Welcome to Cakes by Suzanne where I will be sharing with you some of my trusted cake recipes and cake advice which I have gathered over the years.
I have been baking and decorating cakes for the last 30 years, which started as a hobby from home, running alongside my ‘proper job’ which I then turned into a full-time occupation. I initially ran my Cake Business from home in Bournemouth, Dorset and then decided to open up my first lock-up shop. Several years later I took over a home/shop premises, where cake life was full on and took over my life completely!
Last year I ‘retired’ from the shop world as I re-married and took a step back to explore a new life in Trowbridge near Bath where my new husband lives and am scaling down to just doing Wedding Cakes with a difference www.fabulouslyfakeweddingcakes.com and passing on my experience to all new cake makers and anyone who loves cake like me!
My Story – How Did I Start Making Cakes?
I remember on my 18th Birthday I was presented with this pretty cake, with piping detail and edible decorations, but I was slightly disappointed as it was made from ‘Ice Cream’ and it just didn’t have that same appeal to me. I think that’s what first brought my attention to Cake Art, as in those days it wasn’t quite so readily available!
It was from that point I decided to explore a little more and took on the task of making my Mum & Dad’s Silver Anniversary Cake. I had no real experience of Cake Decorating then but was determined to create something wonderful! I think my Mum was a little nervous to say the least as she was throwing a big party and didn’t want to offend me if it didn’t turn out ok!!
And so that was the start, I baked my first large fruit cake (12″ square) and decorated it with my first hand-made sugar roses cascading all over the iced cake. I had scoured the recipe books & magazine pictures for ideas and instructions to complete my task……..and so my journey began.
Sugarcraft Classes were quite hard to come by back then, I attended some evening classes, read books and basically became self-taught. I’ve always loved creating whether it was sewing, knitting, drawing or painting so that was a good start.
Today there are so many courses you can do whether it’s at College, or private classes in Cake Shops or online tutorials. You will find your own style from these and depending how far you want to progress, will determine how much you want to invest!
For me it’s always been about the creativity, rather than the technicalities of the design, bringing personality & individuality into the cake work. You will see every Cake Maker has their own style, (not always appealing to everyone), and they will gradually build up their own client base.
Hobby Turned Business
I spent many years just doing cakes for friends & family as a hobby, and then started charging for them as I became more confident. I would come home from my office day job, excited to start work on a cake, plenty of practice and lots of man hours!
It’s great when you have young children as it’s a chance to experiment on all those kiddie designs…. my kids had their fair share I can tell you, but watch out as children can be your biggest critics!!
I reached a point where I decided to go into cakes full-time. I had become increasingly busy with them, building up a good client base and repeat custom. And so I ran the business full-time from home for many years until I decided to spread my wings and open up my first Cake Shop, making Celebration & Wedding Cakes to order, and selling Sugarcraft tools. My mum and family helped out enormously I must say.
Five years later I moved into a larger shop premises where Cake Life was full on, making Celebration & Wedding Cakes to order. I hired Michelle who was studying cake decorating at college at the time & we became a good team over the years. Extremely busy, long days (and nights sometimes during Wedding Season when I had Chocolate Cakes to do that had to be kept cool during the summer heat or if I hadn’t managed to finish a design during the day that was due for collection the following day….deadlines are deadlines!)
CHOCOLATE WEDDING CAKES
SAFE DELIVERY OF WEDDING CAKES
If you are serious about your Cake Making then be prepared for long hours, dedication and family support!! There is also a vast difference in making cakes as a hobby or for ‘pin money’ as opposed to commercially, as there are far more restraints on your time & quicker methods have to be utilised to get the same result in a fraction of the time!
AND DON’T FORGET
You need to continually build up your portfolio and showcase at Wedding Shows and Fairs to get your name established and your work seen, especially if you are entering the Wedding Cake World!
JUDGING AT ‘CUPCAKE CAMP’ FAIR
IF YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO HELP YOU ALONG YOUR JOURNEY OF BECOMING A CAKE MAKER FOR BUSINESS OR PLEASURE THEN PLEASE JOIN ME FOR CAKE ADVICE, TIPS & KNOW-HOW
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