Category "blog"

12th January 2016

Children’s Classes at Marie’s Bakehouse

by M-admin-bakehouse
blog, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Did you know I used to be a Primary school teacher before I left to concentrate full time on the business and my family? I guess that’s probably why I enjoy the children’s classes at Marie’s Bakehouse so much. The adult classes are always great, very relaxed and chatty, more of a social occasion a lot of the time than a class! But teaching children a new skill is something special and a real privilege to be able to do.
The children tend to chat less than the adults, concentrate more on the end product than the adults. Whether they’re trying to impress me, or their parents, or themselves I’m not sure, but what I do know is every child that’s ever come to a class has been very happy with what they’ve taken home, and that is a real buzz for me.
So this February half term, we’re making space themed models. The Cupcake Class is suitable for children aged 6+ right up to teens, and even complete beginners can make fabulous cupcakes in this class. Here’s what we’ll be making:

children's cupcake space

The children’s classes will take place on Tuesday 16th February, and there are two classes 10-12 noon and 1-3pm.

Both classes are £20 per person, or £17 each when booking two or more places.

These classes are held at The Croft, 28 The Village, Church Road, Flixton, Manchester,  M41 6HS.

You can book on or phone or text 07940121872.

Here’s some of the work of past students in the children’s classes:

children's cupcake classchildren's class modellingchildren's cupcake class


Coconut and Lime Cake Recipe

6th September 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse
blog, cake, recipe, , , , , , , , , , ,

coconut and lime cake

Coconut and lime cake recipe
For the cake
225g baking margarine or butter
225g caster sugar
2 limes, zest and juice
225g self raising flour
100g dessicated coconut
3 eggs
For the syrup
juice of one lime
100g sugar
100ml of water
For the buttercream
125g butter
250g Key Lime Icing Sugar from Sugar and Crumbs (using this amount of the flavoured icing sugar will give a very strong flavour. If you don’t want it so intense, you could use half/half Key Lime/Regular icing sugar, and if you’d just like a hint of the flavour, you can replace a few tablespoons of 250g of regular icing sugar with the Key Lime flavoured one).
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line 3 8″ round sandwich tins with baking paper.
2. Put all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat until combined.
3. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes until risen and golden.
4. While the cakes are cooking you can make the syrup. Add the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring while the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil for 5 minutes or so, then take off the heat and as it cools it will produce a syrup.
5. Check the cakes.  Insert a toothpick into the centre and if the sponge is baked through it’ll come out clean.
6. Brush the syrup over the top of each cake while it is hot in the tin. Don’t drown them, just a light brushing is enough. Coconut cake can be very crumbly, this helps it to keep it’s shape a bit more and intensifies the lime flavour too.
7. Leave for ten minutes in the tin then put onto a wire rack to cool properly.
8. Make the buttercream by beating the butter with an electric whisk for a few minutes, then add the icing sugar a dessert spoonful at a time and continue to beat until fully combined and fluffy.
9. Once the cakes have cooled completely, spread the buttercream on two cakes, and sandwich together to make a cake of three layers of cake and two of buttercream. If you have any buttercream left, you can spread another layer on top but this isn’t entirely necessary. Add sprinkles if you like.
10. Put the kettle on, cut yourself a slice and enjoy!


Rocky Horror Sugar Show

22nd June 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse
blog, , , , , , , , , , ,

rocky horror sugar show

Have you heard about this yet? Have you been to like the facebook page? If not you’ll find it here. I highly recommend you go and view it, because there will be a lot going on there in the next few months. Let me tell you a story….

A group of like minded cake artist friends were chatting together on a facebook group many months ago, when one of them, Laura, mentioned that it was the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Show and wouldn’t it be a great idea for a cake collaboration to take place to celebrate it.  Well no further encouragement was needed and the ideas began to flow. Whilst one of the members of the group, Rhu, was chatting to Cake International, she asked if this group of cake makers could possibly have a table at Cake International in November 2015 to show the collaboration. They thought it was a marvellous idea, and the idea began to snowball…….

What started off as a table, then became a stage, then became a walk through installation!! A 9 x 6 metre installation in fact, housing several rooms!

So let me introduce you to the admin team….

rocky horror sugar show

Here we are, sporting our red lipstick ready to take our lippy pictures to create the banner for the Rocky Horror Sugar Show  facebook page (remember the link above? Have you clicked it yet?) I’m the shorty in the middle Marie McGrath of Marie’s Bakehouse , on the right is Rhu Strand of Pimp my Cake with Mama Rhu  and the other beauty is Laura Edwards of Mamma Jamma Cakes . Being spread around the country we decided we needed a planning weekend, and this was us after working from 9am to after midnight!! But, hey, it’s going to be sooooo worth it!

So, there’s the 3 of us, and another 37 cake artists, some well known but many not, but all incredibly talented. We’re introducing them at the moment on the Rocky Horror Sugar Show facebook page, so go there and find out who else is involved 🙂 And you can also find out about all our contributors here on the Cake International website! Focusing on the strengths and loves of each individual, the project encompasses large sculpted work, detailed sugar models, flower work, tiered cakes, and everything in between. And you’ll be able to see some sneak peeks and progress shots as they are being made!

Things are moving along nicely. The plans are drawn up and submitted, the dummies are being ordered (one of our fantastic sponsors in Dummies Direct,) supplies ordered from another of our sponsors The Cake Decorating Company, Cakes Craft and Decoration magazine are writing their first article about the project, and this week we took delivery of over 300kg of sugarpaste and flowerpaste from another of our sponsors Renshaw Baking!!!!!!!

I’m beside myself with excitement about this project. It’s going to be fantastic, and we want to have you come along with us for the ride. So come and join us on The Rocky Horror Sugar Show facebook page (did I mention that yet?) and if you are a fan of twitter we’re over there too @rockysugarshow . So, come and join us, fill your senses, and let us see you shiver with antici…pation!!


Recipe for Nutella Oat Cookies

5th June 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse
blog, cheshire, homemade, Manchester, maries's bakehouse, recipe, Urmston, , , , , , , ,

nutella oat cookies
While I was making the Fruit Muesli and Peanut Butter Cookies, I decided to try a chocolate based ones for the children, knowing that they will not touch dried fruit with a barge pole now- despite eating their own body weight in it when they were toddlers. So this is a simple recipe for Nutella Oat Cookies, same method as the other cookies. As an aside, I might try these with no added sugar, I’m not sure they need any added.


1/2 cup of nutella
1/8 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 & 1/4 cup of porridge oats

1. Mix the nutella and sugar together. (Warm the nutella a little first if you’re finding it a tough job).
2. Mix in the egg.
3. Stir in the  oats until fully combined.
4. Spoon on to a tray lined with baking paper. The quality I used made 12 balls, about golf ball size, or maybe slightly bigger.
5. Bake in the oven at 160 degrees for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.
6. Leave on the tray to cool for about ten minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
7. And there you are- Nutella Oat Cookies. Simple 🙂

Father's Day Goodies Available from Marie's Bakehouse

26th May 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse

Father’s Day is just around the corner- Sunday 21st June here in the UK, so what are you going to treat your Dad to this year?
How about one of these mini cakes? Decorated as a shirt and bow tie, or a mug with DAD lettering. These will feed 8 portions of cake, or 6 if you want big pieces!
Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and white chocolate ganache OR chocolate cake with chocolate flavoured buttercream and milk chocolate ganache.
Gift wrapped.
£15 each or 2 for £25 (mix and match both designs).

Dad mug cake Marie's Bakehousebow tie cake Marie's Bakehouse

Or if Dad likes his chocolate how about Tiffin trays (Malteser pictured but other flavours available- Snickers, Mint Aero balls, Bounty, Rolo….)
£10 gift wrapped (+ £3.95 p and p if required) or chocolate brownies? Gift wrapped box of 9 delicious brownies, crispy on the outside, gooey in the middle.

Malteser tiffin boxed Marie's Bakehousebrownies Marie's Bakehouse

If cookies are Dad’s thing, how about an 8″ Millie’s style cookie? Available in many flavours- please ask if you have a favourite in mind:
white chocolate chip
milk chocolate chip
dark chocolate chip
white chocolate and lemon
milk chocolate and orange…..
Can also be stuffed with Nutella.
£11 gift wrapped with FREE piped message
£12 for the Nutella stuffed cookie with FREE piped message.

8" cookie Marie's Bakehouse

Or maybe if you are having a get together, you might like to provide a special, totally delicious cake?

Chocolate Orange Mud Layer Cake

chocolate orange mud cake Marie's Bakheouse

Vanilla Layer Cake with Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream and Fruity Jam

vanilla layer cake Marie's Bakehouse

Toffee and Salted Caramel Layer Cake, with Salted Caramel Buttercream, Salted Caramel Sauce and Fudge Pieces

toffee and salted caramel layer cake Marie's Bakehouse

Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake

coffee and walnut cake Marie's Bakehouse

Or fast becoming a firm favourite with the Marie’s Bakehouse followers- Cherry Bakewell Cake, Layers of Almond Sponge, Almond Buttercream, Cherry Conserve, and topped with a Layer of Glace Icing and Flaked Almonds

Cherry Bakewell cake Marie's Bakehouse

If you’d like to place an order, please email or phone or text me on 07940121872. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!


Step by Step photos for decorating an Acorn Fairy House Cake

25th May 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse

Acorn Fairy House Marie's Bakehouse

Below you will find a set of step by step photographs to accompany the instructions for making an Acorn Fairy House Cake from Marie’s Bakehouse in the July 2015 issue of Cake Decoration Heaven Magazine .
10. 10a
15. Acorn Fairy House Marie's Bakehouse


How to make simple sugarpaste leaves

14th April 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse
blog, cheshire, decorating, easy, Manchester, marie's bakehouse, tutorial, Urmston, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This technique is one I use when making lots of sugarpaste leaves when modelling a small tree or plant, when leaf cutters are too large. It’s one I’ve used on lots of cakes, but here’s a picture of the way I used it a couple of different ways on the cake which won me a gold a few years ago at Cake International 🙂
Sugarpaste leaves

And this is how you make them!

1. Roll a small piece of green sugarpaste into a smooth ball.
2. Roll the ball into a sausage shape, making sure it is not too thin.
3. Using the end of a paintbrush press into the sausage shape as shown in the picture.
4. Pinch the paste at either end. The leaf is made!


Saving sore baker's hands with hemp handcream

18th March 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse
baker, blog, cake, cake maker, cheshire, Manchester, marie's bakehouse, Urmston, , , , , , ,

hemp handcream
Need to know how to save sore cake maker’s hands?…..
Just a quick recommendation for today’s blog post. If you are washing your hands a lot while you are baking and decorating like I do, and especially in colder weather, it can wreck the skin on your hands. I’m sure lots of you have experienced the same as me, and it’s mighty painful. However, this cream is a little gem. It was recommended to me by a few cake friends, and it’s been fantastic. Over the years I’ve spent so much money trying out different hand creams, most of which are now half used and languishing in a cupboard somewhere in the house, but that will be happening no more! I’ve used this for well over a year and it’s going to be the one I use for years to come! So well done Bodyshop. You are saving sore baker’s hands with your amazing Hemp Handcream!


Recipe for Fruit Muesli and Peanut Butter Cookies

24th February 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse
blog, cheshire, homemade, Manchester, maries's bakehouse, recipe, Urmston, , , , , , , , ,

fruit museli and peanut butter cookies

I love food and I love making it. I cannot get away from that fact. In order to try and counteract this a bit, I’m a) trying to up my exercise levels and b) trying out slightly healthily snacks and recipes at the moment. But I don’t want them to taste like rabbit food. Try as I might, muesli, even when laden with fruits does not float my boat. So I tried out this recipe today, based on one from the marvellous Feed Your Family For About £20 a Week facebook page, in order to use it up! I’ve used cup measurements, but don’t worry if you don’t have measuring cups. Either use a conversion table you can find using google, or just grab a teacup and stick to the same ratios. You might get a different amount of cookies than me, but the recipe will still work. So, here’s how you make Fruit Muesli and Peanut Butter Cookies.


1/2 cup of peanut butter (I used crunchy, but it would work with smooth too).
1/4 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 & 1/4 cup of fruit muesli (or you could use porridge oats and a selection of dried fruit)

1. Mix the peanut butter and sugar together. (Warm the peanut butter a little first if you’re finding it a tough job).
2. Mix in the egg.
3. Stir in the muesli/oat mixture until fully combined.
4. Spoon on to a tray lined with baking paper. The quality I used made 12 balls, about golf ball size, or maybe slightly bigger.
5. Bake in the oven at 160 degrees for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.
6. Leave on the tray to cool for about ten minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Gold Winning Wizard Of Oz Cake From Cake International Manchester 2015

22nd February 2015
by M-admin-bakehouse
blog, cake, cake international, celebration, cheshire, decorating, Manchester, maries's bakehouse, Urmston, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

dorothy model
You may have seen all of these photos before, particularly if you follow me on facebook or on pinterest, but I thought it would be a good idea to have all the pictures in one place together. And here’s Dorothy. I chose this theme in the end as I’d had a cake order for a Wizard of Oz themed cake and really enjoyed making Dorothy, so she’s the little lady that started it all. You can see the detail on the yellow brick road here. I scored the yellow paste with a Dresden tool and then used dusting powder to add the shadows to give more depth to the cake. There was a lot of work in the dusting on this cake! Hours and hours!

front view of cake

The front view had all the main characters in together so they could all be seen in one shot, but the story continues around the cake…….

side view cake house

On the side here I added Dorothy’s house with the witch’s feet poking out. I decided to take the shoes off her- not something you often see on other Wizard of Oz cakes, or in pictures, but the Dorothy figure was wearing the famous shoes, and I thought it would be odd to have two pairs on the cake. The roof tiles were dusted with a dark brown colour in the joins, and the white of the house was given a dusting of light brown to pick out the detail of the scored bricks. All the grass you can see is hand rolled, and all the leaves under the rainbow are also individually scored with detail, and then dusted. The rainbow on the top tier also has a dusting of a darker shade of each colour, on the bottom half of each strip of colour, to tie it in with the rest of the cake. The blue birds are there as a reminder of the famous song. The Emerald City you can see is dusted with sparkling gold dust.

side view trees and sweetcorn cake

The other side has all the detail of the corn field for the scarecrow, complete with crows, and the orchard underneath is from another part of the film. I glazed all the apples to make them shiny.

sweetcorn and apples close up

You might be able to see the detail a bit better on this picture. The tree bark detail was made using a Dresden tool and a ball tool, and then dusted with dark brown. The leaves on the trees and around them were all individually modelled , scored with the Dresden tool and then dusted to pick out the detail. I used the Dresden tool (my most used one- can you guess??) to create the mud/soil texture under the sweetcorn, and the sweetcorn was textured using the end of a piping nozzle.

lion named

The Lion- I love his cute face. Obviously the most time consuming part of this one was his mane! All hand twisted and stuck on individually.

scarecrow model

The Scarecow, with all his straw poking out of the sleeves and his trouser legs. He was deceptively time consuming with his details, including the twisted belt, and getting his hat just right to sit on his head.

tin man model

The tin man. My favourite! But absolutely the most time consuming! I made the accessories to go with him, which the others didn’t have, but the most time consuming part was getting a good coverage of silver paint. I think he was painted at least 11 times!

I really enjoyed making this cake, despite the fact that it took over 40 hours, and I’m really proud I got gold 🙂

You can come and learn how to make these characters with me. We’ve made Dorothy in our Monthly Modeller Class already, but if you’d like to make the others, you’d be more than welcome to come along. Our classes are held at The Croft on Church Road in Flixton, Manchester. The dates for the modelling classes are:

The Lion- Monday 9th March 2015 7-9pm

The Tin Man- Wednesday 1st April 2015 7-9pm

The Scarecrow-Monday 11th May 2015 7-9pm

They are £25 each, with all materials, equipment and refreshments included. All you need to do is bring a box to take them home in. If you’d like to book, you can email me on or contact me on facebook or phone me on 07940121872.


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