I am Victoria Threader, been meaning to change my name by marriage to Dickinson for YEARS now and still haven’t married my OH Mark. One day… I live in Netley Abbey on the south coast of England and I have lived here for 5 years. Mark and I moved from Liverpool when Mark found a new job in Southampton.
We have a daughter Millie, she is my Number 1 fan and often ‘Bigs Me Up’ whenever we go anywhere. You will often hear her in Tesco shouting “Don’t buy those, buy Victorious Cupcakes!” It can be Embarrassing but it keeps me chuckling, Millie has a great sense of humour.
I am 41 and grew up in Milton Keynes, England. After school, I had MANY jobs.
I started in a Restaurant that my parents ran.
My Mum cooked the hot food and my Dad was the Baker. I also worked in a Jewellers, LOTS of Restaurants and then finally settled in a great job as a Flight Attendant for a Company called ‘European Aviation’. It was owned by an Australian man called Paul Stoddart. I was very lucky to see some wonderful places while I worked with them, I think my favourite being Petra, a jaw dropping experience.
I came down to earth with a bump (literally) in 2006 when expecting Millie. I was made redundant while on maternity leave which was a bit of a god send as I wasn’t sure I’d want to travel after having Millie.
I’m not a good cook, although Mark and Millie, OH and my Mum would say I’m OK, so I never really baked. I would buy or my Mum would make birthday cakes for me and Millie. All changed when Millie was 4.
I went to the supermarket and could never find anything I liked, when I did buy THOSE cakes I’d buy the most expensive THINKING it would taste the best and that was often not the case.
Millie decided she wanted ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ as a birthday cake, so I bit the bullet and decided to try. I thought it all looked awful, my friends and the kids were very kind. Here’s my first attempt at cake:
It was an easy option, I admit but it was the start of exciting times for me.
I started baking for friends and family and got to quite enjoy it, it gave me something to do at night, when there was nothing on the TV.
If I went anywhere I would take cake and they always got a positive reaction, so it gave me the confidence to keep going.
I started posting my cake photos on Facebook, when a friend ‘Hee Jung’ said a recipe site Good To Know Recipes were looking for people to post their cake photos. So that’s what I did. I made some Ladybirds from my very first recipe book ‘Planet Cake’ by Paris Cutler and posted those. I worked my way through the book, just making the cupcakes as large cakes are still a little daunting for me.
After posting a few months and then featured in the magazine in the Cake Corner section, where they feature followers cakes. I was chuffed to be in print and astonished they had chosen my cakes above all the other wonderful creations!
In May 2011 I was offered a job with ‘Goodtoknow’ Recipes. I jumped for joy and said “YES!” straight away. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to think of 5 new cupcakes a month, but (so far) it’s been great.
I have a weekly ‘Cupcake Of the Week’ on Goodtoknow Recipes website and Facebook page here: GoodtoKnow Recipes of the Week
And a monthly feature in Goodtoknow recipes magazine called ‘Victoria’s Cupcake Secrets’ where we have step-by-step photos to show you how to recreate my cakes.
In August 2012, I was flattered to be asked to write step-by-step tutorials for Sharon Zambito of SugarED Productions. I was thrilled as I am a HUGE fan of her work, some of the most amazing cakes and tutorials I have seen.
My must have tools…
I couldn’t live without my hand mixer (obviously). I use the Kenwood K-Mix Hand mixer. I’ve not long had it long, my Mum gave me her 40 year old Kenwood hand mixer and it has been brilliant, although now it has a funny smell, which is why I bought the new one. I do have a K-Mix Stand mixer too, but I can’t get the hang of it for my cake batter, it’s not the same as my hand mixer. I do however use it for Meringue Buttercream, as my arm can’t take that one!
The other thing I use every day is my silicone pastry mat. Nothing sticks to it EVER and I really couldn’t live without it. The only trouble is, I usually make the mistake of using the crafting knife and slicing through the mat, so I never buy the expensive ones.
Last one – A silicone spatula. The thing is, I’m not fussed on the cake, never liked sweet stuff really; I’m more a savoury girl, HOWEVER, the uncooked cake batter is something else. I would happily eat it with a spoon, so using a spatula has saved me, as when using one of these, there is not even a smidgen left in the bowl – PHEW!
Advice on business…
I’m not qualified in giving advice on a business level, as I STILL haven’t braved it myself. I’m OH SO confident behind a computer but would fall to pieces if I had to make wedding/birthday cakes for people. The thing is – I enjoy creating, but the thought (and I have had it making a friend’s wedding renewal cake) of not getting right and the continuous fussing and fiddling to make it perfect takes all the fun out of it for me. So, for now, I’m happy with my 3 little jobs.
I am completely self-taught too as I’m far too nervous to attend classes, well then there’s the expense. I’ve always been a skin flint, so would try and teach myself rather than spend money I didn’t have on someone else teaching me. I have learned that my best friends in life are Google and Youtube. I am the master of finding tutorials and videos if I really want to learn something. If I ever had a question, I’d ALWAYS find the answer by Googling. Also, I have to say, I get asked impossible questions sometimes and actually Google in order to find the answer for my followers, I’m not perfect and I can’t possibly know everything there is to know about baking, I’ve only been baking for 2 and a half years! So my advice would be, Google it. Watch videos on Youtube and practise, practise, practise, because it pays off. I cringe looking at the stuff I used to make and I think I have improved LOADS in the last 2 years of Facebooking. A good camera helped too (thanks Mark) :0)
I think that’s about it – Me, a mum who loves to bake and create, for fun, for now anyway.
Visit Victoria Threader at Victorious Cupcakes