Christmas may look a little different to normal this year, but that won't stop the festive baking!
Christmas cake is my favourite cake, Yule Logs are scrummy, Christmas cookies are so varied and fun... I just love festive baking! And this year I am going to make a pledge...
I'm ONLY going to bake festive bakes for my family friends from now until Christmas!
I've made family and friends many, many mince pies, mince pie brownies, and Christmas cakes for years during December, but this year I'm going to make an effort to only bake new recipes. I hope I can discover some unknown gem of a Christmas bake, making a change from what we normally enjoy at home (often carrot cakes, Tres Leches, Victoria Sponge...) and I hope to be able to share my findings with you, this year or next!
So what am I planning to bake?
I have some amazing new recipes to try, what do you think to these?! Photos added as I wade through my baking wishlist...
- Peppermint Chocolate Slices
- My first ever baked cheesecake, 'Snowed in' Vanilla Cheesecake
- Cranberry Red Velvet Cake (below)
- Christmas pudding cookies - with crumbled pudding in the mix, mmm!
- A large, single Christmas Tree gingerbread cookie
- Cranberry and walnut muffins - good for breakfast, I expect
- Mince pie cookies
- Chewy amaretti Christmas cookies
- Stollen - I'm nervous about this one, shop bought versions are hard to beat!
- Cinnamon swirl bread
- Christmas monkey bread - for my 17 month old daughter, who we've just discovered knows the word 'monkey'!
That's a lot of new recipes, and Christmas is coming up quickly, so I'd better get baking!
Fab Fudge are probably my favourite Bristol business of mine, and not just because they gave me their Christmas fudge to review!
Imaginative. Delicious. Dairy-free.
Those are the three words I would use to describe what comes out of the kitchens of Fab Fudge. You can find out more about Fab Fudge on a blog I wrote back in 2017, but what you need to know is right here: Their (plastic-free!) fudge is UNBEATABLE.
The company's founder, Jill, started her business in 2016, two months or so behind me, and we met at a local networking event. Since then, we've been working together every so often to help each other out, and keeping each other in sweet treats!
Jill and her team have released their Christmas selection for 2020, and I was lucky enough to taste the first batches off the shelf.
At the time of writing, Gingerbread fudge wasn't available on Fab Fudge's online store, but it's coming - and you'll be glad it did! I am a late convert to ginger flavoured things, but I'm really into it now. My firey gingerbread is YUMMY! So when Jill said she had a ginger delight up her sleeve, I jumped on it! Smooth, melt-in-the-mouth, and (like all Fab Fudge) 100% vegan. The ginger kick is subtle, but the creamy taste really won me over.
Christmas cake fudge
Christmas cake may be my favourite cake, and the fudge version didn't disappoint. I love the triple layer fudge design - new for 2020. Rich, fully-festive, and it looks just like a mini slice with actual marzipan and icing! Christmas Cake fudge is my new favourite (sorry apricot fudge!).
If you're looking for the perfect gift, I can only say, GO FAB FUDGE!! Even Theo Paphitis is a fan - you simple have to try something new with Fab Fudge's dairy-free fudge.
Thanks Jill, and I hope it's not too early to wish you and yours a very merry and profitable Christmas.
It's my favourite time of year - time to get my Christmas bake on!
Here are some of the Christmas bakes from Christmas past - candy cane cake, Ho Ho Ho cupcakes, starry and snowy Christmas cakes, and a Yule Log. I love Christmas baking, and can't wait to get started!
Vegan and gluten free options are available for cupcakes and Christmas cakes, but not for Yule Logs, sorry. Prices start at £15, and delivery is always included (BS9, 10, 11 only, but collection is available too, if it suits you better). Orders close on 20th December, so don't miss out!
Food is very evocative - a simple taste or scent of a certain type of food can bring back very specific memories; Cake is no different.
For me, the first cake that springs to memory's mind is lemon drizzle. Those two words will forever be associated with my Grandma Pat, who passed away over ten years ago now.
My memories of her are laden with baking - cherry buns, runny water icing, fruit cake, apple pie - but mainly lemon drizzle. It was never fancy, just a sponge, but she had a name for making a brilliant bake of it. Sure, it's a relatively simple bake, but none can compare to my grandma's! I like to think she'd be very proud of me and my lil' cake business.
The second memory blast I have when thinking about cake is a very festive one. Every year since I've been on this planet my mum has made a showstopping Christmas cake. Sometimes more than one, if a school raffle or church fete needed one. She's even been known to make it for someone's birthday, as it's their favourite. It's all about the cake here, even though the decoration is always perfect; the dark sponge is always absolutely packed with dried fruit and booze. Mum is a complete foodie, and loves a decent fruit cake, and Christmas wouldn't be the same without a big slice of her boozy Christmas cake.
Christmas is one thing, but birthdays are even more about cake in my memory. Christmas dominates with so many other foods, activities, traditions over a longer period of time, whereas a birthday is just one day (or two, if you;'re the Queen and you're reading this). So, in terms of percentage of importance, I would argue birthday cakes are even more important that Christmas cakes, being a central feature to one's big day. After all, 'a party without a cake is just a meeting', or so the famous saying goes. I've been lucky enough to have many cakes baked for me on past birthdays - here was this years! Thank you Max, very much!
And while we're talking birthdays, banana cake may always remind me of my little one's first birthday. Cake was an important part to the celebrations as a nationwide lockdown hugely restricted what we could do. I made Rox two vegan - she had an egg allergy at the time - banana cakes, one for a cake smash (see here) and one for a sandwich tea in the garden with a handful of family members. Even though I say so myself, it was a bit of a corker - fabulous memories.
What kind of cakes bring memories to your mind?
Christmas has come to 280 Bakes!
It's the first week of December: Mince Pies have become the choice for elevenses, festive ideas for decorating are blooming, and the Christmas music is on while we bake. Here's some of the delicious baked goods our team has been producing for events and customer deliveries in the Bristol and Stroud area.
Christmas cupcakes... Mini and full-size Christmas cakes... Mince pies... Reindeer cookies...
Which would you choose for your Christmas table?
Call us on 07835 882817 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before 10th December to book your order in!
Merry Christmas from the team at 280 Bakes, and thanks so much for your support this year. Here's to another successful year of baking!
Owner, 280 Bakes
Our team will be at various Christmas markets and fairs this winter - don't miss us!
UPDATE: We will no longer be attending Badminton School's event.
Find out more on the event website itself, or check out our Facebook page. We have a section with of all our forthcoming events there.
We'll also be announcing a teaser menu just before each event, so keep your eyes peeled to see if your favourite cake will be featuring. We will always have a selection of vegan and gluten free cakes too, even if it's not a 'free-from' event.
See you soon!
The Team at 280 Bakes
Today we launched our Christmas discount - don't miss out!
Vegan and gluten free available, all delivered to Stroud, Bristol and Portishead.
Contact us today!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Our Destiny and Louise went to the Bristol Viva Vegan Christmas Market this weekend, and did they nail it? Yes they did!
Take a look at the amazing cakes the ladies took with them... and consequently sold to many, many hungry vegans! Everything from stewed plum cupcakes to gluten free gin and lemon cake, mince pie shortbread to a boozy Christmas cake - we had it all.
If you see anything you like here, we'd be happy to bake anything for you again if you couldn't make the event - just contact us!
That was our final event for 2018, but we are starting to book on events for next year, so stay tuned for more information!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Our Louise went to Switzerland this time last week and here are some of the great photos of Swiss cakes she sent us. Way to make us jealous...!
Swiss cakes are always a delight to look at... and to taste of course! I am need of a serious diet after all the goodies El Husbandio and I enjoyed on our short break in Switzerland this month - we just couldn't resist some 'market research'! Take a look at some of the festive treats we found around Bern, Zurich, and surrounding alpine villages. Which would you choose?
Top row: Mini Chocolate Almond Chocolate Bundts, Chocolate Walnut Tart (totally counts as cake!), and Lebekuchen.
Bottom row: Plum Pie, Plum Parcels, and Apple Strudel.
If you like what you see here, take a look at the cakes from a whistle-stop tour of bakeries in Zurich last December. Take me back!!
Big thanks to my fellow cake lover and ever-up-for-a-giggle tour guide, Lou G. xx
Owner, 280 Bakes
Christmas is coming, and you know there's always someone who's hard to buy for. If they're a baker, we have ten awesome gift ideas!
All images have links connected to them where possible - happy shopping!
What will you be buying the baker in your family this Christmas? What would YOU like, as a baker?
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by myself, Louise, but if you fancy guest blogging, give me a shout!