behind the scenes

Stacked Cakes!

Stacked Cakes

So while Crumbs & Doilies started it’s life exclusively as a cupcakery, we’ve grown and evolved a lot over the years! While we still pride ourselves on making the best cupcakes in London (possibly THE WORLD!), we now produce a lot of really amazing cakes, too. We now offer stacked versions of all of our ready to order cakes for when one just isn’t enough. We thought it would be fun to give you a look at a few of the fun cakes we’ve made recently, and a sneak peek at how we made them!

Crumbs & Doilies Soho is now open!

CnD_Soho

We’re really excited to announce that our new shop is now open at 1 Kingly Court, London, W1B 5PW! It’s just off Carnaby Street and is open 11am-7pm weekdays and 12pm-6pm Sundays. There’s great coffee from our friends at Grind, amazing teas by Suki Tea and sodas from All Good, as well as lots and lots of truly amazing cakes, cupcakes and bakes. Stay tuned for a full tour, but for now why not let Jemma show you around? Take a look below…

 

Crumbs & Diaries: behind the scenes at C&D

Cupcake Jemma gives us a sneaky peak behind the scenes at the C&D bakery in her latest YouTube vid:

A closer look at our new packaging

Crumbs & Doilies cupcakes

As part of our spring clean we’ve redesigned all our cupcake boxes and packaging, from the custom sprinkle-print tissue paper that lines each box to the colourful straps and stickers that provide a finishing touch. It’s been an exciting few weeks seeing our new-look boxes make their way into the big wide world, so we thought we’d share a few pics here on the blog.

All our boxes are custom-made to provide a perfect fit for our cupcakes, so once your order is baked and decorated we carefully nestle them inside ensuring the little chaps can’t roll around or smush their icing everywhere, and guaranteeing that your cupcakes are as perfect when you receive them as the moment when they left the bakery.

What’s more for extra environmental piece of mind all our packaging is completely recyclable, so once you’ve enjoyed your cupcakes it can be disposed of without damage to mother nature or your environmental credentials. We’re really pleased with the new boxes and we think you’re going to love them just as much (ok, nearly as much) as what’s inside. In the meantime click on for a more detailed peek…

London-themed cupcakes

London cupcakes

One of our regular corporate clients has meeting rooms named after different areas of London, so what better theme, they thought, for an internal company party than one based on our fair capital. Quite a lot of hours and a whole heap of sugarpaste modelling later we delivered 400 of these cute London themed cupcakes for them to enjoy. Complete with black cabs, tube signs (named after the meeting rooms, not the tube stops, before anyone writes in or starts hunting for the elusive ‘soho’ tube station…), London buses and bright red pillarboxes.

Sushi cakes!

Sushi cakes

So we spent last Friday mostly making sushi out of cake.  Sushi cakes (1086 pieces of to be exact) all neatly packaged in 181 real sushi trays complete with chopsticks, a swirl of buttercream wasabi and custom outer boxes. Everyone was a little nervous given the amount of custom work and cake quantities involved, but we got there in the end and the boxes looked great! Click below for a few more pics, including some behind-the-scenes stuff.

Check us out on Instagram!

Hey gang. Those of you lucky enough to be in possession of an iPhone might have heard of a fun little app called Instagram, which lets you take and share pictures with friends. Well, you may or may not be pleased to hear that the guys here at C&D are big fans! If you’re on a computer you can take a look at our pics right here, or log in to Instagram on your iPhone and follow us (‘crumbsanddoilies’) to get our photos in your feed.

You can still find a whole host of lovely cupcake pics in our gallery and right here on my little blog, of course, as well as on our flickr and facebook pages, but we’ll also be posting up quick snaps and behind-the-scenes pics via Instagram, so if that’s your bag feel free to check it out!

Happy snapping!

Ken
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Ingredients: Tate and Lyle FairTrade Sugar

We use Tate & Lyle sugars in our cupcakes and icing which are produced at their Thames Refinery in East London. Both T&L’s Icing and Caster sugar are accredited as Fairtrade, meaning that the farmers and smallholders get a fairer deal and that money goes towards education, health and other community projects. All Tate & Lyle sugar is refined from natural cane sugar, which gives a superior taste and texture to sugar refined from sugar beet.

We use Tate & Lyle’s Fairtrade Caster sugar primarily for its wonderfully sweet, natural taste and fine crystals, which help make the sponge in our cupcakes light, delicious and moist. We use their Fairtrade Icing sugar because it produces a fantastically smooth buttercream icing with a sweet but natural flavour.

We also use T&L Fairtrade Royal Icing sugar (to make smoother, firmer icing for piped decorations and designs) and Fairtrade Brown sugar. Our sugarpaste (for covered cakes and custom decorations) comes from M&B, a family-run business in North London who have been making and supplying high-quality sugarpaste to expert cake makers for over 20 years.

Ingredients: Organic Free Range Eggs

The quality of eggs is a huge factor in the taste and texture of any sponge, and of course the quality of the hens’ lives is equally important. Happily, the two things tend to go together; happy hens make for great eggs. All our eggs are certified Organic and Free Range, and are delivered fresh from a family-owned and operated farm in West Sussex. The hens that lay them are free to graze and forage outdoors all day, and live in mobile hen houses which are moved periodically to ensure they always have fresh pastures to enjoy. Because the eggs are collected daily and sorted, graded and packed right on the farm they’re super-fresh when we receive them (Duncan, the farmer, drops them off at C&D HQ every Tuesday). This freshness and the healthy outdoor lifestyle and natural organic diet enjoyed by the chickens makes for the best eggs we’ve ever tasted and, of course, amazing cupcakes.

Some of the hens that lay our eggs, doing their thing in West Sussex.

Ingredients: Lescure Butter

Hi all. We’re kind of cupcake nerds here at C&D, and the guys thought it might be interesting to take an in-depth look at some of the ingredients that go into what we do. We’ll be posting them under the tag ingredients so if you fancy reading long and potentially slightly boring ramblings about butter, flour, eggs and the like then you know where to look… Anyway, what better place to start than with our butter?

It’s one of the most important ingredients in any cake, or icing, and we only ever use Lescure unsalted butter for all our cupcakes and buttercream. Lescure has Protected Designation of Origin (Appellation d’Origine Protégée, or AOP) certification, which means it can only ever come from dairy herds in the Charente region of France (a little like Champagne from vineyards in Champagne or Parma ham from Parma). This small, tightly-controlled production area helps ensure that quality is kept consistently high.

When choosing butter for baking the key things to look for are fat and water content; Lescure has a very high fat content and a very low water content, which helps make for a richer, moister sponge, as well as amazingly smooth buttercream icing with a beautiful ‘mouthfeel’. It’s also matured for a relatively short period during the manufacturing process, which together with the soil, climate and feed enjoyed by the cows (they call that stuff terroir in France) produces a fresh, creamy and very slightly nutty-tasting butter.

Like a lot of the ingredients we use Lescure is a bit more expensive than other options (around 20% more than President and other premium butters) but having tried pretty much everything else going it really is the best butter out there. If you’ve ever made or tried buttercream icing that left a claggy or oily taste in your mouth, or been left scratching your head at a sponge that came out a little dry, our advice would be to get hold of some Lescure and give it a go. And of course if you’re not so much into the whole baking thing then you can always bag yourself some of our cupcakes – it’s all Lescure all the time, and we’ll never use anything else.

Burgerman cupcakes making of pics

Hi again everyone. Just thought you might like to see some ‘making of’ pics for the Jon Burgerman cupcakes from earlier. Watch out for the brownie burgers, the sugarpaste fillings and fries, buttercream mayo and custom Burgerman boxes and wrappers (I helped with those)!

(Click the pic above to make it big)

Ken
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