Primrose Bakery Cupcake Decorating Masterclass

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking part in a Valentines themed cupcake decorating class at Primrose Bakery, in Covent Garden.

I remember as I walked in thinking how much I liked the pairing of pastel and bright colours in the shop, as this really brought a friendly and welcoming atmosphere to the place.

IMG_8308We were offered a drink and I was very happy sipping on my pink lemonade and excited to see our table set up and ready to go!

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Once we were all given a large and a mini vanilla cupcake – the class was ready to begin and I braced myself for the swirl-off; the challenge of challenges in the cupcake world… well in my head anyway!

There are many bakeries out there that choose to pipe frosting on their cupcakes, but Primrose Bakery is well-known for their signature swirl.IMG_8262Head Chef Lisa Chan was leading this class and started off by demonstrating how to make a simple buttercream frosting, which was also coloured pink to go nicely with the theme.

IMG_8303I’m not going to lie, creating a swirl is much harder than you think. It’s all about how you hold a palette knife and your wrist action.

After attempting it for the 100th time, even my cupcake was ready to give up. But Lisa was very patient with us amateurs and showed us again and again until ours looked half-decent. We were then allowed to let loose with the sprinkles and decorations; so my first swirled cupcake was born.

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Comparing mine and my friend’s cupcake next to one of Lisa’s professionally swirled cupcake was depressing, but it gave me hope that with practice, I can also ‘dream’ to create such beautiful swirls.

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Then onto the mini cupcake – I went for green icing this time. You’d think this would be easier because of the size, right?

WRONG! It may have just been me, but I found it much harder as there’s less surface area to master. Mine ended up looking like this:IMG_8270

But I was much happier with it once I had decorated it though. So cute!IMG_8273

I can’t think of many reasons why you wouldn’t want to take part in an experience like this. You get to learn from experts and it’s fun and enjoyable for all. Just look at all the pretty colours:IMG_8305

When we moved onto the chocolate cupcakes, Lisa showed us how to create a flat top with a smooth looking finish, as the consistency was different for the chocolate frosting.

The thing that distinctively stood out for me was how heavenly smelling it was. That’s when you can really tell that they use the best kind of chocolate in the bakery.IMG_8276

One of the most useful things I learnt on the day was how to create the perfect cone using parchment paper. This was very important for the next stage of our class – piping techniques.

It’s a bit difficult to explain each step of how to make this tightly bound cone on here though. The trick is not to have a hole at the end to ensure you have control over how much icing comes out of the tip.IMG_8278

The flat surface of the cupcake was great for piping on, so Lisa showed us how much frosting you should use, how to hold the cone, how to create straight lines and gave us a useful tip to use our spare hand to help maneuver the cone.IMG_8280We were given a piece of parchment paper to practice on too (thank goodness), so I was able to test my piping techniques out before making a mess of it on the actual cupcakes. 

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Ta daa! I was quite proud of these ones actually.IMG_8283

Being a Valentines themed class, we were also given heart shaped biscuits to decorate. Not only was it so much fun icing and going sprinkle crazy, but the biscuits tasted so good too.IMG_8297

To be honest, the personal feel to the class was probably what I liked the most. Unlike other experiences I have taken part in before, this felt more intimate which allowed the person leading the class to divide their attention fairly amongst everyone.

Our cakes and biscuits were taken away to be packed up in boxes along with a few other goodies like a signed postcard by the owners of the bakery, a cupcake recipe and a voucher for a free cupcake.

With all these beautiful treats on offer… how could we resist?

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The main aim is to always enjoy an experience like this. So I can confirm this is exactly what we did and we all left the shop with big fat grins on our faces and a bag full of cake goodness in our hands.

 I loved opening up my bag of goodies when I got home – just look at these beauties!
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Thank you Primrose Bakery for your hospitality and delicious treats! I know the cupcake receivers also appreciated it.

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