I bake for a hobby and have been doing so on and off since I got my own kitchen (sorry house shares, I did like the company but clearly I like baking more!). I’ve never been one for heavily frosted cakes, icing or sugar paste; I find them to be mostly too sweet for my liking and they deter from the gorgeousness of the sponge hiding underneath. However, I have no doubt that there is a skill in decorating cakes, so I signed myself up for a Cupcake Decorating Class with Hey Little Cupcake! At only £35 per person, this seemed like the ideal way of experimenting without having to fund the tools myself. This took place in their Spinningfields store (they also have a stall at Selfridges in the intu Trafford Centre).
The inside of Hey Little Cupcake is small but bright and cheery with its large windows and white and pink interior. The place can be a little hard to find using Google Maps, but it’s actually right next door to the Nandos in Spinningfields.
The cupcakes, cake pops and whole cakes can be seen from the counter and they normally have one gluten free variety of cupcake for sale. Whilst the classes were running, they closed the shop to outside customers so we wouldn’t be disturbed.
I was warmly greeted and asked what drink I’d like. As it was a warm day, I asked for a glass of tap water. I know that the price of a hot drink is included in this class, but I really did not feel like having something hot. It’s a shame they don’t do nice cold drinks.
We were given a box of six empty cakes to decorate, three plain and three chocolate. One of the chocolate sponges had an Oreo baked into the middle of it.
So the first thing that was covered was how to use sugar paste. These you can buy from the shops as roll icing or ready to roll icing in the UK and gum paste or fondant in the US. We played around with using different types of cutters. It’s easy to see how one can easily accumulate a whole box full of different styles of cutters. Working with this stuff is pretty much like working with plasticine. If you can work with your hands and have imagination, a lot of things are possible.
Then we were taught how to create buttercream icing and then our teacher showed us how to decorate one cupcake. We went back to our seats and then proceeded to decorate on top of one of our cakes. This was the cookie monster cake and basically involved just scooping buttercream onto the sponge with a spoon and then dipping it into a bowl full of sprinkles. You can then shape the mound into a round shape. Add chocolate buttons for eyes and a mini cookie and you’re done!
We were then shown how to make the Oreo cupcake. The Oreo cupcake was our first one using a piping bag. With a round nozzle, we were taught how to hold the piping bag and how to use it. Decorating on top of the Oreo baked chocolate sponge, this cupcake was finished with some Oreo crumbs and a mini Oreo on top.
Next was the Chocolate Star cupcake. Using a star nozzle, this cupcake was finished with edible gold spray, edible gold balls, and white chocolate stars.
The Heart Cupcake uses a smaller star nozzle and the icing was stacked high on this one. This was finished with edible glitter and chocolate hearts.
The grass cupcake uses a multi-open nozzle to emulate grass. The sugar paste decorations we created earlier were then placed on top.
The Rose cupcake uses a star nozzle which you basically put in the middle of the sponge, then work your way outwards in a spiral. Sugar paste leaves then finishes off the look.
Overall rating and comments
9/10, -1 for the lack of cold drinks.At £35, the class was a steal and not bad for a basics course. The teacher is very helpful and is willing to answer any questions during the class. They also run these classes for kids at £15 per child.
Would visit again?
I don’t think so since I don’t really like cupcakes that much, but the skills can be useful and it’s a fun afternoon out. I definitely recommend it if you want to try your hand at decorating cake
Address: Little Quay St, Manchester M3 3HF
Do you like eating cupcakes? Have you tried your hand at decorating them?
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