Success comes from curiosity, concentration, perseverance and self criticism - Albert Einstein
One of our first few birthday cake designs ever created, almost 9 years ago, was our inspired-by-Homer Simpson cake. Back in the day it seemed pretty rad decorating a cake with doughnuts and a chocolate drip. I popped some popcorn on and gave it a cool name - Homer. To my surprise, considering it was one of my first birthday cakes, it was popular.
Since then, we've released more than a hundred cakes on our online cake shop. With each new cake, I improve on our skill sets, tweak recipes, and play with composition and cake decorating techniques. As I'm also involved in the actual running of the business, it isn't very often when I can just sit down and take stock of how far we have come along with all our cake "tweakments".
Recently we decided to do just that. It was in celebration of releasing our new website and getting through a tough year which included a pandemic and a bakery fire, and still having a functioning business. However, as we scrolled back to remind ourselves where we started I was actually cringing. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and our customers were happy with what we were making. But I just could not believe the difference between my own work from back then till now.
Some of our earliest cakes, like the Homer Simpson cake, almost look unrecognisable now in comparison to the photos taken back then! Our aesthetic is far more full and refined. Luckily nobody has complained about getting more doughnuts and macarons on their cake than pictured but that's how they're being made now.
So instead of celebrating, I started critiquing each cake and am now working through our entire collection to make sure each of our products reflects our refined and higher standards. Our Victoria Sponge cake was our first cake with a strawberry jam drip. At the time, I was pretty happy with using a new medium to drip other than chocolate but it was tricky to work with. Jam too warm? It gets runny and melts the buttercream. Jam too cold? Clumpy and lumpy. Both of these are evident in our design as originally released. It still sold, and when something sells I sit comfortably thinking, "Oh people like it so it's OK". But, I actually hated the aesthetics. It was just too garish with an untidy drip. I practiced and played with the jam, almost giving up thinking perhaps jam just doesn't do what I want it to do. Until I finally got it to do what I wanted it to do! Glossy, smooth, and far from clumpy.
So here they are - Our new-and-improved Homer Simpson cake (now yellow, compared to pink previously, because why not?), and Victoria Sponge cake.
I'm so happy our customers are loving these designs so much more than before and they have now suddenly become some of our most popular! Off I go then, got work to do.
Lots of love,