Monday, 22 August 2016

Free Advertising

Recently, I got an enquiry from a large company (who shall remain nameless!) asking me if I would heavily discount or "donate" my cupcakes to an event they were holding at their shop in return for them leaving my business cards out/free advertising. I politely said that there were no discounts available in return for this and that I could only offer the discounts that I would give to anyone depending on the quantity they ordered. They said thank you and didn't take the order any further.

 I do not have a problem with charities asking me for cupcake donations (I don't give them, I give vouchers to limited numbers of charities and usually small, local ones) or people enquiring as to discounts BUT I have to say that it does put my back up a little when large, prominent companies who can most definitely afford to pay for my services and delicious cake, ask for freebies in return for advertising.

 I offer Branded cupcakes which are very popular with businesses to promote their services and do not believe it's fair on me, or those businesses that pay the full price for these products, to give other businesses my products for free. In hindsight, I wish I had asked for their products for free in return for me telling my customers about them because at the end of the day, how is that different? Apart from the fact they can probably afford to buy my products and I can't afford to buy theirs!!

Some examples of logo cupcakes

For me, this is not "free advertising", it is the hours I take to make the cupcakes, the electricity I use to bake the cupcakes and the of course, the ingredients that go into the cupcakes. None of which is free. 

It is something that artists and small businesses come into contact with repeatedly, work in return for "experience" or "advertising". Don't devalue yourself or your products. Don't work for "free".

Happy baking!


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Photographing Cakes

One of the things I notice repeatedly lets small cake businesses down is the way they take photos of cakes. It's no good making the most amazing looking cake and then ruining it by taking a photo of it in the dark or with loads of mess behind it.

In some ways, the taking of the photo is just as important as the cake itself. So, here are my top tips for taking photos of cakes.

First, make sure you take a photo of your cakes on a plain surface or back drop. DON'T take a photo of your cakes with all your dirty baking equipment in the background, it's not attractive and detracts from the cakes. All you want the customer to see is your beautiful creation. So often I see photos of cakes on the kitchen work top with stuff in the background. It's so simple to just clear a space and put a white sheet or piece of pretty wrapping paper/wall paper in the background.

Number 2: Wherever possible, take photos in natural light and when it is bright as possible. Make sure there are no shadows (see below) or streams of light affecting the photo. The best time to take th photo is when the sun is shining. If you take a photo in the evening when the sun has gone in, get a bright light - I have a light box which works really well as it imitates natural light (not only is it great for photos but it's great for winter days when I'm feeling a bit sluggish and have long hours to work.)

My next tip is something that I don't always do, so use your best judgement. Try to take photos of the cakes when they're not in the box. When you've got 24 cupcakes in a box it's just easier to take a photo of them all in the box, but try picking out some of the main designs and take a photo of them on their own. But when it comes to celebration cakes, DO NOT take a photo of them in the cake box. It looks messy and you can't see the whole cake. Even if you're short of time, you can still take 2 minutes to take it out of the box and take a photo. 

If you do take a photo of your cupcakes in a box (as above), be sure to crop out as much of the box as you can and focus on the cupcakes themselves.

Using the above tips you will be able to take great photos of your cakes and really make the most of your creations. 


Happy caking and photo taking!


I'm Back (I hope!)

I can't believe I haven't posted anything for 3 years! I'm going to try to post more now and have lots of recipes to share so fingers crossed, I can try to make time again. I've been really busy the last few years and the business has grown every year. You can follow all my cake adventures on and Happy caking!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Vote for Heaven is a Cupcake!

food fest 2013

I am very proud to announce that for the 4th year running, Heaven is a Cupcake, has been nominated for a St Albans Food and Drink Award in the 'Local Gem' category. But not only that, HIAC has also been nominated for Best Local Producer. I'm thrilled to be part of these local awards again and always have a great time participating in the Festival. Stay tuned for special deals and events during the Festival, but until then, please vote for Heaven is a Cupcake!

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend!


Heaven is a Cupcake, St Albans

Monday, 25 February 2013

Help the Hospices Cupcake

In August 2013, good friends of Heaven is a Cupcake's are cycling 100 miles around London for the Prudential Ride London and are raising money for the amazing cause, Help the Hospices. Help the Hospices support hospices all around the country who provide end of life and palliative care to those in need. Not only do they provide support for the patients themselves but they are a life line to the families affected by terminal illnesses.

With this in mind, Heaven is a Cupcake is proud to introduce the Help the Hospices High Tea Cupcake; a vanilla sponge with a Tiptree Champagne and Strawberry Jam filling and a decadent champagne buttercream. Cupcakes are £2.00 each and £1.50 per cupcake will be going to Help the Hospices. You can buy the cupcakes at all of our events or you can order a box online by emailing us on .

If you would like to find out more about the cause or donate please visit:

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Top 20 HiaC Creations of 2012

A big thank you and Happy New Year 2013 to all my customers; thank you for making 2012 so successful and giving me some fab cakes to take on.

Here are my Top 20 Creations of 2012.

20. Pretty Spring Cupcake Bouquet. I never tire of making these cupcake bouquets; they always come out differently and put a smile on the recipient's face. They make a really unique gift and are the perfect alternative to flowers.

19. Loveable Bugs! I love making these cute little bugs cupcakes. They've been a popular design for 2012 and I look forward to making more of them.

18. Tea for One. Individual afternoon tea trays complete with a slice of cake - all to yourself. Another popular design which can be done in any colour combination and great for all occasions. These were made for a Diamond Wedding Anniversary, hence the little diamonds atop the slices of cake.

17. Zoo Animals Cake. I have taken on a lot more large celebration cakes this year and look forward to doing even more next year. This birthday cake was for 2 little boys who were having a joint party at Willows Farm, St Albans. I'm not sure they'd see many of these animals there though!

16. Grandma's 90th Birthday Cake. I made this cake and cupcake tower for my grandma who turned 90 in December - she's a big fan of my cakes and is an inspiration to me. Here she is on her sofa with all her electronic gadgets!

15. Summer Wedding Cupcake Tower. This wedding tower is made up of a variety of cocktail and summer flavoured cupcakes. The design was quite simple but all together looked really fresh and perfect for a Summer Wedding.

14. Sophie and Glen's 4 Split Tier Buttercream Swirl Wedding Cake. This was probably my most challenging cake of the year as I had to transport it to the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf and then assemble it on the dance floor but, I hope you'll agree, the end result was worth it!

13. Halloween Designs 2012. I always love making Halloween cupcakes and cakes because there are so many different designs you can do for it. Here are just a few of them.

12. Mothers Day 2012. I had lots of orders for these designs and I had a lot of fun designing them. Flowers are so versatile; they are perfect for cupcakes!

11. Diamond Jubilee Cupcakes. How can I not include these in my Top 20 of 2012?! 2012 was such a great year for us and I was thrilled to do these designs to reflect that.

10. Doc Mcstuffins Birthday Cake - 10in Vanilla cake with Doc Mcstuffins and friends on for Amiya's 2nd Birthday.

9. Christmas Designs 2012 - Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake and some of my cupcake designs. Always love Christmas!

8. Raa Raa the Noisy Lion Giant Cupcake. Childrens' birthday cakes are always a lot of fun to make as they have such imaginative characters and themes. They are perfect as giant cupcakes!

7. Robyn and Mark's Lilac Rose Cupcake Tower. I don't usually do tiered wedding cakes so this was a first as they were adamant that they wanted me to do their cake! I was very pleased with how it turned out and had lots of compliments on it.

6. Alice in Wonderland cupcakes. These were made for one of my regular customers who loves Alice in Wonderland - they are great for cakes as there are so many ways to make them.

5. Gruffalo Cupcakes. More children's cupcakes. I do really love making children's cakes! I'd like to do more please :)

4. Waybuloo Cake. Until I was asked to do these (like many children's tv shows), I'd never heard of the Waybuloos. Now I've made lots of them! 8in vanilla cake

3. Muppets Cupcakes. This is the third lot of muppets cupcakes I made this year and I want to make more. They are such fun characters to make and not only that, but I made them as samples for the judges of Flare 2012, the Entrepreneurial Contest run by the University of Hertfordshire, which I subsequently won. So I think I owe the muppets for that :)

2. Flare Mini Cupcakes. Now from first look, these may not seem that exciting but this photo was taken just before the Flare Award Ceremony where I found out I'd won the Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 and the grand prize of £10,000 to help with my business so it's very important to me and is one of my proudest moments of 2012!

1. My Harry Potter Sorting Hat. This was made of 4 cakes; coconut, vanilla, chocolate and lemon. It was my most 'liked' and most shared cake of 2012 on Facebook so really should be top of the cakes. I can't wait to see what cake designs I get to make in 2013! Thanks again everyone and see you soon.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

New York, New York: Part One - Carlo's Bakery

In September I took a trip to New York to try out some of the cupcake bakeries and source new ideas/flavours. Here's a quick round up of where I went and what I tasted!

 The first place we visited was Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey which is about a 20 minute bus journey from Times Square, NYC. As a big fan of Cake Boss, Carlo's Bakery was first on my list and we were very lucky as we only had to wait 45 minutes. This may seem a long time but I had read horror stories of people having to queue for 3hrs before they even got in to the bakery! We went on a rainy Friday morning at about 11am (by the time we arrived) so got straight into the bakery with no long queues outside.        


 The counters were full of delicious, brightly coloured cakes and cookies, from cupcakes to biscotti and layer cakes with fresh fruit on them. As much as I wanted to buy something of everything, I thought I had better restrain myself so just went with the classics - a Red Velvet Cupcake, some amaretti biscuits, a cannoli and lobster tail.


The cupcake was moist and had a yummy cream cheese frosting. The lobster tail was delicious but the cannoli was a bit rich for me and wasn't keen on the deep fried shell! I did find, whilst across the pond, that the cupcakes in America (as I found whilst in Florida) are much heavier than mine and the cake is a denser consistency which kind of stick when you tear them apart unlike mine which are light and a bit crumblier. I'm not sure if it's to do with the flour or just the different recipes. They are definitely sweeter! And of course, we had to take a photo outside the front with our purchases!


 Next post : Magnolia Bakery and Crumbs Bake Shop!