04 March 2012

Decorating Cupcakes at The Scarlet Bakery

A couple of weeks ago I attended a cupcake decorating class at The Scarlet Bakery. The Scarlet Bakery is our first cupcake shop in Dundee and it is proving very popular.

The Scarlet Bakery is owned and run by Paul & Kelly Fairweather. Kelly took some time out to answer a few questions about the bakery. You can read the interview at the end of the post.


A small group of us arrived at the bakery and were greeted by Paul, one of the owners, who was taking the class. After washing our hands, we got stuck into working with fondant, using moulds. Here are a few of the tips I picked up while I was there:

  • Drape fondant butterflies over something, say the lip of a bowl, bending them slightly in the middle to get that 3D effect. Leave them to dry and harden before removing them
  • If you are having difficulty removing your fondant shapes from the moulds, pop the moulds in the fridge or freezer for a wee while and the fondant shapes will come out easier.
  • If you are using different colours in the moulds, make sure you use the white fondant first, so it isn't tainted with other colours
  • Layer up different sizes of flowers to make a more interesting shaped 3D flowers.


Next, Paul took us in small groups and gave us a lesson in icing cupcakes using buttercream. This was the part I was looking forward to. I really wanted to learn how to make a rose shape with my icing. Just look at the expert in action!

Here are a couple of the tips I picked up:

  • If you are having trouble holding the piping bag firmly, then use a plastic bag clip to secure the piping bag, you will see from the photo, that I gave this a go. It does help.
  • To ice a rose pattern on the top of your cupcake, squeeze some icing onto the middle of your cupcake, so the stream of icing is attached to the cupcake, then raise your piping bag higher and swirl from the inside to the edge of the cake, letting the icing fall and drape across the cake into petals.




The Scarlet Bakery
292 Perth Road
Dundee
DD2 1AN

Phone: 01382 250066
Website: http://www.thescarletbakery.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thescarletbakery

Scarlet Bakery - The Interview

Where did your love of baking come from?

Paul spent hours baking with his Nanny who he absolutely adores and she adores him. They apparently would bake for hours and then he would run away and leave her to tidy up!

I started baking when we got married, I was 18 when we got married and 19 when our first daughter was born. Money was tight so I realised that baking was a great way to do something with Sophie and then have cakes, bread, cookies etc at the end. It was a win win.

I started trading cakes etc with other people in the village where we had moved to and it worked in terms of a Mums Economy! I then joined the Women's Rural in 2000 aged 23 haha, and the ladies there taught me all that I ever needed to know about baking ,cooking etc. I made a wee job for myself doing kids cooking lessons and cooking in school, and from there the seeds were set .

Why did you decide to open a cupcake bakery?

We started the bakery out of need! I worked as a business anaylst (still do) and Paul had just finished a course in architectural technology, at the same time the economy and building trade collapsed . We had no way of paying the bills and I had just had our youngest son. I looked around and there was nowhere making cupcakes and no where delivering them fresh daily. Paul was like, this will never work who will buy cakes? So I decided to try two things firstly can you run a shoe string company (we had £47 in our account to start  and secondly can you run a company purely by social media . So Paul went off to Tesco and I started setting up a facebook page, that was Tuesday, Environmental Health came on Thursday and the first orders went out Friday! Then it just kept growing .

Can you give us a rough idea of what an average day in the bakery is like?

I start around 6am. We are passionate that the cakes must be made same day . Then I bake and bake, Paul and Leigh come in around 9am and they set up the shop , clean down and decorate. Paul will spend the morning on the days big cakes and  Leigh and I will sort the wee ones.

I leave the shop around 2 to go home for the kids (we have seven) and Paul comes home around 4. We then share the reminder between us. We take turns about on quieter days staying at home. Then in the evening we answer emails, sort out recipes, do the books etc. On wednesdays we are meeting suppliers, brides, corporate contacts etc .

What are your top sellers?

Our top sellers are macarons and brownies!

Has making so many cupcakes, put you off eating them, or do you still enjoy them?

Erm, I will still eat a red velvet or caramel apple cupcake. Paul prefers big cakes so he still has them, but on the whole we have to taste so many that we take it for granted lol!

Thanks for taking the time to tell us all about the bakery Kelly. It all sounds exhausting, but what a way to get exhausted!

Disclosure: I was not sponsored to write this post and I paid for the course myself. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

50 comments:

  1. Oooooooooh how envious am I?? Looks like a fantastic class with lots of great tips and advice too.

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    1. It was, I really enjoyed it and feel much more confident now.

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  2. I am glad you enjoyed your course they look great. I went on one two weeks ago but came home feeling dissapointed and a bit stressed as it was all so rushed I did not feel I learnt anything. So it is good that you feel more confident now - result!

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    1. That is a shame, that is not what it is all about at all. My course was just a couple of hours long, but I did feel I learned a lot and it was fun. It should be fun!

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  3. Looks ace! I went to a similar thing in Manchester last week. I'm hooked!

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    1. It is very therapeutic, well I think so anyway :)

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  4. Wow, so pretty! Some great tips here too. I like the bag clip on the piping bag tip! Nice interview too x

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  5. What a beautiful job you did! I don't care much for frosting on such a wee piece of cake, but you can apply those skills to big cakes - and then we're talkin!

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    1. I know Tanita, I am thinking of a cake with those roses all over it. Wouldn't that be fab?

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  6. They're so cute! Well done!
    Have a nice evening

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  7. Very envious here too, as those cakes look amazing! I am an amateur at cake decorating, but quite enjoy the challenge of making birthday cakes (and the odd wedding cake) for friends and family.

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    1. Well you are ahead of me with birthday and wedding cakes then Lisa :)

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  8. I would love to take a cupcake class, even my piping skills are lacking.

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    1. Mine were too, but I am getting better :)

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  9. Looks like a great class Jac. Your cupcakes look really good.

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  10. This looks like a lot of fun.

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  11. they look so pretty!.... this is just what I need, some decent piping skills... nice work x

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    1. Thanks Dom, I still need more practice, but I am much better.

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  12. thank you for all the tips! I might have to pop in here on our way through :)

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    1. I think you are getting really excited about this trip Tandy :)

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  14. What fun! And you did a fabulous job, Jacqueline.

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  15. They do look gorgeous Jac, I'd love to do a class like that and learn how to pipe properly! Love the roses and your idea to do a whole cake covered in them sounds fab!

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    1. Yes, it would be good, but I keep thinking how disasterously wrong it could go :)

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  16. What a lovely post! You should be very proud of the cakes, I've not quite perfect the rose yet! Lovely read :)

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  17. Amazing how the right tip makes such a difference when swirling cupcakes. I couldn't understand where I was going wrong for ages!! Looks like a fun class, it's great getting round a table with loads of sprinkles!

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    1. I too was amazed once I bought some large nozzles, I had really struggled before that.

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  18. What pretty little cakes Jac and such an interesting interview too!

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    1. Thanks Karen and yes, I thought it was an interesting read, but then I am nosey :)

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  19. I'm very envious of this! I'd love to do a cupcake decorating course - yours look so professional Jacqueline, I love them :)

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    1. Aww thanks Emma, it is much easy once someone shows you how.

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  20. These look fabulous...so proressional and very pretty! :-)

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  21. What a great looking class. Well done on the decorations. They look beautiful.

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  22. Despite years of baking tasty cakes I still cannot ice cupcakes without making them look as though I've sat on them. :(

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    1. I bet they aren't all that bad Bob, but you did make me laugh :)

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  24. Isn't that great that there are bakeries who teaches how to decorate cupcakes! By the way, I love the rose frosting with green color.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x