BAKING cakes can be a wonderful hobby that results in something delicious to eat, but what if you managed to turn that hobby into a career?

Well, Bea Higginson, 40, did exactly that and decided to create her very own business: The Silver Cake. 

Moving to Martock in 2015 gave Bea the opportunity to find the old characterful house her and her husband had always wanted. This allowed her to create her own baking space at the end of their garden. 

Bea said: “We were new to the area so I had no customer base. It was slow to start with and I had never run my own business before, so I had to learn where best to advertise. You have to weigh up what you can spend vs. the gain. Now, 28 months in, I can finally make a living from it. I am now taking orders into 2020.”

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At The Silver Cake, Bea creates both wedding and celebration cakes for customers. She offers two different types of chocolate cake (Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Guinness) and many types of white sponge, such as Orange, Lemon, Vanilla and more.

Creating masterpieces

Bea said: “Once the cakes are baked they are filled with buttercream, then jam or curd and then they are crumb coated (a rough coat of buttercream around the edges to smooth them). I let mine set overnight and then I will ice using fondant icing.

“I love decorating. It is lovely when you get to a point where the cake is baked and filled and then you can create the cake that the customer wants.

“The birthday cakes, especially the children’s ones, are great fun – colourful, bright and full of detail. I really like making cute models and so on.”

Semi-naked cakes

More recently, semi-naked wedding cakes have become popular.

Bea explained: “This gives you a cleaner, sharper finish. It doesn’t give you the coverage that fondant icing gives you, but this is really the trend now – this style of cake. It lends itself really nicely to Wedding and Birthday cakes with fresh flowers etc.”

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In her bakes, Bea believes that care and attention is the key to creating delicious cakes. She does not market herself as someone who uses luxury ingredients.

She said: “For me, it is just about care and attention – keeping the price real and achievable. I don’t see the need for high end ingredients as long as you treat what you use with care.”

Special stories

Bea has had some exciting requests during her time running The Silver Cake. She once made a cake for a couple with teddies on top and once made one based on how a couple met windsurfing! Bea loves discovering the stories behind each bake.

Bea said: “I think you should always be nervous to create what the customer wants. I want them to be delighted of the cake I have made.

“It is lovely when you go to the venue, because all the things the couple have told you, have just materialised in the decoration of the venue.

“I was involved in the wedding of a couple who came to Somerset for a destination wedding. They had a semi-naked cake which was absolutely stunning and their wedding was featured in a blog. And the story alongside the images was just so special.”

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Future of The Silver Cake

Bea is very much looking forward to the future of The Silver Cake in the lovely Somerset village of Martock.

She said: “It is so lovely to live in the middle of the village of Martock. People are so friendly, they want to say hello and give you a wave.

“Now I have finally hit a point where I think the business can be viable. It was touch and go whether I could make a living from it. But this year I am confident that I can achieve enough orders to keep the business thriving.”

Even after being surrounded by baking over the last few years, Bea still has a sweet tooth and is always willing to taste the cakes if needed.

Bea explained: “I don’t understand how you could want to make something and not like it. I am a chocolate person, so I love making my Chocolate Fudge cake and Chocolate Guinness sponge. Last year it was my 40th and we had a big party in the garden and invited everyone in the village who had made us feel so welcome since we had been here. We filled the worktop with cakes that I had made – I got to make all the things that I like!”

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