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7th January 2021 // 0 Comments

Beginner Cupcake Baking Essentials!

Beginnger cupcake essentials by Juniper Cakery

In 2020 lots of people picked up some new hobbies. We’re predicting that 2021 is going to be just the same. So we thought it’d be handy to put together a post listing some of the tools we can’t bake without. They’re also perfect for beginners. When people get really into a hobby they generally end up buying eevvverything to do with it. Then 5 months down the line they realise how much stuff they never even used! Our list includes the basics that are super useful. No crazy gadgets or odd contraptions… we’ve tried them all.

Cupcake baking tools for beginners!

1 Cupcake baking pan in rose gold

A good cupcake baking pan is definitely a must-have. It pretty much goes without saying that it’s going to keep your cupcakes in shape and mess free! This 12 cavity pan is also in the chicest shade of rose gold. Perfect for the on-trend baker. They’re also easy to clean and store away ready for your next tasty batch!

2 Cupcake cases

This handy set of pink and burgundy cupcake cases are so great. A lot of liners end up see through or flimsy once baked with. These keep the shape of the cupcake incredibly well and they’re a little larger than most (who is going to complain about more cake right?). You can also nab them in a range of cool colours.

3 Ice cream scoop

You wouldn’t think that ice cream scoops would be an essential when it comes to whipping up perfect cupcakes. They’re perfect for filling up cases with batter minus the mess. You’ll also get a more even separation of batter between liners too. This set includes three different sizes… great for baking up mini cupcakes. We’ve linked the set that we use, but if you’re looking around make sure to opt for the one with a release! That’s going to help push the batter out into your cases.

Beginner cupcake baking essentials!

4 Kitchen timer

A kitchen or oven timer is one of those essential purchases that a lot of people forget about. So… it helps to pick out a fun novelty design like this pink strawberry. Using one is easy just twist to the minutes you need and set aside to wait for the alarm. For the baker in your life this is going to also make the cutest little gift in a hamper.

5 Cupcake piping tips

We get asked all the time what tips we use for our cupcakes. Ateco is our go-to cupcake nozzle brand. Their tips are larger than most so no straggly looking swirls on top of cupcakes. These three are possibly our most used. An 809 plain round is perfect for a simple modern look. The 869 or pastry tip adds a cool texture. For a bolder linear look try the Ateco 828!

6 Sprinkles

Sprinkles are always a super fun and quick way to add the final touch to your cupcakes. Simply swirl your finished cupcakes with buttercream and add on top. They’re also perfect on top of cakes or as a little added texture with a fun fondant topper.

1st January 2021 // 0 Comments

5 Tips for Perfect Bakes

Tips for Perfect Bakes by Juniper Cakery

One of our most read posts is our 5 Tips for Perfect Buttercream. It makes sense. There are sooo many different recipes and techniques out there to try. It’s easy to get bamboozled. If you don’t have go-to recipes or a method you like to stick to finding tips can be handy. So with that in mind here’s our top tips for perfect bakes! If you’re finding your loaves sinking or your cupcakes overflowing why not sit down with a cup fo tea and read though our advice!

Tips for Perfect Bakes

1: Read

This one seems silly, but it is amazing how many people don’t read every word of a recipe or tutorial before starting. It’s easy to skim read… especially if you’re in a rush. Don’t worry, everyone at some point ends up doing it. One of the simplest ways to end up with a baking fail, however, is to not pay attention to the ingredients list or instructions. If it’s for a weekend treat sit down with a coffee, a few minutes and your chosen project. It’ll save you the stress in the long run. For bigger or more ambitious recipes like a festive centrepiece it may be worth printing out your recipe and making notes. A trial bake isn’t going to hurt too… plus that means a trial treat!


2: Plan Ahead & Don’t Rush

Another sure fire way to find yourself in the middle of sinking cupcakes is to not plan ahead. Make sure you check those cupboards to see if you have everything you need in. If not pre-plan a trip to buy all your ingredients. Or remember to order any specialist items you need in advance. Also, try to set aside more time than you think you’ll need to bake and decorate. It’s easy to think that pretty drip cake is just going to take an afternoon to whip up, but it won’t. (We do this for a living and it takes longer than that for us!) De-clutter or prep your work area. Set up your stand mixer, bowls, etc before you start. You can even pre-weigh all your ingredients too. Why would you want to cause yourself more stress and anxiety? Whether you’re a complete novice or have more experience every project should be a fun project.


3: Check Your Ingredients

Always make sure that your ingredients are in date… even things like baking powder or bicarbonate of soda. They generally have long shelf lives, but if they are past their Best Before date they start to lose potency. The last thing you want is your levelling agent to give up mid-bake right?

Another part to checking your ingredients involves weights and measurements. Weighing ingredients is a lot more accurate than relying on the cups (or volume) system so this is the method we recommend. All our recipes are in this format. We know there are recipes out there that just involve cups with no conversions though. Converting those kinds of recipes are usually hit and miss too. Why? Because a cup are just not as accurate as scales! So each different ingredient needs its own specific conversion. A cup of milk is not going to weigh the same as a cup of icing sugar. If you’re used to cups then that’s great and if it’s never failed for you then stick with it. Weighing ingredients or looking at a weight lead recipe really isn’t hard though. Some people can be put off by it, but it’s just a case of investing in some kitchen scales!


4: Practice, Practice, Practice

If you know you’ve got an event or dinner coming up then make your life easier and practice! So if you’re hoping for a cute Christmas dessert table start a few weeks before with a little time set aside. Don’t go crazy and think you can practice several bakes in one day. We’d recommend testing one or two. Keeping a set of notes on your progress is going to help. We know not everyone is going to be this in-depth, but even a couple post-it notes would help. You might even think of some cool flavour or decoration options for next time.

5: Think Before You Substitute

If you need a recipe that uses a substitute (low fat, no gluten, vegan friendly etc) then look for that recipe. We wouldn’t recommend just taking a standard recipe and swapping ingredients out. We’ve had people ask why certain bakes haven’t worked and that all they did was replace the butter with a low fat margarine. The two things aren’t the same and they definitely don’t have the same ingredients. Simply put, margarine (especially low fat) has a higher water content than butter so your bake isn’t getting the right ratio of fat it needs.

Another example is a panicked email we received one Christmas. Someone used our go-to gingerbread cookie recipe, but swapped plain flour for gluten free plain flour. Everything seemed great, but after a few hours the cookies were soft and falling apart. The problem was that there was nothing to replace the gluten that was taken out when the plain flour was replaced. Gluten helps bind ingredients in a bake together so without an alternative like Xanthan Gum it was always going to easily crumble or break. Our recipe wasn’t a gluten free specific recipe to begin with too.

Hopefully, with these handy tips you’re on your way to perfect bakes. The key here really is to not make life harder for yourself. If you don’t have the time then try and go for a simpler bake. Don’t be so hard on yourself and instead have some fun!

6th November 2020 // 0 Comments

Cake Icing Tools and How to Use Them!

List of cake icing tools and how to use them

With the second lockdown under way here in the U.K. we’re pretty sure everyone is looking for a project to busy themselves. With that in mind we thought we’d put together a handy post about all the different cake icing tools there are. There’s so much choice, but you only really need a few good staples. Obviously, it depends what you are comfortable with. We have drawers upon drawers of different smothers, spatulas, palette knives! Ultimately, we have our go-to pieces. Read on to find out more about cake icing tools and how to use them!


Cake icing tools and how to use them!



Perfect for mixing batter, buttercream, whipped cream and macarons! If you like novelty items or a bit of colour you can easily brighten up a baking day with some cute spatula designs. They’re usually a bendable silicone or rubber and come in a few different shapes. For baking and decorating you should be looking for the second spatula shape in the above graphic. Not only is it great for mixing ingredients, but it can easily scrape icing out of your mixing bowl. You can even use it to roughly cover your cake with buttercream or whipped cream. Amazing if you don’t want too many tools to clean up afterwards!

The spatula we’ve included in the link comes as a set, BUT they’re all rainbow sprinkle patterned. Perfect for a little bit of fun. Plus you’ll get to test each style and see which you really like.


Palette Knives

We’ve spotted palette knives labeled or called spatulas at times. We’re not entirely sure why. Maybe it depends on location or what’s available? However, palette knifes are different to the spatulas above and tend to come in three main styles.

Standard, which doesn’t bend out at the handle and usually ends as a rounded rectangular shape. These are great for scooping and dolloping fillings or buttercreams onto your cake.

Cranked, offset or angled, which bend out at the handle. These are perfect for smoothing buttercream, royal icing or ganache. Why? Well, the offset shape makes them easier to handle when spreading coverings onto a cake.

You can also get tapered palette knives that look a lot like some of the tools you can get for oil painting. These are perfect for then adding texture to softer icing finishes (buttercream, whipped cream, etc). You can add pretty lines or a messy look to your cake. You can also ‘oil paint’ with buttercream or royal icing using these too.


Icing Smoothers

Cake coverings like fondant or sugar paste tend to get called icing too, just like their softer counterparts (buttercream, royal icing etc). This is where icing smoothers come in. They kind of look like flat pieces of plastic with a small handle-like grip. Once you’ve iced your cake with your paste you use icing smoothers to refine the look… literally smoothing it. Icing smoothers are also perfect for rolling out even ‘ropes’ of fondant or sugar paste to decorate cakes with.


Flexi Smoothers

These are thin and incredibly bendable yet sturdy pieces of plastic. They’re so handy for super sharp edges on cakes. You can also use them just like icing smoothers if you prefer too. They really help you get close to the cake and really see your edges. Back in the day these weren’t all that available so everyone ended up using food safe acetate sheets to achieve sharp edges. Those were insanely thin, flimsy and see-through, which made them a bit of a pain. Thankfully, flexi smoothers came along!



Though this tool isn’t a cake icing tool that comes in direct contact with cake coverings it is still an essential! A good turntable can make or break a cake especially when it comes to smoothing it with buttercream or ganache. This one is the exact model we use by Ateco and it is beautiful. It’s sooo sturdy too. You need to look for one that spins smooth on its own AND with a cake on it so that you can get the most even and smooth icing.


Icing Scrapers

Handy icing scrapers are there to help you get the smoothest possible finish to any buttercream, semi-naked or ganached tiers. This is ideal when it comes to covering your cake with fondant. Why? Well that fondant or sugar paste covering is going to take on whatever the surface is underneath. Rough and bumpy ganache? Then you’ll end up with a rough and bumpy fondant iced cake!