Breaking Bad – the story of the cupcakes

Breaking Bad. I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to these kind of TV programs, so when I got the request for this theme, at first I wondered where on earth I could go with it. I considered small models of chemistry kit, or other drug-related paraphernalia – but kept getting stuck.

And then took my car in for a service. I couldn’t get a courtesy car this time, so ended up drinking coffee and waiting around for about an hour. I make sure I always carry my design book and a set of coloured pencils in my handbag, so finally I had the ideal opportunity, and the head space, to think it through.

A leisurely wander around google and pinterest, produced some interesting results. I realised that the promotional material, posters and adverts, were amazing. A combination of colours and imagery that I just knew would look great on a set of cupcakes.

Breaking Bad cupcakes

Breaking Bad cupcakes

So I sketched some toppers, using black and white silhouettes on green, and the periodic elements for Adam’s name.

And despite still not knowing much about the TV series, they remain one of my favourites.

So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into designing and making this particular set of Really Yummy cupcakes. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

So, what happens next?

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It’s a question I get asked a lot. You’ve been on the website, poured over the galleries, and decided that you’d love a Really Yummy cake. You may have lots of ideas. Or you may have very little by way of inspiration. But don’t panic, it’s all under control.

The first thing I need to know is the date. Provided it’s more than a few weeks away, I can usually accommodate. But there’s only so much I can fit in, so we only move forward if I have space.

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The next question you need to answer is how many people you’d like to feed with your gorgeous cake? Roughly. The cake you need for 8 people at a family tea, is a lot smaller than the cake you need for 48 people at a party, so it just helps to have an idea.

I can then produce a quote. Just bear in mind that the quote you get back will be based on a certain amount of detail in the decoration. Most of the cakes in the gallery have been made like this, but occasionally you might want a bit more. If this is the case, the quote will increase slightly. It’s your choice which way you go.

Once you’ve agreed the quote, and I have an idea of your theme, I’ll pop it all in a confirmation sheet and email it across.

Your deposit is then due a couple of weeks before your date, and the balance when you collect.

And I’ll then design and make you a perfect cake. Obviously.

Tempted? It’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Saying "I Do"

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“Do you do wedding cakes?”

The nerves that this simple question gave rise to, were almost too much. But then, very quickly, the excitement set in. My gorgeous customer had ideas. Beautiful ideas. And we had some lovely chats about them.

She wanted raspberry sponge, and a carrot cake, and plenty of cupcakes – both classic and gluten-free vanilla. And she wanted the cupcake tiers to be in-between the cake tiers. The cake tiers would be white, and the cupcakes would introduce her colours – silver-grey and pink. A bit of sparkle would be nice, a quilted tier, a large bow, and a bride and groom on the top – the bride with a glass of champagne, and the groom holding a bottle of whisky.

Such a lot to work with, but the hardest part to get my head around was the stand. Nothing out there would allow cupcake tiers to sit between cake tiers, and I soon realised I would need to make my own. I have an engineering degree, and am actually quite structurally minded, so after a few designs I came up with this one.

Each tier would be separated by polystyrene dummies, of varying heights, designed to create a balanced overall appearance. Each dummy would be covered in sugarpaste, and each cupcake board would also be covered. The centre cake tier was also to be a dummy cake, so I could actually construct the whole middle piece as one.

Hand-written cupcake labels

Hand-written cupcake labels

Pink and grey, for the cupcake toppers

Pink and grey, for the cupcake toppers

Calligraphy for the personalised board

Calligraphy for the personalised board

Gorgeous flowers for the cupcakes

Gorgeous flowers for the cupcakes

Quilting, with a bit of sparkle

Quilting, with a bit of sparkle

I quilted the bottom tier, and created an embossed sugarpaste bow on the top tier. I also embossed the icing on each separating dummy, using a lovely heart embossing sheet. And the sparkle was added with a beautiful ribbon around each board and cake tier.

A flourish was added to the cupcakes with some gorgeous bespoke wrappers from Buttercups Cupcake Wrappers

The bride’s dress was gorgeous, and the groom looked rather dapper too. I even added their tattoos – a detail that probably only they would notice, but something I thought might make them smile.

And I hand-painted their married name onto the board in silver. A final bit of sparkle.

Hard at work!

Hard at work!

And seeing them from afar, as I set up the cake in their gorgeous room at The Langstone Hotel in Hampshire, I couldn’t help but grin. Such a lovely way to be a part of a couple’s special day! And I’m so glad I said “I Do”…

So what do you think? I’d love to hear, or to answer any questions. Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

And if you are planning your own wedding, please do get in touch. I’d love the chance to create a gorgeous cake to play a part in your perfect day!

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Last minute 21st birthday cake

I’m not very good at ‘last minute’…. Anyone who knows me personally will know how I can’t be late, I have contingency on my contingency time, and the idea of doing something ‘last minute’ terrifies me!

But a little while ago I made a ‘last minute’ cake. And I really enjoyed it. I normally need at least two week’s notice, but this lovely, but slightly panicked customer came to me on a Wednesday, and needed the cake for Saturday. No time to design, or mull it over even. I had to hit the ground running, in a week with two other cakes.

21st birthday cake with bow

21st birthday cake with bow

So I was honest, and gave three cake options, all of which I had done before, and could be in the customer’s chosen colours. I then realised that it was actually fairly easy to fit in. No uncertainty with using new techniques, templates, or shapes and sizes. The stuff I normally enjoy, could be put to one side this time, and I would enjoy making the little tweaks instead.

So, if you are happy with a few options, and you’ve left it a little ‘last minute’, please get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Forty and fabulous

Your loved one is turning 40! Such a great excuse for a celebration! And you’ve been tasked with sorting the cake?! Don’t panic, you’re already in the right place. Have a look at some of our 40th Birthday Cakes. Such different themes, and each one unique and perfect for the birthday boy or girl.

Retro 40th birthday cake

Retro 40th birthday cake

This one was for Julie, who loves 80s music, and her hubby wanted a retro feel to the cake. I remember a band in the 80s who dressed in polka dots all the time, and I wanted to give the cake a glamorous feel, so included silver stripes and a massive bow. It was made up of a chocolate tier and a vanilla tier, and was made on one of the hottest days of last year. Delivery to the venue involved sitting with it on my lap, with the air con on full, and getting stuck behind a herd of cattle in the New Forest, but she did love her cake!

Yoga 40th birthday cake

Yoga 40th birthday cake

Another brief from the husband here. Jo runs a very successful holistic business, and has a beautiful yoga studio in her house. Her brand colours are gorgeous, and formed a super starting point for the cake. It makes me want to lie down!Another example of a cake that travelled beyond the walls of Winchester, this one ended up in London.

VW Campervan 40th birthday cake

VW Campervan 40th birthday cake

This was one of the cakes in my ‘blue campervan’ phase! My cake studio looked like a VW showroom for a while last year. This was a cake in his footie colours, with a sugarpaste camper on top. Loved it!

VW Campervan and Police birthday cake

VW Campervan and Police birthday cake

This one was for a camper-loving copper? A gift of a theme. Loved it completely, and the design hit me almost immediately. Such a fun cake to do, despite the extreme heat that week. Again.

40th birthday cake with bunting and flowers

40th birthday cake with bunting and flowers

This is still one of my favourites! I used the invitation for the colour inspiration and the chalkboard ’40’, and I love the way the bunting and the stripes complement each other. I’ve done this cake again for a little girl’s 10th birthday, and I’m just about to do another one for an 80th. A classic.

Retro dressmaker's dummy cake, with polka dots and bows

Retro dressmaker's dummy cake, with polka dots and bows

The brief for this one was to make a fun cake, with a bit of sophistication. Hannah loved the idea of a dressmaker's dummy, so I used these lovely retro colours, and she was over the moon with it.

VW Beetle cake, in blue and white

VW Beetle cake, in blue and white

Another car cake - I really did go through a phase! - this time a VW Beetle cake, in the birthday boy's favourite colours. Cars are a little tricky to make, as they always look wrong until the very last minute. Gotta have faith!

So there you have it, a selection of cakes for a 40th birthday. Obviously any of my cakes can be for a 40th, and I would love it if you came with a totally different theme! But it was fun wandering back through time, and pulling it together.

What would your ideal cake look like? Join the discussion in the comments below. Is one of these cakes yours? Did it fit the bill? Head here to leave a review and I’d be so grateful!

And if you want a cake for a fortieth birthday, it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Behind the scenes, a Queen’s Hat

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A while ago, I was asked to make a cake, fit for a Queen. Very exciting, it was for a street party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. No design requirements, it was up to me, it didn’t need to be big, but needed to make a big impact.

As always, I excitedly said yes, and felt fairly confident that a design idea would come to me.

A day or so later, I was flicking through images of the Queen, her family, and special occasions, and it struck me that there was always a hat! Every occasion had such different associations, from Buckingham Palace, the crown jewels, London, Balmoral, her dogs, the countryside, the Union Jack, gold carriages, wedding days, street parties. The list went on and on, and it was getting tricky to narrow it down. But there was always, always a hat.

Bingo.

So I began to browse images of her hats. It needed to be structurally ‘cake’ shaped, not too intricate, but have enough impact when made as a cake. The one I chose was a gorgeous blue, with feathers and loops, and had enough interest in its shape, without needing to carve too much of it away.

The texture was applied with a burlap roller, and the colour was given depth with blue shimmer dust, black petal dust and cornflower to ‘dilute’ the colour intensity.

The board was built up with foil, to a raised centre, and covered with sugarpaste for the brim.

And every time I saw it on my workbench, I thought it was a hat.

Job, very much, done.

So what do you think? I’d love to hear, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

The time I was almost scared of a cake

The Walking Dead. A program that I couldn't even contemplate having the stomach to watch. And that's all very well and good, until someone asks for a cake with precisely that theme. So I head to google. And see the multitude of Walking Dead cakes, and try to think of something different.

I think this was one of the first times I googled TV show imagery as inspiration, and it just made so much more sense. The moody, eerie look of the title was amazing, with the flying birds and the watch tower. And the bloody hand, used to suggest so much more than it actually represented. And the sheriff's hat seemed so iconic, it almost put itself on the cake.

And then I knew I wanted a bit of gore. Not a severed limb kind of gore, but instead a nod to it. I had been playing a bit with decorating cake boards, and I suddenly thought of blood, seeping out from underneath the cake.

Adding lettering as if written in blood, just finished it off perfectly. 

And I'm still not even half way brave enough to watch the show!

So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into designing and making a Really Yummy cake. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

A week of Me Time - The Painting Class

Juggling running a business with running a family can seem a little overwhelming at times. It's easy to just keep going, and never hit the pause button.

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Until this week. Monday I had a long-awaited haircut, and then Tuesday I headed off for a day of sheer bliss. I had booked onto a Painted Cakes class, run by the amazing Sarah of The Chocolate Strawberry, hosted at Victoria's Kitchen in Woking.

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I was last to arrive - racing over from Winchester after dropping my girls at school, but Sarah made me feel so welcome, and after a quick 'hi' to my fellow classmates, I had a coffee in my hand two minutes later. Whilst I stared in awe at the demonstration cake I was supposed to produce.... Err?! Me?!

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I have hand-painted on cakes before, but this just looked so amazing, I couldn't quite believe i would get anywhere close. But Sarah's wonderfully patient tuition, combined with great techniques, and we produced all manner of wonderful flowers. The shaky hand soon disappeared, and I was feeling quite confident by the end of the day. 

I also now have plenty of new techniques to try on your glorious cakes. And more importantly, I paused. A big fat, all-day-long pause. Heaven.

So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek behind the scenes at Really Yummy. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Churches, Chapels and Babies

I thought I'd take a wander through some of the cakes I have made for a variety of different ceremonies. This gorgeous little giraffe was for a dedication ceremony, for Seraphina. Such a pretty name, and her Mum had requested no pink, so I added a couple of lovely greens to the giraffe colours, to create this palette. 

I thought I'd take a wander through some of the cakes I have made for a variety of different ceremonies. This gorgeous little giraffe was for a dedication ceremony, for Seraphina. Such a pretty name, and her Mum had requested no pink, so I added a couple of lovely greens to the giraffe colours, to create this palette. 

Staying with the baby animals, this time for a baby shower. Such a lovely idea for an occasion, and I love these little creatures. Proof that these cakes don't always need to be pink or blue.

Staying with the baby animals, this time for a baby shower. Such a lovely idea for an occasion, and I love these little creatures. Proof that these cakes don't always need to be pink or blue.

Moving away from babies for a bit, this cake was for Louie's First Holy Communion. I loved the graduated greys, and the subtlety of the toppers. Gorgeous.

Moving away from babies for a bit, this cake was for Louie's First Holy Communion. I loved the graduated greys, and the subtlety of the toppers. Gorgeous.

This gorgeous cake was for Grace, and included pretty bunting, flowers and rice paper butterflies. Such a sweet effect overall.

This gorgeous cake was for Grace, and included pretty bunting, flowers and rice paper butterflies. Such a sweet effect overall.

The cute little bunny Miffy, in pink and white with bunting, was a great choice for this Christening cake - such cuteness!

The cute little bunny Miffy, in pink and white with bunting, was a great choice for this Christening cake - such cuteness!

Even older this time, and a big set of Confirmation cupcakes, in vanilla. With Eddie's name and the date.

Even older this time, and a big set of Confirmation cupcakes, in vanilla. With Eddie's name and the date.

More bunting, this time with a pair of baby shoes. Such a popular topper, and such fun to make! Perfect for a baby shower.

More bunting, this time with a pair of baby shoes. Such a popular topper, and such fun to make! Perfect for a baby shower.

This cake was so much fun. I was asked to create it in the Oxford United colours, for a girl who was so much more into football than wearing white Communion dresses! Hope it helped....

This cake was so much fun. I was asked to create it in the Oxford United colours, for a girl who was so much more into football than wearing white Communion dresses! Hope it helped....

So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into designing and making a Really Yummy cake. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

My Top Tip for making ‘that’ cake

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The first time I decided to make my son’s birthday cake was a total disaster. It was nearly ten years ago, and I was so excited. I had exactly the image in my head. A beautiful sharp-edged gift box, in bright blues and yellows. Polka dots, and a big bow. The reality? A fairly squidgy looking, insipid yellow and sort of aqua coloured rounded-edged cake. Ever been there? I understand your pain. You so desperately want to make your child’s cake. And someone, somewhere has made it sound so simple.

If I could give you the absolute best piece of advice ever? The advice I wish someone had given me? Give yourself time. Enough time. In fact, give yourself more time than you need. I now do this every day of the week, and ‘last minute’ equals less than a week’s notice. A week. Not an evening.

Break it down into manageable chunks, and do a little bit each day for about five days. Make the toppers first, then they can be hardening while you make the cake. Bake on day 3, and set it to one side to cool all day. Buttercream it in the evening, then leave it in the fridge overnight. Cover it and finish it off on day 4, and nonchalantly present it to the birthday boy or girl on day 5. Stress-free, and looking relaxed in the photos.

What do you think? Does it sound like something you could do? Or am I just someone else making it all sound too easy? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

And if all of this still sounds like there aren’t enough hours in the day, don’t hesitate to give me a shout. Sometimes it’s ok to call in a professional!

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

A cake for a 50 year old train driver

South. West. Trains. That was it. The extent of the brief, from a lovely repeat customer, who ‘trusted me 100%’….

Crumbs…. I googled and found a colour scheme. But I was really concerned that a cake with a train on top, would instantly look like a kids cake. And I knew I wanted to make Steve, and in my vision(!), he was perched on the edge of the cake, red lanyard and all! The advantage of doing this, was that he didn’t need to be the same scale as the train, or just in the window.

And standing too close to the track would imply a train-based problem …. He he, I sometimes take this all a bit too seriously ….!

So….

I knew I wanted the train to be bigger than the cake size would allow a full train and carriages to be, so suddenly I saw it coming out of a tunnel. No need to make room for the rest of the train, and Steve could take his rightful place at the front of the cake.

I’d done a striped cake in the same week, and the train colours were all ready to go, sitting there next to it. They looked fabulous together, so I decided to stripe them around the edge, to strengthen the scheme.

The tunnel – I could see the tunnel in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in my head as I modelled this! I knew that tunnel edges needed to come forwards as well as out to the sides to look realistic. And they were generally grassy, bushy areas.

And the cobbles came to me very last-minute. I was looking for a surface that Steve could sit on securely, but also one that would look right next to the tracks and up against the grass. Cobbles!

South West Trains cake

South West Trains cake

So there you have it. The meandering story of this cake design. And a small window into the workings of my mind….

*Grin*

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x

Lipstick, powder and paint

Make-up and fashion are such popular ideas for cake themes, I thought I would revisit some of my favourites.

This cake was for Hannah's 40th. She wanted something fun, but sophisticated, and this dressmaker's dummy topper was a great place to start. I decided to use retro colours, and include polka dots and little bows. The chequerboard cake base really set it off too.

The next cake was based on Hannah's cake, and was to celebrate a Christmas shopping evening. I added little shopping bags, and rather than going too festive with sparkle and silver, I instead used a gorgeous green and red to highlight the Christmas theme.

 

Next up, I was asked to create a MAC make-up themed cake. I knew I wanted the iconic black with white logo, and I decided to create an open gift box, to display all of the gorgeous make-up. It's a great brand with stunning packaging to work with.

No sooner had I finished this one, another request came in, this time for a much larger cake. The challenge was to still make it look full, without the make-up appearing too oversized. I increased their sizes by about half as much again, and then arranged them on the larger cake. I think they both looked amazing.

This cake was based on a similar idea, but instead using Chanel as the theme, with a gorgeous pink stripe and mini bow.

And finally, a last minute order meant I had no time to create the make-up. Instead I used the iconic Chanel black and white for a version of my inlaid stripe cake. Adding a white bow and little logo, resulted in one of my favourite cakes in the end!

So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into designing and making a Really Yummy cake. I’d love to know your thoughts, so why don’t you pop me a comment below?

And it’s never too early to book your own cake, even if you aren’t too sure what you want yet. Head here and save the date. Or get in touch here and we can discuss your ideas.

Or just put your feet up and head here, to read all about the day to day goings on, behind the scenes.

And if you want more great stuff like this, delivered right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe here.

And have a great day!

Love from Really Yummy HQ x