My family have never bought a Christmas cake from a supermarket, and here's why.
The downsides to store-bought cake are many; I avoid the standard cakes bought from a supermarket when they appear at work, preferring a home baked delight. They just don't taste like real food to me; sugary chemically mess. Yuck. Call me a cake snob, but there are reasons I feel this way...
The problems with store-bought cakes are even more numerous when it's Christmas cake we're talking about.
Growing up, my mum always, without fail, made a Christmas cake for us from scratch. We were very lucky kids, and I've carried on the tradition with my little family. I know my sister does the same, and my brother will probably have one from his baking-crazy girlfriend. What lucky tummies and tummies of significant others!
Here are just a few reasons why I prefer home baked Christmas cake and would NEVER buy one from a store. Obviously I want to encourage you to buy home baked - from me! - but not just for Christmas, for all occasions in the year.
WHY I NEVER BUY A STORE'S CHRISTMAS CAKE
1. One of my closest friends is vegan and vegan Christmas cakes are nigh on impossible to find in a supermarket, even though general vegan food ranges are expanding. The star cake above is actually vegan, and you'd never know...
2. Supermarket cakes often contain white sugar. Christmas cake should always be made with soft, brown sugar! The flavour and texture is totally different, and shouldn't be compromised!
3. You never know what's gone into a cake which has been mass produced; E numbers (colours and flavours), preservatives, dates (ick!), whole nuts (choking hazard for my baby)… At least with mine I know exactly what ingredients were used - including a good splosh of booze! - and that it's been made hygienically!
4. When it's home made, a Christmas (or any other) cake can be tailored to your preferences or needs. You know now I hate dates, but you could say to me, for example, you'd like a holly design, or a star featuring on your festive bake. Don't like marzipan? I can leave out the marzipan, no problem. Perhaps you'd like it gluten free? I'd be only too happy to help.
5. A home baked cake is a much better gift than something you just grabbed off the shelves. It's made with love, with a specific person in mind, and if you buy from 280 Bakes, you're supporting a small business.
What could be better???
Order your Christmas cake today - orders close in a week (20th December)!
You heard it here first... All this week I'm giving away a free jar of Beanies coffee with every coffee cake order!
I really love Beanies coffee (and I'm not getting paid or any free product from them for saying this! My two favourite instant coffees they make are amaretto and caramel (I totally get distracted on their website!), and they're sugar free as a bonus.
So if you're looking to order a cake this week, why not make it my coffee or coffee and walnut one, and nab yourself a free jar of Beanies coffee (RRP £2.50)!
Offer expires Sunday 15th November, limited jars available. Gluten free and vegan cakes included in the deal, of course!
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!
Our re-opening has seen some changes, but great traditional style cake remains on the menu for all!
Old favourites are still available, like Victoria Sponge, Lemon Drizzle and Chocolate Peanut Butter cake, but check out my new recipes too - Tequila Rose cake, for starters, oh my!
I'll never charge more for gluten free or vegan, like some of our competitors do, and each cake can be tailored, so please ask if you want something a little personalised.
- Perhaps you don't want sultanas in your carrot cake?
- Maybe popcorn is your favourite snack and want it to decorate your chocolate cake?
- Coffee and walnut without the walnuts? No problem!
Just drop me an email here or via the website, and you can also find 280 Bakes on social media.
We're becoming experts in sugar free baking, so we thought you'd like to hear our top tips for trying it at home!
· Use raw cacao nibs and raw cacao powder instead of chocolate. Surprisingly, even dark 70% cocoa chocolate may contain sugar, as can cocoa powder. Raw cacao has a rich flavour and is a good source of minerals (e.g. like iron)
· Use fruit purées instead of syrups, treacle or honey. Syrups add a gooey texture to traybakes, cookies and tarts which is hard to recreate... However, fruit purées supply sweetness and moisture and can make a useful alternative.
· Use wholemeal flour instead of refined white flour, or go totally gluten free. Although it may not be a sugar itself, refined white flour is digested really quickly, which may aggravate blood sugar levels. Use wholemeal flour to slow the rate at which your body absorbs all forms of sugar. The best cake flours for gluten free purposes are almond flour coconut flour (the cheaper of the two), or a mix.
· Use vanilla pods instead of vanilla extract. They're relatively small in terms of their sugar contribution in cakes, but they're still a processed sugar you may choose to avoid. You can make the pricey pod go a little further but removing the seeds and infuse the pods in yoghurt or cream.
· Use homemade fruit jams instead of store-bought jam, compotes or conserves. Even jams and conserves with no added sugar are still a concentrated source due to their high fruit content. You have greater control over the sugar content when you make it yourself, and there are zero sugar recipes if you search online.
· Use lighter toppings in place of icing, buttercream and frosting - these little extras can more than double the calories per portion. Instead, sprinkle your cake lightly with cacao powder, cinnamon or ground ginger. Use cream cheese topping flavoured with citrus zest, or a fresh cream filling with some seasonal fruit.
And if it all gets too much, we deliver!
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
We get asked fairly often if cakes can be frozen, so we're here today to clarify!
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by myself, Louise, but if you fancy guest blogging, give me a shout!