Monday, 25 October 2010

The Sugarbomb Signature cupcakes Pt 1

We've covered my dislike of vanilla before but it really does go into practically everything. Most people I know would go for a plain old vanilla cupcake. As much as I don't like them it seems that vanilla is almost universally loved.
I'd like to present the plain Jane or rather Not So Plain Jane. It's a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting decoarted with a sugarpaste heart or flower with a dusting of matching glitter.
Actually it's named after my mum who is definitely not a plain Jane even though she thinks she is.
She'll kill me for posting this picture of her!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Vanilla Blue Velvet

A few months ago my sister had a baby shower for a boy and asked for a blue themed cake. I didn't want to go with a generic blue cake so I went with this:

No t very blue I know but just wait until you cut into it.

It's a blue velvet cake with a middle tier od vanilla sponge all sandwiched with black cherry conserve and vanilla butter cream. All covered in a thick layer of vanilla buttercream. This isn't the actual one from the baby shower, that one was a lot bigger. This cake is turning out to be very popular and I have made it a coupole of times now. I thought the blue colour would be completetly off putting but it seems to have gone done very well.

For anyone unsure of blue velvet cake, it's a colour change take on a American classic Red Velvet cake. It's a very soft buttermilk cake flavoured with cocoa and vanilla. It's traditionally topped with cream cheese frosting.

By the way, the professional cake pictures were taken by Dan Stone at his studio (more on that later). See for details.

Monday, 6 September 2010

National Cupcake week 2010

National cupcake week is next week, I hadn't even realised until I was doing a clean out and saw an order form from last year. Gosh this last year has just flown by.

I've kicked it off this year with a competition.

If you were a cupcake what would you be and why?

There is a prize for the competition but it's only open to people living in Manchester UK, sorry about that! Please leave a comment or email me. The competition closes on Sunday the 12th September.

For the next two weeks regular sized cupcakes will be one pound each. Please contact me at to place an order.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Whoops! or Mrs G and PB part 3 or 4 or 5...

Firstly apologies for the long absence. Intermittant internet connections and real life have got in the way of blogging in the last couple of months. I also haven't baked much either. The weather has just been much too hot and the last thing i wanted to do was spend time in a boiling hot kitchen. I promise to try and update more regularly from now on but we'll see how long that resolution lasts.

Secondly: Whoopie Pies!

Take a gander at my BFF's blog

She's so right, Whoopie Pies have been everywhere and I have been waiting to bake them for months, I've just been really rubbish about getting round to it. I'd seen recipes on some of my favourite blogs and it wasn't until last week when Bakerella posted a Whoopie Pie competition that I got my ass in gear.

I have heard a lot of chatter about these little treats being the new cupcake. They were really nice but I think that there is room for cupcakes and Whoopie Pies.

Knowing that I was making these for Mrs G I decided to make them chocolate with a sweet peanut butter frosting filling. I used the recipe from Bakerella's blog

It was actually really easy and I just whipped up a batch of my famous peanut butter frosting to sandwich them together with. I think Mrs G was impressed. I will definitely be making these again. If you look at the pictures you'll see that a few are sandwiched with vanilla and chocolate frosting.

Sorry, I liked this picture so much, I used it twice. (Pictures taken at Mr's G's house.)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Return Of The Reverend.... Sort Of...

These cupcakes in liquid form go quite well with CocaCola. I usually make this chocolate velvet cake with Jack Daniel's. This time I made them with Jim Beam instead. I made these before way back in March 2009.

Apparently Jack Daniel's is "the reverend". So it was suggested that I name the Jack Daniels chocolate velvet cupcakes; Reverend's Choice. It sounds like a drink of some sort to me. I did look it up and couldn't find a drink with that name but I did find some interesting cocktails containing Jack Daniel's and Jim Beam. I actually prefer both with ginger beer and a slice of lime. Pop over to the Jack Daniel's website to learn more.

The Jim Beam chocolate velvet cake tastes stronger than the Jack Daniel's one. I omit pecans from the cake mixture but top the frosted cake with one instead. I'll have to look into a cola flavoured frosting and top it with a slice of lemon.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Mrs G Has A Blog!

My bestest mate and baking partner in crime has a baking blog. It's adorable! Pop on over to and check it out.
Nadia is definitely the more creative person out of the two of us. She has infinite patience when it come to decorating cupcakes. You can tell that Nadia has a great love of baking and making it all pretty. I'm looking forward to reading her baking adventures over the coming months.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Heart Shaped Mocha Bundt

I bought a gorgeous new heart shaped bundt cake pan from my favourite baking shop in Manchester (The Cook Shop in Manchester Arndale market) last week. I couldn't wait to try it out. Best thing is that I got it on sale so it was half price.

I had eggs to use up that were an unexpected gift (it says something of my baking mentality when I view eggs as a present!) So I made a simple mocha cake.

Mocha cake

80z Stork margarine or similar
8oz sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
6oz self raising flour
2oz cocoa
1 sachet of Starbucks Via coffee

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4

Grease and flour the bundt cake.
Cream butter and sugar together.
Beat in eggs fully one at a time adding the vanilla extract in with the first egg.
Fold in the flour, cocoa and the sachet of coffee.
Bake for 25minutes.

I look it into work and it went down quite well.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Something Savoury?

You've probably seen this blog before and if you have then you'll know that I don't ever make anything savoury. The title of the blog says it all "Sugarbomb Bakery, An explosion of sweetness". You couldn't confuse that amount of sugar with anything else!

When I was asked to audition last week I had to take an example of savoury and sweet baking with me. I racked my brain and I realised that over the last two years I haven't made anything savoury. I have in the past but sweetness has taken over my life recently. So I made some sun-blushed tomato, basil and cheddar muffins.

2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
1½ cups grated mature cheddar cheese
½ cup drained sun-blushed tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ cup torn basil
1 cup milk
80g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4

Mix flour and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in cheese, sun-blushed tomatoes and basil. Beat together the milk, butter and egg.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix lightly, until just combined.
Spoon mixture evenly into 10 muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked and golden on top. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Sugarbomb's Adventure in the Big City

Friday was a big day for me. I had an audition for a baking show in London. The Great British Bake-off is a new show that is being filmed by Love Productions.

I had a surprise email on Tuesday from a lady called Madeline who is one of the producers. She'd seen my blog and invited me to take part. To be honest I had to read the email a couple of times, I didn't actually believe it.

  • Is baking your hobby?
  • Do you enjoy making special food?
  • Can you turn out a great pie, a lovely cake or a tasty loaf?

Would you like to spend some time baking with some of Britain’s best bakers?

BBC2 are making a new series about amateur bakers which will be judged by some of Britain’s baking heroes. ‘The Great British Bake Off’ is looking for amateur bakers who are talented but can show the rest of Britain what great food can come from their region.

We hope it will be a lot of fun and in the end one baker will be crowned the UK’s best amateur baker.

So, I rang her and had a brief telephone interview. Next day there was an email asking me to come down to London on Friday with sweet and savoury baked items. I was at a loss as to what I should take with me. Something complicated? Or something tried and tested (and more importantly - loved!)? I had a look over the last two years oh my baking life and I realised I hadn't made anything savoury for ages.

In the end I went for cheese, sun-blushed tomato and basil muffins and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

I had a brief interview that went over the questions that I'd already answered on the telephone. Then there was an interview about my skill level when it came to baking different items. My cupcakes and muffins were taken to a judging area and that was it.

I received a call later on in the evening telling me I hadn't got through to the next round. Of course I was gutted but I still had the chance to try out for it. I would never have guessed that my week would end with a visit to London.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Luscious Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars aren't something generally found for sale in the UK. I've always been curious about them and I love lemon so I decided to give them a go.

They are a sort of shortbread with a set lemony custard topping. You can see the layers in the pictures.

I lovelovelovelovelove lemon bars. To be honest this isn't the first time I've made them, I made them last week and they were so good that I didn't even get to take pictures, they disappeared too quick!

Luscious Lemon Bars

150g/5oz/1¼ cups plain flour
90g/3½oz/7tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and diced
50g/2oz/½ cups icing sugar

Preheat the oven 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
Line the base of a 20cm/8" square cake tin with baking parchment and lightly grease the sides of the tin.

Process the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor until the mixture comes together as a firm dough. Press evenly into the base of the tin and spread smoothly using the back of a tablespoon. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Cool in the tin.

2 eggs
175g/6oz/scant 1 cup caster sugar
finely grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon
15ml/1 tbsp plain flour
2.5ml/½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Icing sugar for dusting - optional

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until frothy. Add the caster sugar a little t a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the lemon zest, juice, flour and bicarbonate of soda. Pour over the cookie base. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set and golden.
Leave to cool slightly and cut into squares and dust lightly with icing sugar if required. Leave to cool completely.

Friday, 2 April 2010

So Vanilla... Extract

I've spoken before of my loathing for vanilla. Unfortunately vanilla goes into pretty much everything I make.

Behold Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract.

This little bottle holds just under 24 teaspoons of precious vanilla extract and costs about £5.00

I was browsing the fabulous Joy The Baker website a couple of months ago when I stumbled across this:
So I decided to give it a try.

You will need a 70cl bottle of vodka or brandy and 10 vanilla pods that have been purchased on ebay for not much money.

Split open the vanilla pods by cutting almost to the top with a sharp knife. Feed vanilla pods into bottle of vodka. Leave for 3-4 months shaking it occasionally.

Vanilla extract 6 months on. I made two bottles and filled up my old empty Nielsen Massey bottles and gave them away for Christmas.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Just a quick post of Mother's Day cupcakes.
They're chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting in pink, purple and cream colour. The cupcake in the centre is topped with a handmade chocolate hat from Slattery's Patissier and Chocolatier, in Prestwich.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Oreo Cupcakes

I haven't posted for a while. I've baked some stuff but I've been a bit lazy with the taking pictures and blogging!

I'll make it up to you with a rare recipe!

Oreo Cupcakes

80z Stork margarine or similar
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
10 crushed Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4

Cream butter and sugar together.
Beat in eggs fully one at a time adding the vanilla extract in with the first egg.
Fold in the flour and the baking powder.
Stir in the crushed Oreo cookies.
Fill the cupcake cases two thirds full, you should get 16.
Bake for 17 minutes until lightly golden on top.

Oreo frosting
4oz unsalted butter
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 crushed Oreo cookies
1 - 3 tsp of milk

Beat the butter until soft and then beat in the icing sugar. Beat in the vanilla extract and some milk one teaspoon at a time if needed.
Stir in the crushed Oreo cookies. Spread on top of the cooled cupcakes.

Alternatively make up the frosting without the crushed Oreo cookies and pipe on the frosting. Dip tops of cupcakes into the Crushed Oreo cookies

Monday, 1 March 2010

The First #Teawitter Party

Just a warning that this post will be picture heavy!

On Sunday the 28th February we held a tea party at Madlab (Manchester Digital Laboratory)

it was lovely afternoon of awesome food and awesome people. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. All pictures are described from the top clockwise.

Hamataschen, choc/vanilla fairy cakes, choc/vanilla cupcakes and oreo cupcakes, apple pie, lemon drizzle cake and double choc cookies.

You can just about see the two massive platters of sandwiches at the back of this picture. Sandwiches, choc/vanilla fairy cakes, choc/vanilla cupcakes and oreo cupcakes, hamataschen, chocolate orange pinwheels and double choc cookies.

Ginger biscuits, pear, pistachio and amaretto drizzle cake, spicy apple muffins, chocolate brownies, hammataschen and lemon drizzle cake.

Fresh crumpets.

Spicy apple muffins, pear, pistachio and amaretto cake, LadyMcScamp cupcake, choc/vanilla cupcakes, oreo cupcakes, double choc cookies, chocolate, fruit and nut cake, chocolate brownies.

Lemon drizzle cake, hamataschen, chocolate brownies, spicy apple muffins, chocolate, fruit and nut cake, double choc cookies, choc/vanilla fairy cakes, choc/vanilla cupcakes and oreo cupcakes.

Spicy apple muffins, chocolate, fruit and nut cake, chocolate brownies, hamataschen, lemon drizzle, pear, pistachio and amaretto, LadyMcScamp cupcakes, choc/vanilla cupcakes and oreo cupcakes

LadyMcScamp cupcakes, choc/vanilla cupcakes, oreo cupcakes, double choc cookies, chocolate chilli bites and spicy apple muffins.

I'd just like to say a big thank you to all the people who baked something and also those that stayed to tidy up at the end. There was so much cake left over that everyone ended up taking a box home with them.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Latest order.

This week I have had two orders. To be honest this post is more about the pictures of cupcakes.

One was for a friend who was taking them down to Norfolk to a party.

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream topped with a chocolate heart.

The good old Mrs G - chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream and topped with Reese's Pieces

The cookies and cream deluxe - Cookies and cream cake, with an oreo at the bottom. Topped with vanilla buttercream, an oreo, more buttercream and an M & M. The one in the middle is a cookies and cream deluxe +1, which has a chocolate covered oreo and hides a layer of chocolate buttercream too.

Rocky Road - chocolate cake with chocolate frosting topped with marshmallows, brazil nuts, malteasers and chocolate bar bits then drizzled with chocolate.
The second order was a surprise tweet that asked if I could do some animal cupcakes. It was my first attempt at animals although I have done Sesame street characters. I was really impressed with the dog more than the others. I think I need to work on the panda.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Competition Time (part 2)

I have wanted to make iced vanilla sugar cookies for ages. It seems everyone is going on about them. I've noticed them even cropping up in a few select bakeries in the UK too. There are some gorgeous examples out there of beautifully decorated biscuits. These are my first attempt and while they're not gorgeous, I certainly think they're cute. Just for the record, I did cheat. I didn't ice them in the traditional way, I just coloured some fondant and fixed the cut outs to the cookies. The pink ribbon cookies are a present for someone.

Little vanilla cookies

Medium vanilla cookies

Medium and large vanilla cookies
Small, medium and large vanilla cookies

The recipe was quite simple but the dough was really difficult to work with. I'm not going to post the recipe because I'm going to try and find a better one and do them again.

So competition time then.
Well I made far too many so the prize is the big sugar co0kie, four medium cookies and five small cookies. I've wrapped them in cellophane to keep them fresh.
The winner will be chosen at random on Thursday evening so that I can deliver them on Friday in time for Valentine's day.

I would like you to leave a comment on the blog telling me what your favourite flavour of sugar cookie would be. I personally dislike vanilla so I was considering making them almond flavoured.

Please note that we'll need to meet in Manchester sometime on Friday to pick these up.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Competition Time (part 1)

Would you like to win cake? Of course you would.

This is the cupcake for two. Either as a cake to share or just more cake for one person. To win one all you have to do is leave a comment telling me who you would share the cupcake with.

Please include your email address at the end of the comment so that I can contact you. Winners will be chosen randomly by the end of the 6th February.

I'm really sorry but the competition will be only open to people who live in easy deliverable distance of Manchester city centre, United Kingdom.

Good luck. Part 2 will be on the 8th February.

I really enjoyed reading the comments on who you would like to share your cupcake with. I'll use a random number generator to select the TWO winners (

Comment 7 - Godders1210

Comment 4 - Chris

I seriously want you all to have cupcakes. This is why I had to up it to two winners. But as promised there will be other competitions coming up!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

PB and Mrs G (part 1)

You may have heard that my mate Mrs G has a real peanut butter and chocolate weakness. So here are some chocolate cookies that I made for her. Don't they look boring.

But hold on... break one open!
They're awesome peanut butter and chocolate cookies with a peanut butter frosting filling.

I copied the recipe from a website about a gazillion years ago and i don't know where from. I know it was an American baking blog but that's all I know. Whoever came up with these - thank you!

What are these! Chocolates?
I admit they're not very professional looking. I'm not great with the chocolate finish on chocolates. But gosh they tasted nice. And in keeping with the theme...
Remember the peanut butter cookies from a few posts ago? Well I turned them into truffles. I usually make them into truffle lollipops but the mixture was too soft and fell off the sticks.

So there you have it. There will be more more episode of PB and Mrs G to follow in the next couple of weeks. I just hope that I don't over do it. I don't think our friendship will survive if I turn her off peanut butter! Nah, never happen (I hope)!