This time of year is challenging on a 'normal' year, without being in lockdown, so I am making a point to feel grateful for things in my life.
This week I am super grateful for...
1. Coming back to baking after two weeks recovering from having my appendix removed. I had so many orders waiting for me, it was a busy weekend! I feel so thankful for my lil' business and my lovely customers, it really makes me happy when I can bake, but also make people smile.
2. Finding a new supplier for dried rose petals - now I can get these beautiful cake embellishments in 100g bags instead of 20g bags, much better, I hate running out!
3. My husband has said will be baking me a birthday cake next week! He's only missed one year, I think, since we've been together, and it's a big deal. He doesn't bake, like, ever!
4. I am finding lots of time to read in the evenings, enforcing a 'no chores, no work' mantra from 8pm. This makes me happy.
5. And, of course, I'm extremely grateful for this little creation of mine (ours). She is the most adorable baby ever - yes, every mum says that, but really, she is!! - and the true love of my life. She's really impressed me lately with how comfortable she was being taken to nursery by someone else while I was sick, and how she laughed off repeated well-meaning pokes in the face by another 18 month old yesterday!
Yes, February is wet, windy and cold, but I'm feeling good - even a little lighter with than b*gger of a giant appendix gone!
Hope you're having a good week too,
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!
This is a little selection of the cakes I baked for people like you this month!
Chocolate cake for Henry... Double raspberry tequila cake for my husband's birthday... Mickey Mouse (actually, 3!) for Leo... Chocolate Vanilla for a lady in Henbury... A watermelon cake and matching cupcakes for Matilda... Penguin cupcakes for a Penguin (bar!) lover... Vegan chocolate cake for the Pipal Tree restaurant... A vegan birthday cake for Anna...
... and I've already got some booked in for October!
See you next month,
The easy answer is "generally, no, cake sprinkles are not vegan", but I do have some alternatives for you!
If you're planning to make vegan cupcakes, your sprinkles and pre-made decorations ingredients lists need to be examined to see if they contain animal products. Some are difficult to spot but I have some great alternatives to the normal range you'll find in the baking aisle.
Before we start, here are some common ingredients to avoid:
Confectioners' Glaze - made from insects
Cochineal and Carmine (more bugs)
Certain colours (E20 is a common one)
What do I suggest instead to make your cupcakes look super fancy?
First, try Googling for inspiration. There are many companies (e.g. some small businesses on Etsy) who will post sprinkles to you. Vegan Dollhouse has a huge list on her blog too - take a look here.
Second, try thinking away from actual sprinkles for cake decorations. How about using...
- fresh fruit - strawberries and raspberries work well, but use caution with softer berries like blackberries which might bleed into the buttercream.
- popcorn - super easy to pile up if you're using caramel sauce.
- dark chocolate squares - a favourite of mine.
- edible flower petals - I've used rose and lavender recently, a lovely finish and aroma.
- freeze dried fruit - I love raspberries and strawberries here, again.
- biscuits like Lotus biscuits, Party Rings and Oreos.
- Sweets like Jelly Tots, Flying Saucers, Skittles - inject some colour into your cupcakes!
Don't forget cocoa powder too - a dusting of this over bright white buttercream looks great if the swirls are well defined.
And if you fancy making your own vegan sprinkles (who has THAT time??), take a look at this video I found on Youtube.
Let me know if you give this tutorial a go, I'd love to see your resulting sprinkles!
My customers are full of questions, love 'em! Here are some of the recent queries I've had, and the (helpful) answers below...
1. Is a cupcake the same as a muffin?
Nope. A cupcake has much higher butter and sugar content and they have fancy icing on the top. Muffins are often more appropriate for breakfast, often being similar to bread, and cupcakes are better for dessert.
2. How do I pay for a 280 Bakes cake?
Paypal is preferred (to email@example.com) or cash, as a second preference. This is mainly to make it simple to take payment immediately when a customer books a delivery in, but it also limits physical contact during these Covid-19 days.
3. What's the difference between a Chocolate cake and a brownie?
The main difference between brownies and chocolate cake is that brownies have more chocolate content and are gooey. Baking powder and soda are not used in brownies and they often have more sugar than a cake would. Both are delicious, though!
4. Why are bundt cakes so much more expensive?
Simply because there's almost four times the amount of mixture that goes into the cake compared to a traditional homebake, and the size means they take so much more time to bake. Perfect for a party, a real centrepiece!
5. What do you use instead of egg in a vegan cake?
There are many different things recipes call for in egg-free cakes. For example, many of my cakes contain flaxseed, banana, apple sauce or yoghurt instead. You can also do a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, but I prefer to use fruit based or seed products.
I hope this was useful, please let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you!
Here's A selection of what I've been baking this month!
Top line: Tequila Rose cake (for Rose's birthday), Espresso Brownies, vegan Chocolate Cake
Bottom Line: Lemon Drizzle Cake, Chocolate Cake (for a very pregnant friend!), Blackberry cupcakes.
Ok, the last ones were for my family, but yum, can't beat a seasonal bake!
Every month until Christmas (yes, I said the C word!), I'm going to give a local area an exclusive offer for a week.
Everyone loves a deal - first up, Seamills residents!
Please share the deal with any of your friends who live in the area. Thank you!
Choose from all of the cakes available:
- traditional homebakes (e.g. coffee, chocolate, carrot...)
- buttercream birthday cakes
Vegan and gluten free available, as always, on request and at no extra cost. Keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter to see which Bristol area will be next to save precious pennies on their cake orders!
Thank you for taking a look at my blog this week, it is much appreciated xxx
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 Halloween 'early bird' offer ends tomorrow, so get in quick while you can!
From cupcakes to large party cakes, and vegan and gluten free available, we have Halloween cakes for everyone and every budget. Drop us a line to order, and save 10% if you order before 7pm tomorrow (19th Oct) with code EARLYHALLOWEEN.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We love sharing our baking triumphs - here are the most creative cakes our wonderful home baking team have made in the last few months.
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by myself, Louise, but if you fancy guest blogging, give me a shout!