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delish my cupcakes! I’ve never decorated a cake in my life so was apprehensive at the idea of a class at Delish Cupcakes in Auckland’s Forest Hill but it turns out you can have a ridiculous amount of fun with a piping bag and some butter cream.  In the kitchen at the back of their North Shore bakery Kathryn Stoddart and Colleen Holden hold relaxed two-hour classes for small groups. Their philosophy is “simple is better” and so what they teach is easy to achieve at home with basic equipment.

There’s no baking involved in this class at all – it’s all about learning piping techniques. With a bowl of butter cream frosting, a wooden spoon, a piping bag and a couple of nozzles I’m taught seven different cupcake looks from the traditional swirl to the frilly tail and rose petal. My frilly tail is a disaster  – not enough pressure on the bag apparently – but this doesn’t matter as all the techniques are practised repeatedly on the back of a wooden spoon before you’re unleashed on an actual cake.

It feels a bit like being back at kindy, swirling and wiggling a piping bag to create different shapes while Colleen keeps an expert eye on progress. A passionate baker, she is full of creative ideas for cakes – on the morning of my visit a hot seller is a caramel rocky road cake stuffed with marshmallow.

Thankfully the classes are less complex with toppings flavoured with strawberry, raspberry and vanilla, plus fondant decorations and sprinkles. At the end I get to take home the four cakes I’ve decorated. Since Delish Cupcakes use all fresh ingredients rather than powdered mixes, they taste as good as they look.

Classes are $55 per person, include lots of advice, practical guidance and a tip sheet. Delish take group or individual bookings.