We Brits have developed a real love affair with baking in recent years. Not only has the credit crunch inspired more and more of us to follow the examples of our grandmothers by swapping expensive shop-bought items for thriftier home bakes, but a raft of inspiring TV shows, such as The Great British Bake Off, have shown how easy and fulfilling it is to make your own cakes, breads and puddings. They’re not only cheaper than supermarket offerings, but by making your own sweet creations you can avoid overloading on nasty additives, colourings and unnecessary sugar. Plus processes like kneading, mixing and icing can offer a few moments of calming distraction in an otherwise chaotic world. Cake making can be life-affirming and anyone can have a go, whatever your level of confidence in the kitchen.
They don’t get much easier than a simple fairy cake, the perfect entry-level cake for beginners or children. But while they might be easy to make, you can make your creations taste and look a lot more sophisticated with some simple touches. Add in some unusual flavourings to your mixture, for example – rosewater, vanilla and violet flavourings work particularly well. If you’re feeling a little more confident try a Red Velvet cupcake, a bestselling cake at Hummingbird Bakery, the chi-chi London bakery that helped to spark the cupcake revival of recent years. It’s easy to make your own buttercream icing; simply combine butter and icing sugar till you have a creamy, fluffy spreadable mix, ready for topping with sprinkles, chocolate chips or a dusting of edible glitter. For a special occasion make your cakes look as good as the professionals by displaying on one of our easy to assemble cardboard stands, and top each cake with a cute cake pick. We have ranges perfect for parties, christenings, picnics and weddings.
As ardent cake makers ourselves, we think nothing beats the easy-to-follow, fool-proof cake recipes of Mary Berry. While her books err on the side of tradition, you can expect perfect results if your try her take on popular favourites such as Victoria Sandwich, Chocolate Brownies and Lemon Drizzle Cake. For something a little more contemporary, using exotic flavour combinations and inspirational decorating techniques, take a look at the Primrose Bakery Book or Leon: Baking & Puddings.
If you’re already a confident cake maker you might fancy trying a bigger project. How about taking on the challenge of creating a special occasion cake, for a christening, birthday or even a wedding, perhaps? Professional occasion cakes can come with an exorbitant price tag, but luckily it’s becoming more and more common for modern weddings to integrate the professional with the home-spun, with many savvy brides choosing the charm of a DIY cake over a professionally made creation. Thanks to the help of online tutorials on sites such as YouTube or food websites you can follow tried-and-tested recipes and decorating techniques to help you create a sensational cake on a shoestring. To add extra significance perhaps you could use an old family favourite recipe, handed down through generations – your grandma’s special fruit cake, for example – a lovely way to add the personal touch to your catering. If you’re not sure your icing skills will be up to the job, ready-to-roll fondant icing will create a professional effect. A simple fresh flower arrangement can be provided by the wedding florist to sit on top of the cake, helping your cake to compliment the wedding theme. Display your cake on a gorgeous vintage-style cake stand (perhaps there’s a treasured piece of crockery in your family that would fit this purpose), scattered with rose petals – we have a selection in a range of colours.
When it comes to cutting the cake, you can box up your creation in a specially designed cake box and do it real justice – so much nicer than a soggy napkin! We have a range of cake boxes perfect for weddings and other occasions.