Browsing Tag

valentine’s day

2nd February 2016 // 2 Comments

Tutorial: Valentine’s Day Love Cats Cupcake!

Love Cats Valentine Cupcake Tutorial by Juniper Cakery

January has been one heck of a chilly month where we are (so far without even a light dusting of snow though… boo) filled with frosted look cakes, crisp white sprinkles and fondant snowflakes a-plenty. Even though winter doesn’t actually end until around March 19th the approach of Valentine’s Day is a welcome break of warming golds, reds and pinks! To get everyone ready for the big day we planned out this ridiculously cute cupcake tutorial a few weeks ago. Say hello to Ginger and Cream (yes we named them); two adorable little love cats that are utterly perfect for Valentine’s Day cupcakes and even cakes. If you think they’re cute already wait until you see the image below… wait for it… OK you can scroll down now.

Love Cats Cupcake tutorial for Valentine's Day by Juniper Cakery

Love cats Valentine cupcake tutorial!

Yup. What did we tell you? Don’t say you weren’t warned. How sweet are those fondant tails that curl to form a heart? The most craziest thing about them is that with a little time and our step-by-step tutorial they’re actually pretty easy to make… Cats included, of course.

Our top-super-essential-ignore-at-your-own-peril piece of advice for anyone wanting create sugar based characters, models and even flowers is to make the time. Don’t rush or delude yourself into thinking 10 minutes before work at 7am will do it. No way. As easy as any tutorial may be it still takes time because less time = stress and what does stress lead to… a mess! A couple of characters for us can take anything from 30mins (for one of our popular cat figures) to 3 hours. Seriously. So take it easy. Set up your work table, make yourself a cup of tea, and put on some music or even a film (if you’re lucky enough to have a great big TV right in front of you).

Materials and tools needed…

Cat themed Valentine's cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery


One of the very first things you need to do is make your fondant / sugar paste more stable. Models and characters that droop or look misshapen can be the result of soft fondant that just can’t keep shape. Adding Tylo or CMC powder helps stop this. The recommended amount is around 1/2 a teaspoon for 250g of fondant, but we use around 1/4 a teaspoon with Satin Ice fondant for all our models (a full teaspoon to 1 1/2 for sugar flowers). The ‘marshmallowness’ and stretch of Satin Ice is just perfect for character, figure and flower work. Well, we think so anyway.

Here’s two tips for working with Tylo or CMC reinforced fondant… Once you’ve mixed in your powder leave the fondant / sugar paste to sit for around 2-5 minutes and it will firm up. The warmth of your hands when working with it will soften it so once you’ve made a piece (like a head or such) set it aside once any details or embossing etc is done.

Second tip? Sometimes we don’t measure the amount of Tylo or CMC we add to our fondant. Shock horror! It’s OK though we’ve been doing this for a while. Once you have too you’ll find that instead of measuring you’re going to start relying on the feel of things. With Satin Ice in particular we mix in Tylo or CMC until it reaches a gum-like texture and it has a distinctive dull snap sound when you pull it apart. Things like this is nerd-ily enjoyable for us… like whipping up bright white royal icing.


Once you’ve strengthened your fondant you can start making your cats! Yay! Our steps detail how to make one cat, but just repeat the process for the second. Roll some fondant into a smooth ball (with no creases or cracks… if you do get these keep on rolling that ball! The heat from your hands will help smooth everything out) around the size of a large marble.


For the muzzle take two small pieces of fondant and roll into small balls before attaching onto the front centre of your cat’s head with a dab of edible glue. Add whisker marks with the sharp end of a cocktail stick.


For the eyes use a small ball tool to indent the eye sockets. Sounds painful, but you’re kitty will be fine!

Fondant Valentine cat cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery


For the body roll out some fondant smaller than your cat’s head and smooth into a rounded triangular shape which will become the body.


You can use your blade tool to then add the impression of front legs. We angled ours into elongated lines that taper off slightly towards the bottom of the body.


Gently push a piece of uncooked spaghetti down the centre of the fondant body from the top. Make sure you don’t have too much sticking out or else you’ll drive it all the way through the cat’s head like a kebab. You want the spaghetti stick to fit around 2/3 of the way into the head.

Fondant love cats cupcake tutorial for Valentine's Day by Juniper Cakery


Finish off some of your kitty’s facial details by adding black edible sugar pearls (or dragées) into the pre-indented eye sockets. Use a tiny amount of edible glue to really stick them in place. You don’t want to use too much of the glue or else you’ll have a goopy and messy looking cat!


The little pink heart shaped nose is a really sweet feature on these fondant felines! Take the tiniest amount of pink fondant and roll into a small ball. Pinch one end of the nose to form an almost triangle-like shape. Attach above the cat’s muzzle at the centre with some edible glue. Using your veining tool indent the top centre of the nose a little to create a notch. This will help mould a heart shape!

Valentine's cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery


Take your cat’s head and attach it on top of the body via the inserted uncooked spaghetti stick. Add a little edible glue onto the stick too!

Decorate cute cat cupcakes for Valentines with this easy tutorial from Juniper Cakery


For the adorable tails take some fondant and roll it lengthways into ‘ropes’. Lay a piece of parchment or even greaseproof paper on a clean flat surface and whilst constantly checking if the tails match up next to the cats form both into inward curving shapes. When they are placed nest to each other they should match up into a heart shape! Leave to set for a little and when a bit easier and firmer to handle attach onto the back with edible glue!

Cute Valentine's Love Cats cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery


To add a lovely pink blush to each cheek take a small amount of edible blossom dust in a light (non-shimmery) pink and gently dust in circular movements onto their cheeks. Remember to build the colour up and not add too much on to begin with! It’s oh so much easier to add colour than to remove it.


You can nestle your cats directly on top of a buttercream swirled cupcake. We opted to affix ours onto a fondant disc before placing them on top.

Valentine cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Voila! Two rather adorable little love cats perched on top of freshly baked cakes or even a single cake should be gazing over at you. They’re such as sweet and fun way to decorate Valentine’s Day bakes. You can even personalise them. We love the idea of a glistening deep pink fondant heart sat between them featuring a short romantic message or your sweetheart’s initials.

28th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Recipe: Homemade Raspberry Curd!

Tasty raspberry curd recipe by Juniper Cakery

It’s coming! Valentine’s Day that is. If there’s someone special in your life or you’d just like to treat a loved one to an extra sweet treat we’re here to offer up one of our very favourite spreads and fillings. A homemade raspberry curd recipe! A generous dollop of our rather tempting raspberry curd recipe is bound to brighten up someone’s Valentine morning. We love it smothered on lightly toasted brioche slices and even as a cheeky filling for a delicious vanilla cupcake! You can be creative and add it on top of fruity pancakes, swirl it into ice cream or layer it on top of cheesecakes (drools…). You can even veg out on a Sunday watching box sets armed with a spoon and a jar of this refreshing spread. We won’t judge you.

Homemade raspberry curd recipe!

Fruity raspberry curd recipe by Juniper Cakery

Ingredients needed…

  • 175g fresh raspberries
  • 100g butter
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 3 lightly beaten large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 150ml freshly squeezed lemon juice


To begin making this homemade raspberry curd recipe purée your raspberries in a food processor. Set these aside in a bowl while you prep your other ingredients.


Heat up your butter, sugar, zest and lemon juice in a saucepan set to high. Be careful not to burn your ingredients and stir every so often. Your mixture should be done when the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved; this should take around 5 minutes or so on the stove top.


Sieve the raspberry purée and the lightly beaten eggs into the heated up mixture to avoid lumps and bumps in your curd. If you like the pulp or as we say in Britain ‘juicy bits’ then you can leave out the sieve if you wish!


Turn the heat back on for 15 minutes or until you feel and see the curd begin to thicken. Be sure to remove from the heat every minute or so to whisk the mixture. This stops the added eggs from cooking too quickly and becoming more of a fruity scrambled egg recipe!


By this stage your card should feel like lightly whipped cream. Once it cools it will firm up into the typical curd-like consistency.


Add your cooled down raspberry curd recipe to clean jars (we like these Kilner jars) and store until you’re ready to use them in the fridge. Curd doesn’t last as long as jams or marmalades due to the egg and butter content so be sure to use it all up within a week!

Delicious and easy raspberry curd recipe by Juniper Cakery

You should now be left with a gorgeously pink and fruity curd that’s utterly perfect for filling layers of freshly baked cakes with, smothering on top of brioche toast or hot crumpets, drizzling and swirling into ice creams or even adding to indulgent pastries. This homemade raspberry curd recipe can even be adapted… why not give blueberry curd a try or be exotic and swap half the raspberries for chopped up mango?

Homemade raspberry curd recipe by Juniper Cakery

10th February 2015 // 2 Comments

Tutorial Tuesday: How To Make a Fondant Ruffled Heart Pick For Cakes and Cupcakes!

Finding quick and fuss-free ways to decorate a seasonal cake can be a stressful task in itself, but with our fabulous tutorial on how to create your own fondant ruffled heart pick you’ll be ready for your next cake project in no time! The wonderful thing about creating fondant ruffles is that they can be fairly forgiving. Randomly placed curls and frills only add to their textural allure so why not read on for our handy how-to…

Fondant ruffled heart cake pick tutorial!

how to make a Valentine ruffled heart cake by Juniper Cakery

Materials needed:

Juniper Cakery's tutorial for a fondant ruffle heart

Step 1:

Roll our some fondant or gum paste to a thickness of around 6mm-8mm. Be sure to check that the thickness of the fondant is wider than your wooden skewer or cake pop stick.

Create pink fondant ruffle hearts for cakes and cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Step 2:

Using your heart cutter cut out a nice clean heart shaped piece of fondant.

Of course, for different themed cakes you can utilise different shapes. Plain circles are wonderful for adding edible sugar pearls or fondant cameos in the centre for a luxurious jewelled brooch look. 

How to make a sugar paste ruffled heart for cakes by Juniper Cakery

Step 3:

Take your cake pop stick or wooden skewer and paint with a little edible glue before carefully inserting into the base of your heart halfway. Leave to set.

Make pretty frilled hearts for cakes with this tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 4:

Roll out some thin fondant and cut into strips around 1 1/2cm in height. Too short and you’ll lose the lovely textural look like the ruffles create when then curl and fan out randomly. Too long and you’ll risk finding each strip harder to handle.

Step 5:

Using a ball tool thin and ruffle the edges of each strip. To do this take your ball tool and press down moving along the long edge of each strip. You should find that the edge has little ruffled waves!

Ruffled fondant heart tutorial from Juniper Cakery

Step 6:

Paint edible glue onto the surface of your heart and arrange your ruffled strips of fondant from the centre to the outer edges of the shape! To help attach the strips down press lightly on the base. It’s ok if they spread or fold a little as your apply pressure.

 Tutorial on how to decorate a ruffle heart cake for Valentine's Day by Juniper Cakery

Step 7:

Once set and hardened it’s time to see your work finished! Gently insert your ruffled fondant heart cake pick into your cake or cupcake.

Tutorial on how to decorate a ruffle heart cake for Valentine's Day by Juniper Cakery

We absolutely love things that can be tweaked slightly or given a new slant to be useful for other designs and these ruffled heart picks are no exception! For baby showers stick to soft pastel colours. Why not even create lots of different sized vintage coloured hearts to adorn a simple first birthday cake? 

For bridal showers or weddings miniaturise your pick for lots of sweet and tempting cupcakes and perhaps dust or paint the edges with edible gold paint for a decadent feel. You can even omit the cake pop sticks or wooden skewers for lovely cupcake toppers that will sit flat atop of your miniature treats.

how to make a Valentine ruffled heart cake by Juniper Cakery

3rd February 2015 // 1 Comments

Tutorial Tuesday: How To Make a Fondant Love Bug!

It’s Valentine’s Day around the corner and love certainly is in the air for our adorable little love bug! This fun and wonderfully cute tutorial is surprisingly pain-free so why not follow our step by step guide and create a heart-warming collection of Valentine cupcakes for your sweetheart?

Fondant love bug tutorial to fall head over heels for!

Valentine's Day cupcake decorating tutorial on how to make a cute edible love bug from Juniper Cakery

Valentine Love Bug cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Materials needed:

How to make a fondant love bug for Valentine's Day by Juniper Cakery

Step 1:

Make a medium size ball of soft pink fondant / sugar paste with a small amount of tylo powder added… 1 teaspoon per 250g of paste).

Step 2:

Roll two tiny balls of black fondant. Indent where you want to place the eyes with the small ball tool and with a little edible glue attach the black fondant balls in place.

Step 3:

For the nose shape a tiny piece of white fondant into an oval shape and attach with edible glue.

Make a cute little edible love bug cupcake topper with this tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 4: 

For the mouth take a round piping tip and carefully press half of it into the face. Accentuate the smile with a little pink petal dust.

Step 5:

To add some rosy cheeks dust a little pink petal dust at a time underneath and opposite the nose.

Pink love bug cupcake topper tutorial from Juniper Cakery

Step 6:

To create the body take some hot pink fondant mixed with some tylo powder and form into a teardrop shape. 

Step 7:

Take a stick of uncooked spaghetti and push into it’s centre leaving some protruding to hold the head of the bug on. Attach with some edible glue and by carefully pressing the head onto the body through the spaghetti.

Create a sugar paste love bug for your Valentine's cupcakes with this how-to from Juniper Cakery

Step 8:

Now it’s time to make your little love bug’s antennae! Roll out some hot pink fondant to a thickness of around 5mm and with a small heart shaped plunger cutter cut out two hearts.

Sweet little fondant love bug tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 9:

Cut two pieces of floral wire around 2 inches long and curl around a thin paintbrush before sliding off and snipping down to around 1 inch in length.

Step 10:

Carefully straighten out a little bit at the end and with each tip dipped in some edible glue insert into the plunger cut hearts half way.

Step 11:

Carefully insert each antenna into the top of your bug’s head.

Edible fondant lovebug tutorial from Juniper Cakery

Step 12:

For the wings roll out some white fondant and cut out a medium sized heart using a cookie or pastry cutter.

Step 13:

With a small sharp knife slice the heart into half lengthwise and attach to the back of your bug with edible glue.

How to make a fondant love bug Valentine cupcake figure by Juniper Cakery

Step 14:

To add legs create two small rounded teardrop shapes from some hot pink fondant. Pinch and flatten the tapered ends together slightly. Attach and place your bug on top of the legs with a little edible glue.

Adorable fondant love bug for cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Step 15:

Add some lovely heart details to your love bug with some heart shaped sprinkles!

This fondant love bug tutorial by Juniper Cakery is perfect for Valentine's Day cupcakes!

We like to think that a cutie like this would indeed look rather fetching perched on top of cakes as well as cupcakes so have fun making a little fondant love bug for large or small treats! For gorgeous baby shower cakes a sweet little heart themed bug like this would be positively show stealing. We love the idea of a pastel hued love bug sat atop of fondant ABC building blooks as part of a fun cake design!

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Raspberry, White Chocolate and Pink Peppercorn Cake!

Add a little subtle heat to your Valentine’s Day treats with our fabulous Raspberry, White Chocolate & Pink Peppercorn Cake recipe! This cake is a delight to whip up, but it’s even better to eat! We love the luxurious silky taste of the white chocolate buttercream featuring fruity warm hits of pink peppercorns dotted throughout. Follow our super tasty recipe below for a fantastic treat…

Raspberry, White Chocolate and Pink Peppercorn Cake

Raspberry, White Chocolate and Pink Peppercorn Cake by Juniper Cakery

Recipe for a Raspberry, White Chocolate and Pink Peppercorn cake by Juniper Cakery

Recipe for a fruity yet peppery Raspberry, White Chocolate and Pink Peppercorn cake by Juniper Cakery
(makes approx. 3 x 1″ layers 6″ in diameter)

Ingredients for the vanilla cake

453g self-raising flour
453g caster sugar
453g butter or baking margarine (diced and left at room temperature to soften)
7 medium sized eggs
Vanilla extract

Ingredients for the white chocolate and pink peppercorn buttercream

500g butter
400g icing sugar (approx.)
300g white chocolate good quality callets, buttons or chips
2 tablespoons pink peppercorns

Ingredients for the raspberry preserve

300g fresh raspberries
300g pectin sugar
1 tablespoons lemon juice

To decorate

Fresh raspberries (not frozen)

To bake, fill, cover and decorate your cake

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C / 325 degrees F / Gas mark 3 and grease or line your cake pans.

Pink peppercorn cake recipe by Juniper Cakery

Step 2: Prep your pink peppercorns by adding them to a pestle and mortar to grind down. It’s OK if you have pink husks in your mix as these don’t hinder the taste and texture of your buttercream too much! At this stage you’re simply preparing your peppercorns for your buttercream as this can be a lengthy process. Set aside once crushed and ground.

Step 3: Add diced room temperature butter to a stand up mixer and mix until creamy.

Step 4: Add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well before adding in the eggs.

Step 5: Gradually add in the flour whilst mixing. We add half and mix well before we include the last half of the flour once the first half has been incorporated.

Step 6: Separate your batter evenly between 3 x 6″ circle baking pans (you can use 8″, however, be aware that your layers may be a little thinner once baked)

Step 7: Place in the oven and bake for around 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester is inserted and comes out clean! Once baked remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Step 8: To make the buttercream add softened diced butter to a stand up mixer and cream.

Step 9: Sift icing / confectioner’s sugar into the bowl of creamed butter until a consistency and taste you like. When you can taste equal amounts of butter and sugar it’s ready!

Pink peppercorn buttercream by Juniper Cakery

Step 10: Add melted white chocolate and mix on medium speed before adding in ground pink peppercorns you prepared in step 2! Don’t over mix or you’ll be left with lots of annoying air bubbles. Set aside.

Step 11: To create your raspberry jam add your fresh raspberries, lemon juice and water to a saucepan.

Step 12: Cook the preserve ingredients on medium to high heat and stir until the raspberries break down and the mix is a good thick consistency.

Step 13: Remove and transfer to a clean bowl or jar to leave to cool.

Step 14: To assemble cut your cake layers so that each is level and flat. Then fill with your raspberry preserve placing the next layer on top until complete. Once fully stacked remember not to add your jam to the very top/outside layer of cake.

Step 15: With a large angled palette knife smother your white chocolate and pink peppercorn buttercream onto the top and sides of the cake. Use cake scrapers to smooth out your buttercream.

Step 16: Topple fresh raspberries on top to finish!

Raspberry, White Chocolate and Pink Peppercorn cake recipe by Juniper Cakery

Slice of raspberry and pink peppercorn cake by Juniper Cakery

Pink peppercorns make a truly unique and surprising twist to this recipe. They’re sweet and fruity yet exude a subtle hit of pepper heat. To turn it up a notch why not add ground pink peppercorns to your cake batter before baking? Or grind some into your home made raspberry preserve? They pair well with other fruity tastes so if you’re not a fan of raspberries why not try morello cherries, strawberries, tangy lemon curd or even healthy blueberries?