We Are Proud To Work With Macs Farm Organic Eggs

The Cake Tasting Club is proud to use Macs Farm organic free range eggs. As a baking company we get through a lot of eggs each week. We have always really believed that the best ingredients make the best bakes.

We spent some time researching local suppliers that shared our outlook. Focusing on local suppliers also means that we can increase the freshness and reduce the miles that produce has to travel. We were really pleased to discover Macs Farm in East Sussex. For four generations they have passionately maintained great living conditions for their 18,000 happy chickens that lay 70,000 eggs every day! – that’s a lot of cakes worth.

The hens have some beautiful East Sussex countryside in which to roam freely – the farm nestles within the stunning South Downs which adds to the flavour in our opinion. We are also enjoying hem at home. They make a mean poached egg on toast! 

Macs Farm are so enthusiastic about sustainability and animal welfare that their story and business has been heavily featured in the media and won many fans including one Jamie Oliver who made them one of his local food champions. Their chickens (or girls as they refer to them) are also given good retirements in old age just like their human counterparts. 

Yes, an organic free-range egg is slightly more money than a non organic mass produced egg from an unhappy battery farm hen but to us, it is a no brainer. It may sound whimsical, but we believe that bakes made with love always taste better. We firmly believe that the proof literally is in the pudding; the best ingredients really do propel a bake. We love seeing the amazing array of colours and sizes in each tray that we get from Macs, – the sign of a truly organic and natural approach which isn’t trying to unnaturally standardise things. 

As a fellow small business, we also feel good knowing that we have made an informed choice that is helping to support a family run local small business and making the world just a little bit better. By buying directly we can also ensure that suppliers like Macs are getting a fair price for their produce rather than being squeezed on margins by the aggressive tactics of supermarkets. 

We reuse boxes each time we work with Macs and and save some of the environmental logistics costs by working with such a local producer.

So, happy hens, happy bakers, happy customers and happy taste buds. Macs Farm, we salute you. Read more about Macs Farm eggs on their website

Revealed: The Cake Hotspots Of The UK!

The Cake Tasting Club has now been operating for 3 years and in that time we have learned a great deal. We have grown rapidly across the UK which has allowed us a unique view of how the nation likes its cake. 

In this blog post we reveal the UK’s cake hotspots; that is the regions that have the most members of The Cake Tasting Club and those regions that have received the most gift boxes from the Cake Tasting Club by those that know them best.

Manchester leads the subscribers

In terms of monthly subscribers to our classic cake gift box , 67% of our subscribers reside in the midlands or above with Manchester a real hotspot. 10% of our subscribers live in Scotland and 3% in Ireland. Our first ever subscriber was from Ireland and we are very pleased to say that she is still with us 3 years later! She knows who she is and we thank her for all of her support, feedback and love. Of the remaining 37%, the majority live in the Sussex area where we are based, perhaps because of the local publicity we have generated and our immediate networks but we also have strong and growing numbers of subscribers in Dorset, Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall. 

London is an interesting story. A good number of our gift boxes are sent to people in London but our subscriber base is surprisingly quite low compared to other areas of the country and is on the same level as other cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool. 

Bristol is all about sharing with the family (or having more for yourself!)

Our family box is a recent addition based on feedback from our subscribers – mainly from their disgruntled family members that wanted a piece too. The family box was an immediate hit and we now send out a good number each month. In the short time that we have been offering the larger box, Bristol has led the orders. What a sharing bunch those Bristolians are!

Joint winners for our award winning brownies

Our award winning salted caramel brownies seem to be loved across the country but in particular by people in Dorset and Liverpool with regular orders to those areas every time we have announced a run of boxes.

Devon loves its Biscoff!

Our Biscoff cake and brownies are a fairly new addition that are limited edition bakes but always sell out whenever we announce them. Interestingly there appears to be a hotspot of Biscoff love in Devon where 27% of our Biscoff orders have been sent. Biscoff are the caramelised biscuit often served with a coffee so could it be that people in Devon are more familiar with cafe culture? 

No clear winner for our cake gift boxes

Everyone loves receiving our Cake Gift boxes through their letterbox from a thoughtful relative or friend. This probably gives the best spread of cake love in the UK as they have been bought. At first these were predominantly bound for cities. Further investigation suggested that a good number of them were destined for universities. Presumably bought by parents for their children to get them through their studies. Over the past 2 years the number of gift boxes that we send out each month has exploded and so has the breadth of destinations. We now literally send them to all corners of the UK and for a myriad of events, and anniversaries. We love seeing what you ask us to write in the greeting card that goes in the box. Some are very cheeky! Some are very personal, e.g, ‘a present to me!’  

East are the most engaged

We love getting feedback from all of our customers as it helps us improve. We love hearing your stories and suggestions for what we should bake next, what you thought and how you came to hear about us. Some of the stories have been very moving, inspiring and uplifting. In terms of engagement, people in the east, particularly Norfolk and Suffolk, have suggested more bakes than any other region. They sure do love their cake there.

Everyone loves a bargain!

Anyone following our Instagram account or other social media streams will know that even our seconds boxes sell out quickly when we announce them. Interestingly these do not follow the same geographic trends as the main boxes. They are far more widespread across the UK implying that everyone loves a bargain, especially when it is fresh home made cake using the finest ingredients! 

And the winner is…

So now a drum roll please. Taking all of the above into consideration and all of our orders over the past 3 years, we can reveal the county and indeed town that has purchased or been sent the most Cake Tasting Club product since we launched. Step up and take a bow Didcot, Oxfordshire. You have earned your place in The Cake Tasting Club Hall of Fame as our first overall winner based on orders over the past 3 years.  

In conclusion

The last 3 years suggest that the whole of the UK love their cake but in different ways. We will continue listening to what our members suggest and can’t wait to see what the next 3 years has in store. Perhaps we will do a post like this and create a more detailed list of cake hotspots as we grow. 

Did you know that we operate an Ambassadors network? Our Cake Tasting Club brand Ambassadors live all over the UK. If you love cake, love what we do and have a strong engaged audience on social media then please get in touch or check us out The Cake Tasting Club on Instagram, or on Facebook .

Cherry Oat Crunch Recipe

These are much more than just a simple flapjack. They are deliciously buttery like flapjack but with flour to lighten them and the glace cherries add a deliciously sweet gooey centre. Thanks for all the feedback, you guys loved them!

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March 2019 – Classic box

You will need a 20cm square tin greased and lined with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Ingredients:

  • 150g Self Raising Flour

  • 150g Oats

  • 150g Demerara Sugar

  • 200g Butter

  • 200g Glace Cherries – chopped

Method:

  1. Mix together the flour, oats and sugar
  2. Chop the butter into cubes and add to the dry ingredients
  3. Lightly rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  4. Tip half of the mixture into the base of your lined tin, level it out and lightly pat it down
  5. Scatter over the chopped glace cherries and spread them out evenly
  6. Top with the rest of the mixture. Level it out and press it down
  7. Bake for 20 minutes – it should be golden on top
  8. Allow to cool and then cut into bars
  9. Remember to take a photo and send it to me before enjoying with a cuppa!

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I always love to see your photos when you have tried one of our recipes so do send them to me at hello@thecaketastingclub.com or over on Instagram or Facebook.

If you would like to join the best club in town then you can get your first Classic box half price. Next boxes ship on Monday 15th April. We have some delicious bakes coming up this month, pop over to the website for a sneak peak!

Happy baking!

Vikki x

 

Chocolate Cookies

These little beauties are simply perfection. Chocolatey, crisp, buttery cookies – Yum!

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Photo by our brand rep @pears39

I have had a lot of message from subscribers this month and you seem to have enjoyed them! I grew up baking regularly with my mum and often made these cookies. This recipe is simple to follow for kids and they should be able to get them ready to go in the oven.

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Chocolate cookies

I do hope that you will give this recipe a try. If you do, I would love to hear how you get on and please do send me some photos.

To make this recipe you will need:

  • 115g Butter, softened
  • 115g Granulated sugar
  • 115g Self raising flour
  • 30g Custard powder
  • 30g Cocoa powder

What to do:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a firm dough
  2. Roll into a sausage shape and cut into three
  3. Divide each into eight pieces to make 24 balls
  4. Place on a greased lined baking tray and flatten with a fork dipped in cold water
  5. Bake at 160C/Gas 3 for 20 minutes
  6. Cool slightly on baking tray and then transfer to a cooling rack
  7. Send a photo of your cookies to us @thecaketastingclub on Facebook or Instagram or via email hello@thecaketastingclub.com
  8. Enjoy with a cuppa!

Notes: I have tried to make a dairy free version of these and found the only butter substitute that works is Stork baking block. They do make a slightly different biscuit but they’re still yummy. Do let me know how you get on!

Our March box was one of our most popular yet! These cookies paired with Lotus brownie, coffee cake and cherry oat crunch was a winning combo!

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March 2019

If you are yet to join the best club in town you can get your first Classic cake box half price. Our April box is a beauty! See a sneak peak below:

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Frosting kisses,

Vikki x

 

Marmalade Sandwich Cake

Marmalade is such a distinctive flavour so it was a challenge to get the balance just right. I will admit, I was a little nervous with this cake but I am so glad I went with it. You guys loved it, thank you so much for all your lovely feedback. If you fancy giving it a go yourself then read on. I promise it is quite a simple cake to make even though the recipe looks long.

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The Classic Box January 2019

I decided on marmalade for the January box as the Seville oranges used to make marmalade are in season. The smell of marmalade bubbling on the hob is a very strong memory from my childhood. My mum is our families marmalade and jam maker and we are lucky to receive fresh new batches from her on a regular basis.

As we do like to make as much as we can from scratch here at Cake HQ we did make the marmalade ourselves. However, it will work just as well with a bought jar. You can get so many different types now – why not see if your market or farm shop has one that has been made locally?

To make the cake you will need two 20cm/8in round cake tins greased with butter and lined with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan/Gast mark 4/350F.

Ingredients:

  • 225g Butter – softened
  • 225g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 4 Eggs – lightly beaten
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • Marmalade 3-4 tbsp (depends how strong you want it to be!)
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – this will take about 5 minutes in a mixer and longer by hand. Make sure the butter is nice and soft before you start, especially if you are making it by hand!
  2. Add approximately a third of the egg mixture at a time with a heaped tablespoon of the flour and beat in well.
  3. Once all the egg has been incorporated gently fold in the rest of the flour.
  4. Finally, fold in the marmalade.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared tins and level the surface.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is done if it springs back when lightly pressed and is coming away slightly from the edges of the tin. A skewer/tooth pick inserted in the middle should come out clean or with a few crumbs.
  7. Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Buttercream:

  • 100g Butter, softened
  • 200g Icing sugar
  • 1-2tbsp Marmalade – add a little at a time and taste – add more if you like it stronger
  1. Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy. If you are doing this by hand, again make sure that the butter is nice and soft.
  2. Then, add the marmalade a little at a time until it tastes just right.

Topping:

  • 100g Icing sugar
  • Orange juice
  1. Add the juice a little at a time to the sugar and stir together. You want a consistency like double cream that will pour onto the cake but not all run off the sides!

Assembling your cake:

  1. On the first sponge spread a generous layer of the buttercream
  2. Add the second sponge and then pour on your topping. Spread it gently to cover the top of the cake.
  3. Make a cuppa and enjoy!

That looks like a long recipe but don’t be put off – it’s not too tricky and will be so delicious it will be worth the effort!

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Photo by the very talented Caroline on Instagram @pears39 who is a Cake Club brand rep

Remember to send me your photos of your lovely cake either to hello@thecaketastingclub.com or tag me on Facebook or Instagram @thecaketastingclub.

If you would like to treat yourself or your cake loving friend to one of our delicious cake boxes then head on over to the website where we have some great offers.

Happy baking!

Vikki x

Sticky banana and almond bars

You guys loved these banana and almonds bars that featured in the box this January. They are all the right combinations of gooey and sweet with crunchy almonds on top. Yum!

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Sticky Banana and Almond Bars

They are quite simple to make and don’t require any fancy equipment. A bowl and a wooden spoon is all you need. They are a great tea time treat, perfect with a cup of tea.

You will need a 24cm square tin greased and lined with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180 Fan/Gas 4.

Ingredients:

  • 125g Self raising flour
  • 50g Ground almonds
  • 100g Butter
  • 100g Soft light brown sugar (caster or granulated will work too)
  • 150g Golden Syrup
  • 1 Banana, mashed
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 30g Flaked almonds
  1. Combine the flour and almonds in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup and allow to cool. You can do this in the microwave or on the hob, either way keep an eye on it and stir to combine.
  3. Add the melted ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  4. Then add in the banana and beaten eggs and beat well until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared lined tin
  6. Level the surface and then scatter over the flaked almonds
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. It should be well risen and firm to the touch and golden brown. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  8. Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then put on a cooling rack.
  9. Once completely cool, cut into bars and enjoying with a cuppa.

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I would love to hear if you baked these and I always love to see a photo. You can send them to me at hello@thecaketastingclub.com or tag us on Facebook or Instagram @thecaketastingclub.

If you would like to be the lucky recipient of a box this February then head on over to the website and choose your box. We have some great offers running, go go go!

Happy baking!

Vikki x

Oat Cookies

These buttery treacle oat biscuits have been so popular this month. Our subscribers gobbled them all up and many of you have been in touch to tell me that you have made them. If you don’t already have the recipe, here it is:

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To make these little beauties you will need:

  • 100g Granulated sugar
  • 50g Treacle
  • 100g Butter
  • 100g Self raising flour
  • 100g Oats
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  1. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper and preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Gently melt together the sugar, treacle and butter – either in the microwave or on the hob.
  3. Allow the mix to cool – it is important it’s not too hot when added to dry ingredients.
  4. Mix together the flour, oats and bicarbonate of soda.
  5. Then mix the wet and dry ingredients together using a wooden spoon (you might need to get your hands in!)
  6. Roll the mixture into balls approximately the size of walnuts (you can make them whatever size you like though)
  7. Place them on a lined baking tray with space between to allow them to spread during cooking.
  8. Bake for approximately 10 minutes at 180C – they need to be browning at the edges (cooking time will vary depending on the size)
  9. Cool slightly on the baking tray and then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

As ever, I’d love to see the finished result. You can send me a photo over on Facebook/Instagram or via email at hello@thecaketastingclub.com

Do give me a shout if you need any help or have any questions.

Happy baking!

Vikki x

PS. I really do love to see your photos. Look how well this little guy did!

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Spiced Apple Cake

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Thank you for all your lovely feedback on our October Box. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to finally share the recipe for the Spiced Apple Cake. Thanks for your patience, here it is:

Cake Ingredients:

  • 225g Butter, softened
  • 225g Dark Brown Soft Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 2tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 150g Bramley Apples, peeled and chopped into 5mm cubes

Icing Ingredients:

  • 100g Butter, softened
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • Caramel Sauce – bought or homemade

Method:

  1. Using a freestanding (or handheld) mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat the eggs lightly and then gradually add them to the butter/sugar mix with a little flour. Making sure that you beat them in well before adding more egg.
  3. Fold in the remaining flour and spices
  4. Place the mix evenly into the tins and add the apple
  5. Sprinkle the top of one of the cakes with some sugar (demerara would be best)
  6. For the icing, beat together the butter and icing sugar until it is light and fluffy
  7. Assembly – the cake topped with sugar is the top cake. On the other one spread on the icing and add a layer of caramel sauce.
  8. Add on the top cake and voila!
  9. Enjoy with a big cuppa tea.

Please do get in touch if you bake this cake. We would love to hear how you get on.

We have some great bakes coming up in the next few months. If you are yet to join us at Cake Club then you can get your first Classic box for half price. Alternatively, if you will be sharing your box how about trying our brand new Family Box – you can get £10 off your first box.

Vikki x

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“Oreo Style” Cookies with Vanilla Bean Cream

 

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These rich, sweet chocolatey biscuits filled with a smooth vanilla buttercream were a huge hit in our July box.

We included the recipe card in the box but for those who didn’t get it we thought we’d share it here…

To make these little beauties you will need:

  • 2 baking sheets greased with butter and lined with baking paper
  • Preheat your oven to 180C Fan/Gas 4/350F

Ingredients for Biscuits:

  • 140g Butter, softened
  • 320g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 175g Self Raising Flour
  • 90g Cocoa Powder

Icing:

  • 225g Butter, softened
  • 435g Icing Sugar
  • 1tbsp Vanilla Extract

 

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Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer (or handheld mixer) for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and keep beating until it’s incorporated.
  3. Add the flour and cocoa to the mixing bowl and mix slowly until a dough is formed.
  4. Then put 15g balls of dough onto baking paper and flatten slightly with spoon or glass which has been dipped in caster sugar*
  5. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are starting to colour.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Make the icing: beat the sugar, butter and vanilla together until light and fluffy.
  8. Sandwich pairs of biscuits together with a spoonful of icing between
  9. Enjoy!

Please do send us a photo if you have a go at making these. You can email your photo to hello@thecaketastingclub.com or send it to us on Facebook or Instagram @thecaketastingclub

We are busy getting ready for our August bake which ships on Tuesday 28th August. If you would like to try a HALF PRICE Classic Cake box for just £7.50 including postage then head on over to the website NOW!

Frosting kisses

Vikki x

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Choc Chip Birthday Cake With Sprinkles

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In May we celebrated our second birthday here at Cake HQ – for us any birthday is not complete without chocolate!

Our choc chip cake was a hit with many of our subscribers and we included the recipe card in our box. Anyone had a go yet? For those who haven’t signed up to Cake Club yet here is the recipe we used so you can have a go at home. Do let us know how you get on and remember to share a photo with us over on Instagram or Facebook @thecaketastingclub.

choc chip cake

Ingredients:

  • 225g Buter
  • 225g Golden caster sugar
  • 225g Self raising flour
  • 4 Free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste
  • 100g Dark choc chips

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy using a stand mixer (or handheld mixer)
  2. Using a fork lightly beat the eggs together with the vanilla bean paste
  3. Add a third of the egg mixture with a tablespoon of flour to the butter and sugar and beat until well combined
  4. Repeat until all the egg has been added
  5. Gently fold in the rest of the flour
  6. Then, fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Pour the mixture into the tins and level the mix gently
  8. Bake for 20-25 mins until a skewer comes out of the cake cleanly with just a few crumbs
  9. Icing – beat the butter, cocoa and icing sugar together until light and fluffy, adding a little milk if needed
  10. Assemble the cake adding half the icing to the middle and the other half to the top
  11. Decorate with sprinkles
  12. Share a photo with us over on Instagram or Facebook
  13. Make a brew and enjoy!

If you haven’t joined the best club in town yet you can try a box for half price by heading to The Cake Tasting Club NOW!

If you want a sneak peak at what’s coming up in our June box you can check that out here.

Next boxes ship Monday 25th June.

Frosting kisses,

Vikki and Dom xx

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