Win: A cake bouquet from Ely Blossom Bakery
She’s an intensive care nurse by day and a star baker by night. Francesca Craddock, founder of cupcake bouquet company Ely Blossom Bakery, tells Alice Ryan about her new side hustle - and gives Velvet readers the chance to win a bespoke bouquet
We love the theme of Ely Blossom Bakery. What made you decide to specialise in floral cakes?
I first came across buttercream flowers online late last year. I thought they looked so beautiful, but I couldn’t find any. I decided to buy a few piping nozzles and have a go! After the first questionable one - I think they are like pancakes! - I found they came naturally, and I really enjoyed creating them. I have always loved baking and, as I had struggled to find them, I thought it was a unique product so decided to launch Ely Blossom Bakery to share these beautiful cupcakes with the locals - and occasionally the not-so-locals, which is amazing.
How and when did the business come to be?
I launched my business in April this year with my little hand-mixer and compostable packaging, with the dream of one day being able to purchase a pink KitchenAid with my profits! I am incredibly grateful that so many people have wanted to try my product and delighted I have had repeat custom already.
Which flower is most popular with your customers? And do you have a personal favourite to pipe?
I think the sunflower is the most popular; they just make people smile. A personal favourite to pipe is the tulips: they took me the longest to master and they are my favourite flower. I was determined I was going to be able to pipe them. I think I feel most proud of those because of that.
It's not all about the appearance, of course; what makes your bakes taste as good as they look? Do you have different flavours?
Currently they only come in vanilla flavour, but they are not boring, I promise! I have worked on my vanilla sponge recipe for years and it is buttery and balanced with the lightest texture that I think complements the velvety buttercream perfectly. My lovely customers tell me they are beautiful. I am currently in the process of developing two additional flavours to offer for my larger bouquets and I am looking forward to sharing them soon.
What’s your background? Have you always been a star baker?
I am an Intensive Care Nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital so baking certainly is not part of the day job. When I was younger my sister and I threw a ‘Cake & Cava’ party for my Mum to celebrate a birthday and I was in charge of baking nine cakes! I have always enjoyed baking and love to try out different tips to see how it changes the texture and taste. I think I have taken all of those and created something really yummy for Ely Blossom Bakery.
What’s the ambition for Ely Blossom Bakery?
It is a wonderful way of earning some extra money doing something I love without losing out on family time with my boyfriend Stewart and little boy Arthur. I hope people continue to enjoy my cupcake bouquets and as my business is still very young I am just enjoying seeing where it takes me. I am also delighted to say I have just put an order in with KitchenAid!
You could win an Ely Blossom Bakery bouquet! Featuring seven vanilla cupcakes piped with sunflower and dahlia designs, it’s worth £28. For your chance to win, click HERE and complete the form using the code ‘BLOSSOM’. The competition will close to entries at midnight on August 20 2021 and the usual Ts and Cs apply.
More by this authorAlice Ryan