Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: cupcakes

Love, Peace and Cupcake- Unique and Tasty!

It seems at the moment that every week I hear about a new cupcake company in the area. Cupcakes are extremely popular but with so many businesses setting up and established in Cardiff, new entries and old favourites really need to set themselves apart. Last week was the turn of Love, Peace  and Cupcake.

When Debra from Love, Peace and Cupcake emailed me to say that she was going to send me some of her Easter cupcake creations I had a look at her Facebook page and got very excited when I saw that she was baking cakes with creme eggs inside! I wondered how this would work and thought they would melt but when Debra delivered the cakes, she explained that she had frozen them before adding them to the cake case and so when the cake cooked they stayed perfectly intact.

I was intrigued to try the creme egg cupcake as I thought it was a very clever idea and I was interested to see how solid the creme egg had remained. I cut into it and it was exactly right. It wasn’t too hard but it definitely hadn’t melted either. The chocolate cake surrounding the egg was moist and flavoursome and the icing was sweet and filling. It was a real sugar overload!

I loved the creme egg cake but my favourite was Debra’s ingenious parma violet cake. Parma violets have always been a favourite of mine but I have never had a parma violet cake and I did wonder how much like the sweets it would taste. I needn’t have worried. It was spot on! I am very impressed with how much like the sweets it was.

This was another sugar explosion with a subtly flavoured parma violet cake and icing but what made it a winner was a cake pop on top. The cake pop was very well made and was dense and moist and it contained a huge burst of parma violet flavour as well as being covered in little pieces of the sweets. It transported me back to childhood trips to the sweet shop.

Debra is obviously very creative and I love trying new things so I was very impressed with her original ideas. Along with the cakes, Debra delivered me a very novel Easter gift, a cake in a jar. Layers of cake, icing and mini eggs looked beautiful in a jar which came complete with spoon.

Price wise, Love, Peace and Cupcake’s prices are comparable. A muffin sized buttercream cake is £1.50 or 6 for £10. More elaborate cakes cost more. The creme egg cakes are £2 and the parma violet cakes are £2.50 due to the cake pop. The cake in a jar is £6 or 2 for £10 which I tnihk is very reasonable as it’s a good quality jar that can be re-used and you even get a spoon!

All in all, these cakes were great and it’s nice to see such imaginative, original ideas. Debra has lots more ideas and I’ll be interested to see what she comes up with next.

My last mouthful was: The Parma Violet Cupcake

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For more reviews, competitions, foodie news and a directory of the best places to eat in Cardiff and the surrounding area, please see my website.

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Dotty Cupcakes

Something that I really love about cupcakes is their versatility when it comes to celebrating! You can enjoy a cupcake any day of the week but they can be something really special when they need to be.

To illustrate this point, take a look below at the beautiful St David’s Day cupcakes that were delivered to me by Dotty Cupcakes. They created quite a stir when they were delivered to the office and I found that I wasn’t the only one taking photos of them before we gobbled them up. My colleagues were very impressed.

Along with the topical St David’s Day cakes, I was delivered a box of fabulous chocolate cakes in various designs. These weren’t for any occasion in particular but still beautifully decorated and creatively designed and showcased what Dotty Cupcakes can do. I have said in previous reviews that cupcakes in my experience tend either to focus mostly on flavour and sport simple designs but varied and creative flavours or they are all about the look and are like little works of art. These were of the art variety. They were an absolute pleasure to look at. I would say almost too good to eat but that certainly didn’t stop me!

My favourite cakes were the chocolate ones with sweets on top. I like the extra texture of having a Malteser or fudge on top, they also looked very appealing. The chocolate cakes had a good ratio of cake to icing and both had a strong chocolate flavour which I like. The icing was quite heavy though so I couldn’t have eaten too many of these (although I did try).

The beautiful St David’s Day cakes were vanilla flavour. The sponge was soft and spongy and the icing was sweet and sticky as it should be but the sugar icing on top to create the designs as well as the butter icing meant there was a little too much icing for me. I guess this is the price you pay when your cakes look this good.

Overall these cakes were very nice but the enthasis was more on the design than flavour. These would be perfect if you were looking for designs to suit an event. At £1.65 or 6 for £10 for a standard design, these are a good price too. They were some of the prettiest and most creative cakes I’ve ever reviewed. You can see from the gallery on Dotty Cupcakes website that they have created no end of clever designs. Clearly the Dotty Cupcakes ladies are very talented and a lot of effort went into the decoration. However, the cupcakes were standard vanilla and chocolate sponge and it would have been great if Dotty Cupcakes had experimented more with the flavours to make the cakes taste as good as they looked.

My last mouthful was: Chocolate cupcake with sweets on top

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Emma Jane’s Cupcake Kitchen- Cupcake heaven!

I’d heard a few rumours about some good things happening in Emma Jane’s Cupcake Kitchen so when she opened up her premises on Crwys Road last October, I observed with interest and I was very pleased to be invited down to try what was on offer.

I’ve driven past Emma Jane’s Cupcake Kitchen on many occasions and the first thing I noticed other than the eye catching shop banner was the window display. Just in time for valentines day, Emma has some examples of where her talent lies. Beautiful cupcake bouquets and heart shaped displays.

I’d chosen a quiet day to visit but when I entered both Emma and her husband Lee appeared at the counter and happily chatted about the cakes on offer, talking me through the flavours available and telling me that they changed daily. Emma designs her cakes and makes up the recipes herself and she has quite a collection! I chose a coconut and raspberry cake and a gingerbread latte and headed to the window seat at the front of the shop.

I am quite excited about this place because it’s right up my street! It’s beautifully decorated with clean white walls and laminate flooring which is a great backdrop to all the quirky cake related decorations, canvasses on the walls and cute cushions. The tables are white and vintage chairs are painted baby blue and baby pink. The fuschia wall behind the counter adds some colour and creates a nice contrast to the white.

For me, atmosphere and decoration are very important and Emma Jane’s Cupcake Kitchen is simply lovely. If I had my way, it’s probably how my kitchen would look. I think that it could be easy to get the decor of a cupcake shop very wrong but they have got it spot on in my opinion.  Music was playing at a nice level and they have free wi-fi. It’s the kind of place I could happily sit for hours with my lap top writing up my reviews, except I would probably get very distracted because Emma and Lee were just so lovely to talk to. Emma wasn’t going to add the addition of a seating area, just a shop for orders originally but I’m glad she changed her mind.

So what did the cakes taste like?

There are lots of cupcake makers around and they really do vary in quality but I’m happy to say that these cakes were very good indeed! At £2 per cake, they are a good size. There is always a ‘cupcake of the day’ which is priced at £1.50 and you can get a box of 6 for £10! I tried 5 of the cakes on offer (not all at once…I took some home with me!) and here is my verdict.

Coconut and Raspberry

This one was my favourite. I love coconut and the combination of coconut and raspberry was a good one. The coconut flakes ran through the sponge and through the icing which was also rippled with raspberry. The raspberry was a subtle flavour but it wasn’t overpowered by the coconut at all like I thought it might be. The sponge was moist and the icing was deliciously soft and fluffy but still kept its shape.

Lemon and Blueberry

I thought this was quiet an unusual flavour for a cupcake so I thought I’d give it a try. Like all the cakes, the sponge was moist and the icing was soft and creamy. It was decorated with a real blueberry and a lemon slice sweet. It was very nice but for me, I would have liked to have tasted a bit more blueberry as it was a very subtle flavour against the lemon.

Cherry bakewell

Wow! This tasted exactly like a cherry bakewell. The moist almond sponge had jam running through it and was topped with an almond flavour icing and decorated with almond flakes and a cherry. Ingenious!

Chocolate and Gluten free chocolate

Emma has a chocolate cupcake on offer every day and has a gluten free offering on a Wednesday and a Saturday. I was keen to try the gluten free cake and Lee suggested I try a non gluten free one too to see if I could tell the difference. Although I’ve had some very nice gluten free cakes, they often have a powdery texture that is common in a lot of baked gluten free products but I have to say, it was very difficult to tell these two apart. When we tried each cake without the icing, there was a difference but it was so minimal that with a bite including the icing, it was very difficult to tell and had I not been told that one was gluten free, I would never have known.

Emma is clearly very creative with both her designs and her flavours. She takes orders for weddings, birthdays and events and makes some lovely pieces included cupcake bouquets which were only £20 for a small one containing 9 cakes. I think these will be a great seller at valentines day especially.

Emma Jane’s Cupcake Kitchen has really appealed to me and I will definitely go back. With so many cupcake lovers and a good location, I think this place will do well. With a good selection of drinks and other sweet treats on offer alongside the cupcakes, I think it will appeal to a wider audience than if it was purely cupcakes. I am a fan!

My last mouthful was: The coconut and raspberry cupcake

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Sugar Pop Cakes- Perfect for Christmas!

Keen baker Sian Barker, launched Sugar Pop Cakes in September this year. After a an introduction on twitter, Sian sent me some samples. These included my first Christmas themed cakes of the year!

Sian has always loved cooking but baking is her real passion. After spending time baking for family and friends and enjoying it, Sian started a cake decorating course where she picked up some helpful tips.

As people started to pay for her creations, Sian realised that this was something she could make some extra money from and with a little help from her family, sugar pop cakes was born!

Sian has a steady flow of work which has been generated by word of mouth and she is even providing small cakes for pasta pot in Cardiff. Sian would love to do this full-time and it seems as though she might be on track. Having only launched in September this year, she is dong well and her professional looking website certainly caught my eye.

So now to the cakes…

Sian gave me four cakes, nicely presented in little white boxes with a gift tag bearing the sugar pop cakes logo and detailing the flavour. At £1.50 per cake, I was impressed. The cakes were a good size but not too large.

My little hoard of cakes included the flavours chocolate and strawberry and cream. I had one each of the normal designs and one of each flavour in a Christmas edition which were adorable!

The chocolate cake original design was simply decorated with chocolate icing and topped with little round chocolate sweets. I thought that they were going to be Maltesers so i was waiting for the crunch but when I bit into them, they were toffee which was soft like the cake and worked better than Maltesers would have. There was also a sprinkling of honeycomb which added colour and texture.

The chocolate Christmas cupcake was decorated as a cute rain deer with chocolate antlers and a sugar icing face. This would definitely appeal to children.

The strawberry and cream cakes were my favourite. The original one was decorated with a    Cream coloured icing with pink fleck running through it with a little icing strawberry on top. The cake was filled with a strawberry jam which was really nice and kept the cake moist. The christmas cupcake was iced and topped with a sugar icing Santa which was very lovely. He looked so friendly I almost didn’t want to eat him (almost!)

Have a look at the sugar pop cakes website and see what you think.

My last mouthful was: Strawberry and Cream cupcake

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Cup and Cake Bakery- Cupcake Alchemy!

Having become quite addicted to cupcakes during all my sampling for cupcake week, I was more than pleased when Cup and Cake Bakery offered to send me a box of yet more cakes! Little did I know that this were going to be no ordinary cup cakes but nothing short of cake alchemy! Owner Mark Reardon has a way of transforming normal cupcakes into pure cake gold!

Matt delivered the cakes to me and we chatted for a while about how Cup and Cake Bakery came about. The idea developed when Matt was living in Melbourne, where he discovered a cupcake shop which baked amazing cupcakes. This planted the idea in his head that one day, when back in Cardiff, he was going to open his own cupcake shop. Having quit his job as a Finance Director in favour of further travelling, on his return to Cardiff, Matt registered as a business and started baking. Cup and Cake Bakery in Llanishan was born!

Cup and Cake Bakery’s cakes and certainly very unusual and imaginative. Matt has come up with a unique way of combining cupcakes with popular deserts. His cakes look fantastic and are very novel. Here is a run down of the ones I tried.



Lemon meringue pie cake

This one was my favourite. If you’ve read any of my cupcake week posts you’ll know that lemon is always a winner with me but this cake was not your average lemon cake. The soft spongy cake was layered with lemon curd and the icing was a soft, light meringue. Genius! This is the new way to eat lemon meringue pie for me!

Custard profiterole cake

What a novel idea! Matt suggested heating this one up in the microwave so I did. The profiterole were crammed full of lovely custard and balanced on an almond flavoured cake. Both the cake and the profiterole were top quality but for me, I think I prefer them separate but it’s still a great idea.

Rocky Road cake

This one really looked amazing! The cake was lovely with nuts running through it giving it a good crunch and it was topped with marshmallows and chocolate.More like a dessert than a cake, I had to use a spoon!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake is another favourite of mine and this was a very good one. The cake was deliciously moist and spongy and I enjoyed the addition of sultanas. The icing was gorgeous! So creamy and zesty, yet light.

Red Velvet

This was a very nice cake but for me it was the icing that made it. Matt really is a wizard with icing and this is was the best of the lot. Made with butter and cream cheese, it was beautifully soft and creamy and somehow fluffy on the inside with a crisp outer coating.

Whoopie Pie

I was excited about trying a whoopie pie after seeing it on the website. A great alternative to a cupcake, the pie is harder than a normal cake but it is still moist on the inside. The white chocolate filling was very good. I think these would go down very well in a cafe as something a bit different.

Overall, Cup and Cake Bakery’s cakes are lovely. I’m not sure whether I would class all of them as cupcakes though as I think as soon as you need to use a spoon to eat it like with the rocky road and the custard profiterole cakes, it becomes a dessert rather than a cake. This is by no means a criticism though, just a unique direction.

Have a look at the website and see what you think. At £2.15 for a standard cake, £2.75 for a deluxe cake and £2.50 for a whoopie pie, they are priced well and well worth a try!

My Last Mouthful was: Lemon Meringue Cupcake

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Directory of Cardiff Cupcake Businesses

So cupcake week has come to an end but if you haven’t had enough, I have included a directory of cupcake businesses in Cardiff and the surrounding area. Let me know if you have tried any of them and what you think!

The Cakehouse

Webiste: www.thecakehousecardiff.co.uk

The Cakehouse is Cardiff’s only independant cupcakery and bakehouse, selling delicious cupcakes, other baked goods and afternoon tea (with champagne should you wish!) in a beautiful, modern vintage astmosphere.
Think pretty tea cups, cake stands and friendly service and you have a good idea!
We use only natural flavourings and ingredients, and pride ourselves in beautifully made cakes that taste wonderful and look simply lovely.
We’re still looking for the perfect premises to open in but hope to find that soon.
In the meantime we offer online ordering of cupcakes and can cater for your party, wedding or function.
Check out our website for details of our menu (www.thecakehousecardiff.co.uk) and join us on twitter @the_cakehouse for news and updates.

Cup and Cake Bakery

Website: http://www.cupandcakebakery.co.uk/

Contact: 02920 400057

info@cupandcakebakery.co.uk

We are a home baker in Llanishen that uses only the finest and organic of ingredients which we try our hardest to source as local as possible to produce our range of Cupcakes and Whoopie Pies for delivery to the General public, Sme’s, Public sector and Private sector on a daily basis. We will soon also be including within our range a selection of gluten free Cupcakes and Whoopie’s.

Yes Please Louise

Website: http://www.yespleaselouise.com/

Contact: info@yespleaselouise.com

Yes Please Louise handmade sweet treats are prepared with passion using organic and free range ingredients where possible, some fresh from my sisters country cottage garden!

Yes Please Louise can help with any occasion from weddings to work do’s, birthday’s to baby showers, specialising in cupcakes, cakes, party planning and country crafts for that unique gift.

Emma Jane Cupcakes

Website: www.emmajanecupcakes.co.uk

Contact: 07515 369443

enquiries@emmajanecupcakes.co.uk

At Emma Jane’s Cupcake Kitchen we pride ourselves on creating freshly baked, handmade, gourmet cupcakes.  We endeavour to source the finest ingredients and are always experimenting with new and exciting flavours.

Our cupcakes are perfect for any occasion such as weddings, birthdays, children’s parties, christenings or anniversaries. With our new edible ink printer, have your photograph or corporate logo printed directly on to your cupcake. We make giant cupcakes (fit to feed 20 people!) and our latest creation is the cupcake bouquet.

Julie’s Cake Hole

Website: http://www.juliescakehole.co.uk/

Contact: 07921836208

julie45@sky.com

I’m a home based company who bakes all manner of cakes, wedding cakes, any kind of celebration cakes, novelty cakes and cupcakes.  All are hand baked and hand decorated to order.

Kooky Cakes

Website: http://www.kookycakes.co.uk/

Contact: 07966697716

Based in South Wales, we make simply stunning bespoke celebration cakes and cupcakes that are truly scrumptious and look as good as they taste!

Using only the finest ingredients we can create cakes in a variety of yummy flavours and with a range of fillings so you can be sure that you will find something that takes your fancy!

Flour Garden

Website: http://facebook.com/theflourgarden

Contact: theflourgarden@hotmail.co.uk

Selling contemporary cupcakes, cakepops, large cakes and other treats with a vintage, pretentious edge. New flavours are always being tested and added to the line, but always focus on featuring fluffy buttercream icing and a moist cake crumb, and presented in an unfussy manor.

Zalicious Cakes

Website: http://www.zaliciouscakes.co.uk/home

Contact: 07540636742

Zalehka@hotmail.co.uk

I make my cupcakes from the finest ingredients I and always finish them by hand. Each cupcake is homemade right down to the bumble bees I delicately put together and put on top of your mouth watering cupcakes. I really try and aim to make each individual cupcake different from the last. Each design I come up with is designed with you in mind or something you let me run wild with.

Little Suzi’s Kitchen

Website: www.littlesuziskitchen.co.uk

Contact: 07885977044

littlesuziskitchen@hotmail.co.uk

Little Suzi’s Kitchen makes delicious fresh, homemade, cakes and treats for all occasions.

Little Suzi’s Kitchen makes a range of cupcakes, cakes and treats most of which are gluten free and lower in calories. Little Suzi’s Kitchen was a finalist at the 2011 National Cupcake Awards for her White Chocolate & Raspberry Cupcakes.

Cakes can be ordered online with the option to collect or have home delivery.

Little Suzi’s Kitchen also hosts a number of cake themed events throughout the year such as Cake Nights and Secret Tea Parties.

Angel’s Cakes

Website: http://angelscakes.moonfruit.com/

Contact: info@angelscakescardiff.co.uk

Angel’s Cakes are a cake makers and decorators based in Cardiff specialising in cake pops, cupcakes, giant cupcakes, sponges, fruit cakes, cookies, biscuits and any other cakes made to order for birthdays, weddings, christenings, baby showers, Christmas and any other parties.

Francescas Cakes

Website:  www.francescascakes.co.uk

Contact: 01446 749385

We are a small home-based business in Barry, making Bespoke Cupcakes and Celebration Cakes. All our cakes are made to the highest standards, using fresh quality ingredients. Each cake is made to order and designed to your specifications. There is an unlimited choice of flavour from traditional vanilla to deluxe flavours such as Ferrero Rocher and Turkish Delight! When it comes to decorating your Cupcakes you can let your imagination go wild, from sprinkles and chocolate curls to handmade flowers. They are perfect for any occasions, or if you just fancy a treat!

Butter-Cup bakery

Website: http://www.butter-cupbakery.co.uk/

Contact:  01443 810953/07791 798063
E-mail – admin@butter-cupbakery.co.uk

Butter-Cup Bakery, old fashioned cakes made from the finest ingredients, in South Wales

E and C Cakes

Website: www.eandc-cakes.co.uk

Contact: e.c-cakes@hotmail.co.uk

E & C Cakes Cupcakes & Cakes for making that occasion just an extra bit special

Cake and Cupcake Company

Website: www.the-cupcakecompany.co.uk

Contact: 02920831545 / 07975969793

thecupcake.co@hotmail.co.uk

Home baked and hand decorated cakes and cupcakes for every occasion. We have a wide range of flavours to suit every taste, and can also cater for speciality diets such as vegans, coeliacs, diabetics and people with nut allergies. All our cakes are bespoke and designed around the clients needs so the majority of our cakes will not be seen twice. And with very competitive prices, why not get a quote today.

The Flour Garden

Website: www.theflourgardenbakery.co.uk

Having planted our cakes fresh and watered them with generous helpings of love and care, they have developed a pretentious attitude exemplified in this statement:

“We are pretty cakes please do not eat us…”

If our cakes could talk, this is exactly what we would imagine they would say.

Peggy Jacks

Contact: 07948640023

PeggyJacks@hotmail.com

At Peggy Jacks we provide delicious premium cupcakes and celebration cakes using only the finest of ingredients and this is reflected in our prices. We create unusual designs and flavours with full attention to detail in everything we make. We hope that you enjoy our cakes as much as we enjoy making them.

And my first ever GOLDEN SPOON goes to…. The Flour Garden!

CUPCAKE WEEK: SATURDAY

In preparation for cupcake week, I have been sampling many cakes and it has been a great experience. I had no idea that Cardiff had so much baking and decorating talent and I have been impressed with all that I have tried!

However, my first delivery of cakes as part of my cupcake feature was extra special. I had never heard of the Flour Garden until I started planning my feature and I discovered them on Twitter. The Flour Garden were keen to be involved so I signed them up and they delivered me a box of cakes. I can honestly say, these are the best cupcakes I have ever tasted! The only negative thing I have to say is that as they were delivered to me at my office, I had to share them!

The Flour Garden was started by Dylan Aubrey Evans in 2008 as an alternative to shop bought supermarket cakes. Dylan is a self-taught baker and extremely talented.

The Flour Garden’s ethos is that baking can be both an art and a science.

“We believe that you have to taste everything that you produce and everything you put on the plate should be balanced both in flavour and texture.”

This is clearly evident when looking at and tasting the cakes. They are an absolutely perfect! The cakes are light and fluffy and the icing is so thick and creamy yet not at all sickly and they look fantastic. I could (and did!) eat many of these cakes without feeling too full or sick.

The reason that The Flour Garden deserve a Golden Spoon is because they offer a combination of originality, excellent presentation and exceptional tasting products. Dylan obviously extends his ethos beyond the cakes as they were delivered to me in a fabulously arty box. The inside of the box featured a collage style design complete with bunting, photos, sketches and the company logo. The box included a gift tag and another tag detailing the flavours of the cakes. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the overall presentation and I think it has a very positive impact.

By the time I had finished ‘ooing’ over the box, I was seriously excited to taste the cakes which were packed in amongst bright green shredded paper. They looked amazing! The designs are so quirky and fun! The flavours are very unique too. Most of them are takes on the standard flavours but with a delicious twist. Instead of strawberry, The Flour Garden do strawberry milkshake and instead of lemon, lemonade. Here is a run down of the cakes I tried:

Strawberry Milkshake

Decorated with pink icing and a single strawberry, this cake was one of my favourites. The icing was strawberry flavoured but with a milky taste too and had a layer of jam running through the sponge. It really did taste like a milkshake. Lovely!

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcake

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly

This was also one of my favourites. The cake was decorated with chocolate peanuts and a slice of a peanut and chocolate sweet. The peanut icing was lovely and creamy and complimented the cake base which had a layer of jam running through it which prevented it from being too cloying.

Oreo

I’ve had many Oreo cupcakes in my quest to find the best cupcakes in Cardiff and this one was by far the best I have tasted. The Oreos ran through the entire cake. The sponge was made with crunchy Oreo pieces so it had a real biscuit taste and the icing was also made with ground up Oreos and decorated with a half biscuit. It made for a great texture.

Lemonade

Another one of my favourites, (I know, I have too many favourites!) this cake took lemon cake to a new level. The icing was deliciously creamy and lemony but not too sweet and the cake had a layer of lemon curd running through the middle. This sweet, sticky flavour transformed the cake from lemon to lemonade. It was then decorated with lemonade Haribo sweets to give it the ‘fizz’.

White Chocolate Mud Cake

Decorated with white icing and chocolate sweets, this cake looked as though it might be sickly but it wasn’t at all. The flavours were lovely but not too overpowering and rich.

I’m not sure how the Flour Garden manage to make their cakes so beautifully sweet and full of flavour without making them at all sickly. The icing is so light and fluffy and at the same time, the cake is moist and light. The sponge isn’t just ordinary either, each cake has something different about it like the lemon curd layer and the layer of jam in the peanut butter cake. I don’t know how the Flour Garden manage to achieve this layer but it is extremely effective.

These cakes are seriously something special. Not only do they taste amazing but they look amazing along with their packaging and they so are imaginative and fun. A lot of love and attention has gone into the overall design and branding as well as the baking and it really shows. The Flour Garden describe their cakes as ‘pretentious’ but I would prefer to describe them as ‘quirky’ because to me pretentious has negative connotations and there is certainly nothing negative about these creations!

The Flour Garden cakes can be ordered via their website or you can get them from Fusion Cafe. Priced at £2 a cake, they are worth every penny. They would make a great gift presented in their fabulous boxes. I’m really happy to give The Flour Garden my first golden spoon and I wish them every success with their new venture with Fusion Cafe.

The Flour Garden had their debate in Fusion Cafe yesterday so get down there if you want to give them a try or order online. You can also follow them on Twitter.

My Last Mouthful was: The Strawberry Milkshake Cupcake

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Guest blogger Rachel Ellis – Cupcakes, What’s not to love?

CUPCAKE WEEK: FRIDAY

As part of my cupcake week feature, I thought it would be great to have a guest blog post from a cupcake enthusiast so please welcome… RACHEL ELLIS!

Rachel has been baking and decorating cakes for 2 years and although it’s just a hobby at the moment she has lots of plans and dreams to make it her job one day. Rachel is married and lives with her husband in Cwmbran, although she is originally from Cardiff. In her spare time she likes to see friends and family, go on long walks with her two dogs and the occasional run! She is currently training for the Cardiff half marathon to raise money for Free Cakes For Kids Wales

Over to Rachel…

Cupcakes

What’s not to like?

I love baking, I love decorating cakes and I love sharing my cakes with anyone who’s happy to be called a taste tester. Cupcakes are perfect for all of these things and I often use them as my baking fix. When time is short but I need to bake, when I want to try new decorating ideas or when we have guests visiting they are just perfect. Cupcakes are a great place to start for anyone who is just joining the world of baking and ideas can be developed as your confidence grows.

Cupcake week seemed a great time to work on a recipe that I’ve been thinking about for some time, a light, delicate orange sponge with a smooth passionfruit buttercream.

Recipe

Orange Cake Ingredients Makes 8-10

120g Unsalted butter (softened)

120g Caster sugar

1 large egg

150g Plain flour mixed with 1tsp baking powder

60ml milk

Zest &juice of 1 orange

 

Passionfruit Curd Ingredients Makes 1 jar

50g Unsalted butter (melted)

75g Caster sugar

1 large egg and 1 egg yolk

6 passionfruit (juice only)

 

Passionfruit Buttercream

80g Unsalted butter (softened)

250g Icing sugar

Passionfruit curd

 

Method

 

Firstly make the curd and allow it to cool.

Whisk the sugar, egg and egg yolk together.

Add this mix to a pan with the melted butter and mix.

Then add the passionfruit juice and continue to stir over a low heat until thickened.

 

On to the cupcakes

Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg, scraping down the sides of your bowl if needed.

Add half of the flour and beat (on slow speed if using an electric mixer)

Add the milk, beat well.

Add remaining flour and beat.

Lastly mix in by hand the juice and zest of an orange.

Fill cupcake cases 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven at 160C for 20 – 25 minutes

When baked allow to cool on a wire rack

 

For the buttercream

Beat the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed

Add passionfruit curd to taste, I add approx. 2 tablespoons.

 

When the cakes are cool, scoop out a piece of cake from the top of each cake. Fill hole with curd and place cake cut out back on top. Top with buttercream and add decorations as required.

 

The recipe above may seem to have many stages but there are shortcuts and on the days when you are in need of a cake fix there is nothing wrong with a cheeky shortcut! Curd can be shop bought, and although passionfruit is hard to find it can easily be substituted for another flavour. Check your local farm shop for the more interesting flavours or head to the supermarket for trusty lemon curd. You don’t need to add the scoop of curd into the cake as buttercream alone will be enough to finish it off. Or if you really are in a rush for a sweet treat these cakes are delicious still warm from the oven with no topping or decoration.

When it comes to decorating I am a huge fan of the simple buttercream swirl, I am also happy to scoop the buttercream on with a knife and sprinkle some shop bought decorations over the top. Having said that I love to decorate and there are many ways to make a cupcake look even more tempting. It can take time but for me it’s relaxing and rewarding to create those finishing touches. If you would like something with more detail but don’t want to make your own head to your local cake decorating shop, most stock decorations that are handmade and they offer more choice than the supermarkets.

For a special occasion or if you like to make your own, a few basic sugarcraft tools and cutters will get you started. Simple flowers can be made to suit your colour scheme and quickly add detail to your cupcake swirl.

 

A piece of icing can quickly be transformed by embossing using a cutter and this can be complimented with a matching handmade decoration. Butterflies are lovely for adding detail and all of this was achieved with a simple cutter.

So it’s cupcake week…what are you waiting for?

New to baking or an experienced baker, get to the kitchen, pop the oven on and have a go…simple or complicated, it really doesn’t matter. Cupcakes can be what you want them to be, but they will always work best and be enjoyed most when you are having fun and sharing them with taste testers. I’m sure everyone will easily find some of those!

You can follow Rachel on twitter or visit her brilliant blog for more cake related posts.

If you would like to write a guest post, please get in touch.

The Cake House- Simple, beautiful cakes that taste as good as they look

 

CUPCAKE WEEK: WEDNESDAY

Last week, I went to visit Sarah Williams and Mariclare Carey-Jones of The Cakehouse to sample their cakes and hear about their plans to set up a cupcakery and bakehouse in Cardiff.

The Cakehouse currently operate online taking orders from the public and for events and functions such as weddings. While this is going well, it has always been their dream to open a cupcakery and bakehouse so they have decided to go for it and are currently looking for premises.

Hearing about the girl’s plans was so inspiring and their enthusiasm for their business was seriously contagious! They are clearly very passionate about baking and what they do. I left wanting to do some baking myself immediately!

On the hunt for a good location, Sarah and Mariclare fancy somewhere out of the main town centre where they can set up a cake shop in a community setting that people go to for a nice relaxing time. They want customers to feel at ease and take their time over their tea and cakes rather than running in a grabbing something while on their lunch break or on a busy shopping trip.

The Cakehouse is going to serve afternoon tea and will have all the essential items to make this authentic such as vintage cake stands, teapots and little china cups. The girls are going for a real vintage feel that is both pretty and homely.

I have no doubt at all that they will achieve the homely feel. Sarah and Mariclare are both so friendly and bubbly and as their passion clearly shows, they will have no trouble convincing the customers what a lovely place it is to be and the gorgeous cakes will speak for themselves!

All Cakehouse cakes are made with natural flavourings and local produce. They really have that ‘homemade’ taste and Sarah told me that from the start their aim has always been to make an alternative to the artificial, overly sweet cakes you can buy in the supermarket. Sarah’s basic cake recipe is one that has actually been handed down by her Grandmother and you can’t get more homemade than that!

When the Cakehouse opens, everything will be baked on the premises including bread for sandwiches and jams and preserves. There will be 6 signature cakes and ‘specials’ that will also feature each month. I sampled three of the six signature cakes and I was very impressed! Prices are not confirmed but will most likely be around £2 for a signature cake and slightly more for a special cake or a charity cake which will include a donation.

Lemon and Poppy Seed

Lemon cake is one of my favourites and I very much enjoyed this version with poppy seeds running through the sponge and the icing. The poppy seeds gave it a lovely texture and I enjoyed the way they popped. The lemon flavour was zesty and subtle and the sponge was lovely and moist.

Raspberry Ripple

This one was my favourite! Topped with a piece of coconut ice, this cake was fresh, tangy and sweet with fresh raspberries running through the sponge keeping it beautifully moist. The sweet icing complimented the tangy cake. Yum!

Coffee and Walnut

I chose this cake because I am often left disappointed with coffee flavoured things. I often find them to be too weak and I thought that trying the coffee and walnut cake would be a good test. I’m happy to say that this cake impressed! The coffee flavour was really strong and it went very well with the walnuts which were in the sponge and used to decorate the icing. The walnuts in the sponge gave a lovely crunch, I couldn’t fault this one.

All the cakes looked lovely and were packaged nicely in a simple white box. In fact, simple is probably the word I would use to describe the overall look of the cakes. There is no pretension here, just simple, beautiful looking cakes each topped with something small to decorate and just the right amount of icing so they are in no way sickly or heavy or gimmicky. Simple beautiful cakes that taste as good as they look! Perfect for afternoon tea.

Sarah and Mariclare also gave me a raspberry sponge to try. It was what they called a ‘sharing cake’ and will be available in their cupcakery. It was the perfect size to share and I think it will be a popular addition with customers.

I am genuinely excited about the opening of The Cakehouse and will definitely being partaking in a spot of afternoon tea! I really think that with The Cakehouse, it is going to be all about the experience. From speaking to Sarah and Mariclare I have no doubt you will be able to expect friendly service in a beautiful setting with delicious cakes. The full package! Here’s hoping I’ve got it right.

If you’d like to order some cakes, please see The Cakehouse website. Also look out for the Cakehouse van during cupcake week! The girls will be out and about selling their cakes so make sure you give them a try! Have a look at their website to find out times and locations.

My last mouthful was: Raspberry Ripple Cupcake

Service-

Presentation-

Quality of product-

Variety of products-

Value for money-

Overall rating-

Guest Blogger- Little Suzi’s Kitchen- Did you say it was Gluten Free?

 

CUPCAKE WEEK: TUESDAY

You might have already read about Little Suzi’s Kitchen in a previous post. Suzanne Carter (aka Little Suzi) was recently shortlisted for this Year’s National Cupcake Awards with her lovely White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcake. Although Little Suzi didn’t win, being shortlisted is certainly an accolade!

I was lucky enough to taste this special cake and I can confirm that it is in fact delicious!  Raspberry and white chocolate are a great flavour combination and the fresh raspberries running through the sponge keep the cake very moist and soft. The icing was lovely. It was clearly made from chocolate rather than just a flavouring.

Now I’m new to this gluten free business and I haven’t tasted that many products yet but an underlining whinge of mine, going by those I have sampled, is that there always seems to be a powdery texture that is only there in gluten free products. However, I was very excited to find, that with this cake I would have no idea that it was gluten free if Suzi hadn’t told me. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is the nicest gluten free product I have had! If you are gluten intolerant, I suggest you give this a try.

Suzi also supplied me with a Banoffee cake and a Sticky Toffee cake which were also nice. Her cakes are simple with no overly fussy decoration and as a result look extremely appetising. I’ve seen some of Suzi’s birthday cake creations so although her cupcakes are simple in design, she is more than capable of making anything you ask for I’m sure. You can sample Suzi’s cakes by ordering online or you can buy them at Waterloo Garden Teahouse.

Now, over to Suzi for her story…

Gone are the days when ‘free from’ foods tasted like cardboard. Bakers are now finally able to convince customers that ‘free from’ products can taste just as delicious as well as accommodating their diet needs. The winner of this year’s National Cupcake Awards was not only gluten free (…and beat me!) but beat the full fat, dairy, wheat and gluten cupcakes to not just for one award but  3!

Step back to 2 years ago, when I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance, I was devastated. Chocolate cake I could live without but my favourite treats used to be Danish Pastries, Custard Slices and even the humble Carrot Cake. I was surprised to find out what products had hidden gluten in.  A few years ago there were very few ‘free from’ cakes on the market. I had to give up sandwiches for lunch and look for ‘gluten free’ alternatives – which in Cardiff proved really difficult.

I was fed up of being the fussy friend who couldn’t go out for lunch or ask about the ingredients in the cake without being made feel like an awkward customer at the local coffee shop. I also had food envy. I wanted to enjoy sweet treats too.  So Little Suzi’s Kitchen was born…

There were some gluten free cakes on the market but these tended to be the usual alternatives such as flourless hazelnut cake and the free from cakes in the supermarket that tasted like chipboard. I started experimenting using different wheat free flours such as rice and chickpea flour. I also wanted to lose weight and I soon discovered I was decreasing the calorie content by playing around with different recipes.

Now fast forward 2 years and making gluten free cupcakes, cakes and treats is much easier with more good quality gluten free ingredients available and more and more bakers are now making more choice for customers.

It was a real breath of fresh air to see at the National Cupcake Awards in August the amount of entries for the ‘free from’ category and innovative flavours and designs coming through. The overall winner was GF Lime and Coconut Cupcake from Absolute Treats. She won best Free From, Best Taste and Best Cupcake and her recipe contained most store cupboard items. Gluten free doesn’t have to be boring, hard to find expensive ingredients that still lacks flavour. As proved by this year’s winner, who thoroughly deserved to win.

Even though I lost out to a well deserved champion cupcake maker (the free cakes and buffet at the event made up for it!), the remaining 48 independent and national bakers (including chains like Asda and Greggs) were not disheartened either. In fact, the atmosphere was one of real excitement to meet like minded cake bakers from different parts of the country and to see their hard efforts on display. Everyone was really passionate about all the cupcakes entered and openly discussed how they started baking. Interestingly most people in the awards were like me, who had decided to start up their own cake baking business as a hobby while working full time.

If you are interested in setting up your own baking business my advice is to openly ask other bakers. Most won’t be shy in telling you the truth, its hard work but if you’re passionate the rewards are worth it. David and David from Outsider Tart spoke at the awards while the 10 judges casted their votes on the cupcakes. Their words were so inspirational. They didn’t lie about how much they invested, how many hours a day they worked and the pressures and problems they have encountered. It was great to heat such openness in what is now a very competitive market. If you’re passionate about baking give it a go. Or alternatively if you’d rather be the taster rather than the baker, the shortlisted candidate for this year’s National Cupcake Awards (me!) is right on your doorstep and delivers homemade, fresh cakes and bakes for all your catering needs. I even host afternoon tea parties. Visit www.littlesuziskitchen.co.uk to see my selection of cakes and hopefully you can taste why I was shortlisted.

If you are interested in writing a guest blog post for Your Last Mouthful, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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