5 Secrets To Sweet Success

Cupcakes & Shhht

Mon 19 Sep



Shhht got real nearly five years ago for cupcake entrepreneurs, Caitlyn Badham-Thornhill and Sophie Beale when they quit their day jobs to start their own bakery. Luckily, for these two twenty-somethings, the risk paid off and since pitching up in Camden Market without so much as a tablecloth, the Cupcakes & Shhht bakery has grown into a mini empire, complete with a cafe and catering business. Together, they’ve shaken off cupcakes sickly-sweet stigma, serving up raw, vegan and gluten-free sweet treats that feel naughty… but aren’t.

Here Caitlyn shares her five golden rules for startup success…plus a quick and easy recipe to try at home.

Together is better

We have fun, we’re best friends. We started with a beer in our hands and a very small idea. Together, we fled the security of payroll and began a journey towards independence.


Jump right in and keep paddling

We applied to trade in Camden Market, which was very quickly granted. On our first day of trade we had no idea what we were doing – we’d been up all night icing cupcakes and didn’t even have a tablecloth for the stall. We powered on and later joined the Market permanently, trading seven days a week. Some days were fabulous and some days were scary. A market trader’s life is very unpredictable.

Make your name stand out

We always wanted a cupcake business – to make our own shit and sell it – so the title just made sense.

Do something different

We have something for everyone: be it raw, vegan or gluten-free. People think gluten-free baking is tricky, but it really is quite simple. We use Doves Farm gluten free flour and the secret ingredient we use to help bind the ‘shhht’ together is xanthan gum. You just need a little, but it makes a world of a difference.

Create a relationship with your customers

We love talking about raw and vegan baking – there is just so much we’ve learnt over the past couple of years. Our advice is to start in the kitchen at home and just go for a recipe that’s been on your mind. Raw and vegan baking is actually a lot easier than regular baking and requires fewer ingredients.



Makes 20


1 1/2 boxes dates
250g desiccated coconut, extra for coating
250g ground almonds
1 bag cacao (depending on how chocolaty you want them)


Depip all of the dates and mush all of the ingredients together using your hands, or a blender if it’s quite strong.

Roll the mixture into individual balls (approximately 20) and then coat them in coconut.

And voila, power balls to keep you happy, fit and energised. Who knew it was that easy?

For more info about Cupcakes & Shhht and where to find them, click here.

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