Mich Turner Cupcake Decorating Masterclass at The Make Lounge, Islington or Why I’ll never get an MBE for Services to the Cake Industry

Being purely self taught, a chance to pick up some tips from Little Venice Cake Company‘s Mich Turner at a cupcake decorating class was an opportunity not to miss.

Several bloggers had been invited to judge a Tesco Real Food cupcake decorating competition and joined the winners to brush up their sugary skills at a special masterclass at Islington’s Make Lounge.

I must apologise today for the graininess of the pictures – my camera was stuck on the “candlelight” setting and I didn’t realise this until afterwards.

Kitted out with work stations of cutters, nozzles, glitter galore and compulsory glasses of champagne, we had a demo from Mich then attempted to do our own using a newly honed techniques.

Such as making paper piping bags – Katie and Nic get to the point.

Next up, DIY sugar roses. Mich says when you get really good at this you can make squillions of them per hour.

First roll your sausage of fondant, flatten the bottom edge a bit then chop semi circular shaped chunks out – six per rose.

Arrange them inside an A4 plastic sleeve that’s been cut around the edge to be able open it right up. Squash each semi circle with your thumb.

Flatten upwards to make petals, leave the lower end fatter, take care not to make too thin as this makes them tear when you peel them off the plastic. Roll the first one into a coiled tube, the inside of your rose.

Curl another petal round in the other direction. Then another. Keep doing it with all six til you build up a rose shape.

Twiddle with it and make it look really gorgeous. Chop it’s bottom off so it’s flat enough to sit on a cake. Hey presto!

Next Mich showed us a variety of ways to pipe our buttercream, spirals, zig zags, pointy bits. Provided you use a star nozzle on your piping bag, all will look surprisingly grand even with a minimum of piping experience.

Finishing touches…

Et voila!

Then it was our turn. Katie and Helly start making candy canes and roses to decorate our own cupcakes. The bases were already baked for us and we had ten each to decorate.

Busy busy busy! Mich on hand to help us out.

Anne of I Heart Cupcakes did fabulous glittery roses (above left) and someone else did these groovy tricolour candy canes.

And me? I manage to pipe “Merry Christ” on one of mine. Bad planning and ineptitude meant I ran out of space.

This would never happen to Mich Turner.

“How long was it until you were really good?” I asked her brandishing a wobbly piping bag.

“My first stripe was dead straight perfect.” She replied seriously.

Let’s move on shall we? Here are everyone else’s efforts…

All twelve of us had a fabulous afternoon and I image everyone else had a similar journey home… try travelling on public transport with a clear lidded box of cupcakes on your lap and you’re suddenly everyone’s best friend with mesmerised stares at your cargo.

Thanks very much to Tesco Real Food, Mich and the Make Lounge for putting together such a fun afternoon.


  1. says

    I did a cupcake decorating class at The Make Lounge and absolutely LOVED it! I learnt so much! Your cupcakes look lovely!! I really do need to practice my fondant roses though :)

  2. says

    I have been there! We had another teacher, her name escapes me. I did learn a little – like how to make sprinkles – but the buttercream was horrendous. We were told to use equal quantities of butter and icing sugar, and I like more or a 1:2 butter to sugar ratio. Their ratio does colour better though.

    LOVE the roses.

  3. says

    Oh you are having FUN! Saw Nic there in the pics. I would have loved to be there. My daughter turns out beautiful roses with melted candle wax; maybe I need to learn from her. I love the way you shared the post.Made me feel like I was virtually there. Happy Holidays Sarah {and thank you for the sweet comment} xo

  4. says

    Looks like it’s so much fun! I adore Mich Turner’s work too. Wow.her first piping is already perfect?!… I think your cupcakes looks fab..actually i didn’t even notice you didn’t finish the word ‘christmas’ until you mentioned it. 😀 Merry Christmas to you & family Sarah! 😀

  5. says

    I did a very similar class at the Make Lounge, it was really good fun, and pretty inexpensive compared to most classes.
    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.
    *kisses* HH

  6. says

    Love the glittery roses. I went to a sugarcraft class earlier in the year, but spent so much time taking photos that I missed the tutorial, so thanks for puting guidance on roses here.

  7. says

    What a fun class! Those paper piping bags are so useful to doing intricate piping work and I would love to learn the proper way to do these (I have a makeshift way which works fine but the correct way is always good :) ). Merry Christmas Sarah!

  8. says

    What a brilliant day out!

    I had heard that making roses was straight-forward when you master the technique. Might give it a try soon.

    Wonder if there is a class like this one in Leeds? Might make it my mission to find a similar one to take part in during 2011.

  9. says

    Wow, what a great masterclass. Your write-up really made me giggle! I love your “Merry Christ” cake, exactly the thing I would do! The piping looks beautiful and what a lovely selection to take home. I can just imagine Mich saying that her very very attempt was perfect – she is amazing! Hope you had a fun Christmas. Looking forward to taking part in your “Forever Nigella” challenge. Ren x

  10. says

    I’d forgotten about the ‘Merry Christ’ cake – snorted my cuppa out when I remembered that!!! What a great session that was… definitely need to get myself that nozzle we used for the piping to get those fantastic roses. Great post Sarah – really captured our indulgent and fun afternoon :-)