National Cupcake Week and A Course at Cakes 4 Fun

It almost passed me by, but did you know that this week is National Cupcake Week? Yes, officially this is the week that everybody should be flicking on their ovens to get baking some of these scrumptious little morsels. Whenever I think of cupcakes, I am reminded of the course I took at Cakes 4 Fun over in Putney, London, which, in a funny way, sparked my interest in blogging.  

I took the Ultimate Cupcake Course after a chat with one of my ante-natal friends about wanting to do something creative after a couple of years of being knee-deep in nappies and baby-talk. Shortly after taking the course, I decided to start writing about my adventures in food (though oddly I never did get round to writing about the course!) and here we are today.
 
Cakes 4 Fun are still going strong and their courses continue to be incredibly popular, selling out fast. As well as cupcake courses they offer classes in traditional cake decorating – mini and celebration cakes, macaroons, working with chocolate paste, as well as offering baking masterclasses, chocolate truffle workshops and the PME Professional Diploma. For most of the courses on offer, you don’t need any prior level of knowldge or skills. There are also evening courses available and you are provided with all the ingredients and equipment you will need for your course.
 
Held in a working cake shop, as I student I got to have a look in their kitchen and see lots of people decorating the most beautiful looking wedding and celebration cakes. It was a little bit like watching an episode of the American show Ace of Cakes, with some of the most impressive creations being decorated by hand to many different specifications.  
 
As soon as the class started, I felt an overwhelming feeling of relaxation, almost as good as spending the day in a spa! The class itself was held in a teaching room separate to the main area of the shop and was large enough to fit six students and a teacher. Our teacher was called Rachael, and she showed us how to make vanilla cupakes cakes from scratch and gave us a few tips along the way – use margarine if you want to produce cupcakes with a flat top (to decorate with fondant icing as below) and butter if you want cupcakes with a peak.
 
 
 
We were also shown how to pipe the cupcake mixture into the cases in the tin (you get a much more even finish and it is easier to gauge the quantity going in than if you use a spoon). Lots of people also recommend using an ice-cream scoop, but ever since taking the course I have used a piping bag, trimmed at the bottom once the mixture is in, no nozzle needed.
 
We then made a variety of decorations by hand using sugar paste, including using moulds and rolling the paste by hand into shapes, such as the teddy bear cupcake. We also used different types of icing – vanilla and chocolate buttercream icing as well as fondant icing and discs of icing to top in different ways.
 
 
I came home proudly brandishing a beautiful box of hand-decorated cupcakes and remember my husband and in-laws gasping at how impressive they were. I immediately uploaded the photos onto Facebook and had more comments than I’d ever received before, which is what made me start to think about sharing my adventures in food through writing about my foodie adventures.
 
 
If you are thinking of improving your skills then taking one of these courses is very enjoyable and you can learn a phenomenal amount even in just one day. The tutors at Cakes 4 Fun were all very friendly and knowledgeable and prices start from £40 for a full day course (the cupcake course is around £99 depending on the day selected.)
 
Cakes 4 Fun are also a member of The British Sugar Craft Guild.
 
Have you ever taken a cupcake course? If so, did you find that it helped you improve your skills?     

Comments

  1. Fabulicious Food says

    >Thanks Sarah, yes, if only there was time to spend all day baking cup cakes and decorating them! Actually, with practice I did get much quicker at making the decoarations and the course was full of useful tips. I saw that Vanessa took a class at Peggy Porschen. You write-up of that course was fab, x

  2. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

    >They look amazing! It was cupcakes that started me blogging too although my efforts were not as impressive as this!

  3. Fabulicious Food says

    >Thank you so much Kellie, yes not many health benefits to these I'm afraid, unless relaxation counts!

    Your winning book is on its way to you tomorrow – thank you for the message x

  4. kellie@foodtoglow says

    >Although I am more of a savoury person, your images and descriptions are delicious! Such artistry and skill – and wonderful tips from your course as well. So glad to hear of the inspiration behind the genesis of your blogging.

  5. A Trifle Rushed says

    >I've just posted some pictures from the Cake Pops course I took yesterday. It was great fun! Do have a look.
    Jude x

  6. Fabulicious Food says

    >Thank you Karen. A little nod to Cakes 4 Fun as I still practice my skills regularly. I love the Tiffany blue icing though can have never got my icing to that colour since and the little bear! Making them made me smile and actually made me sit up and say in true Julie and Julia style – "I have thoughts! I can write about food!" Quite why they never made it into a blog post I don't know, I think I got carried away writing about Raymond Blanc and other such 'early days' musings!

  7. Karen S Booth says

    >Those are JUST amazing Ren! They made me smile this morning, and that is good as blogger updates are not working on my blog and I am running around trying to finish of my jamming with windfalls! LOVELY cakes and so professional looking!
    Thanks for the smiles!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

  8. Fabulicious Food says

    >Thanks Helen. Yes, I know, I have tried many other types of cakes but always come back to the cupcake!

  9. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours says

    >Lovely cakes Ren.

    Cup cakes, although totally frivolous make me smile. This is a good thing!

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