Cake Week…Friday – Part One

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
Another day, another fantastic baker. I don’t think I shall ever tire of uploading photos of cakes, they have all been deliciously different and today is no exception…finger licking good!
Name: Viv Ferguson
Twitter: @crazybakinglady
Bit of a background on you:
Originally from Yorkshire, but now live in Manchester with my long-suffering other half. Studied English Lit and French at Manchester University before deciding to go in a completely different direction and make beautiful and tasty cakes and baked goods for a living. Currently work from home but dream of one day opening a lovely cafe or tea rooms. Cups of tea and cake genuinely make me happy!
Background on your business:
Started in early 2010, based on a lifelong sweet tooth and love of baking. After graduating in 2008, I spent a couple of years wondering what on earth I wanted to do with my life. Several people had joked over the years ‘you should do this professionally’ when I produced my latest cake or biscuit creation and, encouraged by the fact that no one protested that it was a ridiculous idea, I took the plunge, sorted out the legalities and founded There for the Baking.
I’m not sure I really have a ‘style’ as such; I’m always experimenting with new recipes and designs whenever I have the chance and enjoy developing new products and ideas. I like to try and provide whatever it is that my customers want or need, and I love a challenge – if it’s something I’ve not done before, I’m all the more eager to give it a go!
I must confess it’s hard work being a one-woman cake baking and decorating machine, and it involves insanely long days and early mornings/late nights from time to time, but I genuinely love what I’m doing so I really don’t mind at all; plus the delighted looks on customers’ faces when they see (and taste!) the finished product definitely makes it all worth it. Spreading joy through the North West via cake!
Favourite flavour of cake/cupcake/pastry:
My personal favourites would have to be carrot cake and lemon drizzle cake.
Most memorable wedding creation you have done:
This three-tier black and white tired cake, as it differs a little from the traditional feminine/pretty/floral wedding designs. The bride knew she wanted a black and white theme, but with a splash of colour thrown in somewhere, and she wanted to include a particular piping design she’d seen, but didn’t want it on every tier. She was also under strict instructions from her fiance that it wasn’t to be too girly or feminine! At her consultation we bounced some ideas around and between us eventually came up with this design. When it came to making the cake, it came out exactly as I’d pictured it and I was very pleased. I think the end result is a really striking and beautiful cake.
Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?
Don’t feel hemmed in by tradition. Can’t stand fruit cake? Ivory fondant and sugar roses not really your thing? Then opt for something else! Whether it’s bright colours, bizarre flavours or quirky decorations, the only limit on what your cake can be like is your own imagination – it’s a custom creation that can be used to reflect your own and your partner’s tastes and interests.
Do you have a recipe you are willing to share for budding bakers?
Try our yummy Cookies and Cream Cupcake recipe:
150g Unsalted butter, softened
150g Caster sugar
100g Self-raising flour
50g Cocoa
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
3 Eggs
1-2 Tablespoons milk
A few drops vanilla extract
1 pack Oreo cookies
For the icing:
200g Unsalted butter
250g Icing sugar
A few drops vanilla extract
Makes 12
Pre-heat oven to 180C.  Prepare a 12-hole muffin/deep bun tray with muffin-size cases. Open the pack of Oreos, and twist away the tops on 12 of them, so that you are left with just one half of the cookie and the creamy filling. Place these, filling side up, in the bottom of the muffin cases.  Put the discarded biscuit tops and any unused Oreos to one side for now.
Cream together the butter and sugar with a drop or two of vanilla extract. Add the eggs and sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix together until thoroughly combined. Add 1-2 tbsp milk as necessary (you don’t want the mixture too thick and dry, but equally it shouldn’t be too runny).
Place the remaining Oreo biscuit halves into a medium size plastic food bag, seal, then batter briefly with a rolling pin or similar, until the cookies are in fairly large crumbs. Pour just under half into the cake batter and mix in with a spoon. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases and bake for about 20 mins until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the cakes are cooling, you can make up your buttercream icing.  Beat the butter briefly until soft and creamy, then sift in the icing sugar and mix in thoroughly. Add a few drops of vanilla extract for flavour, and you can also add a little milk if the mixture seems a bit too thick and stiff. Take the bag with the remaining cookie crumbs and bash them up a bit more with the rolling pin, until the crumbs are very fine. Add these to the buttercream and stir in with a spoon until evenly distributed.
When the cakes are completely cool, spread the buttercream on the top of them, or, for a more professional look, try piping it on with a large round piping tip.
A Quick Q & A
Favourite Colour: Black
Favourite Film:Breakfast at Tiffany’s – I loooove Audrey!
Favourite Song: Iron Maiden ‘Fear of the Dark’ – never fails to send a tingle down my spine when I hear it live
Favourite Month: April –  the beginning of warmth and sunshine, and all the gorgeous spring flowers are out and about
Favourite Drink: A nice cup of tea
Favourite Food: A good old-fashioned roast dinner
Favourite Word: Beautiful
 Favourite Perfume: I don’t use any
Favourite Book: I’m a librarian’s daughter and an ex English Lit student – not sure I could ever pick just one favourite! 
Favourite Quote from a Film: Recently, “Dobby did not mean to kill. Only maim or seriously injure…” It set me off in a fit of giggles at the cinema.

Cake Week…Thursday – Part Two

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I was stunned when these images dropped in to my inbox. Fresh, beautiful and awe-inspiring tiers of decadent icing in wonderful colours. Perhaps the perfect wedding cake? 

Name: Andrea Freeman – Sugar

Twitter: @cakebysugar


Bit of background on you:

Mmmm, degree in Economics, few boring years as an Actuary, retrained as primary school teacher, then finally found my vocation in cake design! Learnt from my Mum, but determined to do it all in a slightly more funky, stylish way….

Background on your business:

Sugar can be summed up by my tag line ‘Beautiful Cakes designed for Eating’. So many cakes look great but taste dry and boring….. I just love the look on clients’ faces when they bite into one of my cakes at a consultation. Sugar offers a truly personal service – no rules or catalogues to choose from, just a unique cake that will be perfect for YOU!

Favourite flavour of cake/cupcake/pastry:

Torn between lemon or white chocolate and raspberry.

Most memorable wedding creation you have done:

Probably my first ever 4 tier cake last year with almost no decoration except two red roses….nothing to hide any lumps and bumps so the whole thing had to be perfect AND
the venue had to move it between the ceremony and reception. Nerve wracking!

Most Memorable

Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?

Make sure you TASTE the cake before you order, and if you order cupcakes ensure there are more cupcakes than guests as there are never any (of mine!) left! Also don’t rely on photos as photoshop can cover up a poor finish! If you can’t decide between a tiered cake and cupcakes, why not have both in form of a dessert table?

Dessert Table

Do you have a recipe you are willing to share for budding bakers? 

Give away my secrets?!!! Nah…..

A Quick Q & A

Favourite Colour: green (at the moment!)

Favourite Month: May

Favourite Drink : Red wine – current favourite is Malbec

Favourite Food: Cheese (not a great cake eater!!!)

Favourite Word: Kerfufffle

Favourite Perfume: Chloe

Favourite Book: Talking Parcel by Gerald Durrell

My Favourite 
Which is your favourite?

Cake Week…Thursday – Part One

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
Today will feature the work of two wonderful bakers, but first is Emma. She is new to the cake world but by the look of her colourful cakes and beautiful cupcakes I think she shall do mighty well. Leave her some comments and spread the love. Who wouldn’t want to receive a “Will you be my maid of honour” cupcake?!

Name: Emma
Twitter: @She_Loves_Cake

Bit of a background on you
Newbie in the cake making world, been around for under a year but love creating cakes that people love! 
Background on your business:

I love doing cakes that are personal and love hearing from the client about what they want. As a newbie business my prices are low but cake is still gorgeous!

Favourite flavour of cake/cupcake/pastry: 

My favourite cake is Banana Cake with a smudge of vanilla frosting!
Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?

I would recommend that brides should follow their hearts and ask for what they want. Whether that means a traditional cake or a cake with personality.
A Quick Q & A

Favourite Colour: Purple!

Favourite Film: Shawshank Redemption (oldie but goodie)

Favourite Song: Rolling In the Deep –Adele (changes frequently!)

Favourite Month: April (birthday and anniversary of meeting my H2B)

Favourite Drink: Cocktails!

Favourite Food: CAKE!

Favourite Word: something rude!

 Favourite Perfume: Princess- Vera Wang

Favourite Book: Anything by Stuart Macbride- gruesome but funny!

Favourite Quote from a Film: ‘ Thats not it, it doesn’t even start with I wish!’

Cake Week…Wednesday

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Cupcakes! Cupcakes! Cupcakes!…these aren’t just any cupcakes, these are television worthy cupcakes and they are the creation of Airy Fairy Cupcakes. These would look fantastic at any wedding, from a cupcake tower, to using them as favours. Delicious. If only we could reach through our screens…feel free to try. 

Name: Airyfairycupcakes (Chief Airyfairy Laura)       


Bit of a background on you:

I’ve also loved baking cakes and biscuits. I spent a lot of time when I was little reaching on tippy toes to the kitchen worktop to roll out and cut shortbread! My first cake was a Christmas one, studying Home Economics at GCSE. I thought my marzipan Santa ruled

Since then I followed the corporate path and graduated in 2005 in Economics, I’ve since worked in both the public and private sector in Communications so have quite a marketing/business brain (or should have!).
I have a firm belief that all things happen for a reason, so when redundancy came up earlier this year, just as I was being asked to cater for more and more events I jumped at the chance, scary as it was! I’ve never looked back and absolutely love what I do, so it appears, do a lot of other people as we open our first shop in Didsbury, South Manchester in March!
Background on your business:
I’ve not invested any money yet, I’ve just managed to build up by reinvesting in the business. I’ve only ever spent £150 on advertising, which was an advert in a newspaper and some flyers.
The most effective form of advertising, (and the bit I’m most proud of) by far is word of mouth, and we’ve had a lot of recommendations from events we’ve catered for, as well as using social media and our gorgeous website to entice people!
Favourite flavour of cake/cupcake/pastry:
 Absolutely love our Nutella cake balls and cake pops at the moment, a little too much! My all time favourite is Millionaires Shortbread, very difficult to find a really excellent one but when I do…oh dear!

Most memorable wedding creation you have done:
One that did stand out was a huge 150 cupcake tower, using our biggest 10 tier stand and having to reach on tippy toes to the top! Every single one was devoured!
Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?
In these credit crunch times, a lot of brides have said to me “I was going to make my own”, completely underestimating the time and skill required to make them look a high standard, so I’d really advise against trying to do this. A good cupcake supplier doesn’t need to charge you a fortune but can make all the difference to your big day. I’m a firm believer in not charging a ‘wedding tax’ having seen some suppliers who charge one price for normal cupcakes and another for brides!
Secondly,, have a really good look around in magazines and if you aren’t 100% sure what you want, leave it to your cake maker, they’ve the experience and creativity to create something lovely. I love either very specific brides or ones who let me loose; quite often this ends up in the most stunning towers.
Thirdly, I also try and advise brides to have boxes for their cupcakes; an extra cost but it means they can then double up as wedding favours or so that guests can take them home.
Do you have a tip you are willing to share for budding bakers?
A big tip but maybe an obvious one is to practice! Firstly, friends and family will love you, but also you’ll get quicker and produce a better standard. It used to take about 4 hours to make 100 cupcakes but I can now do it in half that time and to a higher standard. It’s also essential that family and friends are honest with you!
A Quick Q & A
Favourite Colour: Fuschia Pink
Favourite Film: Pretty Woman / Pulp Fiction (for the girly and the tomboy in me!)
Favourite Song: Your Song – Elton John version!
Favourite Month: June – Summer on it’s way, BBQs start and my birthday!
Favourite Drink: Kir Royales mmmm
Favourite Food: Gotta be a cake pop!
Favourite Word: Amazing
 Favourite Perfume: Chloe

Favourite Book: Never get a chance for reading anymore but loved The Island by Victoria Hislop – The Babylon books are also eye opening!(Wedding Babylon, Hotel Babylon etc)

Cake Week…Tuesday

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Name: Paul Langley

Facebook: Search “ elfies cakes “
Twitter: @elfiescakes


Bit of a background on you:

Having been producing one-off centre-piece cakes for several years, Paul Langley felt that it was time to share his passion with the world. Elfies Cakes is a shiny new business formed in early 2010 to do just that!

In every instance, Paul wants your cake to be as special to you as the occasion you’re celebrating. So as well as tasting fantastic, Paul is really passionate about the decoration of his cakes.
Company Motto :
If you can dream it, Elfies Cakes can make it!

Background on your business:

We are a small and friendly home run business supplying you with a specialist cake making and decorating service for your special occasion. Based in Harrogate but covering the whole of North Yorkshire, Elfies cakes can supply most types of cakes including our speciality fruit cakes through to moist Madeira sponge.
So whatever your occasion – from christening, birthday or an awe inspiring wedding, Elfies cakes are able to provide you with the cake of your dreams. For more information on what i can do please visit my
Favourite flavour of cake:
I really love making rich fruit cakes but most of the cakes that are ordered from me are my own recipe Madeira sponge.
Most memorable wedding creation you have done:
My first ever wedding cake and also my little brothers wedding!
Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?
My advice would be: don’t be afraid to ask whoever is making your wedding cake for what you want! Its your special day and to make this extra special your cake should be exactly what you want.
Do you have a recipe you are willing to share for budding bakers?
Afraid not (trade secret LOL )
A Quick Q & A

Favourite Colour: Azure Blue or Midnight Purple ( Cant decide )
Favourite Film: The Green Mile
Favourite Song: Don Mclean – Vincent
Favourite Month: June ( Lots of late evenings in warm weather with good friends)

Favourite Drink: A nice bottle of Shiraz or Rioja.
Favourite Food: Chicken Tikka Masala
Favourite Word: Thanks
Favourite Quote from a Film: You may take our lives, but you will never take our FREEDOM! ( Braveheart )

Cake Week…Monday

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
Cake Week has arrived. The reason for a whole week dedicated to scrumptious sponge is mainly because I feel that a wedding cake or cupcakes can often come quite low down the planning process. The cake can sometimes suffer from being a last minute decision and a lot of brides may not know what the possibilities are. So enjoy my week of inspirational creations from fabulous bakers up and down the UK. If you want an Oscar the Grouch, you will know who to call! On Friday, I will be attempting to make my own wedding creation proving how hard it is to get right.
Name: Beth Mottershead (Cakes by Beth)
Twitter: cakesbybeth
Bit of a background on you:
I am a self-confessed geek, after focusing on science for my entire school education, and then studying for a degree and PhD in Materials Science. I don’t mind though, I think a bit of geekiness is good. The cake side of things stems from my other love of all things arty. I’ve always been into drawing and crafts in general so the idea of creating a gift for someone that is really personal to them has always been something that I have loved to do. I can pinpoint the exact moment when the cake obsession really began. It was when I created a 3D Oscar the Grouch for my brother’s birthday. It was a complete surprise and we shipped it all the way to Sheffield from Stafford. His reaction, as well as that of everyone else who saw it, really spurred me on to hone my skills and turn my favourite hobby into something bigger.
Background on your business:

My style is clean, simple and contemporary but with a little something special that makes my cakes beautiful and unique.  I like to use flowers in my designs, but in a way that you can’t find in nature, so scattered blossoms in interesting shapes, sparkling petals and larger than life blooms.  I also find wallpapers, fabrics and vintage jewellery incredibly inspiring.  My pricing reflects the time I spend designing and hand-crafting the details on my cakes. I want everyone who purchases a cake from me to feel that they have something really special and unique, but also value for money. No matter whether it is your wedding or civil ceremony or a fabulous birthday party or celebration, my approach to designing your cake and my pricing structure remains the same. I know a lot of people worry that as soon as the word “wedding” is mentioned, prices start to increase. I also believe that things that aren’t an option shouldn’t be charged as an extra, such as delivery and set up. If you have placed a large cake order with me, the cost includes delivery and set up. After all, who wants to get involved with stacking their wedding cake when they have a wedding to attend??

Favourite flavour of cake/cupcake/pastry: 

Despite all the cake talk, my favourite dessert is my mum’s apple pie. My mum and dad have a great partnership when it comes to apple pie. My dad makes the most amazing homemade mince meat. It has a really fine texture and is so fruity and boozy, you could dig it straight out of the jar! My mum’s pastry is so moreish so combine this with a lovely, zingy apple filling and a huge blob of mince meat in the middle and you have the most irresistible apple pie ever!

 Most memorable wedding creation you have done:

This would have to be the four tier wedding cake I made for one of my oldest friend’s wedding. It was definitely an emotional day for so many reasons…but transporting the cake all the way to Liverpool in the baking heat certainly added to that. The entire wedding (except the cheeky afterparty) was held at the Palm House in Sefton Park. It was absolutely amazing, definitely the best wedding I have ever been to, and every single detail she chose was something I would have chosen myself. She looked stunning and the cake completely matched the tropical flower and plant backdrop. It was fantastic!
Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?

There are so many tips and things to bear in mind, it is difficult to generalise without hearing the individual couple’s story about their special day. I would say that two key pieces of advice that apply to everyone and are always taken into account in my designs are:

1)     How many guests are you having and what style of event is it? Large and formal? Large and informal? Small and intimate? This can be the deciding factor for whether you go for a cupcake tower or five tier, all white, brush embroidery creation
2)     What is your favourite element of your wedding day? Your cake should be the centrepiece of your reception so as well as tying into the theme of your day, you want it to really highlight something you love. By starting your design with your favourite element, this really helps to bring it all together.

Do you have a recipe you are willing to share for budding bakers?

Ah, now that would be telling, wouldn’t it! 😉 All I would say is, for the perfect cake, time after time, it’s crucial to weigh your ingredients accurately. I never mix imperial with metric and I also take into account the weight of the eggs, not just the number you use.

A Quick Q & A
Favourite Colour: green (although when it comes to budgies, definitely blue!)
Favourite Film: Two recent ones that I have loved and needed to watch again and again are 300 and The Departed
Favourite Song: something by Metallica, Guns N Roses or “I heard it through the grapevine” by Marvin Gaye
Favourite Month: August (my birthday!)
Favourite Drink: red wine
Favourite Food: roast beef or lamb rogan josh…tough choice 
Favourite Word: ingredients (makes you think about juicy dried fruit and making homemade scones)
Favourite Perfume: Coco Mademoiselle

If you have any baking or cake related questions please leave them in the comment box for Beth.

Cake Week

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

It’s what you’ve been waiting for, you just hadn’t realised it yet. There will be interviews with bakers from up and down the UK, secret recipes and lots of mouth watering images. On the Friday I will be attempting to make my very own wedding creation. Its Cake Week. Spread the word.

Monday 7th February – Friday 11th February

Black Monday

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Why would you dress your bridesmaids in black when there is such a veritable feast of colour in the world? I agree that black is elegant, timeless and looks good on everyone….but its a wedding. Come on. Whether its pink, blue, grey, orange or yellow, put them in some colour!!

Turquoise – Marchesa
Purple – Issa
Pink – Temperly London
Aqua – Marchesa
Red – Issa
Blue – Marchesa
Yellow – Valentino
Orange – Matthew Williamson
Light Grey – Alexander McQueen
Blush Pink and Gold – Rachel Gilbert
Gun Metal Grey – Marchesa
Pink – D&G
Silk Grey – Azzaro
Pale Pink – Marchesa
Embellished Pink and Grey – Rachel Gilbert
Are you having, or did you have your bridesmaids in black? I am open to suggestions!

A Penny Sweet

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
I have lots of lady love for Penny, not only is she a talented photographer, lover of vintage treasures and upcycling, she is so passionate about the wedding industry that she is also at the forefront of The Any Campaign. JunkShopBride is full of treasures, beautiful images and fascinating finds, hours have been spent scrolling through Penny’s unique ideas and creativity. Fabulous ideas for DIY brides.

Credited on JunkShopBride
Name: Penny

Business: Bit of information on what you do etc?

Currently loving my job as a wedding, portrait & commercial photographer alongside my gorgeous other half Martin AKA Tino&Pip Photography! We love to keep busy and have loads of fab projects on the go: Junk Shop Bride– just for fun and for our love of one-of-kind treasures, The Any Campaign– campaigning to legalise marriage anytime anywhere in England & Wales, as well as a little web design on the side! Busy-bees!

Credited on JunkShopBride
Where do you get your inspiration from for Junk Shop Bride?:

When we moved into our new flat, we spent many a day hunting for vintage/retro pieces to decorate and furnish our new home. We even upcycled a lot of our existing bits to fit in with our new theme. Everywhere we turned we saw some of the most fabulous treasures perfect for the truly unique wedding and I just had to gather up all those ideas and document them, and how better to do so than on a blog?!

Credited on JunkShopBride

Credited on JunkShopBride

A Quick Q & A

Favourite Colour: Teal

Favourite Film: After debating this one for ages I decided that I don’t have a single favourite!

Favourite Song: Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley

Favourite Month: August

Favourite Drink: Baileys

Favourite Food: Nutella

Favourite Word: Flibbertigibbet – A Middle English word referring to a flighty or whimsical person, usually a young woman (Wikipedia) 

Favourite Book: The Hungry Caterpillar

Favourite Quote from a Film: “Today my brother stood up and fought for his country. What did I do? I made a papier mâché lobster head.” (Love Actually)


Tino And Pip Photography

Tino And Pip Photography

Make sure you sign up for The Any Campaign 

reuse ♥ restore ♥ create ♥ cherish

A Burns Supper | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
I am half Scottish, and will be hosting my first Burns Supper on Saturday. We shall of course be eating haggis and drinking whiskey. I thought I would also share with you the recipe for tablet, one of the most sickly and delicious Scottish delicacies ever! I will be making it tonight and will tweet how it goes (first time and all).

225g Butter
450g Sweetened Condensed Milk
1.8kg Caster Sugar
1 pint Water
Using a non-stick pan, put the water on a low heat and melt in the butter. Add the sugar and bring to the boil. Stir at all times. Once it is boiling stir in the condensed milk and simmer for 20 minutes. Keep stirring. Take off the heat and beat vigorously for 5 minutes.
Pour into a greased rectangular tin and cut into bars (5″x1″) once cooled. Keep in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.