About Me

I have been making and decorating celebration cakes for the past 20 plus years. I started very simply by designing my own children’s party cakes. These were so popular at the parties, that I was soon getting requests to make cakes for their friends parties.

I continued to make children’s party cakes until I went onto a cake decorating course and discovered the art of sugar flowers. I then started making more formal cakes and terrifyingly received an order for a three tier wedding cake. This was so enjoyable to make and so successful that I have never looked back. However I kept it to a part-time basis as I have a very enjoyable career.

I have learnt many tricks over the years both in baking the cakes and also decorating them. Many people ask for my recipies and help in creating their own designs. I hope this website will enable me to pass on my own experiences and enable others to create beautiful looking and delicious tasting creations.

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Posted by: Sheila | 10-14-2007 | 07:10 PM

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14 Comments »

  1. Could you please let me know urgently whether you hire out cake tins in the shape of a lamb?? I would like to make my grand-daughter such a cake for her 1st communion (on Sunday!). Please could you answer soon. Thank you.

    Comment by Brigitte Tuck — 25 May, 2012 @ 9:32 am
  2. @Brigitte. I am sorry but I do not hire out cake tins. The cake tins hire out tins at http://mobile.thecakesthetin.co.uk/product?11420841 and have a lamb shaped tin. If you want it for this Sunday, I can not see how you are going to get it in time. However, It would be very easy to cut out a lamb shape and ice it yourself. Use a rectangular sponge cake and using a picture (there are plenty of images available) draw round the picture to create a template. If you use a lamb sitting down, that would make it easier – again search the web for lamb cake tins to get the simple lamb shape. It is then a simple matter of making butter icing and piping lots of stars on the lamb to create the design. Cream butter icing for most of it (lambs are never white) and black and pink to create eyes ears and nose.

    Comment by Sheila — 25 May, 2012 @ 8:07 pm
  3. Hi
    I just wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise. I have just come across your site and it is quickly becoming my ‘bible’. So many cake sites don’t share all the details and explain things in plain english. Its been so useful. keep up the good work.

    Rachel

    Comment by rachel — 8 September, 2012 @ 4:45 pm
  4. Many thanks for your kind words. I am glad you are finding my site useful.

    Comment by Sheila — 11 September, 2012 @ 9:06 pm
  5. I would like to make some fruitcakes for Christmas using your recipes. I need to know what makes up the mixed spice. Love your site and appreciate your help. Many thanks. Bonnie

    Comment by Bonnie Nalan — 27 September, 2012 @ 1:59 pm
  6. @Bonnie. When I make my own mixed spice I use, 2 teaspoons Cinnamon and 1 teaspoon each of Ginger and Nutmeg. However, you can use equal quantities and add or change spices to include Allspice, Mace and cloves depending on your particular favourites. I love Cinnamon which is why I use more of it. Try experimenting and see which you prefer.

    Comment by Sheila — 27 September, 2012 @ 9:06 pm
  7. I came across your website and got to thank you my cakes all five of them have turned out perfect I have followed the lining instructions and have used a fan oven which is hot so have cooked all my cakes successfully on 140c even dropping to 130c and leaving slightly longer we have already tried one since our ttwo dogs have eaten two of them ! We rescued half of one and ate it and it was delish better than shop! We have used partially hydrated fruit as well so now we are soaking our fruit before hand before we make any fruit cake in future. I wouldn’t mind a loaf fruit cake recipe for a one and two pund tin so what amount of fruit would I use for a one pound tin these would be presents for people at Xmas.

    Comment by Melanie — 26 October, 2012 @ 9:28 pm
  8. @Melanie I am glad you you have been successful in making your cakes and that both yourself and your dogs enjoyed them! As for making the cakes in pound tins, I would suggest that you make an 8″ mixture and divide the mixture between the tins (half the mixture for 2 x 2lb tins and quarter for 1lb tins). Alternatively you could just make the 8″square cake and cut it up to make the different sizes.

    Comment by Sheila — 5 November, 2012 @ 10:29 pm
  9. I am (attempting) to make a 2-tier 75th birthday cake for my mom. I am very much a beginner to making these tiered cakes. I have made a 10″ fruit cake, as we speak, this week but I would like a step-by-step guide as to what i do next and so on…… Can you help!!! Many thanks.

    Comment by Sharon — 8 March, 2013 @ 12:00 pm
  10. @ Shaz. I am sorry I have not really covered tiered cakes yet. However, they are really simple once you realise that the tiers do not actually rest on the cake below. Visit your nearest cake decorating supplier or look on-line for Plastic Dowels. I use the on-line cake craft shop http://www.cakecraftshop.co.uk/shop/7/235/. I prefer plastic dowels to wooden ones as they can be boiled to sterilise them. Also purchase your desired pillars (they are hollow). Cover your bottom tier in fondant as normal and leave for 24 hours so the fondant has formed a ‘crust’ but is not completely dry. Decide where you want your pillars on your cake and make a small mark with the point of a clean knife or decorating tool. Taking each sterilised dowel in turn, place on the mark on the top of the cake and then press firmly but evenly through the cake until it sits on the board. (I find it useful to have someone else looking side on at the cake as I push down to make sure I do not push at an angle). Do this with the other dowels. Place your pillars over the dowels and mark each dowel at the top of the pillar. Take the dowels back out of the cake in turn and cut them off at the mark. Clean again and reinsert. Do this with each dowel. You can then decorate the bottom tier as normal along with the top tier. When the cake is ready for assembly, place the hollow pillars over the dowels and carefully position the top tier onto the pillars. The top tier is then supported on the dowels which sit on the cake board of the bottom tier and are very solid but appears to sit on the pillars.

    Comment by Sheila — 8 March, 2013 @ 10:32 pm
  11. Hi

    I have attempted to make my first fruit cake for my upcoming wedding in 4 weeks time. I followed your recipe exactly and used the newspaper around the outsides of the tin. The result was a perfect cake! I then added the 2 tablespoons of brandy wrapped it in 2 layers of grease proof paper and stored in an air tight container. Now, 2 weeks later, I have unwrapped it, to feed it and discovered that some kind of yellow mould has developed and come through both layers of paper. It was also on the top of the cake. We have cut through it to have a look further and discovered that this bright yellow powdery looking mould is in the middle of the cake!! Help, why could this have happened and how can I avoid it when making a new one?

    Comment by Audrey — 15 September, 2013 @ 1:16 pm
  12. @ Audrey. I was sorry to hear that your cake was spoiled. However, I am at a loss to explain the reason, especially as I do not know which recipe you followed. If you could let me know the recipe, size of cake, whether you exchanged any of the ingredients (dairy free etc), whether you are in a hot country or not and I will try to work out the possible cause. In the meantime to prevent the same thing happening again, I would store it in the fridge.

    Comment by Sheila — 15 September, 2013 @ 3:55 pm
  13. Hi

    I followed the recipe for the rich fruit cake various tin sizes. I used a 9″ tin but followed recipe for 10″ as I wanted the cake a little deeper. I didn’t exchange any of the ingredients and initially the cake was perfect and really moist even around the edges. I’m not in a hot country, I’m in England, but I did leave the cake in my kitchen which may not have helped.

    Comment by Audrey — 15 September, 2013 @ 5:41 pm
  14. @ Audrey. Thank you for the information. Making a larger mixture to make a deeper cake is common, provided you allow extra cooking time. As for leaving it in the kitchen, this should not prove a problem unless it is a steamy atmosphere. After all the cake needs to be left until it is quite cold before removing from the tin. There are however, two comments that I am wondering about. Firstly you say the cake was ‘nice and moist’. The freshly cooked cake should be a deep golden brown and quite dry to the touch. The moistness comes after the ‘feeding’. This makes me wonder if the cake was fully cooked, although you do not say it sunk in the middle which would indicate an under cooked cake. But then you say the mold was inside the cake as well which indicates under cooking. The second item is that you say you used two tablespoons of brandy. For a 9″ extra deep cake I would be using approximately 5 tablespoons of alcohol (Three of brandy and two of sweet sherry) to preserve the cake. Having said this a fully cooked cake should keep a few weeks without any alcohol. I would suggest that you ensure your second cake is fully cooked by purchasing a reuseable cake tester (available from http://www.lakeland.co.uk/10711/Reusable-Cake-Tester at £4.99) Also making a deeper cake for your first attempt was very brave, but if you really want a deep cake, making two standard depth ones and ‘gluing’ them together with jam may be a more successful alternative for you. No one will ever know once it is covered and decorated. I wish you every success.

    Comment by Sheila — 15 September, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

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