Friday, 4 November 2011

Learning to Decorate Cupcakes with Peggy Porschen

Every domestic goddess must absolutely be able to make the most beautiful cupcakes.  Me included, but I need a little help in decorating them and right now Peggy Porschen’s name is hot cake scene.  In cake conversation on twitter Peggy's name is scattered like wedding confetti across the twittersphere.   Women all over the country are drawn to her fabulous feminine girly style of delicious cakes and it is hardly surprising because Peggy is amazing.  She is regularly commissioned to make cakes for people such Gwyneth Paltrow, Stella McCartney and recently made Kate Moss’s wedding cake. In Autumn 2010 the Peggy Porschen Parlour in London's Belgravia opened closely followed in January this year by her cake-decorating academy.

With her fourth book underway it’s an incredible achievement to have opened this academy especially when you consider that she’s started her business on her own after training as a pastry chef taking her cake decorating passion to become one of the most inspiring and creative artisan cake decorators in the county.

Now the truth is that I can bake the most fabulous cakes, but if I am honest, then I must admit that, until not so long ago if I decorated a cake people would smile and turn to congratulate my nearest child, because my cake decorating skills were really really not great.

I felt rather a failure, I mean how else is one supposed to feel when even the most delicious cake look ridiculous?   Yes I know what you are thinking, that I am exaggerating, but to me cake decorating would send me into blind panic, so a cake-decorating course taught by Peggy herself offered the perfect solution to what was becoming a bit of a sticking point in my culinary world.

Even looking at the photos of the cakes I was to decorate en route to London my state of mind was such that I found myself having one of those strange moments. As I stared at the picture I half snorted and half laughed out loud at the very idea of me producing something half as pretty. Consequently the other passengers all bunked down, staring even harder at their phones and newspapers as I colored up in total embarrassment!

Well as you can see from the photos my cakes were not the disaster I was expecting. I really needn’t have worried.  Peggy was just lovely.  Her explanations were detailed and simple. Each process was broken down into small steps, she was fantastic as a tutor and clearly really enjoyed teaching. 

The class had people from all over the world.  Indeed there were two ladies from Italy, another lady traveling back to Tenerife and another taking her cupcakes to Hong Kong.   Although we all made the same cupcake  .. everyone was individual and styled slightly differently.

In the space of a day I learnt to be far more confident making my sugar craft flowers. I used fondant for the very first time and got some brilliant tips and techniques with the royal icing.  Peggy’s ways are shared as fun, informative, and with the practical demonstrations followed by being able to do the same ourselves it was the perfect learning environment. 

I certainly didn’t feel half as stupid as I thought I would and was in reality I was far better that I could have imagined. I just needed to be shown how to do certain things better and the one to one time with Peggy was great.  She made sure she spent time with everyone -  which I thought was really professional.

I had a moment to ask Peggy about how she became on of the countries leading cake decorators.  You can listen to what she said here.
Chatting with Peggy Porchen (mp3)

I met another blogger called Rebecca who has Cupcake Cavern and she wrote a much more detailed how to guide in her lovely blog you can read it here.

Now I’m not saying that I am amazing yet but I feel so much more confident that I may even consider decorating my own Christmas cake this year.

The Peggy Porschen Parlour address is 116 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ
Tel +44 (0) 20 7730 1316. Or you can visit the website at


  1. I would simply love to be taught like this, by a real master in her field. Brilliant!

  2. now you see I am exactly the same as you... I can make yummy cakes till the cows come home but such decorating as this is an art form and I cannot do it... i'd love to go on this course!...

  3. Oh Dom - you'd love it! It was such an amazing day !!!

  4. I loved my visit to Peggy's, she's an inspiration isn't she!

  5. Lucky you! How fantastic to spend a whole day playing cakes with Peggy. That would be my idea of a perfect day! Those cakes looked absolutely brilliant, hope the family were impressed.

  6. Those cupcakes look absolutely outstanding! It takes such patience and practice to make them so pretty. Those of us who are time poor have to compromise with the decorations, maybe when I retire!

  7. Sounds like an amazing class and thanks for the little interview with Peggy. I went to the parlour once for cake and tea and it was amazing. I'd love to get a chance to be taught by Peggy one day. Your cakes look amazing!

  8. I've done the Wilton decorating class and you do achieve fast results quickly and decorate cakes in a way you didn't think you could. All that said - these are incredible little works of art - cake decorating at a totally different level. Looking out for her books now.

  9. I'm following you on twitter

  10. I tweeted you with who I would share the cakes with too.

  11. I'm so jealous! Wish I could decorate cakes like that! They look so lovely.

  12. I did a cake decorating course at the local college but I don't think it's made me improve very much! That little green cupcake is absolutely adorable, I don't think I could bring myself to eat it :)


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