Cupcakes and cake plates

This week I made a small batch of chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing from the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book. There is a new Hummingbird recipe book publishing on 17 March which you can pre-order from Amazon. I used concentrated sugar paste colouring to make the purple frosting – it lasts a long time as you only need one tiny blob using a cocktail stick. I used a variety of fun decorations including hundreds and thousands, shiny mini balls and blue edible glitter. The cupcakes went down a treat and all my friends had two.

Recently, I was given a vintage cake plate for my birthday from eBay. I did a lot of research before finding the one I wanted and found that it’s actually quite hard to find a nice one at the right price.

You can also buy it here for the same price on ‘Say No  To The Highstreet‘ or Amazon. My friend found a lovely one at a vintage sale so you may find them at car boot sales, charity shops or on vintage websites.

You can buy modern ones like this single tiered cake plate from Amazon or this other Portmeiron one from John Lewis. I also like Cath Kidston’s three tiered cake stand and at House of Fraser, this one layer cake stand is currently on offer. Happy cake plate hunting!

10 great Valentine cake ideas

With just under a month to go before Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a good time to share some Valentine cake and cupcake ideas with you. There’s a savoury idea in here too if your man isn’t in to cake. Ignoring the latter sentence, cake is a great way to show your love for someone – surely that is undisputed! Here are a few ideas to get your cakebuds going.

1. Make heart shaped cupcakes – you can buy a cake mould with a set of 6 little cakes from Amazon here

2. Make a heart shaped cake – perhaps a chocolate sandwich sponge cake with red foil heart shaped chocolates in the middle of the cake around the edge – a bit like a heart treasure chest cake! Cake tins can be found here on Amazon

3. Make heart shaped cookies, dipping one half of them in dark or milk chocolate; buy cookie cutters here and you can even put them in heart celophane bags

4. Make a red velvet cake or red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting from the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book

5. Make vanilla cupcakes in these cute cases with hearts on them

6. Make cupcakes and sprinkle with these lovely edible glitter hearts or heart smarties

7. If your man isn’t in to cake but you still want to do something cooking related, how about bake him a pie in one of these magnificent red Le Creuset dishes?

From the Mad baker blog 8. If you’re a guy and London based, why don’t you book for a special Valentine afternoon tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury which includes a gift bag of limited edition heart shaped meringues or if you’re feeling  a little more flush how about the afternoon tea at Claridges which includes champagne and heart shaped macarons? On a related note, check out the pic of these amazing heart macarons made by the Mad Baker – blog post here.

Harrogate bakery 9. Oh and if you want to see a fab Valentine cake display from last year, see my post on a Harrogate bakery here

10. Bake chocolate brownies and make a raspberry coulis for the side – BBC Good Food has a recipe to try

And what will I be baking for my fella you ask?! Secret…until after 14th Feb!

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