Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: cupcake class

Learning To Bake Like Mel- Festive Cupcake Classes

With the popularity of cupcakes still steady, rather than buy a festive batch, the people I spent last Monday night with decided to make their own.

As a Baked By Mel cake lover, I was invited along to Mel’s first class at Rudry Village Hall. The class was fully booked so I took my seat with 12 ladies at a table laid out neatly with icing, cutters, sprinkles and edible spray paint.

Mel makes fantastic cakes so I had no doubt that we were going to go away with some lovely creations but I have to say I was far more pleased with mine than I expected to be. They looked really professional but it was all down to Mel’s designs.

We made four cake designs (two of each) and then we had four ‘free’ cakes that we could decorate as we liked with coloured balls and spray, totally 12 cakes to take home. Mel split us into three groups to start with so that we worked on three different designs and then rotated. This worked well in terms of sharing equipment as we were quite a large group.

We were shown pictures of each design and a brief demonstration and Mel was on hand to help if we needed it. The designs were surprisingly easy, even for someone as impatient as me, and very effective.

Even though we were shown what to do, there was still some creative license. We were shown how to make the components for example, the ponsetter flowers, but we could decorate the cakes with them however we liked.

Other designs needed to be followed more precisely. I thought it was a good blend of doing your own thing and learning new techniques.

Once we had worked on three designs, Mel gave us step by step instructions on how to make the topper for the amazing Father Christmas cake. With all of our design components ready to go, we were talked through the techniques for icing the cakes with a nozzle and piping bag and then we were let loose.

As I said, I was really pleased with my cakes which looked especially nice all together in a box. Mel was friendly and approachable and even though we didn’t know each other, she made us all feel relaxed.

There are still spaces on Mel’s next Christmas Cupcake Class on 10th December at £30 each. The price includes tea and cake at break time and the 12 cakes that you get to take away which I think is very reasonable for a three hour class. Please contact Mel directly to book a place.

You can read my review of Baked by Mel here.


CUPCAKE WEEK: FRIDAY- Cupcake Decorating With The Happy Cupcake Kitchen

With the cupcake craze still going strong, cupcake classes are making their entrance into the market and are proving popular not only with people wanting to learn how to do it themselves but as a social event. Groups of friends are getting together and it is becoming a popular activity for Hen-do’s.

As part of my cupcake week feature, Sara from The Happy Cupcake Kitchen very kindly ran a cupcake decorating class for me and two friends in her beautiful kitchen.

I do bake quite often but the decoration part is my downfall. I’m not patient enough or skilled enough and I get cross when I can’t do something immediately and perfectly so I tend to avoid cupcakes in my repertoire and just admire the ones that other people make. However, I was excited to give this a try.

Sara was friendly and welcoming making us cups of tea and passing around macaroons. She chatted confidently and made us feel very at home. Before we went along to the class, I was asked to pick a theme for the cakes from a long list or to come up with my own. I chose ‘retro’ and Sara had already created some retro style cupcakes for us to start decorating. The cakes were a multicoloured sponge so Sara started the class by showing us how to make them using batters died different colours.

We worked at Sara’s kitchen table where individual stations were laid out for us with all the equipment we would need for the day. There were also ample supplies of colouring paste and ready-made butter icing and fondant icing.

We got to work dying our icing, starting with the butter icing and Sara showed us how to pipe, resulting in some quirky multi coloured designs as we mixed the colours together in the piping bag.

Moving on, we set to work dying the fondant icing for the next set of cakes. Sara encouraged us to try to think about how the box of cakes would look as a whole. I never thought about this but I’m glad she pointed it out because they looked really nice in the box and if I’d just been let loose to use all manner of colours and styles it just wouldn’t have worked.

Sara showed us how to cover our cakes in fondant icing. This is more tricky than it looks if you want to get it smooth and finger print free!

Once we’d covered the cakes, we were introduced to a range of cutters, ways to imprint patterns and letters and pens with edible ink. After some demonstrations from Sara we were free to make up our own designs. Some things were easier than others but it was a lot of fun playing around with different ideas.

When I bake I’m usually alone but I had such a good time doing it with friends and chatting and laughing as we decorated. I can see that with a bottle of wine for a hen-do or a birthday party it would be brilliant. Sara was a great teacher and she just seemed like one of the group (albeit a more talented member of the group when it came to cake).

I didn’t think I’d learn a lot from a cupcake decorating class but I did and even if you think of yourself as pretty knowledgable, it’s still great fun. I’d love to do this again and I highly recommend it for a group of friends. My cakes didn’t turn out too bad either!

A class like this is £48 and you get to decorate 12 cakes which you take away with you. It icludes the use of all equipment and ingredients and we had 4 hours worth of tuition. Cupcake parties are £20 per person and you get 4 cakes to decorate and take away. Sara also does children’s parties at £16 per person.

You can find out more on The Happy Cupcake Kitchen website.

Thanks to Sara for having us.

%d bloggers like this: