September bakes

September… I think one of my favourite times of year.

Autumn has taken hold and the colours are amazing. Even the bakes are changing colour! Hallowe’en is fast approaching and bonfire night close behind.

If you have any favourite bakes or parties coming up, give me a call or message Simply Delish. In the meantime, wrap up warm and enjoy the extra calories you can indulge in after those long walks kicking up leaves


Cake trends: the drip cake

It seems like the only type of birthday cake that will do at the moment is a drip-topped birthday cake! These are technically tricky to do at first (I had some spectacularly bad attempts!), but now I’ve got the hang of it, I’ve got drips going down and up my cakes!

More and more people are asking for this show-stopping cake for any occasion. The best thing about the drip-cake is that you can put whatever you like on top of the drippy, glossy, chocolatey topping. Kids love loads of sweets, or you could go for more sophisticated dipped strawberries, or just indulge your love of chocolate!

Which one would you choose? The fruity or Ferraro-Rocher option? Sweets or truffles?

Here are some of my favourite cakes from the last few months to inspire you!


Cake Trends: sugar people!

Hello again… is it still the summer or are we in a time warp?

I promised I’d share some more of the ‘cake trends’ that I’ve noticed over the last year, based on some of the most popular requests from my customers.

So here’s trend number two: sugar-paste figures!

These are some of my favourite cakes to make, I get very involved with the details, and obsess over tiny things like the positioning of eyebrows – it can turn a figure from scowly to friendly with just a few mm of adjustment.

Very small children love to see their favourite characters smiling at them from their cake, whilst more mature customers have requested their loved-ones in cake form, usually with the tools of their trade or hobby.

Do you know someone who would love their own little Winnie-the-Pooh or Peter Rabbit? Or, perhaps someone who would like their own sugar-paste mini-me? Sugar-work is a real head turner, and makes for very photogenic cakes, as you can see!


Cake trends: ombre icing and OTT treats

We’re halfway through the year, and some definite trends are coming through in cakes people are asking for! So, in these next few blog posts, I’ll put up some examples of designs that have proved popular in 2016.

First on the list…  well, I couldn’t think of a one-word way to describe these cakes, but they all have these features in common: round, tall (with more than 3 layers), often with a water-colour swirly buttercream frosting, and VERY over the top decorations.

More is definitely more with these cakes! Decorations should be fighting for space and spilling over the edges. These cakes are very popular for older teenage birthdays, and for anyone who loves luxury and opulence. Lashings of cream, mini-meringues, chocolate, fruits, and sweeties are all sure to grab attention and get everyone’s mouths watering!

Here are four of my favourite examples of these cakes from 2016 so far. We’ve got a gin and tonic cake with fresh fruits, mini meringes, and nuts and shards of chocolate; a Chocolate Orange cake with Terry’s and Matchmakers, and plenty of candied orange; a bold blue mojito cake loaded with huge fresh flowers and berries; and some wild hundreds and thousands! And of course, three of these cakes are showing off another key trend – the ombre icing, which looks gorgeous in so many colour combinations.

Which one would you have? And do you prefer these OTT cakes or a more traditional royal icing top?


Happy Birthday Simply Delish!

So, today I celebrate a year of trading as Simply Delish! It’s been a whirlwind of cakes, buffets and celebrations. I have met some lovely people over the last 12 months and had so much support and encouragement from everyone. I’ve said more than once how I wish I started years ago, but I have no regrets and there are many positives to starting something once you have lived a little and learnt to take the rough with the smooth. Had a couple of shaky moments at the beginning when there seemed to be more and more expense but, as thing settled, the books seem to be balancing a little better and some of the big investments I’ve made are beginning to pay off. Not least my lovely Kenwood mixer – sad to get sentimental about a piece of kitchen kit I know – but I credit it for the lovely fluffy cakes which have come out of my oven over the past few weeks.
My order book is filling up nicely with orders through to September. I have some lovely customers who come back again and again – which means a lot – and each week, I meet new people who set me great challenges! I never know what I’m going to be asked to do next! It’s exciting and scary at the same time. I look forward to seeing the finished cakes as much as my customers and sharing their excitement gives me a big buzz!
There are lots of people I’d like to thank for pointing me in the right direction and giving me a kick when I was ready to throw in the towel but I thought I take this opportunity to acknowledge their support in a way that I’m sure they will appreciate.

1. This will forever be known as the ‘Carol Bradley’ – much requested and reincarnated in various forms ….

Chocolate and strawberry celebration cake

2. Will from this day forward be known as the ‘Graham Bradley’ – much admired and a chocolate lover’s dream …

chocolate orange cake

3. My nemesis – though I love them all dearly … have lost count of the number of Frozen cakes I have made…

frozen cake

4. Finally, I was going to post a picture of my favourite cake but ended up finding 3 which I loved doing and just can’t decide which one is my absolute favourite so I will let you decide.

I suppose I should include this one too!

chocolate orange cake

Let me know what you think and I’ll select someone to receive a little something as a special treat.

Thank you again to all my customers and friends, and here’s looking forward to the next year of baking for your celebrations!


Little Pixies Market at Hungerford Town Hall – 23rd May 2015

I’m really happy to have been invited to provide a cafe for the coming Little Pixies Market next weekend 🙂

Come along to Hungerford Town Hall on the 23 May!
Come along to Hungerford Town Hall on the 23 May!

I’ve been busy putting together my menu of take away lunches, snacks, teas, and coffee, and I’m looking forward to having a little browse around all the great stalls myself (leaving the sous chefs in charge – haha!).

Some of these cupcakes might make an appearance alongside the lunch goodies!
Some of these cupcakes might make an appearance alongside the lunch goodies!

Check out Little Pixies Markets facebook page for more information on the market, and on future events.

See you on Saturday!


Cake Secrets… shhh!

I regularly get asked questions about making the perfect sponge, and it’s something I’ve never really sat down and thought about… I’m too busy making the cakes 😉

But, just for this blog, here are a few things that I do that give me good results – most of the time!!

1. Line your tin… carefully!
Ensure that the base and every side is well covered. Well worth the extra effort to get a neat finish.

2. Weigh your eggs
This is my secret for the traditional Victoria sponge. Weigh your eggs, then match all your other ingredients to them. Except for the sugar…

3. Use 10g less sugar
A crispy top is not what you want on a sponge. I usually skim off 10g of sugar off of whatever recipe I’m using, and seems to do the trick.

4. Good quality cupcake cases
I’ve found that some cupcake cases can pull away from the cakes as they cool, so it’s worth getting to know which cases work. When you find a brand that works, stick with it! I love to experiment with lots of cupcake cases, and sometimes they can go a little wrong… even if they are pretty!

5. Give your cakes a coat
For a super smooth finish, before you ice your cake give it a thin coat of butter cream to seal in any crumbs – a ‘crumb coat’ for those in the know!

Do you have any secrets you’d like to share? Comment below!


Red Nose Day 2015

I was really happy to be asked to make some special Comic Relief inspired cakes for T K Maxx Newbury. They added the cakes to their fundraising raffle, in their mission to make as much as possible for this excellent cause!

Comic Relief supports some amazing projects in the UK and all over the world. If you’d like to donate, you can still do that on their website, even after Red Nose Day.

Red Nose Day cake for T K Maxx Newbury
Red Nose Day cake for T K Maxx, Newbury
Red Nose Day cake and cupcakes for T K Maxx Newbury
Red Nose Day goodies for T K Maxx, Newbury

Thank you to the kind people at TK Maxx for asking me to help with this great cause!


First cakes of 2015

As January whizzes past and February appears, I thought I’d share the first cakes of the year!

I’ve loved developing lots of different ‘Frozen’ inspired cakes, they seem very popular at the moment. I particularly enjoy making the icing Olaf!


Frozen birthday cake


The second cake of the year was a very classy suggestion indeed. It’s great when customers come with a bold design in mind, block colours and simple shapes work really well when using icing.

black with white daisy birthday cake


And the last cake of January took the longest to make, but I had the most fun doing it. It’s got lots of different elements: a handmade modelling icing figure with little hand made wire glasses, ‘soil’ made of crumbles of chocolate cake, and lots of other little icing elements that I always enjoy making!

80th eightieth birthday cake

80th eighteith birthday cake close up

He’s just so cute! The chocolate coins represent this gentleman’s love of metal detection. Maybe in his 80th year he’ll strike gold.

Please do get in touch if you have any birthdays, anniversaries, or other celebrations coming up.


Technical glitches…

technical hitch
Ooops… found this fantastic mistake-cake online. Not one of mine 🙂 Just a technical hitch, no problems with the cakes here!

Hello everyone!

Just a quick note to apologise to anyone who has got in touch but hasn’t had a reply recently. I had a bit of trouble over November and December with emails going astray when they were sent using my online enquiry form.

The enquiry form should be working perfectly now. But, if you don’t hear from me after using the online form, you can find me on facebook, or just give me a call, 01488 – 733 -29 between 9am-9pm!