Category Archives: Parties


We had our first house party on Saturday night as Phil wanted to do a ‘Chilli Con Carnival’ which was also Halloween.  45 of our friends and neighbours joined us to eat lots chilli, cakes and puddings and go on what must be one of the biggest trick or treat groups our street has ever seen!


It was great fun and the kids managed to stay up all evening having fun with their friends or entertaining the adults with apple bobbling.  I didn’t have very much time to decorate the cakes so did some really quick and easy toppings.  Next year I’d like to have a go at something a bit more exciting!  White cases were vanilla with a dollop of strawberry jam and brown cases were gluten free mocha.

The home made punch went down really well and we will be putting our empties out with embarrassment on Friday!

Thanks to all who came and made it such a brilliant night.

The story so far

Phil very kindly made me this montage of most of my cakes so far! A really nice collection and I’m hoping that they are starting to look like my own style. Hopefully there will be many more to come.single cupcakes1

Mehndi Party

My sister’s friend Jo asked me to make her some cakes to take to a hen night with her for an Indian bride.  She didn’t give me too many restrictions on what I could do so I decided to use the mehndi patterns found in henna designs as my inspiration. I do love a paisley pattern and had bought this background paper the other week. I actually think I bought it to give to my sister for a book paper but I think I might have to keep it! Sorry Sarah!IMG_0722

Anyway here are Jo’s cakes. Her friend is dairy and wheat free so I made the butternut squash lemon cakes from Harry Eastwood’s new book with some minor adaptations. I thought they were really tastey actually, nicer than courgette cakes which have a bit of an after taste.  So the white flooded fondant cakes were the butternut squash lemon cakes and the red flooded buttercream cakes were just regular vanilla.IMG_0726

All were hand piped with royal icing and hand coloured with gold dust. I really enjoyed doing these, a lovely way to spend a friday evening.










Next week I’ll be testing out my teaching skills on a group of locals….should be fun, hope it’s not chaos in the kitchen!

National Cupcake Week 14 – 18 September

Despite the odd start to cupcake week with the Sunday Express article (!) I still had a few friends to make cakes for and of course to help celebrate National Cupcake Week.

Firstly a friend in the office asked me to make a few cakes to help a celebration of a member of the public winning a competition.  Part of the prize was to have tea with Dame Tani Grey-Thompson and I said I would give them a few cakes to help with the afternoon tea.  So I gave them a box of a dozen cakes, gluten free vanilla with courgette and apple and cinnamon. P1060305 I went with vanilla and courgette considering a healthier option for an Olympic Athlete. But I also added some apple and cinnamon cakes in case diet wasn’t a factor at the moment.

Day 1 of National Cupcake Week was gluten free apple and cinnamon.  P1060313I made a pured of apples stewed with a cinnamon stick stired through the cake batter. The buttercream as vanilla.  They went down well. I asked for feedback giving catergories such as cake texture and flavour, icing texture and flavour, overall appearance, should it go on a stall (when I get one!) and price. Generally all the feedback was incredibly positive with some obvious subjective comments about flavour and in particular strengths of flavours.  I think the Apple was lost and needs beefing up more.

Day 2 was gluten free pina colada.  I made stewed pinapple in pinapple juice to add to the top of the batter just before cooking. The batter also had pineapple juice in it as well.  The icing was buttercream made with coconut milk and then sprinkled with desiccated  cocnut and topped off with a bit of dried pinapple and a straw.IMG_0098P1060323

Again some great comments, particularly around presentation and not overpowering the coconut. I think again the cake was so subtle that I perhaps need to get a more concentrate pineapple flavour to really pick this up. But I was very happy with this gluten free little cake. 

Day 3 was also a friends’ daughter’s birthday cake which was a chocolate and chocolate ganache cake and some cupcakes. This gave me endless worry over transporttion and it did suffer slightly so I think I’ll stick to cupcakes. Hopefully she liked it though.P1060328 P1060332


Day 3 of the cupcake challenge continued with a triple chocolate cupcake.  This was a light chocolate sponge with a dollop of chocolate ganache in the centre giving a gooey, moist cake.  All topped with a generous swirl of chocolate ganache and grated 100% Venezuelan Black cocoa.  P1060339

Really good feedback that this was extremely moist and the chocolate gooey centre was a nice surprise. I used slightly smaller cupcakes and a couple of people commented that there could have been more!!! As I felt that I had probably peaked too soon with the chocolate, I decided to give the decision on the last cupcake to my audience so offered them three choices of Strawberries and Cream, Lemon Meringue and gingerbread.

Day4 and my final contribution. I was slightly surprised to see gingerbread winning the poll but I guess people are gearing up for autumn and winter and the taste buds are crying out for some heart warming winter concoctions such as mulled wine, spiced pears and of course, gingerbread. IMG_0136-1

 Personally I felt most happy with this cupcake. The sponge was light and airy (perhaps because it wasn’t gluten free?) and was made with ground ginger and grated fresh ginger.  The topping was cream cheese and icing sugar with ground ginger topped off with crystaline ginger and mini gingerbread men. It was just lovely, and will certainly feature a lot more.





I love it when they’re all the same and lined up. I’ve also chosen to depart from some of my ‘usual’ toppings as this is what I’m more interested in rather than sugarpaste.  Also I decided to get over my hang up of the ‘poo’ nozzle as I like to call it (I still won’t use it with chocolate or coffee though) and I quite like this smooth swirl even if it does still look a bit like anaemic poo.

Phew, it was a mamouth week and was also finished by another quick box of cakes for a friend to take to her friend’s baby shower. She just wanted something completely un-babyshowerish so i decided to use the same decorations as the cupcakes at the beginning of the week as the bright colours look so lovely together. I added the names of the parents to be and step daughter and hopefully they all had a lovely weekend. IMG_0137

The Olympic Park in cake

Last week I was asked to make some Olympic inspired cakes for a friend at work’s birthday. I decided, after discussing with Phil, that one venue didn’t pose enough of a challenge and went for the entire Olympic Park in cupcakes.

I was asked to write a blog about this for the London2012 website which you can see here:
London2012 Olympic cakes

The also mentioned me on twitter too
London2012 Olympic cakes on Twitter

Great exposure for me and also I’ve made a new set of friends in the New Media team who have invited me to contribute a regular baking blog….So all possible suggestions on an cupcake shaped postcard to me please!

Apparently there are over 200 competing Olympic Countries – that’s a lot of cupcakes…

40th birthday party

The weekend started off with a friend’s 40th Birthday party in Farringdon.  I found this lovely image on google of 1969 and showed it to my friend who loved it so this became the theme.  She had quite a few people to cater for in a pub with a 1969 themed pub quizz so I made her a big cake and 92 cupcakes.


She was so lovely and bought me a bunch of flowers to say thank you.  Totally unnecessary but very appreciated.  I think her friends enjoyed them, I loved the colours.

At this point of the weekend, this was the biggest cake I had ever made. 28cm diameter, chocolate with chocolate ganache buttercream inside and out.



Here’s the cakes set up at the venue.Birthday cakes on table

Scary cupcakes….

The challenge this weekend was to bake cupcakes for a group of 13/14 year old boys for Sam’s Birthday party at Skirmish paint ball. I know, the last thing on a 13/14 year old boy’s mind is eating cupcakes but I couldn’t resist the challenge.

In the end I just went with dark colours and one cutter which I had of a skull and cross bones. I did think about doing targets for shooting but couldn’t work out how to do it without buying lots of circle cutters….
Anyway I think these are ok, and Sam liked them which was just great.

Next weekend, Maddie’s birthday party and the school summer fete….major baking…Oh and I have to squeeze in a little minor surgery in the middle of the week which should make life interesting.