Post archive

Patience!!!!! This is the key!

 

As I stood in my kitchen this morning baking and modelling little bits and pieces, I was thinking how I often get asked 'how do you do that?' Well. I think apart from the obvious 'practise, practise, practise' the other piece of advice I have to give is 'be patient'...

Now I know that to many this once again may seem a little obvious...but actually it is amazing how impatient we all are. I know that I for one am guilty of this time and time again.....but the absolute trick to making perfect models, whether animals, characters or objects, is to give yourself time. Time to make each individual element perfectly and then time to allow it to dry. I know how tempting it is to put all the elements of a model together to see the finished product, but if your bits and pieces are still soft, all that happens is that you ruin all your hard work by adding the not so elegant finger marks, or squashing a perfect circle, denting a sphere...

So I am currently making tiny headphones but if I try to make them in one go I know that the band across the top will be wonky, the earpieces will get squashed etc. But. If I wait until tomorrow the elements will come together perfectly. Ditto people...put a body on soft legs, the whole thing will squash.

This is why last minute orders with high levels of detail cannot always be accommodated. Shoes, handbags, animals, these all need to be made in advance and over a course of days. And this is why cake makers often work weekends...we need to in order to have everything ready for a cake being made that week.

So, another long update but hopefully helpful to some. And if I'm stating the obvious to others, then it apologise xxx

'Never underestimate of forget to appreciate the value and luxury of time'

 

Well, it has been a year since my last blog update, I think I have lost the momentum! But this is a posting I made on my Facebook page that had a massive espouse, so it seemed like a good idea to post it here too!


'Never underestimate of forget to appreciate the value and luxury of time'


I felt I had to get this down today as something happened this morning that really upset me, and I am sure that this will strike a chord with many small business owners.

Anyone who knows me knows that I run everywhere. I run up the stairs, down the stairs, across the kitchen, to the front door etc. I am 100 miles an hour all the time as it is one way of ensuring that I get things down as fast as possible before moving on to the next thing!

My business is a massive big deal to me. Like many other business owners, I have worked so hard to get to where I am and I continue to put everything into it. My passion and my choice. But I get continually upset and irritated by the attitude of many who continually undervalue what I do, have the attitude that what I run is a fun hobby, 'she makes a few cakes' etc. Friends who get irritated and cross with me when I can't just pop out for a coffee. Those who don't understand why I can't go out for lunch (which I eat standing up when I remember to have it)

Time is such a luxury. Those who work part or full time leave work…and leave work. Those who CHOOSE to run a business never stop. I can't always remember to return a call when I'm still engrossed in emails at 11pm. I can't just pop out on a whim to visit someone when I have 5 cakes to plan or several calls to return. Juggling a business with three kids and doing it on your own isn't easy. I wouldn't change it, sometimes it would be nice to have a little freedom…but then the rush of a new order, planning a new cake, the challenge of something new and scary…that is hard to beat  

I love what I do, we all love what we do, but sometimes I wish some individuals would cut us a little slack when we regularly put in 50 hour weeks and the work never really goes away. Please take what we do seriously…cakes, jewellery, knitting, sewing, craft…whatever it is, it is a skill, a craft, an art and running a business aint easy!!!!! xxxx

 

Why are Cakes so Expensive?

This is a question that many professional cake makers are asked so I thought I’d go through some of the costs involved in making a cake to try to give an understanding of what is behind something that is most certainly a lot more than ‘just butter, flour, sugar and a few eggs’.

Individuals often say ‘but I can buy a cake for under £15 in a supermarket’. Yes, you can. You can also buy a t Shirt in Poundland or one from a designer store. Your choice is whether you wish to pay for something that is mass-produced or something that is bespoke.  Cakes sold in supermarkets are either those made on a production line that will be neither bespoke nor personalized to your specifications or they will be those that are offered as ‘hand made’, picked out from a range in a catalogue. However, neither of these offer anything close to the size, individuality, quality and skills displayed in a cake made personally for you. I am pretty sure that no supermarket would produce a cake for example that is 3.5" to 4" deep...The quote  “Good cake isn’t cheap, cheap cake isn’t good” sums it up pretty well.

Those of you who bake at home will know that good quality ingredients aren’t that cheap and recently there have been huge price hikes in the supermarkets. To make a 2 tier cake, for example, with 9″ and 6″ tiers you are looking at a lot of ingredients – over a dozen large eggs, three of packs of butter, over a kilo of flour, almost a kilo of sugar, not to mention the quantity of chocolate needed if the cake is more than a simple vanilla…..

In addition you then need to consider…:

    Sugar paste to cover the cakes and the cake drum (I often use at least 1.5k to just cover and decorate a 9” square cake)

    Buttercream to fill the cake and cover the cake with prior to sticking the icing on

    Sugar syrup to soak the layers and keep the cake moist

    A cake drum for the base

    A cake box

    Thin cake card for each cake that is going to be stacked to sit on, as well as one under the base cake (otherwise the supports will squish into the cake above and disaster will ensue)

    Dowelling rods – 3 or 4 per tier (these are vital if you are stacking cakes otherwise the whole lot will collapse)

    Then you have extras such as wires, jewels, posy picks, modelling materials and not forgetting electricity/gas to bake the cakes

    Throw in capital costs from business cards to mixers, cutters, ribbons…and you start to get an idea!

 

All in all, for a 2 tier cake (9” and 6”) that is a mix of, for example, vanilla and chocolate mud you are probably looking at £25-30 worth of materials and ingredients before you take into consideration my time. To make a sugar model you are looking at a good few hours work, depending on how intricate the model is. Decorating a cake is a time consuming task and very often I am working around the clock to produce something that I think is nothing less than fabulous.... This is not meant to be negative and you may ask why I’m doing it, and the simple answer is because I love it. I love being creative and I love seeing the look on a customer’s face when they collect their cake. It’s all worth it.

So please remember, if you ask an independent cake maker for a quote, you are not going to get it for supermarket prices – but it will look and taste an awful lot better. A cake maker who is passionate about what they do will always go that extra mile. That much I promise you!

 

Hi everyone


I've been quiet for a while but thought I should update on my latest news! You may have noticed the addition of a new gallery named 'Simply Elegant'. This is a new range of cakes that I am creating that are less involved but just as gorgeous, created for those needing smaller cakes or wanting to spend a little less! Take a look! Perfect for smaller celebrations!

 

Summer News

Hi everyone


I'm trying to post more regularly here as it really does seem that people do read this. It has been possibly my busiest three weeks to date, with 7 large ordered a week I have barely had time to breathe. Working day and night is starting to have it's effects and I'm looking forward to winding down a little over the typically quieter summer months, although you could be forgiven for forgetting that it is actually summer. Nice weather for ducks!

This month has seen some creations that include a violin, another of my increasingly popular iPhones which are always fun as there are so many ways to personalise and make bespoke, a huge two tier start burst for a 40th, there has been an influx of requests for Barmitzvahs and Batmitzvahs (who said it was no longer cool to have a cake for that?!), it has been the time of year for holy communions...and I am currently working on an electric guitar and a collection of springtime fresh cupcakes, all adorned with stunning handmade flowers in wonderful pastel shades.

Bookings are continuing to flood in and much to my disappointment I am having to turn down an increasing number of orders. Please do ensure that you leave plenty of time, many customers are still surprised when they call me a week before an event to end that I am already fully booked. I do my bet to fir in last minutes but it is not always possible.

 

 

A Long Overdue Update!

This really is well overdue and my only excuse is that I have been so busy making cakes that the most I have been able to do recently is update the photo galleries here! I've had some fabulous orders in the last few months, it is the busiest I have ever been and I've loved the challenge of some really unusual requests...from 100th birthday cakes, to diamond wedding anniversaries, Burberry boxes to Selfridges boxes, modelled dogs to small shetland ponies....you could never call my work dull!


My Facebook fan page is going from strength to strength and I am so proud to say that I am now at almost 3,500 fans...it is quite overwhelming really but incredible to know so many support what I do, and are even interested in what I have to say! Still not really got the hang of Twitter, I think possibly that may be because being concise in what I have to say is not my strong point and the word limit is just too...limiting! You can also find me on Linked In...driven, that is me!

I'm pleased to say i'm even more excited than ever about the direction my business is heading, and to add to me excitement, a new website is in the process of being developed so watch this space for news of it's progress. It is looking fab and I fully intend to have it up and running before the year is out!

Bookings are coming in thick and fast and I am now being booked way in advance, so please do get in early if you would like a cake. As I always say, cupcakes can usually be squeezed in last minute but a big cake order that requires a lot of planning can be more tricky.

So, keep smiling all, thank you for the amazing support, and keep those orders and challenge coming! Thank you :-)


 

Another March Update!

Hi everyone!


Well, I've been playing around with my website again, I like to keep it easy to follow, approachable and for it to appear 'friendly' (can a website do that?!) so I have been writing little descriptions, almost a mini blog, about each cake and have so far done the hobbies page. Simply because there is a story behind each of those cakes and sometimes it is nice to share, it's what makes each and every caked so personal and bespoke.

To read these you need to enlarge the thumbnails, this is where all cakes are priced too.

I am a bit of a chatterbox so if you would like full and regular updates, please join me on Facebook where the most up to date information can be found. with over 2,000 fans it has become a really interactive page, which is lovely :-)


 

March Update

Well, each month brings with it new challenges! February has been quiet for me, but someone must have planned it that way for me as I have been house decorating and drowning a bit! March, on there other hand, is looking to be crazy, I think I will be working flat out and have some fabulous orders and designs to create, but I do well under pressure!


I'm also over the moon to have crossed the 2,000 goal on fan numbers on my Facebook page, it means the world to me! Clearly my non stop chatter isn't putting anyone off! Yet! So pop over on Facebook and 'like' as it is updated daily!

The final piece of news is that I am now advertising in the Gold Directory so I'm hoping that this will bring me a lot of new business from a whole other area. If you have received this little A5 booklet in the post, have a little look for my advert!

A reminder too that I should be grateful if all correspondence was copied to both email addresses listed, that way I will ALWAYS receive your correspondence!

 

Belated HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am really embarrassed to se that the last time I updated my blog was last summer! I'm good at talking but clearly not at this!


Anyway, I am so excited to say that the last six months have been the busiest and most exciting ever. I have been fully booked week in, week out and have had some incredibly challenging projects come my way. My website seems to be getting an increasing number of hits with each passing month and my fan page now has over 1,850 members...a bit of an uplift from the 650 highlighted in my last blog!

So, please keep all those orders coming, please keep challenging me and spreading the word..and a belated Happy New Year all!

 

 

It really has been way too long since I have 'blogged' I am very ashamed to say...in my defense I have been very very busy in lots of other cakey areas!

Facebook: My fan page is now up and running and becoming well established. With in excess of 650 fans, I am getting enquiries from far and wide and it is a great way to keep everyone up to date, especially when I have new creations, or even a sudden gap in my schedule for an additional order! Check it out - there is a button on the Homepage that will take you straight there, Natalie's Creative Cakes. Then all you need to do is 'like'it!

Twitter: Another fantastic way to keep in touch with customers, old and new, as well as other cake minded people! Follow my tweets, NatalieCakeGirl, and keep up to date with all my news. Be warned, I talk a lot!

LinkedIn: As you can see, I'm all for business networking and promotion and this is a great tool for anyone who has their own business...a good way to make contacts and connections and just get your name out there! Look for me, Natalie Cramer, and add me to your network!

As well as all the marketing I have been busy rising to new challenges. Cakes have got more detailed and more imaginative, more and more orders have been for milestone celebrations and there have been many weeks where I have been pushed to my limit!

Newest in my range are the frosted cupcakes with fondant modelling...check out the little frogs and robots they made their way all the way to Pinewood Studios and were a great success!

So, all smiles here and waiting for new challenges....and looking forward to them!

 

 

Fabulous NEW Frosted Cupcakes!

 

I have been busy experimenting with new flavours and new ideas and spent the last two days baking - what else is there to do when you are stuck at home with a poorly child! So, I have been trying out some new cupcakes...had a couple of disasters along the way, but all came good in the end and I made...

Rich Belgian chocolate cupcakes filled with caramel (yum!), topped with caramel frosting and topped again with chocolate and honeycomb...mmmmmm! Very indulgent and very delicious!

Moist Carrot Cupcakes topped with piped cream cheese frosting and a hand modelled carrot

Gorgeous simple vanilla cupcakes soaked in vanilla bean syrup and topped with rich Belgian chocolate frosting and sprinkles...

What better way to introduce my new range than take the lot to school and entice people to try a free cupcake? (cupcakes, incidentally are BIGGER than fairy cakes, but smaller than muffins!) Most people were more than happy to oblige!


 

 

 

 

Christmas Orders...yes, already!

 

I know we aren't even at Halloween yet...but some forward planning is necessary! I'm starting to take orders for Christmas...gifts for teachers, presents to take to friends, presents for family...these include:

  • Festive fairy cakes (see gift section for examples) in gift boxes of 4 (£10), 6 (£15) or 12 (£27)
  • Individually boxed single fairy cakes (£2.75 each, min order 4)
  • Muffin and brownie baskets, topped with festive fairy cakes
  • Bags of brownies

With prices starting at £10 for gift boxes of four fairy cakes, there is something to suit every price range. Please enquire!

 

What's new?

 

I haven't updated this page in a while and thought now would be a good time!

ORDERING

So, what's new? Well, orders are coming in thick and fast and I seem to be fully booked week on week...but please please try to make your orders well in advance. I try never to say no, but sometimes last minute requests simply cannot be taken on board when I have a week where I am maxed out! So, the more notice the better!

You can place an order in a number of ways...ideally call me on the number specified on the website, alternatively send me an email on mail@nataliescreativecakes.com, always detailing the date the cake is required, number of servings needed, flavour and as much other information that you have.

 

COURIER SERVICE

A number have customers have requested recently that cakes or gift items be delivered. It is now possible for cakes to be delivered locally, with price depending upon distance. Personally, I think this is great for gifts and fairy cakes, but when a tiered cake or sculpted cake has been ordered, it is preferable that it is collected in person.

 

GIFT ITEMS

Many people have commented that they did not know that I made gifts. Well, I do! Gorgeous cellophane wrapped, tissued and ribboned gift baskets containing a selection of delicious brownies and muffins have proved to be extremely popular. When topped with a couple of fairy cakes with wording on, fit for the occasion, these make a truly fabulous and original gift. Basket prices range between £25 and £40.

Other original ideas that are popular as dinner party gifts, get well soon gifts or juts a 'thinking of you' or happy birthday include personalised fairy cakes in 4's presented in a clear acetate box priced at £10, or 6's in white ribboned boxes at £15. So a real range of prices to suit all budgets.

 

LARGE ORDERS

I have recently made some fabulous tiered cakes for real milestone celebrations...weddings, Barmitzvahs etc. I am so passionate about creating that these orders really excite me especially when it comes to designing something novel and highly personalised. So please do always enquire - you are by no means restricted by what you see on the website! Just remember, the bigger the order, the more notice required.

 

 

Cupcakes & More!

 

It has been a while since I updated my blog, but in the meantime I have been very very busy! Aware that the fairy cake/ cupcake craze is showing no sign of abating, I have now extended my range to include the frosted variety, as can be seen in my latest photo uploads. The kind of cakes that you see and just want to stick your finger into that swirly icing! These are a cross between a fairycake and a muffin as they are quite big, and, as can be seen from the photos, look reallt effective. Left plain, they look gorgeous, but the addition of a rose, heart or butterfly, or anything else that takes your fancy, makes them more personal and that extra bit special. Coupled with a range of fab cake cases, you are looking at a perfect sweet gift.

I am constantly experimenting with new flavours and have so far made a very very chocolatey one with chocolate frosting and a luscious lemon flavour wit a lemon frosting and a traditional vanilla. Next on the list is the ever popular red velvet and I plan to increase the range of flavours if demand dictates!

With Mothers Day around the corner, now is the perfect time to order something a litle different - either beautifully decorated fondant iced cakes or decadent frosted ones. Orders can be for 6 cakes upwards and will need 2 weeks notice to avoid disappointment.

 

Mothers Day is Round The Corner!

 

With Mothers Day next month, why not be original and rather than send flowers, how about a lovely gift basket or some beautifully decorated fairy cakes or cookies? Book now to avoid disappointment!

 

More Christmas Gift Ideas!!!

 

I have just purchased some gorgeous clear acetate boxes with gold bases, perfect for holding 4 fairy cakes. These make fab Christmas gifts when tied with organza ribbon and, at £10 each, make perfect and affordable end of term tokens for teachers.

I can now also prepare gift boxes of fairy cakes with just 6 cakes in - please ask for more info. as ever, I will do my best to accomodate all price ranges and budgets!

 

Cakes For Future Dreams

 

Last month I made some fairy cakes for the charity Future Dreams, which I had completely forgotten about! Future Dreams held an event at the Picadilly Theatre in London, raising a massive £400, 000 for charity. The money was raised for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the event and the cause phenomenal...more can be seen at http://www.futuredreams.org.uk

The cakes can be seen on the fairy cakes page.

 

 

 

Christmas Gift Ideas!

 

Christmas is just around the corner now and it gets more difficult by the year to be original where gifts are concerned, so, along those lines....

I have some fantastic ideas for Christmas fairy cakes...think sparkling snowflakes, cheeky reindeer, festive Christmas trees, traditional holly....a lovely personal gift and also great to give to teachers at the end of term. If you're still stuck for ideas, them how about muffin and brownie goodie baskets? Prices start from as little as £10 and range through to £40 for that extra special present.

And, of course, fairy cakes are again becoming ever more popular! I have had so many orders recently, either for themed cakes to go with a main cake (check out the cute cute Hello Kitty ones recently added - perfect with a big Hello Kitty cake), or cakes that represent interests and hobbies....from football to Tai Chi, handbags and lipstick to bunny rabbits and dogs, luscious lips to musical notes....possibilities are endless....stunning when presented on a board, portable when cellophane wrapped and ribboned, unique when individually boxed as a gift....

 

 

X Rated Cakes generating huge interest!

 

I had the strangest most bizarre request for a cake this week...I received a text message asking if I could make a vagina cake! After picking myself up from the floor I thought, well why not? Being artistic doesn't need to just extend to chidrens cakes and certainly shouldn't compromise my ability - afterall, just makes me more versatile!

Anyway, the cake was created, had a hugely successful response, not just from the recipient but also shown in the 500 hits the site received in just 2 hours!

So, I'm thinking that this could be a great extra string to my bow! Stag and hen nights, intimate parties...you name it. As I have always said, I'm up for a challenge and will always be accomodating when it comes to your choice of cake. And they needn't be as X rated as the Vagina cake! Mini cakes and cupcakes adorned with lacey underwear, love hearts, bee stung lips and stiletto heals are both tasteful and artistic. I have so many ideas so please please feel free to challenge me!

 

Fairy Cakes with Personalised Modelling

Fairy Cakes are the new 'in' thing! But here we don't make the buttercreamed variey...way too passe! Instead, all the fairy cakes created are iced in gorgeous fondant after first being soaked in sugar syrup and filled with buttercream first to ensure they are moist and delicious every time. Then anything is possible...from simple designs to more intricate flowers, from wording to sugarpaste modelled creations such as handbags, stilettos, sporting equipment. They make a perfect mini blank canvasse for beautiful and unique creative ideas! And don't limit yourself to birthdays - fairy cakes also make unique gifts for Christenings, births, new homes, a personal 'get well' gesture. Presented cellophane wrapped and boxed, or individually ribboned and boxed, they really do look gorgeous :-)

Gift Baskets & More

 

I've been very busy and my gift baskets are now available and on display under my new 'gifts' tab. I've had a lot of fun experimenting with muffin flavours and perfecting the most indulgent brownies, as well as getting stuck into the wrapping and presentation! Next project is beautiful gift boxes for fairy cakes, so watch this space!

 

Muffins! Mmmmmm....

Hi all! Just to let you know that I have now been experimenting with muffins. I have created some fantastic flavours including banana & chocolate chip, snickers and peanut butter, and of course more traditional stuff like blueberry and buttermilk. The experimenting will continue and new flavours will be added continually! These make fantastic presents when cellophane wrapped in bags together with chocolate brownies and look fab. I just made several batches for end of term gifts for my kids teachers and they seem to have gone down well! Please enquire as I'm up for a challenge!

 

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