Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kiwi Cake Decorator - Tracy Unsworth

Today I am profiling Kiwi Cake Decrator - Tracy Unsworth. Tracy is the owner/operator of A'riginal Cakes - 12 Arawata St. Ph: 078716909. Tracy has previously won the Kiwicakes birthday cake competition see her winning design here

If you would like to be profiled here email me at and I'll send you the ten questions.

Hi Tracy, please give us you website, facebook page, blog: website and
How long have you been decorating? 16 years

You've recently opened a shop in Te Awamutu - tell us about this journey.  I had been making cakes from home to sell for a few years and as I was becoming more and more known I was of course getting busier and busier so with that my darling hubby encouraged me to look at opening my own cake shop/kitchen. Because as I got busier the home was being overtaken leaving no dinner table at tea time running out of places to put things as I was making them so it was another reason to find somewhere where I didnt have to worry about it all but could also just leave it. After looking into it and knowing that there had been a cake shop in Te Awamutu a few years ago now and with even more encouragement from our farm bosses I was able to track down and find this great shop with a registered kitchen on the back so it was perfect... all I had to do was buy an oven, repaint, get a tub put in and get a few things for in the shop and I was away. Since I opened on the 10th May I havent really stopped with orders coming in all the time, sales in the shop of stock etc it has been the best thing ever and I am already getting regulars both for supplies and cakes. The word has gotten round town quite quickly and I was also recently in the local paper which has also boosted my business. It is also great as now I am a registered cake decorator and legal I can now have displays at the bridal shows etc without any worries and concerns of getting into trouble.

What is you favourite thing to bake & decorate? I love baking cakes and decorating them especially 3D cakes. I mainly use and prefer fondant on the cakes.

What got you started in baking/decorating? After my first daughter was born my first cake was her 1st birthday. in those days I didnt bake my own cakes I would buy a slab of sponge cake from Pak n Save and cut out to shape and would use buttercream and as I didnt know how to pipe I used liquorice straps cut into thins to make all my lines etc.. see a few of my kids cakes done this way. Then in 2001 when living in Masterton a new cake guild was being set up so I joined and there is where I learnt how to pipe, make roses, figures, carnations and orchids and of course started baking for myself swearing I would never bake for anyone else - hmmm never say never hehe.

What are your top 5 decorating tools you cannot live without? My spatula’s, silicon rolling pin (bought from Kiwicakes) dont know how I went without for sooooo long, my muffin tray converted into my flower forming stand, my pasta machine to which I roll out the thin icing for lettering and flowers, and all my wonderful books.
What do you do when you're not decorating? Now I have the shop I enjoy down time away from it all just chilling with the family, going camping, taking digital photos, writing poetry.

What are some of your favourite creations you've made? My all time favourite cake would be my 3 tier kina wedding cake, the couple were told by several cake places that it couldnt be done and me being me is always up for a challenge.

A 3D car I made for my dad’s 60th birthday it would be the best car to date I think.

 My 3D sorting hat cake.

My more recent cake of the avatar face as I had never carved a face before and was great to see her come alive as I put on the details.

Another recent cake of a figure sitting under a blossom tree she is just gorgeous.

And of course the 3D Mickey Mouse but honestly I do have a few that I like but nothing is better than one that is an original design by yourself ie the cakes I have listed above. which is also why I call my business A’Riginal Cakes as 90% of the cakes I do are an original design and who says original anyways we all say ariginal hehe.

What is you favourite Cake, cookie, or cupcake flavour? Wow favourite flavour.. I have a couple my chocolate boysenberry cake, chocolate boysenberry tim tam cake and my banana lemon cake. Why? because they are all different, lovely and moist and original flavours that I have played round to make although there are probably recipes out there but I dont tend to look for recipes I play round.

If you could have someone make a cake for you, what would it be like? This is a tough one as I would soooo love for someone to make a cake for me and it would have to be something 3D probably or with figurines etc on it. I would give them an idea of what I am into and from that they would have to then come up with a design which is how I work my cakes.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New advertisement in NZCDG magazine

I'm thrilled with how the new advertisement for Rainbow Dusts sparkling sugars came out in the NZCDG magazine. It's hard to show it here in a blog post, but the artwork reproduced beatifully. It make me want to play with bottles of sparkling sugar NOW!.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gorgeous Chelsea colouring in page for the kids

We all know and love Chelsea Sugar. I always use Chelsea icing sugar for my buttercream icing. So the Chelsea icon is well known in my house. They have this cool colouring in page for kids, you can print off FREE at their website.

There's other great feautres on the website such as recipes and party planning tips. And the history section makes great reading

Wilton survey shows food crafting is no#1 hobby for women

Woodridge, Ill., January 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ Wilton, the industry leader in cake decorating, quality bakeware and food crafting for more than 80 years, recently released the results of its bi-annual Celebration Report, an extensive online survey conducted by a third party.

“Food crafting, which includes cake decorating, is the number one hobby for women,” says Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. “This survey tells us that baking and decorating at home is enjoyed as an economical way to ensure celebrations that are full of color, sweetness and fun.”
Nearly half of the survey respondents (46%) indicated that cost savings is a plus when it comes to baking at home versus purchasing baked goods. This attention to cost savings jumped 18% from the last survey conducted in 2008.
Topline results for each of the categories in the survey Baking, Decorating, Celebrating

•Baking: Cookies most popular!

While cookies are the most popular baked at-home treat (82% of respondents), items that have significantly grown in popularity since 2008 are: cakes (up 17%), brownies (up 18%) and cupcakes (up 15%).

•Decorating: Decorators turn up the color!

Customizing the color of cakes and treats is almost a universal trend among committed decorators (87%).

•Celebrating: Americans prefer to celebrate with cake!

Cake continues its dominance as the overall celebration dessert with 49% of respondents claiming their first choice for a party dessert is a decorated cake.

The survey also notes that “for holidays” is THE most popular reason for baking (78%). With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, Wilton suggests the following project — a heart-shape chocolate cupcake that’s easy enough for the most novice baker-decorators. These cupcakes say it all!

Do you like to Travel?

Silly question huh? of course you do!

Well I was contacted by Dan at offering Kiwicakes blog readers the chance to win three FREE aps for  iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Simply by completing the quiz below, with all answers correct, you will receive your choice of three aps. is offering this to Kiwicakes readers to celebrate creating a new walking tour ap for Wellington City (they also have Auckland and Christchurch available) publishes self-guided city walk apps on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Once installed, the apps turn your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad into a trusted personal tour guide, helping you navigate independently and with ease through cities around the world . With over 2,000 walking tours available - spanning over 180 cities worldwide - is the largest travel portal of its kind. Powered by the GPS technology, each walking tour offers accurate turn-by-turn directions to famous attractions, monuments and interesting sights as well as hidden gems; as if you had brought along a local guide.

If you would like to test your knowledge - send your completed quiz to

1. What was the name of the horse that the Duke of Wellington rode at the battle of Waterloo?

a) Copenhagen

b) Paris

c) London

2. Wellington is the world's:

a) sunniest capital

b) most southern capital

c) most densely populated capital

3. Wellington has the most hectic ... in the South Pacific.

a) Airport

b) Port

c) Nightlife

4. Who are the biggest contributors to New Zealand's Tourism earnings:

a) the British

b) the Australians

c) the Americans

5. How many national anthems does New Zealand have?

a) 2

b) 3

c) 4

6. New Zealand is one of the world's leading exporters of dairy products. How many kilograms of butter does New Zealand produce per capita?

a) 50

b) 100

c) 200

7. Wellington has ranked … in the world in a quality of living survey held by Mercury in 2009:

a) 7th

b) 22nd

c) 12th

8.Wellington became the capital of New Zealand in:

a) 1905

b) 1865

c) 1795

9. Name the oldest building in Wellington. It was built in 1858.

a) the Colonial Cottage

b) the Futuna Chapel

c) the Opera House

10.One of the curious facts about Wellington is that it has more … per capita than New York.

a) pubs

b) shops

c) cafes

Kiwicakes does not endorse or have any affiliation with

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Celebrating 500 posts with some great news!

Well who would have guessed I would reach 500 posts so quickly. Boy what a fun ride it's been. I enjoy updating the blog with all the new products and news here at Kiwicakes, as well as from my colleagues around the world.

And tonight I have the pleasure of telling you, Kiwicakes is now a distributor for FMM sugarcraft products. You will probably have heard of tappits, they are an FMM product. Our intital delivery arrived today over 50kgs of wonderful tappits & lace cutters. We'll have another huge delivery in aprx 4 weeks, with a whole lot more exciting products.

Click here to view FMM products on Kiwicakes website.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sharon Egen - Kiwi Cake Decorator

Todays Kiwi Cake Decorator spotlight is on Sharon Egen from Auckland. (Kiwi Cake Decorators is a bi-monthly 10 question interview with a Kiwi Cake Decorator, if you'd like to feature here, please email me

What is your business called? Sweet Tooth Cake Design, my Facebook page is

How long have you been decorating? For as long as I can remember, I used to help Mum decorate Birthday/Christmas cakes and from around 12 years old used to make birthday cakes for my friends little sister. I’ve been decorating for family/friends for around 15 years and for other clients for around 7 years.

What is your favourite thing to bake & decorate – why? I love working with fondant and sculpting 3D kid’s cakes, the looks on their faces when they see their favourite character as a lifelike cake is a huge reward. I also love creating wedding cakes.
What got you started in baking/decorating? My sweet tooth predominantly and an interest inherited from my Mum.

What are your top 5 decorating tools you cannot live without? My Kitchenaid mixer, wooden cake smoothers, wooden rolling pin, knitting needle (perfect for testing cakes and handy for other little icing jobs) and my icing tips.

What do you do when you’re not decorating? Act as a taxi service for my children and spend time with family, I am a bit addicted to Zumba and online shopping too.

What are some of your favourite creations? Storm Trooper Helmet – This cake was made for my sons 6th birthday who was Star Wars mad at the time. His face was priceless when he saw it.

Cowboy cake – Made for a special wee man turning 1, the cake was a perfect fit for his cowboy themed birthday complete with hay bales, cowboy hats and horse rides. Woody and bullseye were made out of fondant and I loved how they turned out.

Mickey Mouse cake – I love this one as it was a bit of a challenge to capture the look of Mickey Mouse.

Baby cupcakes – I had always wanted to give these baby cupcakes a go, luckily I was given ‘free reign’ for a baby shower so created these.

What is you favourite Cake, cookie, or cupcake flavour? I’m a simple girl at heart and I love vanilla cupcakes, with lashings of whipped lemon buttercream.

If you could have someone make a cake for you, what would it be like? I’d love to have a topsy turvy cake made using one of those complex cake construction systems so that I could deconstruct it to get ideas and keep the tools!
I’ve come to realise that as a cake decorator I usually miss out on birthday cakes as people think I need perfection, however for my last birthday my children (helped by Nana) made me a butterfly cake iced in buttercream – I LOVED IT!!!

You currently have a beautiful cake as your facebook profile picture, tell us a little bit about this cake? This cake was created for my best friends wedding. It was very much a work of love. There were four flavours in the three tiers - Chocolate mudcake, Fruit, Banana and Lemon/Coconut and Gin. The cake was iced in white chocolate ganache and covered in fondant and then stacked. The sugar pearls were individually applied and took just over 8 hours for that job alone. The flower was a silk one that I hand coloured to the correct colour.

A birthday cake for Joy-Joy

This cake was made for a dear family friend who turned 70 this week and had her party last night. We couldn't be with her, so the cake was couriered to her. I had wanted to make the cake taller and include a "button tin" lid, propped up against the side, but I feared couriering that. The resulting design is an adaption that I felt would arrive at the other end in one piece and it did.
Joy (aka Joy-Joy) is a button collector, hence the tin of buttons, she also adores patchwork & owls. The lettering is done with the Cricut Cake machine, as are the owls. The cake board I really wanted to show, so that it looked like someone has placed a doily on top of a cake board, and placed a tin of buttons on top. The doily is also made with the Cricut. The buttons I made using these vintage and antique button moulds, I used pettinice in those - they are finished in different colours of lustre. Then I used this plastic chocolate mould and white chocolate melts, coloured with powder colour, to make a variety of buttons that looked like vintage plastic.
-->  The owls go round the circumference of the tin, interspersed with little butterflies.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New book from Wilton - Pops! sweets on a stick - in stock now!

I couldn't wait to share with you all this new book that has just arrived from Wilton Pops! Sweets on a stick If you click on the link to take you to Kiwicakes, you'll get a sneak peak, at a heap of the pages from inside thebook. One of these is definitely coming home with me tonight.

You can also pop over to Wilton's website as they have created a whole section on pops, with recipes, instructions and pop chat in the Wilton forum. As well as great ideas for presenting pops.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kiwi Cake Decorators - Ree Roebeck

This post is the first in a series I'm calling Kiwi Cake Decorators - twice a month I'll be asking 10 questions of a Kiwi Cake Decorator I'll ask each decorator 10 questions and hopefully you'll gain a little insight in to what other decorators around the country are doing. (both amateur & professional)

Our first Kiwi Cake Decorator to be profiled is Ree Roebeck. Ree lives in Auckland with her husband and children.

I first met Ree Roebeck at the Big Day out hosted by Waitakere in 2010. Here's a picture of us, posing in our Cricut Cake hats (we are both huge Cricut Cake fans). Ree is relatively new to cake decorating and is an active participant in the Kiwi Cake forums.

What is your business name; Ree-Lo'z Cupcakes 2 Go...

Ree, the name of your business suggests you can get cupcakes at very short notice - tell me about this aspect of your business; It’s based on “on the run”, I found myself all the time doing last minute things and realized there is no place around here that has a service of cupcakes on the go where you can walk into a bakery or cupcake place and grab a dozen stunning cupcakes either to take as a plate or morning tea to work or a special birthday for a kid or adult that you just want to do a small get together and not order a Big Cake etc. Everywhere you go you have to book in 2weeks advance and there is no place that I know of that will allow you to order last minute, you can’t ring up a wedding or cake decorator to order 12 cupcakes needed for the next day? Can you? So that’s when I thought and had come together with Cupcakes 2 Go... fast and simple and always ready for last minute orders...

How long have you been decorating; 7months

What is your favourite thing to bake & decorate – why? I enjoy mostly doing Cupcakes they're a smaller version of a cake making more easy to handle, putting your own creation into them easy to cart around and replace if a mistake is done - lol. the other thing I enjoy is definitely my homemade Bonbonz easy to whip up and less work.

What got you started in baking/decorating:  I had been thinking over things that would be beneficial to my business and I found that cakes and cupcakes were hard to find and order at last minute, I also found that some places (as I am quite picky about service and food hygiene) did not have the service nor food desires or grades to my expectations.

What are your top 5 decorating tools you cannot live without; Rolling pin, levelling sticks, cricut machine, axo knife, impression mats, and tips

What do you do when you’re not decorating? Surf the net looking for ideas and easy ways of HOW TO DO, ordering online, reading cake forums and recipes

What are some of your favourite creations you’ve created and why; Chocolate mousse cupcakes and fluffy vanilla for a 21st birthday my first time doing black and white and working with tappit sets, mind you everything that I’m doing is my first time, I find this was probably my best work with all my cupcakes.

Doing homemade bonbons with special ingredients. I've have had awesome feedback for these chocolate balls, I love chocolate and what better way is to come up with your own chocolate recipe.

What is your favourite cake, cookie, or cupcake flavour; Milk chocolate cupcakes and marble cake: and why? For cupcakes the milkiness where it’s light and fluffy, marble cake because of the chocolate and vanilla flavour swirled together bonds nicely at first bite.

If you could have someone make a cake for you, what would it be like; I haven’t really thought about that one.

You can find Ree on facebook here and flickr here

Amazing vintage floral cupcake tutorial

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great website for free printables

Chocolate almond cake (gluten free)

I wanted to share with you all the recipe I used for Grandma Kiwicakes birthday cake last weekend. It was flour free (gluten free), Grandma Kiwicakes is not gluten intolerant, but we both love almond cakes and wanted to give this recipe a try.
I baked 2 separate cakes, so used double the amount shown here, as the cakes don't bake very thick layers. Each layer was aprx 2'' thick.

5 eggs
200g butter
200g sugar
200g plain almonds
200g dark chocolat

1. Melt the chocolate & butter together, then mix in the ground almond. Set aside to cool.
2. Separate 4 of the eggs. Mix 1 whole egg and 4 yolks with the sugar. Blend this with the chocolate/almond mixture.
3. Beat the 4 remaining egg whites until they are stiff. Using a metal spoon, carefully fold the egg whites in to the chocolate/almond mixture.
4. Pour in to non-stick spring-form baking tin and bake at 175-180 degrees for 45-55mins.

I put my 2 layers together with a layer of ganache and then covered the cake in a very thin layer of ganache, to adhere Bakels Chocolate Pettinice before decorating using cut-outs from my Cricut Cake


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kiwicakes Logo competition

Kiwicakes has a new logo and he/she needs a name.
Email me your idea for our little kiwi's name to with "Kiwi Competition" in the subject line and be in to win a Kiwicakes $250 prize pack delivered to your door.
Enter as many times as you like. Competition closes Feb 28th 2011. The winning name for our kiwi will be chosen by Kiwicakes staff. Please don't send obscene names and judges reserve the right to not select any of the names submitted.

You will see the Kiwicakes website get a makeover in the next few days, with new banners. We started with the blog today. Please leave me a comment here on the blog, to let me know what you think of it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grandma Kiwicakes birthday cake

Here's a pic of a cake I made this weekend - for Grandma Kiwicakes birthday. I used my Cricut Cake machine to make the paisley. Grandma Kiwicakes was pretty chuffed with it. I made a flourless chocolate almond cake, for no other reason, than I wanted to attempt something different and boy was it tasty.
Please tell me what you think of it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Gosh here we are in 2011. I am terribly excited about the year to come, as much of the hard work in sourcing ranges and suppliers for 2010 is behind me. And already for 2011 there are some pretty big surprises lined up. Not just new products, but entire ranges/brands as well as new ways of doing things Kiwicakes has never offered before. Whilst much of it is still being finalised - I will update you, as each new stage is reached, via the blog, facebook or the Kiwicakes newsletter.

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