If I had to take a headcount for the number of Londoners (and beyond) regularly putting in extra hours at work, my little poll would end up overwhelmed by its own surveying curiosity. I have long forgotten what it feels like to leave work before 8pm, at which point the cleaners in the building have a tendency to throw sympathetic glances my way (and patiently put their own tasks on hold whilst I see to completing mine.) But I do gain some comfort from the knowledge that so many of you can relate.
As far as my career goes, my body has become accustomed to the long days (even if my appetite hasn’t!) But as far as my blogger life goes, the perpetual late finishes are the reason I reluctantly have to turn down the majority of event invitations that come my way.
But when Zomato proposed I attend a Halloween themed cupcake decorating class at Sponge and Cream Bakery in Brixton, the temptation to
eat cupcakes learn new skills was too great to resist. Outside of blogging, baking is a serious extra-curricular passion of mine. I can whip up a happy little cupcake, no problemo but I categorically have not been able to master the art of making them look like they belong in any self-respecting patisseries.
And so, I begged and pleaded with my colleagues, stuttering some incomprehensible ramblings about extra shifts, swaps and cupcakes and the next thing I knew, I was in Brixton on a Wednesday evening (at 7pm – hurrah!)
And I was eating cake for dinner. Now, if that isn’t victory all round, then I’m not sure what is.
The Sponge and Cream Bakery, Brixton Village
I am yet to explore the ins and outs of this hip, foodie part of London properly but the sense of regeneration and prominence of energised, small businesses is apparent throughout Brixton Market and Village and Sponge and Cream, which at first glance looks like a home kitchen with a few outdoor seats and some immaculate cakes at the front to draw you in, is no exception. We were welcomed with bubbles, tea and an enormous slab of cake of our choosing.
Even in my ravenous state, I had the good sense to pause for a few moments to make an informed decision, which was no easy feat when we were faced with goodies such as German chocolate cake, zucchini and orange and the one I eventually opted for – an utterly moist butternut squash, apple and raisin cake with strawberry and marshmallow frosting.
AND it’s gluten-free for all those of you that way inclined.
Before we got started with moulding Halloween props, we watched Paulina assemble and decorate her coconut and lemon curd cake. In true Blue Peter style, she had prepared the cakes and icing earlier but somehow, in less than ten minutes, she managed to proceed through the following stages of cake decoration effortlessly and it left me wondering why it takes me quite so long to assemble mine. Perhaps I am daydreaming about my next travel adventure when I should be working the palate knife? Perhaps, I am poking my nose into Twitter conversations when I should be levelling off the rounded domes of my sponges?
Halloween Cupcake Decorating
As Paulina gathered together various shades of fondant icing, we took our seats excitedly like children in a primary school about to learn how to sculpt play dough. I have never been great at arts and crafts so my attempt at a ghost did end up looking rather like a foetus (and not the kind of foetus anyone would want nestling in their womb) but as Paulina reassuringly pointed out, who even knows what a ghost looks like anyway?!
I was, however, rather more pleased with my pumpkin.
Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will be aware of the fact my husband was given the affectionate nickname of Pumpkin at the point of creation of this blog (much to derision of his friends) so without further ado, here is a photo, quite literally, of me with my Pumpkin. 🙂
We were lucky to have been generously given a selection of three cupcakes to ice and take home but I became so swept up in the cake decorating mayhem that I managed to get some icing on my camera lens so a big thank you to Sheepa for photographing my final cupcake products on display.
The cakes themselves were scrumptious, my preferred being the light and refreshing coconut and lemon curd ones, which we were given the recipe for (wish me luck) and with the kind of summery, citrusy, tropical flavours that put me in the perfect spirit for my upcoming trip to the Caribbean.
Do you prefer to make your cakes or buy them and have you ever tried cake decorating?
I was a guest of Zomato and Sponge and Cream during this cupcake decorating glass but I am a hot-headed opinionated cake-monster and all opinions are entirely my own. Let’s just say that when you try that butternut squash cake, you’ll wonder why you ever argued with your Mother about eating vegetables as a child 😀
34 thoughts on “A Cupcake Decorating Class at Sponge & Cream, Brixton Market, London”
Ooh love the Halloween ones so cute! Must have been a lot of fun!
Thank you Becky! Yes people always say about Christmas decorations coming into the shops too soon so I was worried it might be a bit premature for Halloween but far from it and everyone had a great time constructing pumpkins and ghosts! ☺
This sounds spook-tackler. Sorry, had to be done 😉
*spook-tacular – – my auto spellchecker hates bad puns it seems!
Hehe, I didn’t even notice that typo! My eyes were obviously made for such puns!
My first attempt at a ghost was certainly spooky, I can tell you that much and not even in an intentional way! 😀
Your fondant pumpkin is superb! Halloween is about the only festival that tickles my creativity these days, I can’t resist a bit of halloween cake decorating (not that I’ve actually done it for a while) And even then it’s more of a melt-chocolate-into-a-halloween-mould kinda job!
Your ghost looks like a super-cute beluga whale!
Awww that’s a much nicer description of my ghost than the strange looking foetus! Thanks for the encouragement! The halloween themed chocolate moulds sound great – have you thought about applying for the bake off seriously?! ☺
This is so cute and your pumpkin is seriously impressive!
Lots of love,
Aww thank you Angie! The pumpkin was actually pretty simple (cue the predictable joke about my own Pumpkin being rather simple too!!) 😀 But it was fun having an attempt at these playful decorations though!
That pumpkin rocks, I hope your husband liked it!
Suze | LuxuryColumnist
Thanks Suze, he did! But I think he thought far less of my witch hat which had a rim so large it practically covered the entire cupcake!
I am very impressed with your fondant skills! I’d probably end up shaping it way too much to try and make something passable… so much so, it’d probably end up inedible… (this may have happened to me before…)
Hehehe, what were you trying to make Connie?! To be honest, I’ve always been hopeless at modelling things like play dough so I was a bit nervous! If you’ve never heard of a game called Rapiddough, look it up! So much fun especially for those of us less good at sculpting! ☺
OMG I love your pumpkin and what a fun evening! Foodie outings are such a great way to relax and try out new things 🙂
Thank you Natasha! It was amazing to learn just how simple some of the techniques are, which made me feel like I could even have another attempt at these decorations at home!
I love that you got so carried away with the class, that your camera even got in on the action! (Hope you managed to get the icing off.) This looks like such a fun evening – your ghost is so cute!
Hehe, I know – it was a close call, for a second there, o really thought I’d wrecked my phone camera which is the main one I use! It was such a fun evening though there were definitely many neater fondant specimens being produced by some of the others in our group I can assure you!
Your cupcakes are SO cute! And perfectly formed pumpkins, well done 😉 x
Awww thank you so much for the kind words Emily! I really love baking but my decoration needs a lot more work so it was great to get a chance to get some formal advice and supervision!
I am so impressed with your decorating talents! I too feel my skills are lacking in the decorating area so what a great way to spend an evening (and a good excuse to leave work on time too!) It looks like you had a lovely time and the added bonus of treats to take home as well- win win. L xx
Thank you Laura! Absolutely win win – slab of cake before we started, cake decorating and then take home cake! I’ve never really known where to begin with making fondant decoration so it was great to get an idea of a few of the basics! Put me right in the mood to cook something decorative ☺
This is so cute!
Thanks so much Cat! It was such a fun twist to a regular baking class and we had so much fun playing around with making sugar models ☺
Those Halloween cupcakes look brilliant! Hope you took home a pumpkin for Pumpkin 😉
I certainly did and he was pretty impressed – though a lot less so with my attempt at the ghost!
Wow, that sounds like so much fun!
Thanks so much Julie! It was a really fun way to spend an evening ☺
I’m craving for sweets now! This looks delicious and such a fun activity. My daughter would love to do this. This was definitely worth trading work for. Great job on the pumpkin and the rest of the cupcakes.
Aww thanks so much for your lovely comment Mary! I definitely could have improved on the ghost (and the rather oversized witch hat I made!) but I was pretty pleased with the pumpkins. It was such a fun activity. I love baking but I find the decorating much harder so I learned some useful skills too and I think it’d make for such a lovely Mother and daughter activity if you did ever try out something like this with your daughter 🙂
Thanks Tanja! They were great fun to make but I’m glad there was someone supervising who could help or they wouldn’t have looked like that believe me!