Cupcake Decorating – 24th April 2012

Another month and another amazingly successful Sotonettes meeting!

Our April meeting was Cupcake Decorating with Hannah from the Hannah Banana Bakery, which was great fun! We had another fantastic turn-out, in fact we had so many of you come along we ran out of seating and sadly couldn’t accommodate everyone.

Our committee put in a sterling effort on the baking front, churning out around 200 cupcakes for the meeting, including both vegan and gluten free options. The rest was left to the lovely Hannah, who came fully prepared with huge amounts of fondant and (vegan) buttercream.

Hannah is the lady behind the Hannah Banana Bakery, a Southampton based vegan bakery that she runs single-handedly from her home. Her cakes are always beautifully decorated and receive fantastic reviews, and we were so grateful for her giving up her time to come and teach us all how to create beautiful cupcakes.

Hannah took us through handling fondant, how to colour it and how to make it dry hard to hold it’s shape. We then used cutters and moulds to make flowers, butterflies, buttons and love hearts out of our coloured fondants. Everyone got really involved and seemed to have great fun playing with the fondant (it is basically edible playdough!), and some of us got really messy too!! We clearly have some very creative members, as there were so many great sugary creations being turned out all over the room.

Once we’d got well and truly to grips with the fondant creations, Hannah took us over piping buttercream. There were two different nozzles to experiment with and different ways to use each one – working from the inside out to create a rose effect, from the outside in to get a great peak of buttercream or making smaller spikes of buttercream all over the cake.  We started testing the techniques on paper plates before putting buttercream to cake and adding our fondant decorations, sprinkles, sparkles and other fancy cupcake pretty things!!

To end the night, we had a couple of awards for ‘Best Decorated Cupcake’. The judging was actually pretty tough, as the standard was really high and there were so many pretty (and yummy looking) cakes. In the end we picked Heather and Sarah as our two winners, for their use of a range of different techniques and well presented final cakes. Congratulations ladies!

It was a really good night, and we hope you all had fun too! We would like to apologise again to any of you who we couldn’t fit in; it’s really hard to know how many of you will turn up, but we will always endeavour to accommodate as many of you as possible. Members will never be turned away – so to guarantee your place, join up!

A few reminders from announcements on the night;

  • We are arranging a trip to The New Forest Show on Tuesday 24th July. Booking in advance, tickets are £15.20 each, although we can get a group discount if we get more than 12 of us to go. The plan is to get the train from Southampton Central to Brockenhurst (£6.40 return) then using the shuttle bus service from Brockenhurst station to the show ground (£3 return). Driving around Brockenhurst is pretty crazy at the best of times, but if you would like to drive yourself feel free.
  • We will be having a WI tent at the Ejector Seat festival in Palmerston Park, Southampton  on Saturday June 2nd. We will be selling bee themed items to raise money for the WI campaign to protect the honey bee. If you would like to make items for our tent, help us (wo)man the tent or would like to have your own stall at the event, do get in touch.
  • There are plans to have a sewing day for our Days for Girls campaign at some point in the future, details will be circulated in the members newsletter.
  • Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 29th May, in the Soul Cellar (change of venue!). Jean Johnson, a member of the Hampshire County Federation of Women’s Institutes, is coming to speak to us about her campaigning on the legalisation of prostitution. Jean has travelled the world to see examples of how legalised prostitution really works to improve the lives of the women involved. Jean is also an avid shoe fanatic, so wear (or at least bring along) your best footwear!

Thank you all for your continued support, we hope you are enjoying being a part of the WI and the Sotonettes as much as we are.

As ever, if you have any questions, queries or comments, either leave a comment here, use the contact form on the website or email us at

Best Wishes for May!

Sotonettes Committee