Morgan Collins from Buttercream & Bakes by M

In today’s Student Spotlight, we’re bringing you Morgan Collins from Buttercream & Bakes By M! Morgan works as a bakery shop assistant where she also helps out the pastry chefs.

Recently returning to running her small baking business on the side, she’s always enjoyed baking and cooking. She began making cakes for friends and family members’ birthdays and slowly but surely people began to reach out to her asking if she would be willing to take on new challenges!

Your Name:

Morgan Collins

What’s your business?

Where are you from?

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

What’s your background?

I studied Early Childhood and Primary Education at uni however after a year in the industry I decided it wasn’t where I wanted to be, since then I have worked in accounting, became a mum, and now I work casually in hospitality, occasionally assisting in cake decorating for the bakery I work at! I am yet to find myself in a career sense, but my goal is to one day take my cakes full time!
What role does cake design play in your life?

Cake design has my heart, it is my happy place, my comfort, my soothing activity. I love expressing my creativity and I am so glad I have found something that allows me to really explore my creative side in so many different forms. While for me it is a side hustle/hobby at the moment, one day soon I plan on really taking my little cake business to the next level.

Tell us your story! How did you get into baking?

Throughout my childhood, I was always helping mum in the kitchen, whether it be cooking or baking.
I grew up in the days of women’s weekly cakes, it would take me so long to choose what cake I wanted for my birthday, my favourite was the swimming pool, choosing those cakes are some of my fondest memories.
I always enjoyed baking for friends’ birthdays and eventually, my cupcakes turned into cakes, and those cakes kept coming, I eventually started making orders for friends and family and have grown from there! Attending the Don’t Tell Charles workshop was the real turning point in the quality of my cakes, it was the best thing I have ever done!

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

I have a few cakes I am incredibly proud of, my cousins wedding cake being one of them, a stunning 3 tier, caramel drip with homemade poached pears & gorgeous figs. It reminds me of autumn, warmth and deliciousness. I have recently started exploring square cakes and put my new found love to a stunning two tier sage wedding cake for one of my friends, that cake challenged me but the results were so worth it!

How has Covid-19 affected the way you make cakes?

I took a break from cakes when I had my daughter, Covid pushed my return back until very recently. I have begun making cakes again for friends and family and will expand into registering my kitchen again very soon to really get back into the business!

Morgan's work before taking any DTC courses.

I eventually expanded from just birthday cakes into 3 tier wedding cakes and my experience/skills grew from there! Participating in a  DTC workshop gave me the confidence to take my cakes to the next level with precise skills and knowledge.

Where do you see the future of your business (or cake-making)?

I see myself taking my cakes much further in 2022, I really want to explore new textures, shapes, and designs! I am hopeful that I will soon have enough orders that I can focus on cakes as my soul business and continue to expand the desserts I offer! Baking & cake decorating are really a large part of my heart and soul and if I can do what I love to a bigger scale I will be forever grateful!

How do you find working with buttercream in your climate?

I love buttercream, it’s the only cake covering that should exist, fondant definitely isn’t my fortè! Plus buttercream is so silky and delicious, creamy and sweet. Thankfully being in Melbourne means we don’t have to deal with extreme humidity and buttercream is always foolproof!

Any cake disaster story?

My first and only ever attempt at a fondant-covered book cake. Don’t even get me started on that flop. Pretty sure it closely resembled a lumpy brick! 😅

That embossed buttercream!

Do you have a favourite cake you've designed?​

How to choose a favourite? I have so many of them.
I think it would have to be my first ever square cake I made for my best friend’s 30th, the textured buttercream, pops of nudes, and pink with some stunning neutral dried florals. It was a white chocolate and raspberry mud cake filled with lemon curd, my absolute favourite combination!

Do you have a favourite cake decorating style?

My favourite cake decorating style would have to be textured buttercream, incorporating palette knives, dried florals and pops of colour! I really want to start exploring more mediums such as rice & wafer paper, textured cakes are my absolute favourite!

Besides cakes, what other types of bakes do you enjoy creating & decorating?

I love cookies, I’m currently on a mission to perfect the chocolate chip cookie, the right texture, chewiness and pools of chocolate, how can you go wrong?
My current obsession however is sourdough breads, I’m constantly finding myself in the deep hole of reels of people making sourdough bread, this is definitely going to be my next thing to explore & perfect!
That embossed buttercream!

What made you decide to take an online course?​

I enrolled in the DTC caramel course after attending an in-person workshop. I wanted to expand my skills and knowledge, to be able to take my cakes to the next level and really refine my expertise, and salted caramel has always had my heart. I knew I had the creativity to delve further, I just needed some more confidence and skill refinement which is exactly what both of the courses provided me with!

What DTC course have you enrolled in and how have they helped you?

I did an in-person watercolor class which was the best day I have had! This class taught me so many hidden tips and tricks that strongly influence the way I decorate still to date. Especially those sharp edges, and I mean, who doesn’t love sharp edges! I’m forever recommending DTC to anyone I speak with who wants to practice in the cake world, everything I was taught has been absolutely invaluable to my business!

What advice do you have for people starting out in their modern cake making journey?

Practice, practice, practice oh and practice some more, every time a friend/family member has a birthday, take the opportunity to make them a cake, bake for fun, never turn it into a chore, watch tutorials, attempt things out of your comfort zone, but most of all have fun when you’re doing it!

Check out Morgan's work

Courses Morgan is enrolled in

Salted Caramel Everything Course Thumbnail image

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