by Katherine Walton on August 19, 2022
If you were to ask any social media baker out there how they began their journey, it’s likely each one would have a different and unique story to tell as to how, and what, motivated them to get started.
My journey and where I am right now was not something I planned from the start. Instead, it blossomed from a need to bake birthday cakes (and cute cupcakes) for my children before I even created my first social media account.
My first ever cake which I remember so well (but not for the best reasons) was for my son’s first birthday. It was a vanilla giant cupcake piped with blue buttercream rosettes. Sounds like a simple cake but when thinking about it now, it was actually quite a challenging cake to make for a beginner. The buttercream was too soft and the rosettes didn’t hold their shape. Looking back at photographs it looked slimy and shiny, which in the cake world is not a very good look! My son’s reaction to the cake didn’t help much either (I have added some photographs for you to see!). My poor bubba burst into tears at the sight of the cake. His reaction alone sparked the motivation and challenge to teach myself how to bake and decorate cakes and cupcakes with the uttermost hope that they would make my kids smile and not cry!
At first I started to bake for my family and friends only. In fact I wasn’t even aware there was a social media presence for bakers to showcase their creations until my friend suggested I should create an Instagram account and post my own photos.
I took my friend’s advice and on May 26th, 2018, Walton Cake Boutique was born! Here is a link to my first ever post on Instagram 🙂
At the start I would post photographs of the baked goods I was making. I would find recipes online and make them, but I was never quite satisfied with the results I was getting. I remember this chocolate cake recipe I found and it wasn’t very sweet or very “chocolatey” at all! I thought to myself I can’t keep looking for recipes and continue to be disappointed so I took on the challenge to create my own recipes, which over the years I have tested, adjusted and trialled many times until they passed the ultimate test. The ultimate test being my family and my own honest critical self! I would not, then or now, share a recipe that I do not believe in 100%.
Creating new recipes was only a small fraction of my journey to become a social media baker. I had to teach myself how to decorate cakes, try different techniques and fail many times before I could say I have mastered them. I found I was learning a lot and I wanted to share this information with others in the baking and cake community that I had become a part of. I began to create videos to share what I was learning (including the failures) on my social media accounts (video below), and later on my own website with recipes and tutorials.
As the months went by my social media presence began to grow when my piping videos went viral. At the time I was using an iPhone with a flimsy little tripod selfie stick which kept falling into my cupcakes whilst I was trying to record a video. It wasn’t easy, but the challenge of it all and the rewards made it all worth it. As the years have passed I have changed the way I film and create my videos, from using my iPhone, to different cameras and learning new editing software. I have also encountered the many aspects (the good and the bad) of pursuing a career in social media. I’ve had to learn how to deal with trolls, build a “thick skin”, fight with the algorithm and deal with content theft. Life on social media is not all sunshine and rainbows. However, after a while you learn to manage and adjust to this ever changing world taking advantage of the endless opportunities to grow and expand your knowledge.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit more about how my baking career journey began and that it can inspire you in some way to turn your hobby or dreams into a career path and job you love!