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 NationaL Baking Week! From 14-20th October, the nation shall celebrate/Bake/Eat cake (even more)!
This week is great. I am not going to pretend it's 'just another week of...' national campaign. Baking is fab, and we should celebrate it!
1. Home baked cake tastes AMAZING.
2. Baking makes your house smell DIVINE.
3. It's a form of therapy (for me, at least!)
4. Baking is creative - sprinkle, shape, flavour away!
5. It can be experimental - why not try something new?
6. And above all, baking makes other people happy - when you share!
So what do I personally plan to do to celebrate this diary date?
1. I am going to give 2020's Bake Off the benefit of the doubt and try an episode or two. I don't like Matt Lucas in many things, but a friend assures me he's not in it that much really, so I may survive an episode! I watched last year, but I felt a bit 'over it' to be honest... life just feels weird without it!
2. I'm going to be baking for you guys, of course! This week I have already got some cupcakes, a birthday cake, and a carrot cake booked in, with more orders sure to follow. Most orders come in with around 3-5 days notice, but take note, I can often do next day, so don't despair if you've forgotten someone special!
3. I'm going to be practising my Halloween cake themes - stay tuned for the first photos from tomorrow!
4. Friday I'm off to a pumpkin patch with friends, so I may well be baking my first pumpkin pie. National Baking Week doesn't have to be just about cake! If you have any fail-safe recipes for this, do send them over...
Do you have any exciting baking plans for this week? Let me know in the comments below!
I'm an admirer of beautiful front doors in Bristol, making doorstep deliveries so much fun!
So while I tell you why changes to my delivery policy have been introduced, take a look at some of my favourite local front doors (Thanks to a little help from my fave peeps on Instagram).
If you can prove one of these doors is yours, you can have a Victoria Sponge free!
When 280 Bakes first started in 2016, it was a porch sale enterprise only, selling all manner of baked goods.
Within three or four weeks, it became a delivery service to all of Bristol as demand for cupcakes, birthday cakes and traditional homebakes got really high. From that first Autumn I employed a team of home bakers to help support my business, which, at its peak, had six bakers on board.
Then, in March 2019, the business closed temporarily when I had a baby.
âNow 280 Bakes is back, deliveries have changed slightly...
(LOVE this bumble bee door knocker, I neeeeed!)
So, first off, I am now limiting deliveries to doors in the BS9, BS10 and BS11 postcodes. This is mainly because I bloomin' hated driving into central Bristol and further east to deliver in the past - it was once a two hour round trip to get to Kingswood and back! Traffic has been historically abysmal... Let's see what post-lockdown looks like in (hopefully) a few months, but I'd be reluctant to take on a wider area at the moment.
I also have limited the patch I deliver to because I need and want to be home more. My baby is a total delight, and I want to spend time with her. I also have extra baby-related responsibilities - like the nursery drop offs - so I can't be too far away some days/times. That's fair, I think!
Lastly, CakeOD is no longer a 'thing' for 280 Bakes. I sold the trademark name for my same day service in the Spring last year and don't, as a rule, do same-day deliveries any more.
Saying that, if you're desperate and in my delivery zone, do try me - I may have a quiet day and a long baby nap to bake through! Please note, this is generally more possible for traditional homebakes than birthday cakes and cupcakes, but never say never!
So that's the reason why I've limited delivery of my delicious cakes to around a four mile radius. The Bristol Channel doesn't accept deliveries, obviously, but I cover Southmead, Westbury-on-Trym, Sea Mills, Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth, Henbury, Brentry...
And of course, the deliveries are socially distanced. I leave the cake on the doorstep and ring the bell, standing back while the customer collects their treat.
Oh, go on then, one more wonderful door!
for national afternoon tea week I'm giving away a special cake themed wallpaper for your phone.
What a glorious 'national week' to celebrate! From 10-16th August it's Afternoon Tea Week and I'm giving away a FREE phone wallpaper to cake lovers!
All you have to do is sign up to the 280 Bakes newsletter (see the bottom of our website homepage) and I'll email it over to you.
Cake smashes for babies are all the rage, so here are my SIX Top tips for a fun and messy afternoon!
I did my first cake smash last month, for Baby V as she turned a year old. I took weeks planning it, so excited... probably a little more excited than my befuddled baby!
I baked a soft vanilla cake in the shape of a heart - vegan, because she had an egg allergy until recently - and decorated it in a simple but bright design. It had to be iced with buttercream for maximum messiness, and I wanted it to have blue elements to match part of the bunting.
Honestly, I can't exactly say Baby V had the time of her life - she was a little confused and needed some encouragement - but I certainly had fun! She was very elegant, picking at it with her fingers, and a little confused, but it's a great memory as parents.
Would you brave a cake smash with your little one?
If so, here are my top six tips for a successful cake smash!
Let me know how you get on!
We love greetings cards on a cake theme!
I hardly ever buy a greetings card without it mentioning cake somewhere on the design - and often receive cake themed ones myself! People know what I like...
Cakey cards are almost like advertising for us... This is one of my favourites recently, given to me as a 'goodbye and good luck' card.
And what's great about cakey cards is they can fit a huge range of occasions!
- weddings - congratulations
- birthdays - baby showers
Will you be sent a cake themed card for your next life event??
Owner 280 Bakes
If Veganuary is more of a challenge Than you had anticipated, we've found some things online This week to cheer you on.
The end of Veganuary 2019 is in sight - well done for getting this far if you're trying out a vegan diet for the first time! If you're running out of inspiration, don't forget to check the Veganuary website for recipes, and to order one of our vegan cakes. We home bake and deliver in Bristol, Stroud and Portishead from just £15!
So let's look at those cheerful vegan encouragers we've found online - enjoy!
That's all, folks!
See you next time,
On January 1st 2018 we began a memory jar to help us remember all the fab things we did and aCcomplished during the year.
Happy new year!
The Christmas decorations came down today at 280 bakes HQ, so it was the perfect time to open our Memory Jar from 2018. Let's see what's recorded inside...
What's your favourite memory from 2018? Let us know in the comments below...
Our 2019 Memory Jar has already begun - let's see what the new year brings!
Owner, 280 Bakes
We're loving 2018 Great British Bake Off, and We love a challenge!
Week One: BISCUIT WEEK
Traditionally the first week is Cake Week, but this year it went biscuity. The signature bake challenge was to bake a batch of a 'regional biscuits', so Louise baked Bristol Biscuits.
These raisin and cinnamon biscuits need cassia oil, which was ordered from Health4All if you need your own supply. Make sure you get the edible version and not the massage oil!!
Cassia oil has a lot of health benefits, apparently, including being an aid to circulation, an anti-depressant, and something which supposedly helps with diarrhoea and sickness. Essentially, it's a Chinese cinnamon oil, distilled from the steaming of the leaves and bark.
The biscuits were easy to make (recipe available here), but it was quite a wet mix, not great for shaped cookies. The biscuit fingers came out best. They are soft, not a crunchy biscuit, quite like a light shortbread. Bristol Biscuits are also called 'Easter Biscuits' so Louise made them extra Easter-like by drizzling some green icing on top.
As for the taste, they're just like a cinnamon biscuit, but without the colouration the powdered spice can bring. Louise says "I'm glad I've finally be able to bake them - living in Bristol, if felt like I really had to sometime!"
Week Two: CAKE WEEK
Our favourite week! This week saw traybakes feature as a signature challenge. Louise has baked a cherry tray bake, and made it a little fancier. They're named 'Patricia's', after her Grandma, who loved cherry cake.
Don't they look delicate?
Week Three: BREAD WEEK
Always a good week in the tent, this series saw a signature bake of Chelsea Buns. Criticism from the judges on the show were things like 'over baked', 'under proved' and 'not enough filling'... Louise says she sympathises with all of these!
Her first ever attempt at Chelsea Buns wasn't bad at all, but she rolled the dough too thick so they took longer to bake, the dough didn't rise when proving, and Louise ran out of currants - but saved it with some cherries, yay!
What do you think?
Week Five: SPICE WEEK
Spice week's signature bake was a ginger cake.
"This one was a lot of fun," says Louise, "and I love a spiced cake! My hand slipped on the cinnamon, but the cake wasn't any worse for it." She admits the photo's not great - tiredness and being sick of cleaning up sloppy buttercream to blame! - but you get the idea. The cake was moist and sticky, definitely one we're adding to our repertoire at 280 Bakes.
Bake the cake Louise did by following this recipe - with or without the extra cinnamon! Louise doubled the recipe to make a three sponge tower, and made the caramel buttercream a toffee flavour instead - warning, it was a bit sloppy. Top tip is to make the buttercream as thick as possible but still spreadable to get defined butercream filling and tidier outside decoration (butercream and crumbed ginger biscuits).
Week Six: PASTRY WEEK
Now, this was always going to be interesting. Louise has never (!!) made pastry before, and certainly not filo pastry. The veggie samosa recipe from BBC Good Food looked good, so she went with that one... Delicious, but definitely not fine filo pastry!
Batch two, Louise used shop-bought filo for apple pie samosas. Trading the raisins for super seed mix (chia, etc.), they were a great pudding last night. You can see the difference in pastry!
"I'll be much more likely to make my own shortcrust pastry in the future now, having seen how easy that type can be," says Louise, "but I'm definitely still going to buy ready-made filo!"
Week Seven: VEGAN WEEK
We've been hoping for a vegan GBBO week since we've been in business - yay! Louise said her heart sank a little when the signature bake was pastry for the second week in a row, but she rose to the challenge of baking a vegan shortcrust pie.
This is a recipe from Coconut and Berries, a "Cheesy" Leak and Broccoli Pie. "I left out the arrowroot," says Louise "as I couldn't get any in time, and added some garlic onion granules for extra flavour. It was so yum, I love the creamed cashews!".
Week Eight: DANISH WEEK
Rye Bread - that was the signature bake this week. Louise says her bread never proves properly so this was always going to be a bit of a dodgy bake! The bread tasted good, but the open sandwich could have been more posh, compared to the ones on the show... Love a bit of jam! Here's Louise having brunch in her sunny garden.
Week Nine: PATTISERIE WEEK
"I don't have a Madeline tin so this one is on hold for the time being!" ~ Louise
Week Ten: THE FINAL!!!
Mmmm… Doughnuts! Stay tuned to see how Louise got on with making doughnuts from scratch!
Did you try any of the signature bakes from this year's Bake Off? We'd love to hear about how you got on!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
In today's blog post we'll be showing you how to recruit a baker!
Much of this will apply to another and many other job vacancies, and having been on the end of some very poor recruitment practices in my time, I thought it would be an interesting blog to post.
Why post this now, you ask? Well, we've just opened recruitment for our Stroud Baker position! Find out more about the vacancy here, and let us know if you're interested in applying to join our merry crowd of home bakers!
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by myself, Louise, but if you fancy guest blogging, give me a shout!