So this is my first every blog (bit nervous!) but when I was asked to contribute by the creator of #bakelife I thought, why not?! Here’s a little introduction to me to all you fellow bakers…

I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember…always baked at home with my Mum from a very young age and my love for making (and definitely eating) cakes and bakes grew from there. In my teenage years, I started baking a lot more independently and studying Home Economics at school, I started creating and adapting my own recipes. During school, i remember achieving ‘best bake’ one week for a strawberry heart-shaped shortbread tower. I was so chuffed but as the months followed, I suspiciously found that similar creations to my tower were appearing in supermarket magazines and on tv…obviously it was just a coincidence but love the confidence I had at that young age that I considered I’d made such an impact on the baking industry!!

As I grew up and later settled with my now husband, I baked more and more, several times a week. It was the perfect match- me a baker and my wonderful human bin husband – I love baking and he loves eating everything!! As any homebaker knows, it’s not all plain sailing and my stepdaughter revels in telling people that I once lost a false nail in our rocky road…no harm done even though we were pretty sure my stepson had eaten it!! I love silly memories like these. (And just to reassure you, I don’t wear fake nails anymore).

As the trend of cupcakes grew, I started baking cupcakes a lot more- adapting my Mum’s Victoria sponge recipe and spending hours, weeks, months, practicing piping and trying out new frosting recipes. Last November, a very special friend of mine set me the challenge of baking 100 cupcakes for her grandson’s christening. Being honest, I was really nervous about the idea and didn’t think I was good enough to do such a big job but she reassured me so much and empowered me to do it (a skill she should win awards for). I made her family samples and they loved them and I worked hard to work out the designs she wanted. My amazing husband decided this was the time to surprise me with a professional mixer and I chose my trusty Kenwood kMix – never looked back.

When I set up the cupcake tower for my friend’s christening I felt so proud of what I’d achieved and was so glad I took the plunge to do the job – my first paid order. From then on, I practised and practised baking for family and friends and by the time Valentines Day arrived a few months later, people were asking me if they could order cupcakes from me. I was quite overwhelmed at first! From then on, I thought this is the time and I started doing more and more orders for family and friends. I didn’t want to take on too much as I had finished work to spend time with my daughter (from whom the name Olivia Cupcake comes) before she started pre-school. I’m not sure if also I lacked confidence as most of my baking is done when Olivia is in bed anyway…

Now I am at the point my confidence has grown a lot more and I now love creating my own detailed fondant toppers as well…something I wouldn’t have felt I could do even just 6 months ago. I love sharing my ideas with other fellow bakers on Instagram and now have 1,500 followers. I love baking- it is something I am proud of and it’s a therapy for me and something I am now loving teaching my daughter too- to me, that’s what it’s all about. ❤️

On the theme of creating my own toppers, my first proper post is going to be a step by step of making fondant tigers. They looked tricky when I was first asked to make them but I found breaking the design down step by step really helped so I thought I’d share this and it may help others too. Just a simple post but I hope people enjoy it. 😀