Tag Archives: Cakes


Wyn Testing Epic Fireworks May 2013

I bet you’re all thinking WTF is that above picture all about!

Well, before I tell you, let me give you a brief reminder (and apologies if you already know this) of what kind of work goes into making a cake/barrage.

1. Roll the tubes

Step 1 involves rolling the tubes. Many years ago this was done by hand, but in the past 10 years or so, machines have been introduced to roll the tubes, just like below.

Big Rolls Of Paper For Tubes  - Epic Fireworks China Trip 2012

2. Dry the tubes

Once the tubes have been rolled and cut to size they are then left outside to dry. Depending on the time of the year, sometimes the tubes are placed in a ‘drying room’  due to the rainy season or damp weather. Having strong tubes is crucial – more info here.

Ideally, the tubes that are dried naturally tend to be much stronger.

Jimmy Goes Firework Testing in China July 2012 - A 70 Shot Fan Barrage In Production

3. The bung

Step 3 involves ‘breaking down’ the ‘red China earth’ into a fine powder as shown in the video below.

Machines (video below) are then used to turn the fine red powder into a clay bung (sometimes these are made from plastic to keep the weight down) to one end of the tube. This acts as a solid base for the firework to recoil against and forces the effect to go upwards.

4. Insert the lift charge and effect chamber into the tube

Once the tubes have been rolled, dried, and bunged at one end, the next process is to insert the lift-charge and the effects. This could be stars, whistles etc.

5. Linking the tubes together

Once you have all the tubes loaded with the different effects, the next job is to link them all together, using glue, tape, visco fuse, paper and loads of patience.

6. Insert Cardboard disc

This is where you add a cardboard disc inside the tubes to stop any composition from falling out and it also helps to contain the energy inside the tube once it starts its chemical reaction.

7. Add the label

This involves wrapping a label around the firework and sometimes on top of the fireworks.

Rows Of King Cobra  - Epic Fireworks China Trip 2012

8. Place the fireworks into the shipping carton

The final step is to put the barrages into the UN carton ready for shipment.

Jimmy Testing Fireworks

As you see, making fireworks is a very time-consuming, labour intensive job. So, back to the opening paragraph, WTF is this:

Wyn Testing Epic Fireworks May 2013


This will be how cakes and barrages are made in the future. The mould is made 100% from recycled materials including vegetable fibre, recycled paper, starch, calcium carbonate, and glue and it’s extremely strong – which makes it even safer.

There will be no need to roll the tubes, wait till the tubes dry, insert a bung……etc……. Now, all you do is insert the lift-charge and effect chamber, add the cardboard disc, add the fuse underneath (see pic below) and wrap the label around the firework.

The Future of Fireworks

Job Done.

In theory, the price of firework cakes and barrages should come down as this process removes a lot of production time (and the labour costs in China are going up and up and up every year) but the initial investment in the new machines that produce the mould is very very expensive.

So, a very well done to our Chinese suppliers for coming up with this awesome idea – the only thing they haven’t figured out (yet) is that they can’t produce fan cakes this way !

But watch this space!

More news on this fantastic development to follow soon 🙂



Wyn Testing The Cakes In China

After inspecting the rockets at the rocket factory, Wyn’s next job was to visit the barrage/cake factory to check the production and quality of the tubes. The quality of the tubes is extremely important in barrages – if the tubes are weak then the chance of the firework malfunctioning is massively increased.

Check out the video below by our good friend David DeSafey from Pyro Talk in the USA, he explains a little more about the importance of strong high-quality tubes.

Here’s a shot video of a production line in China…

Wyn will make another trip to China in the middle of July 2013 to check the remainder of the stock before shipment.

It must be such a hard demanding job to go to China and light fireworks day and night……the entire epic fireworks team are full of envy 🙂


Simple Cakes for 4th July

Many of us nowadays have friends, colleagues and family members who are American or have American connections.

I thought it might be nice to have a cake to serve at your gathering for this 4th July celebrations when you have your party and fireworks.

The recipe is simple and if I can make and decorate the cake – so can you.

Cake Ingredients:

1 lb SR Flour
1 lb caster sugar
1 lb margarine (or butter)
6 eggs
¼ pint of milk
Vanilla essence

For the buttercream:

1 lb icing sugar
½ lb butter or margarine

Raspberry jam (or jam of your choice)
Blue sugar strands (or blue hundreds and thousands)
Red food colouring

Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and using a mixer blend to a smooth batter.

Grease and flour 2 10” loose bottom cake tins (either round or whatever shape you have) split the mixture between the 2 tins and bake in the oven (gas mark 5, 190c) for around 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown (times may need to be adjusted for fan assisted ovens). Test by pushing a skewer into the centre of the cake and if this comes out clean, its ready. If still a little sticky, give it another 5 mins and test again (in a different place).

Once cooked and cooled a little, release from tins onto a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

In the meantime, make the buttercream. Simply put the icing sugar and butter in a bowl and whisk until the butter is completely mixed in and it is an off-white colour. Once done, take around 1/3 of the mixture into a smaller bowl and pop in a couple of drops of red food colouring. You should then have a bowl with white butter icing and a smaller one with red.

Spread one half of the cake with the jam and a little of the white buttercream and place the other half on the top.

Then carefully, spread butter icing all over the side of the cake and carefully pick up and cover in blue sugar strands.

Spread remaining icing over the top and then pipe red stripes using the red buttercream.

Finally, make a cut out of a star and hold over the white area and try to put some blue stars on. This is not meant to be a pro job so get the kids involved.

The same mix can be used for buns/muffins so you have plenty of scope.

Job done!!!