SAY HELLO TO CAKE DECORATOR AND SPRINKLE-MAKING TALENT, KELLIE RUDLAND!
*round of applause*
Kellie is the lovely face behind Treat Bake Shop, which specialises in creating gorgeous sprinkle medleys to glam up and adorn your cakes.
I don't know about you guys, but I love me a good sprinkle mix - I literally have 15 mixes on display in my cake room #guiltyascharged #itsnotanaddiction.
Now if you feel like Kellie looks familiar, I'm not surprised! She's also the owner of Bush Tucker and Bakeshop Botanicals, PLUS she's the social media manager for the Australian Cake Decorating Network (ACDN) and contribution Manager for Cake! Magazine.
Now isn't that just damn impressive!?
In this interview you'll get some great insights into decorating with sprinkles (there's more to it than you think), plus advice on taking the leap and expanding the offerings in your own business.
Dive on in and enjoy the read!
P.s. Read on to find out how can win a three pack of sprinkles!
Let's rewind and jump back to the very beginning - how did you get started on your cake journey and how did you become involved in ACDN's Cake! Magazine?
Baking cakes is one of my fondest childhood memories. Whenever I had the chance, I would whip up a vanilla cake and slather it in buttercream for my family to enjoy. As I got older, school and university took up most of my time and baking took a backseat.
It was when I was in my early 20s that I decided one day to bake some cupcakes for my work colleagues. They loved them, so I baked more. And more. And then suddenly people wanted to pay me to make them some. I was hooked.
I moved on to bigger cakes, and eventually left my job in advertising to take on a role as lead decorator at a cake company. Some time later, I decided that I would prefer to work for myself and left that job.
Shortly after joining ACDN, a social media role became available. I applied, and to my utter shock I was offered the role. That was back in 2013, and 6 years later I'm still handling ACDN's social media and contributions for Cake! Magazine.
I love that decorators don't just have to create cakes to make a living - they can explore other avenues and expand their services to make more money and become more fulfilled in their work. I hear of so many decorators selling gumpaste flowers, cake toppers and even selling un-decorated cakes to those of us who hate baking (definitely me, haha). What sparked the idea to create and sell your own sprinkle medleys? And how did you know it was the right time to expand the offerings in your business?
It was in 2016 that I first started putting together sprinkle mixes. Back then there weren't many businesses in Australia that sold modern, fun blends and I felt that I could fit in to that niche. I live rurally, so relying on cake orders alone for an income was not realistic. I needed to find a way to supplement my income while still doing what I love, and that's when Treat Bakeshop Sprinkles was born. I started selling on Etsy, and soon set up my own online store on my website.
You have a lovely selection of sprinkle blends on your website (I'm eyeing off 'Carnival' - it's so bright and fun!). How do you dream up the ideas for your sprinkle blends? What do you use for your inspiration?
I look at what is 'on trend' in the cake world, whether it be colour palettes or party themes. I also like to keep a good balance within my range to ensure there's something for everyone. For example, I don't just do bright mixes, I do subtle shades and darker blends too.
I noticed on your website that you give decorators the option to create and customise their own sprinkle blends (yay!). What's the secret to creating the perfect blend? I feel like it would be tricky to find the perfect balance between different sprinkle shapes, colours and sizes.
It can be a little tricky to get the balance just right. It's amazing how adding different amounts of the same sprinkle colour can change the finished product. For custom blends, I like to find out what the customer is using the mix for so that I can create something suitable. I would hate to put in sixlets (10mm chocolate pearls) if the blend was being used for fairy bread, for example. I like to use several different types of sprinkles in each blend - it can be a combination of pearls, jimmies, quins, non-pariels, sanding sugar, sixlets, candies and more.
I think sprinkles are a great (and quick!) way to glam up your cake and compliment your decorating skills. Are there any 'do's' and 'dont's' for applying and using sprinkles on your cakes?
Do: invest in high quality sprinkles. Inferior sprinkles have a tendency to run in humidity, or they disappear completely in funfetti cakes.
Do: use piping gel or edible glue to attach sprinkles to cakes or cookies.
Do: to completely cover your cake in sprinkles, chill your cake first and then roll it in a deep tray. You'll thank me for this when you're not spending the next three months picking sprinkles out of your kitchen!
Don't: Use non-pareils for funfetti cakes as they'll disappear when you bake. Use jimmies or confetti for best results.
What would you say to those cake decorators who are interested in expanding the services in their business but are a bit overwhelmed, doubting themselves and just don't know where to start?
Research. Find out if there's anyone else doing what you want to do and see how they do things. Is there enough room in the market for both of you? What will be your point of difference? If you're feeling overwhelmed, I recommend just jumping in. You'll never regret taking a chance on something you're passionate about.
Comment and win!
Comment on this blog post for your chance to win a three pack of sprinkle medleys from Treat Bake Shop!
Here's what you'd be getting your sweet little hands on if you win;
- Up In The Clouds 100ml
- Carnival 100ml
- Rose Blush 100ml
A winner will be selected at random this coming Tuesday 21 October at 7pm. Goodluck!