Friday, 8 March 2013

Bon Voyage!

So this is my last post on Cakey Bakey.

I have been busy having a new site built and a new web name. I have absolutely loved my little blog here, but have decided that I wanted something a little more professional and something with a littlemore pazzazz! So I am very proud to announce that is now live!

I really hope that you enjoy the new blog and I am really looking forward to embarking on a new bloggy chapter.

So thank you all so much for following and for reading, and I hope to see you in my new little part on the bloggosphere!

Lots of Love and Thanks
Kathryn x x

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Ooo you crafty thing!

It happened! My life took a very strange and unsuspected turn. There I was cruising through life, caring for J and S filling my days with the usual play groups, cooking, baking and domesticity, when BANG, the email landed.

The next Baking for Babies had been announced by the lovely Dolly Bakes and Mummy's Little Peeps. They announced a craft fair and before I knew it I had booked a table and signed mum and I up for a stall.

"This is not unusual", I hear you cry, but let me tell you all, this really is a BIG deal for me.

Growing up, I was always the one in the family who didn't have a creative bone in her body. Baby sister had her share as well mine I think. She even went on to do it at higher education, and trust me she is really talented. (There could even be a whole other blog post on her work!). Dad is a super talented drawer and painter and mum is an amazing seamstress and cook. And me,I was good at dancing, reading, writing and history. I inherited my families love of art and creativity, but not the capability.

Then I had J. I have had to push myself to be more creative, think outside the box to keep him and myself entertained. I have managed to achieve more than I ever knew I could. I have a re-found love of the great outdoors, I can bake, cook and am even teaching myself how to knit (this is where my cousins say "Katie, when did you get so old!!!!!").

So I think this is where the snap decision to book the table came into fruition. I have found that if I apply myself to something then after a few tries and errors, I can actually do it.

We had to think of a theme for the stall, and as it was a baking for babies event, I knew I did not want to have a food stall. Instead, it was a no brainer that we could do hand made sewn goods, that Mum could make and we could sell. Easy? Not so much so.

Mum did not mind making some of the items for the stall, but wanted to know what I would make to contribute to the stall. As I said earlier. I am not the most dexterous of people and found that whilst I was ok on a sewing machine, my finished products were not up to the same standard at all. So what to do?

That afternoon we went to the local barn sale and had a look round at the items on sale. I found a book by Thomas Hardy - "The Madding Crowd" and some old music sheets and some naval buttons. And a thought hit me. Pinwheels! So after a couple (ahem a week!!) of trying out different styles and methods, I managed to make quite a few different styles and shapes.

The strange thing is that once I started thinking about what to make, the ideas just kept coming, until we had a full to bursting little stall! Who knew I had the creative bug in me? Maybe it was just sat there lurking under the surface waiting for something to kick start it!

The day went well and the ladies did a phenomenal job and raised well over £1000 for the neonatal unit at the local hospital. The biggest thrill of the day was that we turned over a profit and people actually had really nice things to say about our things. Mum's bags and items sold brilliantly, so much so that we have decided to have a stall on a regular basis. All we need now is to decide which direction we want the stall to go in.

I am so proud of us and what we have achieved. So I am going to go and get my crafting hat on and get those creative ideas flowing!!! Watch this space!!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Where have you been?

So the last post was one of such promise. An opportunity for me to bake for my life and for a fantastic cause. I started the week with such gusto and managed 2 cakes during one day (quite a big achievement with a small person in tow, wanting to "help"!). I got quietly self hi-fived my awesomeness, only to be punished for such cockyness the day after by contracting what can only be described as the devil of all throat and flu infections.

Long story short, after three courses of anit-biotics and the use of all of our babysitting favours from now until 2014, I am finally back on the cake wagon! So evil nursery bugs, back off I have much baking to do!

Friday, 28 September 2012

It's for charity mate!

Right, those that know me would say I get a little (read lot) excited about most things. Whether that be a trip to the zoo, going out in Manchester for an evening on the tiles, getting wallpaper for the ongoing decorating (when did I turn into my parents?) or even going to buy storage for my never ending quest for organisation in a house full of men (you would not believe how much stuff a 3yr old can have and we have not mentioned the 36yr old's stuff!)! However, the excitement I get when I am asked to bake for an event or for someone else cannot be matched! No not even the recent trip with my little sister to the New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys concert can compare to my excitement about next Friday!

A couple of months ago, my sister in law J decided that she was going to have a coffee morning to support the Macmillan Coffee Morning. She originally was going to have a couple of people over to have a coffee and a slice of cake and a chat, whilst earning some money for charity. However, the couple of people has turned into about 60 people. It has bred into a beast, with people bringing friends, friends of friends, auntie's friend's cousin's dog walker (you get the picture!) and the original idea of a couple of scones and a victoria sandwich has gone out of the window, especially as the vicar is now coming (J asked to borrow the church's cups) along with half of the area's congregation.

Now not being one to shy away from an opportunity to bake and eat cake, I jumped at the chance to help out with a couple of cakes. So far I have decided on:

Orange and Poppy Seed Cake
Orange and Redcurrant Cake (there's a theme!)
Tea Loaf
Almond and Raspberry Cupcakes (recipe here)
White Chocolate and Cardamom Cake (recipe here)

I don't know if I may have gone a little bit mad with cake, though in my opinion you can never go too mad with cake, but I do know that I am going to bake every single one of these and be thoroughly and utterly chuffed to bits that I am doing so for such a brilliant cause.

Now I have not had chance to take any photos as yet (because I have not fired up the oven yet and got my finger out and started baking) but as soon as I do I will update you all.

Wish me luck!

Friday, 24 August 2012


When I found out I was having a little boy, over three years ago now, I envisaged baby blue blankets and sleep suits with vintage airplanes on them and going for adventures in the woods. Little did I know what else having a little boy would entail!

J is absolutely awesome! No two days are the same and from when he awakes at 6am, we hit the ground running right up until we crash and burn at around 7.30!

There are the lovely moments where he tells me that he missed me and loves me when he wakes up in a morning and the crazy times when he comes out with gems like, "Mummy, pterodactyls are not a true dinosaur, they are actually flying reptiles!" (!!!!!!!!!!). There are also the times when he pulls something so obscure out of the bag, that I begin to question where he gets his ideas!

After a lovely lunch at the local deli, I noticed that they had started stocking Nordicware that you can hire for a few days. The tin that caught my eye was a totally amazing galleon ship. I pointed this out to J and asked if he would like a pirate ship cake for his forthcoming birthday. He stared blankly at me and the assistant, who had kindly told me it was available for hire, shook his head and stated "Me want a spider cake, hexagon shape". What???? The girl just laughed nervously and proceeded to edge away from us politely!

So the frantic brainstorming for decoration ideas started along with some rather choosey vetoing from J. (Who knew a three year old knew his own mind so well?)And here is what we came up with.

I made a vanilla and chocolate marble custard cake, covered with a buttercream crumb coating and iced with royal icing.
The spider was made using a chocolate covered donut iced in black buttercream icing with pipe cleaner legs.

As you can also see J got in on the action making his own spider and getting a tad covered in icing!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Berry Nice!

After the cake for mum's birthday, I feel like I need to get back to baking, just for fun. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been baking for other people and for events, and have thoroughly enjoyed coming up with the concepts and then baking them. However, it has been something like three months since I baked a cake just because I can. For no other reason than for the love and enjoyment of baking.
All of the last few cakes have been round or moulded, and I felt like doing a loaf cake. The next important question was what to bake? I decided to approach this with a considered and thoughtful approach (read, stood staring into the fridge for 5 mins seeing what needed to be used up and what was on its last legs!!) and decided on a summer fruit loaf cake.
Now the only thing with a loaf cake is that when I make them, they always appear to be quite a standard cake. By this I mean that they are just what it says on the tin. A cake in a loaf shape. Nothing more, nothing less. Delicious, but not very sexy. I needed to think of a way to "jazz it up" as my hubby would say. I did not want to start heading towards doing sugar paster flowers or candied fruit, but definitively wanted something simple yet effective. The answer was simple. Crumble! So the summer fruit crumble cake was born!


110g butter
90g dark muscovado/demerara sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
125g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
210g summer berries ( if you want to use frozen then do, though you don't need to defrost them before using)

15g butter
15g flour
15g demerara sugar

Preheat oven to 150C fan/160C/ gas 4.
Line a loaf run.
Beat together the butter and sugar and add the eggs one at a time.
Add the vanilla extract/paste.
Add the sifted flour and baking powder and fold in.
Spoon half of the batter into the tin.
Add half of the berries.
Spoon the rest of the batter on top of the berries.
Add the rest of the berries onto the top of the cake.
Mix the crumble four and butter by running together until the mix resembles bread crumbs and add the sugar.
Sprinkle the crumble mix on top of the cake and place in the oven for around 50 mins until cooked.
Cool the cake in the tin.

This is not a pretty cake and has a certain tartness to it, which always goes down well in our house. But it is delicious and goes down well with a cup of tea in the afternoon when your fingers start to wander towards the biscuit tin!
Enjoy! X

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Birthday Ladybirds

It is Mama's birthday and it has called for something a little bit special. I really wanted to do an all singing all dancing tiered cake, but as there is only going to be 7 of us and a gorgeous puppy, it might have been a little bit excessive (especially as each tier would have fed about twenty people!!!). I asked J what I should do and was met with the answer; "Spiders and bats.". After pointing out that maybe Grandma might not be as keen on this, he suggested ants. Again I pointed out that this might not make the best decoration for a cake. After ten minutes of discussing (ahem arguing ) and discounting ideas as broad as crocodiles and penguins (???), we settled on ladybirds.
We made a strawberry jelly cake (as per previous post) and baked it in a bundt style tin. Then we made some sugar paste ladybirds and baby ladybirds to decorate the top of the cake.
As time was against us, we just sprinkled the top of the cake with green edible glitter and attached the ladybirds to the top of the cake with buttercream.
Needless to say that the entire thing got devoured within quarter of an hour. Not bad going for the seven of us!