Thursday, 31 October 2013

Toffee Apples

It's the season of witches and magic, fire and toffee so we thought you might like to have a go at making your own toffee apples. 


450g Caster Sugar
100ml Warm Water
2tbsp Liquid Glucose
1tsp Distilled Vinegar
1/2tsp Red Food Colouring
8 Small Apples

8 Lolly Sticks

  • Place the sugar, warm water, glucose and vinegar into a large saucepan. Whilst stirring, gently heat through to dissolve the sugar, do not boil at this stage.
  • Once all the sugar has dissolved, raise the heat and bring the toffee to a good rolling boil. Once dissolved, add all the remaining ingredients, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Using a sugar or toffee thermometer boil to 140°C / 270°F This can take 10 – 20 minutes.
  • If you do not have a sugar or toffee thermometer, take a jug of cold water and once the toffee has started to thicken, drop a little of the toffee into the cold water. The toffee should solidify as it hits the water and when you remove it from the water, the toffee threads should still be slightly flexible not brittle. If the toffee is soft continue to cook.
  • While the toffee is boiling, place the apples in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for a few minutes then remove from the water and rub the apples with a tea towel and dry thoroughly. The hot water and the rubbing will remove any waxy surface from the apple. You may have to do this in two batches. Once all dried, remove the apple stalks and push in a chopstick or lolly stick.
  • Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • Once the toffee is ready, remove from the heat and leave to stand for five minutes to let the bubbles subside. It is important to wait until all the bubbling calms dowm to create a smooth surface on the apples. Once the bubble shave stopped, add the food colouring and stir gently.
  • Working quickly, tilt the pan slightly and dip the apples into the toffee and twizzle around to completely coat the apple. Lift from the pan and allow any excess toffee to drain away. Stand the toffee apple onto the baking sheet and leave to set, around 20 minutes, longer if possible. If the toffee starts to thicken and go hard, place back on the heat and warm through but do not boil. If you are not eating the toffee apples straight away, wrap in cellophane.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


Please, please, please do not be scared of making custard! The trick is to not let it boil, that's it. The taste is amazing and it really doesn't take long to do, better still I'm going to show you how to cheat.

2 eggs
200g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp Cornflour
300ml Double Cream
500ml Milk

  • Mix the eggs, sugar, cornflour and vanilla together to form a paste
  • Whisk in the milk and cream
  • Place in microwave for 2mins on full power
  • Quickly whisk
  • Return to microwave for 30 seconds and whisk again, repeating until the custard begins thicken
  • Serve
You can always prepare this beforehand, the trick is to not bring it to the boil as this will curdle it. But that's not to say you can't reheat it, in fact you will find it thickens by being warmed and then left to stand and warmed again.

See I told you it was easy, no more standing over the pan waiting patiently waiting for it to thicken ;)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Raspberry and Chocolate Sponge

This pudding is fab because it's quick, easy and sure to be a crowd pleaser

100g butter
100g sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
25g cocoa power 
100g raspberries

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale
Add the eggs one at a time mixing all the time
Add the vanilla extract
Fold in the flour and cocoa powder until well combined
Add the raspberries but hardly mix
Turn into a pudding basin or Pyrex bowl and cover in cling film
Microwave for 10 minutes on full power
Turn onto a plate and serve with custard or cream

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Last of the Summer Pudding

As the nights start to draw in and the temperature drops we think it's time for one last fling with summer. Gather those berries and throw together a summer pudding. Goes down a treat every time!

500g Raspberries
300g Strawberries
250g Blackberries
100g Redcurrants
but in fairness it doesn't matter mix it up, use frozen if you like!
175g Caster Sugar
7 slices of bread

Wash fruit – keep strawberries separate. 
Put sugar and 3 tbsp water into a large pan. Gently heat until sugar dissolves – stir a few times. 
Bring to a boil for 1 min, then tip in the fruit (not strawberries). 
Cook for 3 mins over a low heat, stirring 2-3 times. The fruit will be softened, mostly intact and surrounded by dark red juice. Put a sieve over a bowl and tip in the fruit and juice.

Line the 1.25-litre basin with cling film as this will help you to turn out the pudding. Overlap two pieces in the middle of the bowl as it’s easier than trying to get one sheet to stick to all of the curves. Let the edges overhang by about 15cm. 
Cut the crusts off the bread. Cut 4 pieces of bread in half, a little on an angle, to give 2 lopsided rectangles per piece. Cut 2 slices into 4 triangles each and leave the final piece whole.

Dip the whole piece of bread into the juice for a few secs just to coat. 
Push this into the bottom of the basin. 
Dip the wonky rectangular pieces one at a time and press around the basin’s sides so that they fit together neatly, alternately placing wide and narrow ends up. 
If you can’t quite fit the last piece of bread in it doesn’t matter, just trim into a triangle, dip in juice and slot in. Now spoon in the softened fruit, adding the strawberries here and there as you go.
Dip the bread triangles in juice and place on top – trim off overhang with scissors. 
Keep leftover juice for later. 
Bring cling film up and loosely seal. Put a side plate on top and weight down with cans. 
Chill for 6 hrs or overnight. 
To serve, open out cling film then put a serving plate upside-down on top and flip over. serve with leftover juice, any extra berries and cream.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Apple and Blackberry Buns

These are delicious warm and a perfect use for seasonal fruit! We have made them with apple and blackberries but you really can fill them with anything you like.

For Dough
500g Strong White Flour

300ml Warm Milk
1 Egg
1tsp Sugar
7g Fast Acting Yeast
1tsp Salt

For Filling
1 Handful of Blackberries
2 Sharp Eating Apples peeled and diced (we like granny smiths or pink ladies for this)
2tsp Cinnamon
100g Demerara Sugar

Start by making the dough, this is easiest in a food mixer with a dough hook attached. However by hand is fine, just get stuck in!

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients making sure that the yeast and salt do not touch initially
  2. Add the egg 
  3. Add the milk slowly (you may not need all of this) mixing all the time. You should end up with a soft dough that's not too sticky
  4. Kneed for 10 minutes
  5. Cover and leave to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size
  6. Knock back the dough and roll into a rectangle about 1cm thick
  7. Sprinkle evenly with sugar and cinnamon 
  8. Spread fruit all over
  9. Roll tightly up into a long roll
  10. Cut into approx. 10 slices
  11. Place on to a baking tray with a slight gap between to allow room to grow
  12. Heat oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas 6
  13. Cover with a towel and leave for half an hour to rise
  14. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  15. Enjoy!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Plum Cake

This is possibly one of the simplest cakes but gorgeous and moreish.


150g Caster Sugar + 1tbs to sprinkle at end
150g Self Raising Flour
150g Butter
3 Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
6 Plums halved and stone removed

Heat oven to 200C/180ºC fan/gas 6

  1. Grease a 8" cake pan
  2. Mix everything together except the plums until well combined
  3. Turn mixture into pan and level out
  4. Dot plums throughout the mixture and sprinkle with remaining sugar
  5. Bake for 20-25 mins
  6. Can be served warm or cold but don't forget the custard!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Custard Tart

Our family love custard, so while our hens or laying so prolifically I thought I would use the opportunity to make our favourite treat. Don't be put off by Great British Bake Off, it's not as hard as it looks. Shortcrust pastry is easy to make too but let's leave that for another day ;)

500g pack shortcrust pastry
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
4 large eggs
140g golden caster sugar
300ml double cream
300ml whole milk
1tsp vanilla extract 

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. 

  1. Roll the pastry out to about 1cm thick, then grate over a dusting of nutmeg using a fine grater. 
  2. Fold the dough in half, then roll out again, to the thickness of 2 x £1 coins and large enough to line a 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tin with some overhang. 
  3. Press the pastry into the tin (leaving the excess draped over the sides), put onto a baking sheet and chill for 10 mins. 
  4. Line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 mins, then remove beans and paper. 
  5. Bake for another 15 mins until golden and sandy all over. 
  6. Trim the edges of the tart with a sharp serrated knife. 
  7. Turn oven down to 150C/130C fan/ gas 2. 
  8. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. 
  9. Put the cream, milk, vanilla extract and eggs into a jug and microwave in 30 second bursts whisking in-between. Overheating will cause scrambled eggs, be warned! You want this to come to just below boiling point.
  10. Put the baking sheet onto the pulled-out oven rack, then pour in the custard, right to the top. You may not need every last drop. 
  11. Grate over a nice layer of nutmeg, then slide gently back into the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  12. When it’s ready, the tart should be set and pale golden on the top, and have just the merest tremor in the centre when you jiggle the tray. 
  13. Cool completely, then serve in slices.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Sunday Pudding

In our house Sunday lunch is a big deal. It's a time we all make sure that we eat together and indulge a little. Every week we choose something super scrummy (and usually heavily calorie laden) to enjoy for pudding. I do always post pictures of this on Facebook but thought you may like to have the recipes to go with them so here's my commitment to you... as long as the pudding is made by us (i.e. we aren't with friends or family) we will endeavour to post it here complete with pictures. So here we go!

Pancake Cake with Damson Cream

This is actually incredibly easy but does take a little time


1tsp sunflower oil
3 cups of self raising flour
3 cups of milk
3 eggs

1/2 cup Jam - I used damson
1 cup of whipping cream
1tbs caster sugar
1 handful of raspberries

The first thing you need to do is make the pancakes. For this mix all the ingredients together until a smooth batter is achieved. Then heat the oil in a frying pan. When the pan is hot, pour in a ladle of the batter and cook for a couple of minutes each side. Leave to cool. Continue until all the batter is used.

Next you need to make up the filling. Mix all the ingredients except the raspberries until the cream has begun to stiffen. Fold in the raspberries.

Now all you need to do is layer is up. I smoothed the cream down the sides too so that it was more of a surprise.

Play around with different fillings, this really does lend itself to whatever you like so just go for it!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Earl Grey Blue Lady Cake

Here's our cake of the week. It's made with an amazing tea, Earl Grey Blue Lady that has beautiful little cornflowers in it. The smell is absolutely gorgeous... in fact we thought good enough to eat! So we steeped some fruit in it and made a light fruit cake topped with a butter cream. Fancy a slice? Well it's this week's "Surprise Me" but better still you can come into our shop where you can buy the tea too!

Monday, 29 July 2013


With such an abundance of fruit this year, I decided to make some cordial. It's easy and tastes lovely. Personally I find shop bought cordial a little too sweet.

Here's my recipe

500g soft fruit (red currant, black currants, etc)
275g sugar
250ml water

1. simmer it all for 5 minutes
2. give it a mash
3. simmer for 2 more minutes
4. strain through a sieve
5. dilute to taste
6. Enjoy!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Win Tickets to the Bakewell Baking Festival!

Next month it is the first ever Bakewell Baking Festival, celebrating and devoted to the wonderful world of baking at the home of the Bakewell Pudding. We met the organisers at the Cake and Bake Show recently and were wowed by what they had arranged. We are going along with our kids as it looks like an amazing day out for all.

What's On:-

  • Star Bakers, including Edd Kimber and Stacie Stewart
  • Baking Demonstrations 
  • Competitions 
  • Raw Baking 
  • Mad Hatter's Tea Party 
  • Children's Zone 
  • Artisan Bread Making 
  • Healthy Baking with Edwina Currie 
  • Fanny & Jonny Craddock 
  • Tea Appreciation 
  • Vintage Market 
  • Vintage Bus Rides 
  • Mr Darcy Custard Pie Fight and lots more all included in the ticket price!

Better still if you hop over to our Facebook page you will see we have a competition to win two adult tickets for the day! Best be quick though it closes on 25th May 2013.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Broken Glass Cake!

I can't help it, I see a wacky recipe and begin to look for an excuse to bake it... except this time there was no baking involved! A refreshing summer pudding and the perfect party alternative to jelly and ice-cream (a lot more grown up). The recipe itself is one that was run on the back of Jello packets in America in 1950s. It's easy to make but takes time to set so make a day ahead.

2 packets of jelly (4 half packets for lots of colour really) choose your favourites
300ml whipping cream
100ml pineapple juice
1/2tsp powdered gelatine
1/2tsp vanilla extract

  • Make the jelly up as per the packet instructions and chill until set
  • Put the pineapple juice in a sauce pan and sprinkle with gelatine, allow to dissolve
  • Heat this gently until melted, remove from heat and add 50ml of cold water, leave to cool (not set)
  • Whip the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Whisk in the pineapple mixture.
  • Chop the jelly into cubes
  • Add to cream but DO NOT mix as this will cause your jelly to break up
  • Pour into a lined 6" cake tin and leave to set preferably overnight but at least for 3 hours 

This really is a delightful pudding. One which I think will be a big hit with the kids tonight and possibly a big hit with the adults! So here's to summer, get the BBQ going and have yourself a broken glass cake for dessert!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Merry Unbirthday!

Today we have a guest blog from Colin Shelbourn. The wonderful illustrator who designs all our cartoons, including the lovely cake lady herself and our new Limited Edition Cake Cards. Here he is to tell you more about how it came about!

When an illustrator receives a commission, the client usually has a specific remit in mind. Sometimes too specific and the illustrator becomes a hired pencil. Cartoonists don’t respond well to that. You hire me, you get the ideas as well as the pencil (or brush pen and Wacom tablet, in my case). 

By contrast, a Twitter conversation with Abi at The Cake Nest sparked the faintest of faint notions and I immediately knew this was going to be a fun project. No brief, no deadline, just a generous “what if?” commission. What if people had something to celebrate on the days when they didn’t have a birthday?

I’m often commissioned to draw postcards - you can see some of them here ( - but have been thinking for a while that a range of my own greeting cards would be fun to try in my online shop. And Abi was after something unusual for The Cake Nest, so … a couple of days later, the first of the Un-Birthday card designs appeared. 

It’s a rolling commission so watch out for new designs over the coming weeks. They’ll be on sale as cake cards to begin with - Abi sparked the idea off, after all - and then later as greetings cards over at 

Either way, we hope you’ll find them delicious.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Foodie Festival Competition

Foodies will be showing off the best of Cheshire and beyond for the third year running in the beautiful grounds of Tatton Park on May 17th, 18th & 19th 2013.

Restaurants will be taking centre stage at this year's event with the hugely successful ChaophrayaThe Lord Binning and Stolen Lamball running pop-up eateries at the event.
Chefs Theatre and Childrens Cookery Theatre 2013 timetables now available! Timetables for some of this year’s features are not yet available but for an idea of what to expect please click the links below to see what delights we had on in 2012.
Fancy getting your hands on a pair of tickets to this? Well we may just be able to help 

We have three pairs of tickets to give away. All you have to do is tell us in no more than 140 characters (ie a text message or a tweet) why you would like go and who with, simples! Tweet, Facebook or email us your answer by Sunday 21st April for your chance to win.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Kitchen Organisation Tips

If you follow us on Facebook, you will have seen our "Tip of the Day". We thought it may be quite good to put it together a bit more here for easy reference. No more juggling in the kitchen, let's start with the difference between "Use By" and "Best Before". Use by is for things like milk and eggs that go off and should be thrown away after that date. Best Before is much more open ended. It really depends on how it is stored and how long it's been open, for instance cereals and pasta. So here's to reducing food waste by storing things in the most appropriate place. 

The biggest guide is where shops store the item themselves. If you pick it up from a fridge, put it into your fridge. If it's on a shelf, pop it in the cupboard. However, you will find a few things need to be put in the fridge once opened, such as mayonnaise or jam. 
The next step is where to put everything in your fridge:
Top - Ready to Eat, butter, cheese, yogurts, cooked meats, etc
Middle - Raw foods, meat, fish, etc
Bottom - Leafy Vegetables and fruit like cherries and pineapples, down in the salad draw
Don't put bread in the fridge it doesn't like it and there really is no point in putting eggs in either. Just think when you next want to bake a cake, room temperature eggs are best!

Freeze meats and fish when you get back from the shops, then just take out what you need the night before. This way you will always have fresh food and no waste when you realise something has gone past it's best in the fridge.
Overcooked? No problem, it doesn't mean you have to overeat or throw it out. Simply cool and pop it in the freezer. Don't forget to write what it is on top and when you put it in. This is generally a lot better than putting it in the fridge thinking you will eat it tomorrow as most don't and then it ends up in the bin anyway.

In the dark 
Root vegetables including onions, carrots, potatoes and garlic like it dark, it helps prevent sprouting. Keep them dry and cool but they don't need to go in the fridge.

Fruit Bowls
Stoned fruit like peaches, plums and nectarines will all keep ripening just like melons, mangoes and tomatoes. As do pears and apple. If you get through them quickly put them in a fruit bowl, we tend to put half of them out and the rest in the fridge. Watch out for apples though as they give off gases that can cause over foods to deteriorate, so if you can store them separately or just eat them quickly.

This is basically all your tins, pulses, cereals etc. Keep it neat is our only tip with this then you won't find that you actually have 20 cans of chopped tomatoes lurking at the back. This really is your store food, but that doesn't mean you don't eat it. An overstocked cupboard isn't efficient at all as the chances are you are buying things on impulse still not need - ooooo pureed chestnuts, they look good... (our own admission!)

Monday, 25 March 2013

The day Meg came

We wanted to write a very quick post about the lovely lady that came and took photos for our website recently, Meg. It really was a delight working with her over the few days that she spent with us. We had a great time chatting about places like New Zealand over a few slices of cake.

If you want to know what we look like baking check out "All in a day's work" on Facebook. We promise we always smile like that as we bake your cakes

We really hope you like what she has done. We think you will agree she is a great photographer. Thank you for helping us show how much our business means to us and our family, this is what it is all for.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Totally Scrumptious Cake Competition

We’ve got two spare tickets for The Cake & Bake show in Manchester and we thought we’d give them away to two of our lovely customers! But then we thought - no, let’s not just give them away, let’s have a competition! Much more fun, and we do enjoy a bit of fun with our cake, here at The Cake Nest.

So here we are -  totally scrumptious Cake Nest competition!

You probably know about our ‘Say it with cake’, where we put fifteen pieces of cake into a box - a box that will fit through your letterbox of course. 

However, each gorgeous handmade piece of cake doesn’t just have character - it can be a character, in the form of a letter, so you can spell out that special message for the one that you love.

We thought it would be fun if you, our customers, thought of a ‘Say it with cake’ message you’d like to send to someone in the news! It might be something funny, or poignant, or heartfelt, or even angry, as long as it is angry in a funny kind of way. It is up to you, the only rule is, your message must be fifteen characters or less. The best one will win the tickets!

And what’s more, we’ll do our best to send the winning entry to the person you intended it for!

Here’s a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing - as if our cakes weren’t enough, tsk tsk:
sorry so sorry” to Nick Clegg.
Congrats on d- “ to Kate
Bitter sweet” to Vicky Pryce (We might have to hide a file in that last one!)

So, that is your mission, should you choose to accept it.  All you need to do is email us with your entry or if you are on twitter, tweet us using #SayItWithCake. We can’t wait to see what you can cook up!

And there’s more - sneak previewComing soon, ‘Say it with cake - And there’s more” where there will be even more characters, so you can send a longer message - and even more pieces of cake, of course. Now that’s what we call ‘win win’.

Winner will be chosen on Sunday 24th March 2013. Good luck!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Learn to Bake

Delia Smith is an amazing woman. I really think that her approach to cooking is fantastic. It's not rocket science, it just needs a little practice. I thoroughly encourage you watch the clip and to have a go. Yes, I realise I bake for a living but what we do is offer a surprise to someone far away that you cannot surprise yourself. Why not surprise Mum this year with a homemade cake on Sunday. It will taste better than anything you can buy from Tesco, why? Simple, because it has that added ingredient, Love. 


Episode 1: Classic Sponge Cake from Delia Online Cookery School on Vimeo.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Give a little bit

Tissues at the ready? Then watch what CCTV can really show. It seems that every day we are shown some other evil in the world. I thought today I would post something that truly reminds me how it's the little things that mean the most. So no cake today but a little bit of love. Thanks to @coffeecurls for sharing this with me. Have a great weekend everyone

Friday, 22 February 2013

Ginger Cake with Lemon Icing

Please excuse me I appear to have eaten this week's Surprise Cake! Well, can you blame me? It's a gorgeous moist cake with pieces of preserved ginger inside, then topped with lemon icing, yum! OK, OK I'll get back in the kitchen and bake you another batch. Click "surprise me" on any of our slices and we'll get a slice sent out to you.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Easy Peasy Banana Ice-Creamy

I know that today is freezing and we are still very much in winter. However, we decided that we didn't want to be any more and thought you might like our recipe for Easy Peasy Banana Ice-Cream. Surely we are all allowed a taste of summer and it gives you something to do with brown bananas!


1/2 Pint of Milk
4 frozen Peeled Bananas
1tsp Honey

Blitz in the bananas a food processor straight from freezer with the milk and honey.

Easy Peasy, a quick pudding anytime of the year!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Raspberry Blondies

Oh yes, I know that we have had these as our special before and it is precisely for this reason that they are this week's "Surprise Me" slice. Back by popular demand! Apparently the gorgeous caramel taste with the sharp burst of raspberry is enough for you to ask for more. So we thought we had better give in. Let's face it, there is no point arguing with you our discerning customer.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Cartoons and Cake!

What? I know, trust me this has a lot to do with cake. You will have seen the lovely juggling cartoon lady on our site. She is the creation of Colin Shelbourn, an amazing cartoonist and a good friend of ours. Recently, he has inspired me to try drawing myself... Ok so I'm not quite up to his standard yet but I'm working on it ;)

I bought his book - Drawing Cartoons - and had a go. Let me know what you think. If you fancy joining in, he has been setting homework on Twitter each day. 

Oh and I did say this was about cake didn't I! Colin did this when he saw our "Say it with Cake"
because sometimes words aren't enough.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Red Velvet

We've been thinking, and, what with Valentine's Day coming up, we thought we should bring a special out this week with this is mind. So we bring you the Red Velvet Cake. A sumptuous moist cake, covered in chocolate and hand made with love. What more could you ask for on the most romantic day of the year (apart from diamonds!)? What's more for a limited time only you will find it as an option for our cake cards

Friday, 18 January 2013

Black Cherry Chocolate Cake

Firstly, Happy New Year! Sorry for the delay in blogging but we have been a tad busy. Anyway, normal service is resumed and it's back to me telling you about your "Surprise" cake. Last week was banana cake, which seemed to go down well. This week though we are twisting time again with our Black Cherry Chocolate Cake. I was brought up sharing a Black Forest Gateaux with my Granny each birthday (our birthdays are only a few days apart). Now there is something that I reminisce about with this. Sara Lee cakes were what served us then but now it's our turn to give our take on it. 

A rich chocolate cake with lovely big cherries inside and topped with white chocolate. What do you think? Join our club if you would like to try our surprises each week or send it to someone special.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Cake Fashion-Trends

It may seem surprising to discover that the cake industry is subject to fashions and fads, just as in the design world, but the fact is that cakes go in and out of fashion as surely as hemlines rise and fall. Some cakes, such as the ubiquitous Victoria Sponge continue solidly on with very few variations, but with the rise in popularity of cooking and baking programmes the cake is undergoing a resurgence in popularity with new trends cropping up on a regular basis.

Most people experience this fascinating trend in cake fashion when attending a wedding. The traditional wedding cake always used to be three tiers of fruit cake covered in marzipan and white icing topped by a bride and groom. Now however, this style of wedding cake is the exception to the rule, with many brides choosing to make a statement with their choice of cake as much as they do with their choice of dress. Towering confections in every shade can now be seen at most wedding venues, with the addition of some new styles, such as the profiterole cake or the increasingly popular cupcake wedding cake.

It seems the trend for fashionable cakes began with the humble cupcake. Once the poor relation of the cake world, the individual cupcake has been reinvented over the past few years to become the cake of choice for every occasion. Cupcake companies sprang up all across the country, producing lavishly decorated cupcakes in every colour and with almost every conceivable type of topping.

In America, doughnuts have long been the guilty pleasure of choice, available in a huge range of varieties, with a multitude of fillings and toppings. Now however the whoopee cake has seen a recent rise in popularity. Also known as the whoopee pie, this is best described as an individual Victoria sponge cake with a creamy filling. As with the march of the doughnuts, it can only be a matter of time before the trend hits our shores, not to mention our waistlines!

Programmes such as The Great British Bake Off have inspired a whole new generation to try their hand at cake making, fuelling a desire to source new recipes and styles. Where mothers once laboured to produce a birthday cake for their child based on a favourite TV or book character, flights of fancy are now overshadowing the more popular themes with elaborate buildings and gingerbread houses packed with intricate detailing taking centre stage.

Even adults are joining in with themed cakes. Current favourites include cakes designed to resemble a pair of shoes or a statement handbag for example. For those who have less than perfect baking skills there are any number of dedicated professionals setting up shop designing and producing the most incredible flights of fancy on any theme the customer desires.

At the moment, although the cupcake looks set to continue its domination over the cake market for the foreseeable future, a new and emerging trend is gaining popularity with every passing day   the cake pop. This new kid on the block is a clever combination of cake and lollipop, offering a bite-sized cake on a stick. Available in a variety of flavours and colours, watch out for cake pops appearing in a shop near you very soon   perfect alongside an award-winning coffee as produced by Caffe Society for the ultimate fashionable treat.