A Thread For All Uk Bakers!!

Decorating By hailinguk Updated 18 Aug 2016 , 2:18am by -K8memphis

Caths_Cakes Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 1:51pm
post #31 of 25872

Loooove this thread already! im a uker!!! from the northeast! Find the american recipes SO hard to follow! so glad i found a uk one! wooooh! lol! love the cupcakes! Very beautiful!! will be checking back with this thread very soon!

slush Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 10:53pm
post #32 of 25872

ooooh hailinguk!
your cup cakes look gorgeous!!
love the roses!!
i'm so pleased for you that they arrived o.k ( and amazed to be honest!)

fairycakes1972 Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 2:16pm
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Hi,

Another UK Cupcaker here!!!

Can I ask, how did you send the cupcakes? Did you send special delivery?

Beckie

ASpoonfulOfSugar Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 12:18am
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Another UKer here!

Am wondering... does anyone use Swiss meringue buttercream to ice cupcakes? I much prefer it to standard buttercream, but I am unsure of the storage implications (even though the egg whites get pasteurised) and also the SMB doesn't crust, so is more of a pain to handle finished cuppies.

Having said that, feedback on today's batch was that the SMB wasn't sweet enough, so perhaps I will admit defeat and just use regular buttercream!!

hailinguk Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 9:19pm
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Hi Ladies,

I sent them via special delivery because I needed to guarantee that they would be there for Saturday. It cost £8.10 per package to send them! I asked how much it would be if I wanted to send another box by normal first class standard delivery and I think it was just over £3...

x

kathrynmc Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 9:41pm
post #36 of 25872

Hi, fantastic cupcakes

Kathryn

fairycakes1972 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 6:31am
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Thanks Hailinguk! I want to branch out and start offering mail order later in the year, but have yet to investigate! I know most of the cupcakerys that already do mail order seem to use special delivery, but hadn't actually 'spoken' to anyone that had used it!!!

Maybe I'll give it a go after Easter!!

Thanks

Beckie
x

fairycakes1972 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 6:44am
post #38 of 25872

Re the Environmental Health people.

I've been going about a year, and sell my cupcakes at Farmers Markets. When I registered the EHO man came round, had a very quick nose around the kitchen, and said (as everyone else has mentioned) that as I'm very low risk (even with two kids, two cats and a dog) my kitchen would be fine. He said I would be visited to be inspected properly at some point, but around here they CANNNOT just turn up on your doorstep, they have to give 24hrs notice.

My market stall was inspected just before Christmas and the EHO there said basically the same, as long as you have plenty of hand washing facilities, make sure you cakes are all up to temp when cooked, and do not have any cross contamination from stuff you'll be fine!!!!

I've got the Safer Business package, which I complete (usually after the event!) for when I bake, decorate, and do a market, which I basically just sign to say that I did my open and close checks and nothing else happened. The EHO was happy that that was enough.

Basically, what I'm saying is the paperwork although looks daunting, it isn't much more than common sense, and a lot of it doesn't apply (unless you are using fresh cream!)

Time to be nosey, how do you sell your cupcakes/cakes? Do you advertise? What are your fav suppliers in the uk (have to ask, couldn't bare it if I was missing out on something icon_lol.gif )?

Beckie

sweetsugarsixpenceR Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 12:39pm
post #39 of 25872

As well as the Enviro Health you need to check your house insurance covers business use and its a good idea to get Public Liability Insurance, just in case your stand falls on someone at a wedding or somesuch! And don't forget to tell the Tax Man!

I'm just starting out with a friend - we have a couple of wedding orders coming up and things are growing by word of mouth. We did a farmers Market as a test run and it went brilliantly so hoping so do some more over the summer.

jennywren292005 Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:38pm
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Hi everyone.
I am usually a lurker (very shy icon_redface.gif ) but thought I would come out of hiding for this thread!
I don't sell my cakes just do them for family and friends etc but I was wondering for those of you that do can I ask if you have a 2 sink set up at home? I had heard that this was required for baking from home and selling cakes/cookies etc. But then to confuse me even more I think I read somewhere that a dishwasher can count as the place where you wash pots etc and then the main kitchen sink can be the handwashing facilities.
Can anyone enlighten me about this?
Thanks

Jenn

P.S.
Love the cupcakes by the way, I have a lovely moist recipe I have been using for a while if anyone would like it.

eilidh Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 3:30pm
post #41 of 25872

i have looked from afar at the concept of doing a cupcake stand at the local farmers market (prob the nearest would be Swindon) although my own town has a kind of small one as does other local towns but was put off by all the costs. Not sure if I am looking at it right but was reckoning costs for boxes bags for boxes, lables to seal boxes adn advertise self, cost of cakes and associated costs petrol, electricity, stand rental plus the fact the info I got said that all ingredients had to be locally sourced e.g. local farm eggs and also everything to be fair trade where possible, wastage costs...just couldn't figure where my profit would come in for the time making and selling them? I know some areas e.g. London will accept a £3 per cake price but in this area i would be VERy lucky to get £1.50 for a muffin sized cake decorated with buttercream and fondant etc. Would love to know what all of you think as none of my friends can really relate...think most think a cupcake should be 25p! LOL icon_rolleyes.gif

jdconcc Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 3:58pm
post #42 of 25872

Hi everyone

Hailing Uk glad your cupcakes arrived and they looked amazing, you must be so pleased.

Re: enviro checks I had mine yesterday and passed!!! I was so stressed but it went ok, just lots of questions and he checked my cupboards and fridge (it helps to do your food hygiene course first as it means you know all the answers and your fridge is in the right order). He asked if I had anti bac soap to wash my hands and I said it was in my downstairs loo (in the hall next to kitchen). I'm classing that as my handwashing sink and in the kitchen I have a main sink with a little one in the middle then a draining board, but no dish washer. I hope this helps. I am so happy it's over, he said I should only need a check every two years.

I'm also coverting an Agbay leveller but OMG the cost!!! Hoping I might get one for my birthday but didn't even think about tax... argh!!! I emailed Maureen at Agbay about shipping and it was about $40-$50.

Hope you're all ok.
Claire x

fairycakes1972 Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 6:31pm
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eilidh, I sell my cupcakes for £1.50 each at the markets, but only do buttercream swirly ones. It's never gonna make me enough to retire on, but what it does do is provide me with a good way of advertising the business. People take cards and look through the portfolio, and I'd say at least 70% of cake orders I get come from people seeing me at the market.

And apart from all that, I love it!!! I miss working in an office environment and getting to speak to different people every day, but doing the markets means I get to meet different people that see me as Beckie the cake maker rather than DS1 and 2's mum!

The other thing to mention is, if you are thinking of giving it a go, try contacting your local Small Business Enterprise people, as when I started I got a grant to help with initial costs!!!

Jenny, I don't have two sinks, it seems to vary so much from council to council what you can/can't do!

CakeChaos Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 7:46pm
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Hope you don't mind me jumping in and joining. Its great to see fellow UKers in one place. I love this site and have been snooping around for a while whilst I kind of found my feet so to speak (hence this is my first post)- so much information to take in, so much advice to follow and ohhhh so much still to learn.

I have been cake decorating for a while now - family, friends etc. but due to recent circumstances have decided that it is time to take it to a different level, so am trying to get everything in to place so that I can start selling some cakes instead of giving them away.

I have recently registered with environmental health after speaking with them on the phone, (okay I posted form back today). I have also contacted Inland Revenue who advised that I would be better waiting until the new tax year to register which isn't far away so I am going to wait. My next step is to look at insurance. Is anyone a member of BSG and do you use their insurance?

If there is anyone who has already gone through setting up their own home business or is in the process of it and is willing to share advice, information, support etc. I will readily take it. I of course will try to offer the same whenever and wherever I can.
I must admit though that I in total awe of a lot of people on this site and the incredible decorating skills that I have seen.

Sorry for the long first post and hello to everyone here, its nice to meet you. I hope that we can share experiences together.

hailinguk your cupcakes are beautiful, I would love to be able to make swirls like that

Thanks

jdconcc Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 8:13pm
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This is my third attempt at a response, it keeps disappearing...???

Hi Cake Chaos, welcome to our world, it's fabulous on here and soooo addictive!

With regards to insurance I rang round a couple and ended up getting mine with Direct Line, it's really comprehensive but very reasonable. I've been going since July 08 and am getting really busy now I'm loving it. It's great doing something you love and getting paid for it... well am still waiting for the second half to feel real but I'll get there eventually. Whatever comes money wise seems to disappear far too quickly to make much impact but I'm hoping when my wedding cake orders kick in it might help.

Just let us know what questions you have, everyone on here is so nice and really helpful.

Claire

eilidh Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 8:48pm
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Thanks for the tip re setting up garnt will have to try and look into that! Good to know that you still make money doing them for £1.50 each, is that still the muffin tin sized cupcakes or the smaller "fairy cake style" tin? do you do loads of flavours?

I find the whole setting up business think very daunting, just wish you could do food hygiene and environ health and start as it is unlikely in the first year or two I will make enough to be taxed, and then there is the cost of insurance arghhhhh just hate the initial costs before you earn a penny!

I know I will never know if I don't give it a go but is seriously taking me out of my litttle £15 zone for cakes for friends!

jdconcc Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 10:03pm
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Hi Eilidh

I've pretty much done what you said, did the food hygiene and enviro and then gone for it (not in that order actually but mainly just been small orders for friends so far, first wedding cake coming up). I was lucky to inherit a few tins and what have you so that has helped, but I'm trying not to worry too much about profit just yet as long as I cover costs. I'm doing it on a really small scale while kids are young and am working part time to help out, but it'll be worth it as have got big plans for one day.

Don't let the fear hold you back, the highs from producing your edible art will be worth it. Just think you get to make someone happy with every order icon_biggrin.gif

Where are you based? Just thought I'm probably egging on the competition here , hee hee!

icon_lol.gif

fairycakes1972 Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 5:53am
post #48 of 25872

Go for it!!!! I was like you, I'd done some evening classes and cakes for mates etc, but then I was made redundant at the end of 2007, didn't want to go back to work, so it was a case of now or never!

re the profits bit, you have to make £5,000 IN PURE PROFIT, before you pay tax! So it's not something I worry too much about. As long as you register as self employed, get your EHO and house insurance etc sorted, you are good to go. Just buy what you need as you go along. If it's specific tins/cutters etc, remember to charge the customer a portion of the cost.

The cupcakes I sell are muffin sized, and I usually have 5 or 6 flavours per market, depending on whether or not I have cookies/sweets etc. I don't suppose I make a 'wage' as such, but it's such fun doing it, I don't really mind!

eilidh Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 6:43pm
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Thanks for all your replies on my hang ups! I am based near swindon (but orginally from Glasgow). I also have two kids that are pre-school age and gave up working a couple of years ago to look after them full time. I think that is possibly where my issue with profit is, I was a retail manager and keep on thinking profit margins etc and keep on ending up back at that sticking point! I have quite a lot of tools and luster dusts cutters etc as I love doing this anyway, I just think that if people don't pay proper prices I am wasting my time. Mind you today was at a nursery fun day and they were charging 50p for basic fairy cake sized cupcakes with icing that possibly kids do so yes surely a muffin sized one with decent decor is worth £1.50.

A friend in america sent us a link to a cupcake website that may interst you fairycakes..it is called www.sprinkles.com i think anyway the thing I loved other than their flavours and elegant designs was their packaging! Fabulous. I am slightly obsessed with how I would presen it etc....

Anyway off to bath the monsters.

CakeChaos Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 6:52pm
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Hi everyone

Just Darling - thank you for the welcome and I'm beginning to find out about the addictive bit - I just keep telling hubby I'm doing my 'research' icon_wink.gif

Does your insurance cover for public and product liability. I have been advised to take both. There is so much to think about before actually getting on and doing (mind, I seem to have been thinking about doing for so long that maybe I am thinking myself into circles).

Its great that you are doing so well, it shows that there is a market out there for high quality even with the economy as it is - I just hope that there is a few spare customers for me as well (I am in Yorkshire also -we could be neighbours - who knows?)

fairycakes1972 Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 6:41am
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Cakechaos (love the name!!) Everything I keep reading, which is mainly US based, says that people are still spending on things like coffee, and cupcakes, because they are relatively small spends that make them happy and take their minds off the doom and gloom!

Eilidh, I'm soooooo obsessed with packaging it's frightening! I spend hours trawling the net for boxes etc, that just don't seem to be available over here, and if they are they cost a small fortune!!!!! I had a rubber stamp made with my logo and name on in the States, and stamp each and every box, bag tag that I use! I found a fab site a couple of weeks ago that sell little clear boxes for the cupcakes at really reasonable prices. Not sure I'm allowed to post or not, but if anyone wants the details let me know!

Cathy26 Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 10:09pm
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Hi everyone! im based in belfast in northern ireland and i just set up business at christmas. been doing between 3 and 7 cakes per week and the odd batch of cupcakes but have my first wedding cupcake stand with a little cake on top in september!
im totally with you on the box problem, i bought 100 boxes eventually wholesale (they work out 80p per box and hold 6) but im absolutly gutted as they are for mini fairy cake size buns and not proper cupcakes which i make in muffin wrappers. so i cant use the seperators now i just have to set in my 6 large cupcakes into the box which just about fits but it totally defeats the purpose of having proper boxes!! i never even thought about measuring them icon_redface.gif

cake boxes are also a nightmare. i eventually found RYEPACK who sell 12x12x9 inch boxes which are cardboard and just about fit a 2 tier cake. i cut the top off if i have a figure on top. why oh why are boxes for tiered cakes not widely available? even normal cake boxes for single tiers are too low for a cake with a figure or bow on top - grrrrrr!

rant over!!

fairycakes1972 Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 5:41am
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Cathy, I love RYEPACK too!!! I'm keep toying with the idea of getting some of their takeaway boxes to see if they would be good for 6 cakes, and some of their 12x12 window boxes for dozens when they are for a gift.

I did email BRP to see how much it would cost to import the boxes myself, but with the USD/GBP rate as it is, it would still have cost me at least £1.50 a box, which isn't that much cheaper than people are selling them for! I might look again, should the rate ever end up more favourable!

jdconcc Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 10:57am
post #54 of 25872
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeChaos

Hi everyone

Just Darling - thank you for the welcome and I'm beginning to find out about the addictive bit - I just keep telling hubby I'm doing my 'research' icon_wink.gif

Does your insurance cover for public and product liability. I have been advised to take both. There is so much to think about before actually getting on and doing (mind, I seem to have been thinking about doing for so long that maybe I am thinking myself into circles).

Its great that you are doing so well, it shows that there is a market out there for high quality even with the economy as it is - I just hope that there is a few spare customers for me as well (I am in Yorkshire also -we could be neighbours - who knows?)




Hi Cake Chaos

Yes I've got both insurances, it's peace of mind on one hand but on the other if you mess up someones wedding day I don't hink insurance will make a whole lot of difference... it scares the life out of me.

Where are you? It would be lovely to know a cake decorator near by and I'm sure there's enough business for us both... we could dominate Yorkshire icon_smile.gif I'm in Bailiff Bridge, between Halifax and Huddersfield.

I was amazed that the orders started coming once I published my prices. I have kept them slightly lower than average as I'm still very much learning but still at £50 for a fairly basic 9" it's not cheap. I find it really helps having my prices on my website as then people know what to expect I get really shy talking about prices. The only problems are the 'favours' friends ask ... but hey ho.

Hope to hear from you soon.
Claire x

CakeChaos Posted 1 Apr 2009 , 9:03am
post #55 of 25872

Morning all.

[/quote]FairyCakes -
Cakechaos (love the name!!) Everything I keep reading, which is mainly US based, says that people are still spending on things like coffee, and cupcakes, because they are relatively small spends that make them happy and take their minds off the doom and gloom!


Hi Fairycakes - love that too. CakeChaos is pretty much how I feel at the moment, but it is happy and almost organised chaos.
I would be happy with the small spends to begin with but hoping to get some bigger spends in the not too distant future - maybe we can all keep the economy going between us. Imagine the headlines 'Cakes and CupCakes save the world'. icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif


Quote:
Quote:

Just Darling

Hi Cake Chaos

Yes I've got both insurances, it's peace of mind on one hand but on the other if you mess up someones wedding day I don't hink insurance will make a whole lot of difference... it scares the life out of me.

Where are you? It would be lovely to know a cake decorator near by and I'm sure there's enough business for us both... we could dominate Yorkshire I'm in Bailiff Bridge, between Halifax and Huddersfield.

I was amazed that the orders started coming once I published my prices. I have kept them slightly lower than average as I'm still very much learning but still at £50 for a fairly basic 9" it's not cheap. I find it really helps having my prices on my website as then people know what to expect I get really shy talking about prices. The only problems are the 'favours' friends ask ... but hey ho.




Hi Just Darling
I have checked out some insurance and think I am gonna go with BSG which offers a good package - for now anyway. I haven't really done many weddings but I know what you mean - I wonder if it ever gets any easier?

Prices arrrghhhhhhhhhhhhh. thats all I have to say on that!!!!!! I almost feel like I have to apologise for asking for any money at the moment but I fully intend to 'harden up' a bit.

Where am I?
I wonder that most days myself along with who am I and what am I doing? icon_confused.gif
I am sort of mid way between Wakefield, Barnsley and Pontefract, so am not that far away - as for dominating Yorkshire yayyy I am all for that - just need to get all my necessities in place first and off we go........ icon_biggrin.gif

J_FO Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 2:45am
post #56 of 25872

Hello everyone!

I am from Canada but I will be travelling to the UK for a wedding this summer and I have been asked to do the cake. I am wondering if I can get rolled fondant and pre made gum paste somewhere over there. I will be in Dover. Can anyone let me know. Thank you.

jdconcc Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 12:03pm
post #57 of 25872

Hi J-Fo

Yes you can easily get fondant from supermarkets and cake decorating shops and the gumpaste for either modelling or flower making can be bought from cake decorating shops. Good luck I hope the cake goes well!

Can anyone help me? I need some lilac coloured marshmallows, do these exist?

Thanks
Claire

bashini Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 12:16pm
post #58 of 25872

Hi Claire, I haven't seen lilac coloured marshmellows. Only pink and white.

J_FO, here are some great online shops where you can buy fondant and gumpaste.

http://www.apieceofcakethame.co.uk/view_products.aspx?cid=11

http://www.makeawishcakeshop.co.uk/onlineshop/default.asp

http://www.almondart.com/acatalog/index.html

I always use COVA PASTE, but lot of decorators use RENSHAWS REGALICE. I don't like it because its very soft.

HTH.

Sabz Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 12:59pm
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Yaay! More UKers! Thanks for starting this thread! I'm definitely going to try out some of the recipes on here.
Do you guys prefer ready bought fondant, Marshmallow Fondant, or Michelle Foster's Delicious Fondant.
At the moment I use ready-bought, but my family aren't too keen on it so I'm not sure anymore.

Cakes,Cookies and Crafts shop does cupcake boxes, you guys might want to check that website. I do most of my shopping from there. Have Your Cake and Eat It have good stuff too.

Sabz Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 1:06pm
post #60 of 25872

Oh and Hailinguk, your cupcakes look fantastic! I just wanna grab one out of the screen!

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