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This article was taken from our April 2021 Issue Buy this issue now

Ask The Expert: Lynsey Shankland

Lynsey Shankland

Lynsey is the new in-house professional cake baker and photographer at Cake Décor HQ. Having created and sold wonderful celebration cakes for years, she’s now teamed up with Cake Décor, preparing and photographing gorgeous bakes for social media and advertising. Lynsey also bench tests Cake Décor products against all others in the market. She’s a busy lady, but here she lets us in on some of her baking top tips.

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Q: What are your top tips for smoothing sugarpaste?

A: I like to use my hands to do most the work, using one to pull out the edge of the fondant while the other smooths down to avoid any pleats. Once I’ve trimmed away excess sugarpaste, I always use flexible plastic smoothers to finish smoothing the sugarpaste, then a fine sterilised acupuncture needle to remove any air bubbles.

Q: What’s the best way to stick sprinkles to a cake?

A: I love to stick sprinkles to a sugarpaste covered cake. I love the striking look, and it’s so easy to achieve using a small amount of edible glue. Cake Décor’s Edible Glue is perfect for the job and is so easy and quick to use.

Lynsey Shankland - Digger Cake

















Q: Where’s the best place to look for a bright sprinkle medley to top my cakes and cupcakes with?

A: Cake Décor’s Stunning Sprinkles are perfect; there are so many incredible and colourful medleys to choose from that would suit any theme imaginable.

Q: What are your top tips for creating the perfect drip cake?

A: If you’re working with a chocolate drip, chill your cake for around half an hour before you use it… And don’t worry about how and where the drips travel, it’ll look perfect when you’ve finished. I like to use a bottle with a thin nozzle to pour my drip from as I find it helps me to have control over where I start the drip (and it helps me to be less messy!). Cake Décor’s Mirror Glaze is brilliant for this as I just need to heat it up, pour some into the bottle to create the drip around the edges, then cover the rest of the top quickly with glaze from the tub.

Lynsey Shankland - Avengers Cake

















Q: What’s the best way to apply glitter to my creations, without getting it everywhere?

A: Without a doubt, the best way to apply glitter is by using the Cake Décor Glitter Spray. It’s perfect to direct a stream of glitter in a specific area if you hold it close to the area you’re wanting to sparkle, or to cover a larger area if you pump the spray from further back. It’s the perfect way to make any creation extra special.

Q: What’s your go-to recipe for making cake sponge?

A: You can’t really go wrong with vanilla sponge. I think most people think of it as a safe bet, but it’s tasty and goes well with so many different fillings. I use a recipe I’ve made for as long as I can remember, creaming 225g of caster sugar with 225g of baking spread. Once light and fluffy, I add in 225g of self-raising flour, a teaspoon of baking powder and four eggs. I mix again until combined then add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix again, splitting into tins then baking at 140°c for around half an hour. There are always times that even my go-to recipe can go wrong for no obvious reason, and the Cake Décor Cake Mix is brilliant in taking that issue away, allowing you create a tasty and light sponge with reliable results every time.

Q: I want to introduce bright and bold colours to my sponge. How can I achieve this?

A: The best way to introduce bright and bold colours is to use the bake stable Cake Décor Super Strength Colour Gels. I like to add colour at the start of the process if I’m baking all sponges in the same colour. I add gel in when I’m creaming butter and sugar, but it works equally as well to add the colour to the smaller amounts of mixture before adding to tins, especially if you’re baking multiple layers in different colours at the one time.

Lynsey Shankland - Cowboy Cake