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Cool Cakes With Craft & Crumb

Creating super cool cakes at home with Craft & Crumb

Always thought that a two-tiered marshmallow horse carousel cake was perhaps a little too adventurous to make and successfully decorate at home? Well you can think again thanks to Craft & Crumb. TOAST chats to co-founder Louise Nicholson about their genius cake kits that can help anyone rustle up a show-stopping cake creation at home, plus her top tips for baking success.



Mmmmmm cake. I love cake. I mean, who doesn’t? A slice of sweet, spongey, buttery goodness always feels like a treat and I actually quite enjoy baking cake too, but it’s always at the final hurdle that I fall quite dramatically – when it comes to decorating it.

In life, I feel that some people have natural artistic abilities whilst others do not, and I can quite confidently tell you which category I fall in to. Just recently I made a chocolate orange sponge cake for my step-father’s birthday (he has an unhealthy relationship with Jaffa Cakes…) – it tasted pretty good, but it looked like I had decorated it with one hand tied behind my back, whilst wearing a blind fold, after downing at least a litre of gin.

Some people are great home bakers and some are more than happy to buy either from a shop or a cake maker, but there is a gap in the middle for those who want to make it themselves but need or want a little help to make a great looking cake!” explains Louise, founder of Craft & Crumb.

We spotted this gap in the market because we are those very people ourselves...!” she laughs.

And so, go good friends Louise Nicholson and Kate Horne devised the brilliant Craft & Crumb - a unique cake kit company that offers parents or any budding bakers a helping hand to make a seriously cool looking cake for any child’s birthday or special occasion. I mean I say child’s birthday, but if someone made me Craft & Crumbs ‘Under the Sea’ cake for my birthday, I’d be pretty thrilled.

I love working with Kate and spending so much time together working so hard to try make this business great – we’ve been friends since we were pregnant with our first and it’s lovely to have a shared vision!” enthuses Louise.

Kate made this fab Peppa Pig cake for her daughter’s 2nd birthday but spent a fortune on ingredients, hours traipsing round the shops and trawling the internet and was then up until the early hours the night before the party decorating the cake. So us saying to each ‘there must be an easier way…’ was the conversation that started it all off! 

Thanks to Craft & Crumb there is now indeed an easier way; their cake decorating kits contain quite literally everything you need to take your sponge and transform it in to a show-stopping, professional-standard show stopper, from all the decorations and sweets required, to a cake board, fully illustrated step-by-step instructions and even handy disposable baking pans. Yes that’s disposable - i.e. no washing up. Hurrah!

Ultimately, we want to remove the mayhem and often chaotic nature of baking and improve the quality of time spent in the kitchen. Our aim is to help parents make a special birthday cake that comes straight from the heart, but without giving them a headache!”

Craft Crumb Cake Kit Open

As Louise mentioned, there are indeed a multitude of boutique bakeries and super star bakers out there who can whip you up something fab to serve at your children’s next party, but undoubtedly there is something rather special about a homemade cake.

Kate and I both grew up with homemade birthday cakes so it just feels natural to us to want to make something special for our kids on their special day – it’s an immense feeling of pride when you see the pure delight on your child’s face as they are presented with the cake that you made – it’s memory making!” enthuses Louise.

For those among us who don’t necessarily enjoy spending time in the kitchen pretending to be Marry Berry or simply don’t have the time – Craft & Crumbs’s complete cake kits also help you do the cake baking part too, as nestled in the beautifully packaged box amongst all the fun decorations and instructions is some 100% natural cake mix (you just need to add the butter and eggs) as well as some icing sugar for your buttercream (add a bit more butter, and a little milk). Simple!

The starting point for our cake mix was simple – it must only contain ingredients that our own mums would have used – i.e. only flour, sugar and baking powder. We have no added nasties and use only organic flour and premium ingredients as the texture of the sponge is as important as the taste.” explains Louise.

Also this way, by having everything pre-measured, you only get the right quantity so there are no sticky jars or bags of flour left over in the cupboards years later” she adds.  

Most of us aren’t natural bakers so to have a kit that makes it as easy as possible to produce a wow looking cake, makes the whole experience more pleasurable.  We get plenty of pictures from our customers – often of them baking with a glass of wine sitting alongside the mixing bowls!”

Sounds like my kind of baking. Once you’ve grabbed your cake from the oven (and finished your glass of wine) it’s time to face my personal nemesis – the decorating. Craft & Crumb have developed over 20 unique and totally brilliant designs to choose from; ‘The Horse Carousel’ is a two-tiered cake covered in marshmallows with gorgeous carousel horse cakes toppers and is a real show-stopper, as is the amazing ‘Sweet Shop’ cake - a squishy, delicious mix of cake and sweets to delight all your guests, regardless of their age. Other designs include the ‘Up Up and Away’ cake, ‘Army Soldiers’, ‘Under The Sea’ and many more – there truly is something for everyone.

Craft And Crumb Cake Kit Trio

Craft Crumb Cake Kits Themes 

Kate is the creative genius – sometimes a cake is thought up and designed within the day and other times she has a brilliant idea but there’s a lot more trial and error until she’s happy with the final design.” explains Louise.

“Our rainbow unicorn is our most popular – unicorns continue to be a big trend and everyone likes the bright colourful simplicity of a rainbow! Although the unicorns are showing no signs of abating there’s definitely room for flamingos and pineapples – watch this space for our flamingo themed cake kit coming soon!”

Craft And Crumb Cake Kits Lion

Fairytale Cake Craft Crumb

Not only are Louise and Kate’s imaginative and quirky designs guaranteed to delight kids of all ages, but they are also very clever, stylish and aesthetically pleasing, so grown ups really appreciate and enjoy the look (and taste) of them too. No more cheesy children’s cartoon cakes or tacky supermarket tray bakes to be seen here.

We all like nice things and as mums these days we don’t buy so many nice things for ourselves any more, but we happily splash out on nice things for our children – so the aesthetics and design of our cakes are based around things that Kate and I like and we know our children will like too.” explains Louise.

Our customers tell us they feel like it’s a gift they have bought for themselves when they open the beautifully wrapped packaging – as it should be, we want the experience to be a delight from start to finish!”

As well as adding more cool designs to their range, there are plenty of tasty plans afoot for Craft & Crumb. Look out for more seasonal designs (apparently something spookily special is brewing for Halloween…) and Kate and Louise are also busy developing an ‘everyday’ range that can be kept in the cupboard for that rainy-day, sanity-saving activity, as well as making great little gifts for others.

The gifting of homemade cakes is undervalued and we’d like to help change that,” explains Louise.

Everyone loves a homemade gift, and everyone loves cake!

I couldn’t agree more. 

CRAFT & CRUMBS’S TOP TIPS FOR CAKE SUCCESS AT HOME

  • Never open your oven door to check on a cake until at least 2/3 of the way through baking – taking the temperature out of the oven in this way means the cake is more likely to flop in the middle

  • Freezing your sponge once it’s cooled down for approx. 2 hours makes icing SO MUCH easier to apply as the crumbs stay put!

  • Make and decorate the cake the day or two before – provided it’s kept is away from sunlight and in a container, it’ll last just fine!

  • There’s a whole science to cutting cakes – just google ‘cutting a birthday cake’ and discover you’ve been doing it the wrong way all your life!

To choose your perfect design for your next birthday or special occasion, you can find Craft & Crumb in TOAST's Little Black Book

 

Posted in Spotlight

by Sophie Farrah
on on 02 June 2017

  birthday cake, cake kit, cakes, homemade cakes

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