For the next week – until 11 September – the annual Cake Week is taking place in the UK, involving hundreds of bakers pulling out all the stops to celebrate the ‘sweet, pillowy bread-like bake, sometimes topped with a creamy, dreamy frosting’.
Cake is a cake?
The term ‘cake’ has a long history: Viking in origin, from the Old Norse word ‘kaka’. The ancient Greeks followed suit, calling cake ‘plakous’, derived from the word ‘flat’ (plakoeis) as it was typically a flat affair made from flour mixed with eggs, milk, nuts and honey.
Curated by Nudge PR and this year sponsored by Guittard and Cuisinart, the event is designed to promote cake to UK consumers, either baked at home or more importantly, to encourage them to support their local bakeries.
Whether it’s chocolate, lemon drizzle or something more adventurous, there’s something for everyone. The week is jam-packed – much like an iconic Victoria Sponge – with titillation and enticement in the form of limited offer launches and exclusive experiences from brands such as Hotel Chocolat and Instagram sensation Buns From Home, among others.
Bringing tastebuds into touch
Modern cakes – round ones with icing – were introduced in Europe in the mid-17th century, thanks to the availability of advanced tech (reliable ovens, food tins) and ingredients (refined sugar).
A taste of what’s on offer
“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” Audrey Hepburn
Hotel Chocolat is hosting a Cake Week x Hotel Chocolat Patisserie Bean to Bar Experience (1-30 September). Here, chocoholics are given an insight into the cocoa harvesting process, taste the zingy cocoa pulp and fresh cocoa beans and learn the art of tempering. Attendees will also create their very own chocolate bar from scratch and are invited to a tasting of the brand’s iconic truffles inspired by the flavours of patisserie. Exclusive Cake Week discount offered.
Lily Vanilli has created a limited-edition Cake Week Cupcake, available for sale at the Hackney bakery on 9-11 September. Only 350 of the cupcakes – comprising chocolate sponge, whipped vanilla buttercream and Vanilli’s signature salted caramel popcorn – will be made, but one will contain a caramel and biscuit filling, winning the owner a bumper bundle of baking goodies and 50% off their next cake order.
For Cake Week only, Rosalind Miller Cakes is making its Cake Lab masterclasses available for £35. The step-by-step online masterclass series covers a range of topics, from the foundations of cake baking to the cornerstones of buttercream. It also gives attendees exclusive access to Miller’s Harrods Cupcakes recipe and Royal Wedding Gourmet Saffron, Cardamom, Rose & Pistachio Cake recipe.
Lockdown-launched Buns From Home – which has taken London’s Instagam community by storm – has launched a Cake Week exclusive that combines its exquisite bun technique with the classic Lemon Drizzle flavour to create the ultimate cake-bun-hybrid. Available instore and for London delivery.
Cutter & Squidge is celebrating its 7th birthday with a 17% discount on its postable cakes ordered during Cake Week. All are made with 100% natural ingredients, in three trending flavours: Passionfruit & Pistachio, Chocolate Fudge & Caramel and Wheat-free Summer Berry Cake. Celebrations are also taking place at the Soho bakery, in the form of B’day cake truffles and discounts off selected masterclass and cookbooks.
Fulham bakery Jack & Beyond is offering discounts on its Bottomless Cake and Fizz events for all bookings made until 30 November. This is the only time that cake-aholics can enjoy as much cake as you want – including vegan and wheat-free options – washed down with unlimited prosecco, white wine or beer.
London bakery Konditor has brought back its cult favourite Sticky Toffee Cake especially for Cake Week. Comprising a rich toffee and date sponge, layered with caramel, covered in vanilla mascarpone frosting and finished with a caramel drizzle, it’s indulgence at its best. Available online for London delivery.
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For enthusiastic home bakers, Cake Week has created an ebook in partnership with FoodCycle. Piece of Cake is on sale for £3, with all profits going to the non-profit that works with volunteers across the UK to transform surplus food into healthy and delicious meals to those in need, connecting communities through food and conversation. Some of the baking industry’s biggest talents and brands have shared their recipes, including Bake Off The Professionals’ Keiron George, Rosemary Shrager, Bonne Maman, Juliet Sear, Silver Spoon, Neilsen-Massey, Luminary Bakery and Lola’s Cupcakes.
FoodCycle is also launching its CommuniTEA Party initiative – inviting Brits to download a fundraising pack and host a tea party to support the organisation’s return to community dining post-COV. Once registered, FoodCycle provides invaluable support to bakers, sharing helpful tips and advice about fundraising. Piece of Cake is a great place to kickstart fundraising.