. However, after falling out of love with making cakes-to-order a few years later, she began to develop her love of modelling.

Since then, she has gone on create her own modelling paste; recorded an incredible number of free tutorials, which she shares on her Facebook page; recorded classes for both Pretty Witty Cakes and Craftsy; and is now in the final stages of developing her own line of tools AND writing her first book – all while being a full-time mum of two! Wowsers!

I’m sure you’ll agree that it is time we get to know this incredible lady a little bit better, so check out my full interview with Etty via the interviews tab in the menu.

And stay tuned – you won’t believe who is coming next…!