20.12.09

My favourite bit about Christmas is...


...making gingerbread ! It's a great traditional pastime to undertake in this festive season and there is nothing more enjoyable to me than sitting down with my 5 year old son and decorating our own little gingerbread house.

I have done this since he was a baby and although he might eat more sweets than he sticks to the house, the anticipation on finishing it is sometimes too much for him and he begs me to start eating it as soon as we've stuck on the last sweet.

14.12.09

Christmas time, mistletoe and....cake??


The last minute orders have been flooding in over the last week. It seems that, like me, many people leave the festive food shopping till last (the Christmas toy list comes first!) so I shall be up to my ears in glitter, cookie cutters and gingerbread to fulfill all the orders of my lovely customers..

And I can't think of a better way to be spending my time.

8.12.09

Stalls, newsletters and the next phase


Star Bakery is officially entering a new phase. As some of you might be aware I work full time alongside running this business but my workplace is currently making redundancies and I have opted to volunteer for redundancy. Today, my requested was accepted so into the new year Star Bakery will finally be becoming a fully fledged full time business for me!

This year has seen lots of up and downs for me so I go forward full of optimism for 2010, it can't get worse than 2009...I hope!

23.11.09

Star Bakery newsletter debuts for Christmas

Evening all! Some of you might have read my various posts over the past few weeks talking about to-do lists and all the things I want to accomplish in coming weeks and I am happy to say one of those things is now officially ticked off the list.

Star Bakery now has a newsletter that will be sent out on a monthly basis. The newsletter will feature seasonal specials, offers and information about what's happening in our kitchen.

If you'd like to subscribe to receive our newsletter straight into your inbox then please email us at newsletter@starbakery.co.uk You can read the first edition here.

Let me know your thoughts and if there's anything else you'd like to see in forthcoming issues.

18.11.09

Cake stall at school fair


Whew! What a busy few weeks it's been - I honestly curse our 24 hour day sometimes, why can't you be more flexible father time??

So what's been keeping me busy? Well firstly, an influx of unexpected cake orders. I try really hard to accommodate all order requests, but my free time has paid the price. Some of you will know I also have a full time job I work alongside Star Bakery so my only 'baking time' is evenings and weekends. I'm not complaining though, all of my customers are fab and continue to challenge my creative skills daily.

6.11.09

Save the date!


Star Bakery will be getting festive this December and appearing at our FIRST Christmas event at Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire.

I am sooo excited to have a stall there this year, I love Rufford and this time of the year is very special at the grounds with lots to do for the little ones while you shop! Here is a detailed extract from the events programme.

2.11.09

Cupcakes hitting the headlines again

Bit late posting the link to this but one of my lovely Twitter followers alerted me to this article on the BBC website.

I think the 'cupcake revival' they speak of has been in the pipeline for at least the last 5-7 years, the UK has just taken a little longer to catch on commercially with bakeries only really starting to appear since 2005 (Star Bakery only came into existence in 2009 but the idea was there for a while...!). There are some exceptions of course, but I hear a lot of my London based pals commenting that cupcakes are now appearing everywhere in the past year.

28.10.09

Star Bakery guest appearances

Things have been pretty hectic the last few weeks since the website went live so my posts have been few and far between but I hope to rectify this over coming weeks.

I thought you might like to know that Star Bakery is making guest appearances all over the place! A few blogger's have contacted me recently asking to use some of my cake images and here they are in all their glory.

21.10.09

AND THE WINNER IS....

Firstly a massive THANK YOU to everyone who entered the competition! I am truly gobsmacked by the number of fabulous entries we had to this competition. I have had SUCH a hard job picking a winner and in the end I needed some independent advice on who was going to receive my box of cakes. So without further ado the winner of 6 gorgeous caramel cupcakes is...

.....Jenny Williams!! Congratulations Jenny! For anyone that didn't see her entry she said "I think I (well my sister) deserve these yummy cupcake treats. She has just gone into queens medical centre to be induced (weds 21st 9.15am), baby being 2 weeks overdue and mummy feeling very fed up. Baby George is likely to be born either later today or tomorrow and caramel filled cupcakes would be the perfect treat for her in hospital (or at home) given that baby will be getting all the goodies and presents from friends! Also her other half cannot feed himself, and so a caramel cupcake would be the perfect tea for him, given she wont be cooking any time soon!"

Well how could refuse an entry like that!

But wait...with so many great entries to choose from and to say thank you for joining in this time I'd like to offer all entrants 20% off your next order with Star Bakery. I have a list of all of your names so if you haven't yet tried our cakes and would like to see what the fuss is about then drop me a line at liana@starbakery.co.uk and claim your discount! This discount is valid until 31 December 2009 so take a look at our website and see what tickles your fancy!

20.10.09

Competition time!

This is a monumental time for Star Bakery, firstly our website is now LIVE! I have so many big thanks to make to the wonderful Al for his awesome work building/tweaking and catering to my every whim of web design but I will save that for another day. For now it's....

Competition time! To mark the occasion of a spangly new website and so many fabulous orders these past few weeks I have decided to offer a little thank you to everyone that has supported Star Bakery and made it all possible.

I have 6 of my newest cupcakes ready to give away! A brand new flavour to add to our collection it is a Caramel filled chocolate cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream. The caramel is homemade, gooey and sweet and would be perfect for the sweet toothed person in your life - or indeed just as a guilty pleasure for you!

15.10.09

New website launches soon!

Apologies for the gap in blog posts, life has been increasingly hectic but at last I have some exciting news about Star Bakery...

Our website will be going live very soon - Hurray! One of my lovely talented friends has been busy building it and making it look lovely, and we're now at a stage where it should be ready to go live within the next week or so.

3.10.09

Looking towards the future

So much to do - so little time! I knew when I started this business life would be busy but as my 'to do' continues to grow, I realise that making this business successful is going to take everything I've got.

But I am determined to keep all my balls in the air and want to offer you a sneak preview of what's to come with Star Bakery...

25.9.09

What a week.

These past 7 days have seen my the highest, and lowest, I have been on a long time. Why I hear you ask? Well come a little closer and I shall fill you in...

Firstly, The Nottingham Evening Post (my local paper) ran a lovely feature about Star Bakery. It was better than I could have hoped for and the journalist was so complimentary about my cupcakes. The article has led to a surge in emails/enquiries and I have had some great orders this week so I have lots to keep me going. This business has always been about having the opportunity to do something I love whilst making people happy and I feel that I am now one step closer to this.

17.9.09

Purely for research purposes.


Honestly. I mean, I wouldn't buy cupcakes from other people unless I was just checking the quality....would I??

Well, yes. Some people find it very strange that I continue to buy cupcakes from other competitors or that I can still manage to stomach cupcakes after being surrounded by them all day. But I assure you, once you have a sweet tooth its with you for good. And I do recommend you do thorough research of your local competitors or else how else can you know what you're up against?

So yesterday I decided to try some cupcakes from a stall at my local farmers market. My heart pounded just thinking about another competitor so close to me but my husband bought a box and we eagerly opened it to try the goods. And what a disappointment.

13.9.09

Mummy's little helper


This weekend was very exciting. All my orders were completed by Friday so I had 2 full days to spend with my boys! A family weekend is a rare occurrence of late so I like to make the most of them. Even if they do involve doing very little and slouching around the house...

9.9.09

I love roses. Especially edible ones.



I am currently working on a few wedding orders and (I'm sure I will regret saying this) I am finding that I love making fondant roses! It must be therapeutic or something...

I really want to try and cover the top of one whole cake with lots of little roses so stay tuned for piccies if I ever get time to sit down and make 100 or so of them...

28.8.09

I should have listended to my maths teacher.


After many months of procrastinating (and nagging by my other half) I finally sat done today to get my finances in order.

As ever, my first port of call was Business Link who have some great hints/tips on how to set up your accounts system. I always go there whenever I have a business query and this gave me a really good indication of what information I have to capture. There isn't much that is legally required but you do need to know the basics when it comes to tax time!

22.8.09

Go on...

...treat yourself. Or someone else you know!



I have been experimenting with photos and background colours so watch this space for more photos in coming weeks. I like the look of text on photos too hence me little message this evening.

I have been taking more photos in readiness for my new website (exciting times!) which should be ready soon. Can't wait!

17.8.09

Managing the quiet times

When I started this business I was prepared for the quiet times. I was not prepared the busy times (!) but I knew not to let it get me down if things were slow. To help me stay focused, I have a list of 'things to do' that helps me continue to stay busy even when cake orders are few and far between.

For instance: when cake orders are frequent, my admin really falls by the wayside. I mean totally. It's all I can do to create an invoice/receipt for a client let alone log cake costs, payment, update social networking sites etc. So I try and fit it all into a quiet time. I make a list of what needs to be done - SFBB health & safety logs, receipt books etc and then everything else is saved up for a weeknight like tonight. I try not to beat myself up if things slide a little, I joke to my hubby that I already need an admin person! I have received some great advice from a friend who has her own business and she says to keep on top of the money situation. Doing your taxes can be hard enough without trying to find long lost receipts that you put in a 'really safe place'...

12.8.09

Let's celebrate National Cupcake Week 2009!


It seems that we now have another way to celebrate all that is cake - and it's all thanks to National Cupcake Week.

British Baker is organising what will hopefully become an annual event to raise the profile of our favourite little cake from 14-19 September 2009.

And you too can get involved by supporting your favourite bakery or cupcake maker and placing an order of your favourite treats, in fact why not share the love amongst your friends and family and surprise them with a box of cupcakes?

10.8.09

Welcome to Wedding Weekend

Well, at least welcome to my post about Wedding Weekend! Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook will have seen my posts about my hectic weekend working on two wedding cakes. The two cakes couldn't be more different and one was for some good friends of mine so the pressure was well and truly on!

3.8.09

Logo cupcakes

One of my favourite cupcakes to make for customers are logo cupcakes. Don't get me wrong, I love making fondant decorations and buttercream swirls but logo cupcakes are fun because of the way people react when they see them.

I don't think people realise you can get edible images on cupcakes and they provide something a little different if you don't know what you're after. I am currently looking for a new edible image provider for cupcake sized images - I have a great lady who does my large sized toppers but she doesn't make smaller toppers so I have to cut them out of a large icing sheet when she sends them. I don't mind doing this but I'd rather have them pre-cut if possible.

29.7.09

Star Bakery's latest cake stall appearance

After many nights spent deciding what cakes to stock on my stall, Star Bakery finally made its first appearance at Nottingham Pride.

We stocked just over 400 cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and double chocolate brownies and took home only 20 cupcakes at the end of the day! We made chocolate/chocolate, vanilla/chocolate, lemon/vanilla, rainbow surprise, coffee/chocolate, peanut butter/chocolate and my favourite cream cheese/cinnamon. Peanut Butter and Rainbow Surprise were the clear favourites selling out after only a few hours. We also had some great enquiries and leads from local sellers which was only topped by the party atmosphere at the event.

The only downside, and a bit of advice for anyone running a a cake stall, make sure you ask for a stall far away from other strong smelling stalls. We were unfortunate enough to be placed near a BBQ pit which was constantly busy, but REALLY smokey. Not only did I smell of BBQ for hours afterwards, the smoke would change direction with the wind and choke me whilst I was talking to customers. I also think my cakes started to absorb some of the smokey flavour which was disappointing although I didn't get any complaints so that made me feel better.


I thought you'd like to see a few photos from the day. I also trialed a new idea by buying some new 15" cupcake boxes. They hold 36 muffin size cupcakes which is great for transportation and we kept them on the table with the lids slightly open so people could see a sneak peek of the contents! I also labelled them with Star Bakery stickers so reinforce my branding. I thought the white boxes added to that 'bakery feel' and I will definitely use them again if I get a big enough stall to fit them on.

27.7.09

There are some lovely people out there you know.

I posted last week about Zen Cupcake who featured one of my photos and can you believe it, they have featured Star Bakery again!

After a tough weekend of cupcaking I needed a few days to put my head down and catch up with my family. I logged on tonight to find the MOST LOVELY post about Star Bakery over at Zen. And when I say lovely I really mean it!

Getting into this business is a non-stop, 24 hour job. I believe in treating others the way I would like to be treated so anyone who gets in touch with me always gets a response. I try to share my experiences with you all in the hope that you will be inspired in making your dreams come true and I was so happy (and choked!) to read a review that recognised me and has now given me the energy I need to get through a hectic next few weeks.

I hate to gush, but acts of kindness are so rare and I apreciate anyone who takes the time out to give praise to someone they only know in 'webworld'. And it means a lot.

24.7.09

Star Bakery featured on Zen Cupcake

The fabulous blog Zen Cupcake featured one of my older cupcake creations on her blog to celebrate National Ice Cream Cone Day.


I follow Zen on Twitter, Flickr and her blog and she posts some great pccies for us cupcake lovers! Thanks again Zen!

19.7.09

Some really GREAT advice

Happy Sunday all! Just came across a great post on one of my regular cupcake blogs Cupcakes Take the Cake. A great blog if you haven't already found it!

Rachel just wrote a really detailed and comprehensive post about promoting your cupcake business and I just wanted to draw your attention to that post as I know of few of you have contacted me recently because you follow my blog to read about my adventures setting up Star Bakery. And what an adventure it is...

17.7.09

How to use fondant letter stamps


I've seen a lot of cakes recently that have text on them, not hand written text, but lovely perfect stamped text which sits into the fondant on a cake or cake board.

I recently found out that many people use normal craft stamps to give this effect (using them only for cake decorating for hygiene purposes) and I thought this was a great idea! Craft stamps come in hundreds of shapes and sizes and if used properly can look fantastic on cakes and cupcakes covered in fondant.

I recently bought one of those make any message stamp kits from Wilton and have been playing with it on a dummy cake board covered in fondant. These are the results so far:


Pretty basic so far but I think with time, this effect can be used in many different ways. Most people press the letters into the cake board to print a message and then highlight the embossed letters with lustre/glitter. The idea behind the kit is to pipe over the letters but I like the fact somebody has decided to use them differently to come up with another decorating method. Brilliant!

12.7.09

Online tools for your cake business

When I first decided to start to make a go of my cake business I knew I would have to embrace as many online tools as I could. Not only are they free, but they allow you to reach more people than and make some great online friends who can help you on your way. Here is a few I use:

Flickr - a great photo album website that you can register with for free and upload up to 100MB of pictures per month. You can also pay for $25 per year to have a pro account and get loads more features and options for a very reasonable annual fee. Flickr also has some great group forums where you can get help and advice from others in your field. I joined a group called Cupcakes UK and we all post hints/tips/advice regularly. Also nice for feedback and idea sharing. Flickr also have a function called Explore where they pic the most interesting photos for a period and feature them on their website for everyone to see. Here are some of my photos that have been Explored recently.

5.7.09

Domestic Goddess or not?

When I decided to start in this business, one thing I took for granted was that you'd have to be a great baker. Surely it's a given?

But no, I have since discovered that quite a few great cake decorators buy there cakes from wholesalers to enable them to concentrate on making it look fabulous without having to worry about the cooking part. At first, this struck me as a bit odd but the more I think about it the more I realise that it's not where you get the cake from that counts - it's how it tastes.

There has always been a big debate about using box cake mixes and whilst I use these for my family (rarely, but it does happen) I am a baker at heart. I can easily buy a plain cake base but I think my clients buy from me because of taste and I don't want to set a precedent by going down this route just yet. I also find that the cost it takes me to make/buy is comparible. I don't think I would ever use a box cake mix for a client though - I am sure they would be able to tell and my costs reflect a homemade taste that you can't get from a box.

The debate rages on, I think its a personal choice and I think it depends on what your passion is too.

23.6.09

Working the markets


With two successful market appearances now under my belt (!) I am starting to feel more confident about my product and more confident about selling on a stall.

A lot of people have recently been asking me lots of questions like how many cupcakes do you make, how do you package your product, how much do you charge and how do you know what flavours to sell. Well, firstly I have had my good friend Beth show me the way in terms of finding fairs, bookings stalls and seeting up and I think that has been invaluable to me. Beth used to have a stall selling funky kids clothes so she is a dab hand at knowing what to do. Let me share some of the information I have gained so far for anyone considering this route:

20.6.09

Another day....another SELL OUT!!


Hooray! Star Bakery had a stall at this year's Sherwood Festival in Nottingham. The festival ran from 12pm to 8pm but we had sold out by 4pm so we got to sit back and bask in the glory of all the people with their bellies full of cupcake.

16.6.09

Star Bakery featured on Cupcakes Take the Cake

I was very excited to see one of my cupcakes featured on one of my favourite cupcake blogs 'Cupcakes Take the Cake'. It is so nice to see your work being noticed by other people so I am very chuffed :)

Thanks ladies!

13.6.09

Eggless chocolate cake recipe


I started making these cupcakes last year for a lady who has an allergy to eggs. Her family had always resorted to buying her vegan cakes for special occasions but hadn't been impressed by them so were looking for an alternative.

4.6.09

Tools of the trade for my cake business


When I decided to start my business last year I did a lot of research and tried to find out as much as I could about pricing, packaging, delivery etc and I found out that...well, that there's not much detailed information out there for us newbies taking the plunge in this world of baking.

Don't get me wrong, there are forums and all the lovely people you meet on twitter, flickr, facebook etc but prices around the country are so varied that all the information you gather has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

31.5.09

Making some red velvet cupcakes


I love Red Velvet cake. My only grievence is that you can't really find it in the UK so I only get to eat it if I make it or I happen upon it in my everday travels. I have tried to make it a few times but the recipes I find are always very complicated and I haven't found one thats a good 'fit' for me yet.

30.5.09

More business work to do...and summer cupcakes!


Just when I thought it was safe to go ahead and relax a little about all the business start up work, my mortgage company go along and request something else from me!

24.5.09

How I started my cake business

Late last year I decided to take the plunge and start my own cupcake business. I work full time so I always knew it would be a part time venture to start, and now business is picking up and a few people have asked me to share my experiences of how I actually set up my business – Star Bakery.

I thought it might be useful to list a few things I have done and note some of my experiences; I hope it can be of use. Please note: this information is based on starting a business in Nottinghamshire in the UK in 2008, everywhere is different so this is just a guide.

Where did I start…well I did lots and lots of research. I was online practically every day. I have a background in Marketing so this was second nature to me but it’s surprising how many people don’t do the market research first. Ask yourself some questions:

  • What business do you want to be in? Cupcakes, cakes, cookies etc. Who will be your main audience i.e. weddings, families, vegan etc. Where will you be based?
  • Is there a gap in the market for your business? What makes your business idea stand out?
  • Are there any other similar businesses in your area? Who are they and where are they?
  • What are their prices like? Can you be competitive and still make a profit?
  • How will your business run? At home, from a stall at a regular market, online orders only etc

This period is when you find out about your competitors and look at what other people are doing. This is really important as your competitors are not necessarily your ‘enemies’ and it pays to know who they are. I still spend hours looking on the internet for inspiration and meeting online buddies to share experiences and ideas.

Really important one - Visit your local Business Link. This was invaluable, I have been to free courses on ‘How to start a business’ and ‘How to write a business plan’ and they have been fantastic. They give you all the support and advice you need and you even get your own personal business advisor for free!

Once you have an idea, try to write a basic business plan. It doesn’t have to be full of detail, my plan was written in a little notebook that I carry around with me to doodle ideas and recipes. The main point is to start to form a plan about how your business will take shape. What do you want to get from this business?Take a look at the Food Standards Agency website they will tell you everything you need to know about running a business from home and it is there guidelines that you will need to follow in order to start up. They can send you a free comprehensive pack containing loads of useful info and you can’t do anything until you have met their standards.

Book onto a ‘Food Hygiene’ course. Most council’s run these courses and they generally last for up to 2 days and cost under £100 (£60 in Nottingham!)

Contact your local council to register a ‘Food Business at home’. This involves completing a form and arranging a visit from the council to approve your premises. The council use the Food Standards agency guidance to check your property so make sure you are familiar with their guidelines. Again, this is another necessity. You can’t legally do anything without registering with your local council or you face a huge fine.

Contact your mortgage lender. Make them aware of your plan to change your home from a residential building to a commercial property. This only applies if you are cooking from the kitchen in your home but don’t risk them finding out and charging you, let them know from the start and they might just need a letter from you to confirm your plans.

These are all the practical things I did to start up. The other main part was about creating a spreadsheet to keep track of finances. My husband set up a sheet which I enter the weight of ingredients into and it pops out with a price per unit i.e. I tell it how much of each product I use and it tells me how much each cupcake costs to produce. This helps me set prices accurately and realistically. KEEP ALL RECEIPTS! Those tax people are savvy!

I had my logo designed by Tru Design, she is brilliant! I also set up a basic holding web page via Moonfruit to ensure customers have a way to contact me and find out more about my business.

Later this year I hope to have a fully functional webpage so it will be a one stop shop for potential clients instead of having to go via Flickr etc but for now, I have to work within a nonexistent budget so I am being thrifty!

I hope this info is of use to you, I didn’t realise there was so much to do when setting up and I am glad I can finally start to make my dream come true.

18.5.09

Star Bakery debuts to the public!


Exciting times ahead - Star Bakery had its official public unveiling at the Rufford Park gift fair this weekend and would you believe it, we sold out of cupcakes!!

8.5.09

Baking up a batch of cupcakes


If someone asked me what my favourite cupcakes were to make I would have to say choclate. The glossiness of the batter combined with the way they make my house smell just endear me so much these little bundles of chocolatey goodness so I thought I would share with you the recipe I swera by along with some pictures of my beautiful KitchenAid in action. (Seriously, how did I bake before with one??)

1.5.09

Anyone for a brownie?


I'm helping a friend out tomorrow on her closing down stall sale for Crib Designs. I decided we'd need some fuel to get us through the day and what better to refuel with than good old chocolate brownies. Double chocolate brownies actually.

27.4.09

Caramel Shortbread aka the Diet Killer

I have a guilty secret - I also love non cake treats...sssshhh! I had such a sweet craving last night so I whipped up a batch of Caramel/Millionaires Shortbread and it came out perfect. I use a recipe I found on All Recipes here with a slight amendment to the caramel section of the recipe. I will repost the entire amended recipe but please note I give full credit to the person who posted it at All Recipes:
Shortbread Base
  • 150 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 155 g plain flour
Caramel Filling
  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g packed light brown sugar
  • 397ml can of condensed milk
Topping
  • 200g Milk Chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
  2. For the base - In a medium bowl, mix together butter, sugar, and flour until evenly crumbly. Press into a 9 inch square baking pan. Prick with a fork all over. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. For the filling - Place the butter and sugar into a non-stick pan and stir over a medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. To make a golden caramel, add the condensed milk, stirring continuously, until the first bubbles appear on the surface. Remove from the heat as soon as it comes to the boil.
  4. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute, then stir and continue to heat and stir at 20 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly to cover completely. Chill. Cut into 1 inch squares. These need to be small because they are so rich.
Please note: this shortbread is highly addictive.

25.4.09

How to do...Brush Embroidery.

A little while back I enrolled with, and finished, a sugarcraft course at my local college in Nottingham. It was a great course, but a few weeks from the end I fell in the freak snow weather we had in February, and broke my elbow. Unfortunately for me this means I missed the last few lessons of the course, but I kept in contact with my lovely tutor. She is now re-running the course and has invited me back to re-sit the lessons I never got to attend. This week I learnt about brush embroidery.

19.4.09

I have a lovely new lightbox...


After months of posting photos and looking through albums of other cake makers, I have always known I have a cheap camera but wondered how everyone gets their photos to look so nice and clear? Well the other day I was reading one of my favourite blogs Cookie Crazie and read about her new lightbox made for her by her son.

16.4.09

Giant cupcake - dressed!


Here is my 2nd giant cupcake made using the Nordic tin I posted about yesterday. I made a chocolate poundcake recipe this time and it came out lovely again.

It was a really moist recipe, I've heard lots of scare stories about the top of the cake overcooking and burning but both my attempts have been successful and I think the key is in cooking on a low heat for a long time (325f for 60-70mins).

15.4.09

Giant cupcake - first attempt!


My husband recently bought me a Nordic Bakeware giant cupcake tin and I made my first cake in it late last week. My son and I just iced it with simple chocolate frosting and it was pretty messy but the cake came out great! I just used the recipe that came with the tin, it was quite complex compared to the cakes I normally make but it literally slid out of the tin when it was finished baking so I am impressed with their 'non-stick' claim as its actually true! I am making another chocolate version tonight so will post more pics of that soon.

11.4.09

I went shopping today...


That was my first mistake. My 2nd mistake was to be let anywhere near a cake decorating section! In my defence I needed a new fondant rolling pin and I also needed somewhere to start to put my collection of icing nozzles. That mini drawer system is a revelation!

The flower plunger cutters, angled spatula and small star icing nozzle are pure indulgence but I work hard, so I thought I deserved a treat. Don't I??

My husband dispares...how do your partners cope with a cake obsession?

10.4.09

Easter cookies and cupcakes



Here are the cupcakes and cookies from the earlier post.

Easter orders


Tuesday saw a made rush of orders for Easter cupcakes as people started to realise that chocolate Easter eggs are sooooo last year. Well, saying that I have gone out and bought my family lots of eggs so maybe that's not true?...

So I thought I'd share some pics of my Easter treats with you - I ended up doing cupcakes and cookies in a springtime theme and then I had a cake order for an 80's TV show cake topped with an edible image. I find it difficult to get a sharp edge with a fondant cake so the edges are a bit rounded - does anyone know the best way to try and get a sharp edge to a cake?

Happy Easter/holiday weekend to you all. Pics all uploaded seperately.

4.4.09

Tweet me! Star Bakery is on Twitter!


Follow my constant stream of bakery related news at twitter. Click here to join in and let me know what you're up to!

2.4.09

A little present for my best friend's birthday


Here is tonight's latest offering, a chocolate cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream and homemade marshmallow fondant pink bow. The bow also has some edible bright pink glitter just to highlight it and make it a little more special. Best friends deserve it don't they?

29.3.09

Join us on Facebook


Did you know you can follow Star Bakery on Facebook? Why not join us and become a fan, you can find out where we're up to and be eligible for some pretty good offers and discounts!

23.3.09

Attending my first cake decorating course



Late last year I managed to find a local cake decorating course in my area (Nottingham) and I couldn't wait to sign up! The course filled up pretty quickly but I managed to get a space and it really has opened my eyes to so many more aspects of cake decorating.

22.3.09

My birthday cuppies



So, when you are the cake maker in the family what do you do when it YOUR birthday?? Well, cupcakes are a given and I wanted to make my guests a little something different so I decided on multiple flavours and some amazing toppers to capture the spirit of my era. The 80's.

I love the fact that any image can be put on a cake and these turned out great as my guests stared and practically fought over which cake to have! Check out my flickr for more photos

20.3.09

Birthday pressies!




I am all refreshed and back from a week away in Yorkshire, and as promised here are some photos of all the lovely things I receieved for my 30th birthday. I really do have the best friends and family!

Normal service resumes tomorrow with a few Mother's Day cupcake orders so pictures will be available soon.

And if you haven't gotten your Mother anything yet then hurry up, Mothers should be cherished!

13.3.09

Holidays and birthdays


Well, Monday marks my 30th birthday so I am taking a much needed rest. I am baking up a storm for my party so will post pics as soon as I can but for now - I will have limited access to the internet so I hope to be online again w/c 23 March.

I will leave you with another pic of an order I delivered today. Happy eating x nom nom

12.3.09

Looking for inspiration

It's always hard to come up with new ideas and not get stuck in a cake design rut - I think the baking and decorating side of things has always come easy but I am starting to realise I need a creative director! Luckily lots of lovely people on Flickr and the other blogs are always sharing ideas etc so I just need to keep my eyes open, take it all in and my designs will come.

10.3.09

A lovely little trio


Here is a lovely little trio of vanilla cupcakes I made for a recent order. They specifically asked for pastel colours so I tried to make them all a little different. I did one of my classic cupcake swirls as a basis for the deisgn and topped with edible glitter, sparkles and sprinkles. I also made a white flower from homemade marshmallow fondant and I think it sits well with the pink frosting.

My own birthday party is coming up shortly so I am looking forward to branching out a little and working on designs that push my design boundaries! Wish me luck!