Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I’m actually an ozzie girl from Sydney but I packed my bags 5 years ago and moved to the UK to be with my (now) husband, Dave. We currently live in south-west London with our 10 month old daughter Beatrix. I really only started cake decorating when I arrived in the UK. I enrolled in some local sugarcraft classes initially to make some friends and have a creative outlet, and I have been enjoying cake decorating ever since!
Tell us a bit about the book?
The book features 12 projects with step by step instructions to decorate 16 vintage-inspired cakes. Some of my favourite basic cake recipes are included in the back of the book, but the projects themselves focus on decorating techniques rather than baking. In the introduction of the book, I even encourage readers who don’t like baking, or who don’t have a lot of time, just to buy a plain cake from the supermarket so they can focus on making pretty decorations to personalise the cake and make it special. There are lots of photos to help readers recreate the cakes in the book, and each project features a link to an online video tutorial of me demonstrating some of the key techniques in more detail. I have designed the projects to cover a wide range of fun decorating techniques so readers can learn how to make sugar flowers and other cute edible decorations, do brush embroidery with royal icing, pipe frilly ruffles with buttercream, use rice paper to make delicate dahlias, plus lots more.....hopefully the book covers something of interest for everyone!
What was the inspiration behind it?
My publishers initially approached me to do a cupcake book, as I generally specialise in making petite treats rather than larger cakes, but as the planning evolved, we thought there was more need for a techniques-focused book to teach beginners how to decorate single-tier cakes....and Cake Craft Made Easy was born.
Which is your favourite project?
I had fun making all of cakes in the book, but if I had to choose, it would be 'Dreamy Dahlia' which features a large rice paper dahlia. I wanted to experiment with rice paper in this project because it can be used to create really beautiful decorations, but it is not often featured in cake designs because there are not a lot of tutorials available yet to show readers how to manipulate it into 3D shapes. I hope the project will inspire readers to consider the possibilities of rice paper and hopefully we will see it used more often in new cake designs.
What is your craft space like?
I run a home-based business so all of my cakes come out of my little kitchen. I'm fortunate enough to have 2 ovens though so I can handle large orders! I don't have a dedicated writing space but I tend to do most of my writing at the kitchen table on my laptop.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, as long as I can remember. I've always had an interest in creative hobbies and have dabbled with pottery and jewellery design in the past. I'm also quite fascinated by papercrafts, especially using vintage wallpapers to upcycle trinkets and furniture, and I've taken on a few papercraft projects recently to make pretty things for my daughter's bedroom.
When did you first start crafting?
I loved baking with my mother and sisters as a child, but I only took a real interest in experimenting with flavours and creating my own recipes in the last 5 years - I still feel pretty new to the baking world! The first cake I ever decorated was a cake for a friend's baby shower. It was covered in white sugarpaste and I made a little edible version of my pregnant friend out of modelling paste and had her sitting on the edge of the cake with her legs hanging down. I spent ages making the figurine. The legs kept falling off so I had to remake it several times! I've since learnt that raw spaghetti strands are really useful for providing support to legs and arms so luckily when I make figurines now they stay in one piece!
Who are your crafty heroes?
I'm a big fan of Mary Berry. She always makes baking seem effortless and is truly the authority on achieving perfect sponge cakes. In terms of cake decorating, I particularly admire the beautiful cakes made by Lori Hutchinson (also known as the Caketress) in Canada, and the fabric-effect techniques pioneered by Gary Chapman in the UK.
Where do you find inspiration?
My cakes are predominantly inspired by vintage fabrics and crockery and are quite girly and frilly. You can often find me on the weekend at a car boot sale or in charity stores looking for little vintage pretties to inspire my next cake design!
What's next for you?
This year I'm focussing on teaching rather than making cakes for clients. I've revamped my blog and have been creating online cake decorating tutorials for readers to try at home. I'm also going to be running some cupcake decorating classes at Cakeology Ltd in south west London over the summer. I've started working on a new book as well which is due to come out in June next year- but this time it's on cookies!
Essential cake decorating techniques explained, from simple buttercream piping through to brush embroidery with royal icing, making sugar flowers, and decorating novelty cakes.
Includes 12 gorgeous cake decorating projects to make 16 cakes that are impressive and stylish, but use small cakes in various sizes to keep the baking elements simple and to allow you to really focus in on the cake decoration techniques. Bridges the gap between decorating cupcakes and cookies and decorating larger tiered cakes for beginner to intermediate cake decorators.
Plus 12 free video demonstrations, available online, to teach the best way of completing each cake decorating technique.
Inside Cake Craft Made Easy: Easy to follow cake decorating techniques explained in detail with full-color step-by-step photography, covering the following subjects:
- Buttercream piping
- Cupcake towers
- Pattern embossing
- Sugar pinwheels
- Royal icing piping
- Sugar models & flowers
- Sugar doilies
- Frills & ruffles
- Brush embroidery
- Rice Paper Work