Kerry was always as hobby baker, but it wasn’t until after her second child was born that a friend suggested she turn her hobby into a business. I first saw Kerry’s beautiful creations on Instagram, and immediately fell in love with the beautiful flower bouqcakes. There is true artistry in Kerry’s work, and it definitely makes you wish that you could make a quick trip across the pond to try one of the delicious flower creations.
For those of you who want to try your hand at learning the craft of piping beautiful flowers, Kerry offers online classes in addition to her classes in the UK and in this post she shares an invaluable secret when you’re a novice at piping.
When did you first come up with the idea for Kerry’s Bouqcakes?
I have always been a hobby baker and enjoyed baking for friends and family. I then moved away from Norfolk (UK) to be with my partner and continued my passion for baking in the spare time I had to fill. I started taking these cupcake treats in to work to fuel myself and my colleagues during the day. I then moved back to Norfolk after my second child was born and was looking for work I could do from home, so that I wasn’t away from my two young children for long. A friend who had eaten my cupcakes suggested that I look at building this into a business, and as they say – the rest is history!
Your cupcakes are absolute works of art. What is the most difficult flower you’ve recreated In buttercream?
I would have to say the peony was my nemesis. It is not always the flower that looks to be the most difficult that is in fact the most difficult. It is mostly about getting the right technique. I think based on the wonderful feedback I have on my buttercream peonies that I have cracked it now though.
What is the most important thing to remember when working with buttercream?
The key is the consistency of the buttercream. To achieve the delicacy of the flowers you need a stiff consistency. My students soon realize this when piping with me, that your hands will ache in the beginning since you have to apply a lot of pressure to the icing bag. It’s also important not over mix the buttercream as this creates air bubbles which will show up in your piping. Finally I would say it is better to refill your bag for each flower than to overfill your piping bag. It is easier on the hands and doesn’t allow the icing to get too warm.
Do you have a flower that is a personal favorite?
I started with the simple rose which I make in a two tone. I love the simplicity of this. The rose always gets a great reaction when I post it on my social media especially the deep, intense red ones. I receive comment after comment where people thought they were a real rose, not realizing it’s an edible cupcake!
You offer both online and in person workshops for groups of four. What do you enjoy the most about teaching the craft of creating beautiful cupcakes to others?
I now run group workshops and one to one courses. I love to see the joy on students faces when they see the results of their work. I enjoy the interaction with my students and like to think I run a very informal workshop. I love to share my knowledge. I am self-taught and through hard work have built my hobby into a global business and want my students to be able to make a success of their dreams to.
In respect of my online courses this came about by popular demand. I had so many followers from across the world that could not partake in my local courses that this seemed a natural progression. It was very scary when I produced my first set of courses and I still get very nervous on filming day. However, with the support of my Mum (she calls herself the producer) and Matt my amazing videographer, I think I have pitched the courses just right. I have had nothing but positive feedback from my online courses so I must be doing something right.
What is the most popular flower/color request from your customers?
The pastel colours are the most popular by far, they look so realistic and I absolutely love working with vintage colour schemes. Pinks and peaches are certainly up there at the top of the list. The classic red roses would not be far behind especially around Valentine’s Day.
Are your cupcakes made with standard white cake or do you do different flavor cakes?
I mainly make Victoria sponge cake, but do also offer a chocolate sponge. Customers are blown away by the quality of the floral decorating and in order to keep up with the demand I made a decision very early on that this was all I was going to offer. I regularly have to turn down orders due to lack of capacity so limiting the flavor of the cake has not affected my business.
In addition to your bouqcake bouquets, you’ve also shared some of the beautiful cakes you’ve created on your Instagram feed… including the gorgeous one you made to celebrate your grandparents 70th anniversary. How much planning goes into the design of a cake before you start to decorate it, and how do you feel when you know you’re creating something for such a special event?
I love it when I can produce something for my family as you mentioned. I can let my creativity loose. I start with choosing the colour palette. My Nanny loves blues and pastels so this really set the theme for their cake. I think experience is really what counts. After a few blunders with colours you soon work out what colours work well together. I try to keep it simple using just a few colours and then creating various lighter and darker shades. Again by popular demand I produced a Working with Colours tutorial which has been very successful.
For those considering starting their own small businesses, are there some words of advice you’d like to share?
Enjoy what you do but be prepared to work hard for it! Nothing worth having is easy and starting your own business doesn’t happen over night, you’ll face many ups and downs and have to nurture and grow your business model to be the best it can be. Learn to walk before you run. Engage with your customers as they’re positive word of mouth will take you far, but don’t let it worry you if there are other cake makers out there that suit some better, don’t stretch yourself that you stop enjoying what you do. Customers want quality so give it to them and they will value your work and your time. Finally, remember to be kind to yourself and allow yourself some free time so you stay fresh and on the ball for your business going forward – it will certainly show in your work if you don’t!
Keep up with Kerry’s Bouqcakes through the following links…
Facebook: Kerry’s Bouqcakes
All images in this post were provided by Kerry Roberts of Kerry’s Bouqcakes.