Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hello! I’m April Carter and I’m the author of Decorated, trEATs and the baking blog Rhubarb & Rose. I trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine and I work as a baker and food stylist.
Tell us a bit about the book?
I’m so proud of Decorated. It’s about cake projects that taste as good as they look with interesting flavours like burnt butter hazelnut, fig and almond, dark chocolate and blackberry and apple, parsnip and rosemary. Each of the recipes has a beautiful photograph from photographer Danielle Wood and there are also lots of step by step photos explaining how to level and layer a cake, how to decorate with buttercream for a smooth finish, how to pipe and how to add finishing touches like fresh flowers, cake flags and homemade confetti sprinkles.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I love the trend for tall layer cakes and ‘naked’ cakes where the edges go without icing and the cake itself is visible. I also really like to approach cake decoration in a more natural and flavour-driven way. I completed a pastry internship at a restaurant in London know for it’s French patisserie and I loved how they’d always make their garnishes relevant to the flavour of the dish; a slice of candied orange on an orange tart, a sprinkling of pistachio on a pistachio macaron. I‘ve tried to this in Decorated. When I do use colouring for things like the citrus confetti cake, I like to bring out the colours of the fruits to hint at the flavours inside. I felt that there were lots of fondant based sugar craft books out there but not many books that offered decorative inspiration based on buttercream icing and simple finishing touches inspired by the ingredients inside the cake.
Which is your favourite project?
It’s so hard to choose!–Can I have two? For winter, I’d have to say the Gingerbread with Whiskey Caramel. I love how the caramel drizzles down the side of the cake. For summer, I’d say the Stacked Victoria Sandwich from the front cover. It’s so simple but the height, flowers and fruit make it really special.
What is your craft space like?
I have an open plan kitchen / living room with doors that open out to the garden. It’s so nice to have a flexible space to work in. I can be writing at our little dining table and keep and eye on a batch of cookies that are in the oven at the same time. My garden has apple trees and in the summer I hosted a supper club with my friend Liv. We had friends and family seated on a long table with hand stamped tags tied to apples as place settings.
Have you always been creative?
I’ve always had craft based hobbies from drawing to knitting to baking. I find it so satisfying to be able to make something by hand, especially as we spend so much time in front of screens these days.
When did you first start crafting?
My mum recently told me that we made funny egg versions of the royal wedding party circa 1986 complete with red hair and a lace veil!
Who are your crafty heroes?
I love the Design*Sponge blog for interior design and craft inspiration and have used the site to make my own curtains and upcycle a chair I found in the street. I’m a big fan of Anna Bond’s Rifle Paper Co products too. I think they’ve done so well to expand their business an it was amazing to see her products in Liberty after following the business online.
Where do you find inspiration?
Blogs, magazines, trips abroad, everywhere! I always like to ask people what their favourite cake flavours and recipes are too.
What's next for you?
I’m looking forward to spending more time in the kitchen, blogging, developing recipes and working with food stylists on shoots. There’s always something new to learn with baking!
Whether it’s a birthday or wedding, promotion or dinner party, there’s no better way to celebrate than with a slice of glorious cake. In Decorated April Carter shows home bakers how to take your cakes to the next level of amazingness without all the fuss. Crammed with tips and tricks, there is something for everyone, from beginners to experienced bakers.
Use fresh flowers, fruit and sprinkles for decorative impact, master the art of piping, add tiers, color and height to your basic sponge, and discover new and delicious flavor combinations. Try your hand at a flourless chocolate almond cake with an impressive decoration of amaretto whipped cream, toasted almonds and chocolate shards, or for ambitious bakers there’s a choux bun tower with rainbow icing! Delight your friends with the dark chocolate blackberry cake, topped with blackberries dipped in edible glitter for some extra sparkle.
If you are bored of novelty cakes and fussy sugarcraft isn’t your thing, Decorated is the book for you.