Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

November 11th, 2013 by Clarabella

Variety is the Spice of Life

Part of the reason that I love what I do, is the variety. No two cakes are exactly alike, and that keeps me from getting bored. I like how every day is a new challenge and new problem to solve. How to make a tree, how to make a lily, how to make sugarpaste legs look sexy and not chunky, how to make even stripes (thats harder than you might think!). In the last couple of weeks I’ve been challenged a lot, and finding a solution never fails to put a smile on my face 🙂

I chose a lily for this birthday cake as I am trying to get better at sugar flowers, or trying to learn how to make sugar flowers other than roses and little ones from cutters. And thanks to the excellent tutorials on Paul Bradford Sugarcraft, I have now got the hang of the lily, and I love it. Its such a big bold flower and one you don’t see very often on cakes. And I do like to be different!


I LOVED making the bunny girl cake last week. It takes some thinking when someone gives you a whole list of a person’s likes/history and asks you to bring them together in a cake. Sometimes there is just no way to make them not look messy, and like a bunch of random objects that have just been flung onto a cake at random. But that may just be my eyes which do not see the personal relevance for the birthday girl/boy. This one however, came together, and did not look like randomly flung together pieces on a cake, and the black and white theme allow it to still be elegant. I hope the birthday girl loved it as much as I did 🙂


On the To Do list this week, chocolate truffles for Christmas presents. Watch this space! 🙂


September 16th, 2013 by Clarabella

The Challenge of Urdu

I have not done hundreds of wedding cakes (yet!) but I do love doing them. Weddings are occasions when everyone is happy and the lovely bride I did a cake for this weekend was no exception. I made this lady’s engagement party cake last year, and when she got in touch to talk about her wedding cake I was delighted, especially seeing that she wanted something a bit different, but was happy to give me free reign on the design. Yay! I did have to include an Urdu poem around one of the tiers, which was challenging as I cannot read it and was worried with all the printing out, mirroring, tracing and transferring to the cake, would cause some mix up with the words (which are also read right to left), but I was veeeery careful and all was well.

I was very pleased with how the cake turned out and once it was all set up at the venue, it fit into the setting perfectly (yes, that is a sword on the table, a sword to cut the wedding cake. Of course. Why use a knife when you can use a sword!?!?). The colour scheme was maroon and ivory and I was thankful that in the huuuuge room that is the Dome in Buxton, the cake was not lost. I received a lovely message from the bride today telling me that she loved the cake and so I close the chapter on this cake with a smile. Another happy bride.


As wedding season winds down for those in the wedding industry, I sit at night and plan how to get myself a bigger piece of the pie that is the wedding cake market. And I have a cunning plan, so we will wait and see if it works. It does require some (in my opinion) significant investment, so I have to grit my teeth and take that, but as they say, you have to spend money to make money, so hey ho. Here we go.

March 24th, 2013 by Clarabella

Red Velvet Cake & Sunflower Cupcakes

Sunflower Cupcakes

The sun and the warmth have gone from Manchester this week. it is COLD and WINDY and rather unpleasant outdoors. And I like the outdoors. So thats saying something. So It is quite nice to have a little brightness in the world on those days when you feel like the spring will never come, and this weeks sunflower cupcakes brought just that. Bright, cheerful and they make me smile every time I look at them. With these cupcakes in the room, and the smell of fresh Earl Grey and Red Velvet Cupcakes just out of the oven, even on s drab day, there is metaphorical sunshine.
Red Velvet Buttercream

I do like sugarpaste as a medium, but as variety is the spice of life, sometimes its nice to do a non-sugarpaste cake for a change. Last night I delivered this large red velvet cake, which was covered with piped rose swirls and just decorated with some simple flowers. Simple, elegant, and I bet it tasted good! Frosted with fluffy vanilla buttercream, and filled with 3 fillings between the 4 layers. Chocolate ganache, strawberry swiss meringue buttercream, and vanilla fluffy buttercream. Can I stay for the party and have a piece of the cake? No? Darn 🙁 ok.

January 19th, 2013 by Clarabella

I don’t know how its been so long!




Sorry blog, you have been neglected. I really, really don’t know how its been so long since I’ve posted on here. I am going to blame Christmas ok? Christmas, its all your fault.

Seriously, I did take some time off over Christmas, but now things are back in full swing, and are they swinging! Its busy! Which is great, but leaves blogging time for late on a Saturday afternoon when I’m in between mopping the floor & washing the cloths, and thinking about cooking dinner.

So this isn’t going to be a long post, but it will be a promise to post more. I promise. Don’t give up on me.

The big news this week is my cupcake photoshoot with the excellent Mark Williamson. He is the camera genius behind my gorgeous wedding photos, and was the only person I thought of when I first considered getting professional pics for my website. It was about time the pics got an upgrade, so this week the cupcakes put their best side forward, and smiled for the camera. The results should be visible on my site in the next day or two, so come back soon! But here’s a sneak preview…



November 5th, 2012 by Clarabella

Hell and Heaven, which is which?


What a week. A ‘Hell’ of a week. Teeheehee, I crack me up 🙂 This weekend was Hellrunner. An annual test of the body and mind. A vague 10-12 miles of trail, through puddles, mud and in some parts, neck deep, ice cold water. All in name of fun, and a challenge. Some people think we are crazy. Certifiable even. But even while hating it, we secretly love it. And you never know what you are made of until you push yourself past what you thought were your limits. And try to smile while you do it 🙂

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Cake-wise I had a great day today. Made a cake for a friend of a friend, which was not for the money but for the favour to someone I care about. The birthday girl is from Zimbabwe and I had to do a cake themed for her. I didn’t know what I was going to do design-wise ahead of time really. I just sat down and Google-imaged Zimbabwe and browsed. And thought of African sunsets, and African horizons. And then thought I’d go with that. I have never hand-painted a cake before, and hey. Today was as good a day as any. I;m not as scared as I used to be of trying new things like that. Techniques I have never used before. And I think that confidence is half the struggle. I used to be scared of piping. And piping laced with fear tends to shake and wobble. Painting with no fear, leads to a great cake. Or at least I think its great. I had good fun doing it. Loved doing it even. I think I have an inner artist that enjoys playing with paintbrushes. Brilliant fun 🙂 Bring on the next painted cake 🙂

This week was also the week of the cuptail. Mojito cuptails, complete with umbrellas and straws. Too cute I think 🙂 But don’t try to eat the straw. Its plastic. Sorry.