Today I turned !?! and it was fabulous - even in lockdown!
Thank you for all your good wishes - I had a lovely day with lots of food (dressed up for dinner!), birthday cake, a dog walk with a friend, a movie and opening some lovely presents with my family.
And what was my cake, I hear you cry?! My lovely mum made me my favourite cake and posted it to Bristol for me - Christmas cake in February, excellent!
Lockdown birthdays: I wasn't sure I'd get one, but I think I'll remember it for being not really very grand, but it was super lovely. I think I beat lockdown, today!
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,
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
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by myself, Louise, but if you fancy guest blogging, give me a shout!