An enthusiastic bunch of North East Bloggers met in the Copthorne Hotel, on Newcastle's Quayside for an afternoon of cake decorating (and eating).
Our ridiculously talented tutors for the afternoon were some very clever ladies from Julie's Cake House. Based in Newcastle, Julie and her team make the most stunning Wedding cakes and imaginative Birthday cakes as well as running cake decorating classes.
I'm not sure Julie's Cake House knew what they were letting themselves in for as I enthusiastically plonked myself down on the front row.
Our task for the afternoon was to decorate four cupcakes so that they would hopefully resemble the ones on the table at the front.
Luckily no baking was required and we each had "here's what I made earlier" freshly baked cupcakes to work with. Good job really because even if we were useless at decorating, at least we knew the cakes would taste nice.
Our first cake was a beautiful white and yellow flower design, simple yet effective, we coated our cakes in butter icing and then covered them in mini marshmallows dipped in yellow sugar.
I was pretty proud of my attempt, although I soon realised that this was the easiest cake of the lot.
Our second mission was to make a beautiful pink bear cupcake. The cake at the front looked adorable and I wasn't sure how Little Miss Fingers and Thumbs was going to cope with what looked like a pretty mammoth task.
We were each given bags of coloured icing to work with and began by rolling ourselves a nice big bit of pink icing to cover the surface of the cake. I'm sure you're thinking that's a simple enough task but unfortunately even that was a little outside my capabilities, putting the icing onto my cake it was an immediate mess.
Next we had to carefully craft all of the bear's features out of the icing and stick them onto the cupcake. Julie patiently took us through each step from creating the ears to shaping the nose.
Unfortunately I was sitting next to my good friend Lisa, the Queen of Innuendo, and it wasn't long before cutting questionable shapes out of pink icing had us in stitches. It's a bit hard to make a beautiful cupcake when you're trying not to cry with laughter at how much the shape you've just cut looks like something else!
So, of course, I'm blaming this disastrous result on the fact that I was crying - I'm sure if Lisa hadn't been making me laugh my cupcake would have looked more like it was supposed to.
Being the lovely supportive friend that she is it wasn't long before Lisa had taken a photo of my awful attempt next to her beautiful bear and had shared it with all of her Twitter followers.
Oh the shame! Let's never talk of this embarrassing cupcake ever again OK?
Next was the cake we all had our eye on, the ridiculously cute makeup cake, complete with lipstick, makeup brush and pearls.
Again Julie was a wonderful teacher, taking us through each stage. I was concentrating hard to try and get my shapes to look like hers, but unfortunately despite every effort they didn't really look how they were supposed to. Still, I thought the finished result wasn't too awful.
I will admit, by the last cake I'd admitted defeat and after I'd made my mini ladybird decided to then do my own thing. Which basically meant I cut lots of weird shapes out of my remaining icing and then plonked them all over my cake.
Although I was pretty useless at cupcake decorating it was the most fun I've had in ages and from the amount of giggling going round the room I think everyone else thoroughly enjoyed themselves too. If you're after something a little different to do with your friends, or maybe for a hen do definitely get in touch with Julie.
Decorating cupcakes is exhausting work so after my fourth and final disaster had been finished we headed for a little guided tour of the Copthorne to stretch our legs. The hotel's position on the banks of the Tyne means the most beautiful views from the bedrooms. I took this gorgeous photo of Newcastle's famous bridges from an outside of balcony of one of the suites on the top floor.
Our afternoon finished with a buffet style afternoon tea, just what we needed after hours of looking at cupcakes!
Thanks to Joe Blogs, the Newcastle Copthorne and Julie's Cakehouse for a brilliant event.