My name is Sameera and I own Sweet Blossom Cakes based in Kent, U.K. I had the privilege of attending The Cake & Bake Show at Earl’s Court on behalf of Cakesdecor.com. My experience at the show was tremendous. I had the opportunity to meet some amazing Cake Decorators and witness new and upcoming prodigious talent. I attended their classes and was left speechless after seeing their limitless talent. From the remarkable talent of Pamela McCaffrey to the clean and defined designs by Zoe Clark. I was especially inspired by the amazing work of Dawn Butler from Dinkydoodles Designs. I shall elaborate later in the article.
In this review I will be mentioning the highlights of this year’s show. I have been to Cake International and if I compare the two shows, CI would definitely rank higher. Being a Cake Designer and Instructor myself, I felt that The Cake & Bake Show could do with some more stalls where new products are launched. I guess the positive side to this is that I ended up spending a lot less than I had anticipated!
There were some amazing cake concepts in ‘The Cake of the Future’ competition. All the cakes were beautiful in their own sense. From the cake that was presented like tiered desserts to the three individual ball shaped tiers in vases, they all had something captivating about them!
The work from Nevie Pie Cakes and Bellisimo Cakes stood out to me the most in this cake showroom. The beautiful and intricate hand painting on the blue and white cake was a candy for the eyes. Natasha from Nevie Pie Cakes knew how to use the paintbrush as a wand on her cakes! On the other hand the clean and sharp lines on Helen’s (Bellisimo Cakes) cakes were very well executed. The gold lustred finish on her cakes was a cherry on the top!
The ‘Cake Catwalk’ had a good few cakes as well. There was one cake that grabbed my attention the most and is worth mentioning here. It was a black and white cake with hand piped lace detail and a big black sugar rose. I personally am an avid fan of intricate hand piping with royal icing. This cake was very well executed and I regret now that I did not note down the name of the Cake Maker. The lovely peach dress with the green swag was very eye catching too. I was lucky to be able to see this part of the cake show and take pictures on Friday as it wasn’t that busy. When I walked past the catwalk on Sunday, it was jam packed and there was a long queue to view the cakes! There was no way I could have been able to get a chance to take all these pictures on Sunday!
I also had the chance to attend some amazing classes during the course of the three days. I learnt everything from cake carving to hand painting on cakes, from the Art of ruffles to mini cakes. These were all very interesting but I will mention the top four on this occasion. By far the most impressive for me was the work of Pamela McCaffrey. She taught us The Art of Ruffles. Her cakes were exquisite and the methods she demonstrated were very easy to follow and the results were very effective. I also found very useful the class by Maki where we learnt her signature Temari Cakes. These cakes look so pretty and are a great alternative to traditional mini cakes. She was a great teacher and I learnt a lot from her class. The other two classes I would like to mention are the Mini Cakes Class by Zoe Clark and the Hand Painting on Cakes class by Natasha. Zoe Clark is a down to earth person whose work I have always been inspired by. She demonstrated quick and easy methods of icing perfect little mini cakes. Natasha from Nevie Pie Cakes delivered a great class too where she demonstrated very simple techniques to achieve extremely effective results using a paintbrush and edible colors on cakes.
Now, I will start my mention the stalls and businesses that stood out the most to me. I will undoubtedly start with Dinkydoodle Designs by Dawn Butler. For a long time I have been debating the topic of whether to buy an airbrush or not and if I do buy which brand should it be? Luckily I had the privilege of visiting Dawn’s stand and meeting the lovely lady herself. She was extremely helpful in that she demonstrated and showed me how to use an airbrush herself. At this point I have to mention, I am a complete novice at air brushing cakes. Her airbrush was so easy to use that even I was able to use it there! I was an instant convert and I have to say, I for one can highly recommend her Airbrush Kit to anyone like me out there who is unsure as to which brand to get. The stand itself was very bright and colourful and whenever I walked past it, I would see crowds of people around Dawn seeing her demonstrate. A few times I thought to myself, how on earth does she get all this energy as she did not stop helping people. She was there all the time without much break! Here I would also like to mention I was extremely lucky to win one of her Limited Addition Airbrushes in purple! I was over the moon with it as I had already decided in my mind that if I was to purchase an airbrush, it would definitely have to be a Dinkydoodles Airbrush.
Another stall worth mentioning is Baking a Smile. This is a non-profit organisation that has a database of cake makers from around the UK. This amazing charity provides cakes for children with a life threatening illness and their siblings. This is a great cause they are working for and I wish them the very best for the future.
There were some great demonstration kitchens from companies like Lakeland, Betty Crocker, Sainsbury’s and Squires Kitchen. They were all very busy and packed at all times. Some new and upcoming bakers like the GBBO 2012 winner John Whaite were spotted demonstrating at these kitchens. Some of the other ‘Cake Celebrities’ I managed to spot included Louisa Zissman from ‘The Apprentice’, Lindy Smith, Frances McNaughton, Zoe Clark and some GBBO contestants.
There were some scrumptious stalls that were selling cakes, cupcakes, macarons, brownies and meringues. I had the opportunity to sample some with a cup of latte and I have to say, I was one happy woman!
Overall the show was a great success in that the tickets were all sold out for the show as well as the classes. Keen bakers and cake decorators had come from around the world to witness it. Every single person I saw had a bag with their purchased goodies which is always a good sign! On this occasion I would like to thanks Michal Bulla and Cakesdecor.com for giving me the opportunity to write this review for them.
Take Care and Happy Caking from Sweet Blossom Cakes :)