NPD for tea: From a sustainably made veggie & herb cake to a cookie baked in outer space

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: GettyImages/Tim Mcpherson
Pic: GettyImages/Tim Mcpherson

Related tags Cakes Butter brownie Cookie Space exploration Sustainability Food waste better for you convenience viennoiserie

Exploding Bakery has created an environmentally-friendly zucchini, lime and rosemary cake, with some of the proceeds going to the Eden Project; DoubleTree by Hilton's gooey, warm chocolate chip cookie has landed in the Smithsonian; and All Things Butter is shaking up the butter aisle with a sweet new variant that goes well with toasted crumpets, muffins, waffles and more. We look at the perfect pairings for the afternoon sip.

Exploding Bakery

Image 2 - Eden x Exploding Bakery

To celebrate friendship, food and fun during the Month of Community (hosted by the Eden Project every June), Exploding Bakery has created a zucchini, lime and rosemary cake to bring people together and talking.

With sustainability and inclusion at the heart of the partnership, Exploding Bakery has made this cake inspired by Eden Project’s mission, with 10p from each slice to be donated to support the charity’s work with nature and communities.

The star ingredient is rosemary – providing a punchy flavor that’s come directly from Eden Project’s geothermal nursery in Cornwall. The fluffy, soft sponge replaces butter with courgette as a planet positive alternative, and swaps flour for polenta and regeneratively farmed ground almonds, making it dairy and gluten-free. It also includes Eden Project’s home-grown zucchini and lime and is drizzled with icing.

Located on the outer estates of Eden Project Cornwall, the nursery complex ‘Growing Point’ uses new state-of-the-art geothermal energy to grow herbs and veggies – with the aim to produce all plants for the famous biomes and outdoor garden – all with food meters rather than food miles and with little or no packaging. The nursery will eventually produce one million plants per year in a climate positive way, using rainwater harvested from the roof of the structure and a ground-breaking geothermal pipeline for the heat needed to grow crops like bananas, garlic and ginger.

Exploding Bakery incorporating Eden Project rosemary and ensuring the sustainable credentials of all ingredients echoes The Big Lunch organisers’ ambition to call on communities to go green by making small changes – from upcycling decorations and planting wildflowers, to tucking into veggie or vegan alternatives at their Big Lunch table!

“Nothing says celebration like a slice of cake – perfect to enjoy with a cuppa and a chat with your neighbours,” said Lindsey Brummit MVO, Eden Project’s program director.

“This year, why not consider swapping out your usual victoria sponge for a slice of Exploding Bakery’s delectable zucchini, lime and rosemary cake? Buying one brings the added benefit of support for Eden Project’s charitable nature and community work.”

Headquartered within throwing distance from Eden Project Cornwall, Exploding Bakery supplies more than 2,000 independent cafes across the UK with premium traybakes and retail cakes. The bakery has a strong focus on ethics and sustainability, avoiding palm oil and plastic in their packaging, while souricing ingredients as locally and sustainably as possible. Exploding Bakery is also a member of 1% for the planet.

“Sustainability is at the heart of The Exploding Bakery and that’s why we're so excited to partner with The Eden Project,” said Olivy Coysh and Thomas Oxford, directors of Exploding Bakery.

“We understand the importance of community and food, which is why we’ve been working with charities like FoodCycle and Fareshare for years. We feel super proud to promote community within our country, because by coming together, we can be a force for good.”

Exploding Bakery’s zucchini, lime and rosemary cake is available online for deliver across mainland UK, at its café in Exeter and various cafés around the country.

Tate’s Bake Shop


The Southhampton, NY-based bakery’s Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies are back for a limited time this summer, ready for picnics, fun snacks, easy entertaining and everything inbetween.

After launching in 2023, the cookies quickly became the #1 selling premium limited edition cookie in grocery stores, according to TL US Food/Mass for the eight weeks to July 8, 2023.

The recipe pairs Tate’s signature thin-and-crispy chocolate chip cookie with peppermint oil for a nostalgic cookie with big flavor. It joins a lineup that includes Tate’s’ bestseller, the Original Chocolate Chip Cookies and Tiny Tates (recently launched in 5.5oz resealable bags).

Mint chocolate chip is currently the fourth most popular ice cream flavor among US adults, while also making waves in the snack aisle. From classics like Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies to newer players like Tate’s Mint Chocolate Chip cookies, the combo has shown no sign of slowing down in popularity (‘mint chocolate’ is also trending as an SEO keyword, +22% YoY at a monthly search volume of 8.9K).

Mint green has also been heralded as a trending color of the season, popping up on sneakers, nail polish, tech and now, in the cookie aisle with Tate’s mint green packaging.

The producer’s Mint Chocolate Chip cookies are rolling onto shelves now at Safeway/Albertsons, Publix, Whole Foods Market, Walmart, Shop Rite across the US. Also available online and on Amazon for an RRP of $5.78-$6.99.

All Things Butter


The disruptive dairy start-up is hitting UK supermarket shelves in a brand new category (sweet butter) with the launch of Cinnamon Bun Butter.

Explained cofounder Toby Hopkinson, “Our sweet butter range brings new innovation to the butter category that has seen little to none in recent years, creating products that cater to changing consumer preferences and modern day foodies.”

Cinnamon Bun Butter offers a blend of creamy British butter with aromatic cinnamon, sugar and a hint of lemon and can be used to spread over toast, crumpets, muffins, waffles and more. It’s the first SKU to launch within the new range, and is rolling out in Ocado, Modern Milkman, Gopuff, Zapp and independents for an RRP of 3 for 125g bar in June.

It was developed by Great British Bake Off 2018 finalist Ruby Bhogal, who has joined the company as an equity partner.

“We have been working on some truly delicious recipe developments that aim to evolve the category and get people using butter in new, creative ways,” said Bhogal.

“Cinnamon Bun is just the first in a series of amazing new flavors and I am sure all foodies will love it as much as I do.”

All Things Butter debuted with a four-strong range of savory butters in 2023 (Salted, Unsalted, Garlic & Herb, Chilli) – developed by cofounder and chef Thomas Straker – clocking up sales of nearly 250,000 blocks of butter within its first six months.

The new SKU is again designed to redefine the way people use butter.

“As we can see from both All Things Butter and Ruby’s audiences, consumers are seeking new, interesting flavors in their everyday routines, which is exactly what we aim to offer with our disruptive butter concepts,” said Hopkinson.

“With Ruby’s passion for flavour and expertise in baking, we are confident that our sweet butter range will set a new standard for the butter category.”

Hill’s National Biscuit Day bake off


A quintessentially British event, the Manchester-based biscuit maker pulled out all the stops to bring the community together.

From a school bake-off and biscuit donations to care homes and the planting of trees with The National Trust, Hill’s passion for fostering community spirit through its traditional British biscuits remains as true today as the day it was founded, almost 170 years ago.

Last week, the company kicked off celebrations at the Laurus Ryecroft School in Droylsden, with 30 Hospitality and Catering or Food and Nutrition students letting the flour fly while using Hill’s range of custard creams, gingerbread men and digestives to bake up biscuit magic.

The students were judged on their baking skills, imagination and creativity, with the winner gifted a cookbook by 2013 GBBO quarter finalists Christine Wallace.

“As a nation, we consume the most biscuits in the world per capita,” said Hill CEO Frank Bird.

“We want to celebrate the success of our industry with something really special that our community can also get involved in. What’s more, we want to bring the joy of a cuppa and a biscuit to everyone, and how better to help reintroduce staffroom breaks, too.”

Hill factory staff also delivered thousands of biscuits to local care homes, hospices and community radios to encourage a moment to appreciate the little things in life like a cuppa and a yummy biscuit.

“We’ve become such busy creatures, navigating through our day without a moment’s breath,” said Bird.

“It’s important to reintroduce the humble tea break with a sweet treat and get people talking and sharing a moment.”

Squeezing out every opportunity, Hills continued to biscuit day celebrations at Portland Basin Museum, handing out free samples to visitors of the restored nineteenth century Ashton Canal House. The company also supported The National Trust by pledging to plant one tree for every 40,000th​ biscuit it produced on the day.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be working with The National Trust, supporting their work across the country with new trees, 200 of them in fact,” said Hills commercial director Tracey Meadows.

“This support goes hand in hand with our sustainable practices as we continue to make corporate social responsibility fundamental to our operation.”

Cartwright & Butler


The century old English brand has launched a new product to its much loved biscuit range: Cherry & Almond.

Available online and in stores from June, the SKU is a carefully curated mix of crumbly biscuit, glace cherry pieces, ground almonds and almond extract, with no artificial flavorings. It’s been six months in the making, with a panel ensuring the highest quality and tastiest recipe had been selected.

Inspired by the nostalgic Bakewell Tart, the biscuits were developed to fill a growing consumer demand for classic flavors. A recent survey conducted by Cartwright & Butler found 70% of Brits chose cherry and almond as their preferred flavour profile in biscuits.

“We’re proud to offer our customers the highest quality products, in flavors and formats that they love,” said marketing director Martin Burke.

“Our products are made to be bring people together and we’re confident this new product will do just that. This launch is part of Cartwright & Butler’s wider plans to grow our international and national sales channels.” 

Cherry & Almond Biscuits joins a selection of other varieties available in its iconic pastel tins – including Stem Ginger, Pistachio and Strawberry & White Chocolate – available r an RRP of £12,0- (200g) at leading stockists like John Lewis, Ocado, Selfridges, Harrods, DUFRY and WH Smith (airside) and online.

DoubleTree by Hilton

Astronauts Commander Luca Parmitano and Christina Koch

The hotel group made history when its signature, warm chocolate chip cookie became the first-ever food baked in space, in experiments designed to make long-duration space travel more welcoming and hospitable.

Now, the famous cookie baked aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has landed at the Smithsonian.

The first-of-its kind experiment in 2019 marked Hilton as the first hospitality company to participate in research aboard the ISS. DoubleTree by Hilton partnered with Zero G Kitchen (creator of appliances for microgravity use in long-duration space flights) and Nanoracks (now part of Voyager Space and a global leader in commercial space exploration to help develop an oven suitable for space travel).

After several experiments, the cookie earned its distinctive place in space history, sending its signature fresh-baked aroma wafting throughout the Space Station.

In 2020, it returned from orbit for testing by food scientists, making its way from the Johnson Space Center to Virginia to its new home in an air-tight exhibition box at the National Air and Space Museum.

“Innovations like baking could make even longer duration missions in space much more enjoyable and sustainable, so DoubleTree’s historic space cookie is a natural choice to represent this development in the Udvar-Hazy Center’s display of space food,” said Dr Jennifer K. Levasseur, museum curator, Department of Space History, National Air and Space Museum.

Added Shawn McAteer, brand leader, DoubleTree by Hilton, “Hospitality and innovation are two strands of Hilton’s DNA, and we are beyond honored to be the first hospitality company involved in historic research aboard the International Space Station and to now have the DoubleTree cookie on display in the Smithsonian.

“When people hear the DoubleTree cookie was the first item successfully baked in outer space, we hope they not only celebrate the experiment, but get an understanding that DoubleTree is deeply committed to providing warm and caring service, all starting with our signature welcome and iconic chocolate chip cookie."

The space-traveling cookie is currently on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center, located at 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, in Fairfax County Virginia. It will become part of a new exhibit, At Home in Space, anticipated to open at the museum’s new building in Washington, DC, in 2026. Alternatively, travelers can sample an original, warm cookie (allergy-friendly variants also available) when staying at any of the US DoubleTree by Hilton locations.

Cake or Death

Cake or death

The East London-based bakery has created a Father’s Day hamper that is bulging with decadent treats, both sweet and savory.

Available on Awin affiliate network, the treats include Cake Pops, Cheese and Chive Scones, Strawberry & Ginger Jam, Crankhouse Coffee and Cake or Death’s special Father’s Day brownie box (all of which are vegan).

Back by popular demand is also the LoveRaw Cre&m Wafer Notella Peanut Brownie – a signature fudgy brownies packed with LoveRaw Cre&m Wafers, swirled with vegan notella and peanut butter, then topped with a peanut and hazelnut crumb.

Brownie boxes are available in regular (six brownies for £22 + postage) or large (10, £26.50 + postage) for delivery by Royal Mail or DPD for the next day (until June 14) and can include a personalized note from the sender.

The Father’s Day Hamper has an RRP of £40, which includes free shipping.

Moi’s by Mademoiselle Desserts


Say bonjour to a bite-sized traditional beignet crafted from authentic buttery French brioche dough.

Moi's Mini Beignets come in four flavors tailored to suit every season – from the rich indulgence of Hazelnut & Cocoa to the vibrant burst of Red Fruits, the comforting warmth of Apple and the caramelized spice of Speculoos.

Crafted with passion and precision, these treasures promise a delightful blend of French charm, indulgence and innovation in baking.

At the heart of Moi's mini beignets lies a foundation of authentic buttery French brioche dough that yields beignets that are light, fluffy and soft. Each bite also unveils a smooth and indulgent filling, exuding a deep and rich flavor that elevates the eating experience.

“We believe in the mantra of ‘Great ingredients. Great taste.’,” said head of Category Insights and Customer Marketing Anthony Saison.

“As a certified B Corp, we are dedicated to clean and responsible practices, ensuring that only the highest quality ingredients are used in every creation.

Whether shared, savored alone or enjoyed on the go, these bite-sized delights embody the concept of lighter indulgence. This is becoming a growing trend in sweet bakery with consumers looking for smaller touches of indulgence.

“They also celebrate culinary expertise, heritage and the sweet moments we all cherish.”

Available online, Moi's Mini Beignets come in packs of eight for the RRP of £3.50.



The baked goods manufacturer has added a Chocolate Bun to its range of premium, ready-to-bake viennoiseries.

Catering to the indulgence trend and moments of escapism, the hybrid Chocolate Bun pastry is designed for breakfast on-the-go or as a snack throughout the day. It’s designed to captivate the more than half of global consumers, who claim to eat chocolate confectionery at least once a week, according to inhouse research.

Therefore, the SKU will enable out-of-home operators to expand their chocolate offering to tap into this demand. Sold in individual molds, the Chocolate Bun is ready-to-bake enabling operators to save time.

Its generous filling, together with its unique dome shape and a spiral puff pastry effect, also offers a unique combo of flavor and design.

“We’re pairing consumers’ love of chocolate with their desire for moments of indulgence and escapism,” said marketing director Stéphanie Brillouet.

“Whether enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack throughout the day, the Chocolate Bun offers baked goods operators a point of differentiation with its classic flavour profile and stunning visual appearance. We’re delighted to be able to bring another premium viennoiserie to the market, adding to the Cinnamon and Brioche Buns that we launched earlier this year.”

The product is now available via Délifrance from national wholesalers and is sold frozen, in boxes of 54.

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