We celebrated our second birthday today, and this is how it went down!
First, we announced an expansion in our business!
From today, we have bakers based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, who are delivering our cakes in the town. Find out more here, including how to join our team of bakers.
Then, we actually WENT to Stroud!
Given the main part of our birthday celebrations was the above announcement, we decided to surprise a business in Stroud with a cake. This is where Spacehoppers Co-working came in - we delivered a 280 Bakes branded cake (see the logo and BRIGHT PINK nature of said cake in the picture below!) to three entrepreneurs who were at the time working in the shared office space. A complete surprise to all and a welcome tea break from their hard work!
We chose Spacehoppers because we've had previous experience in co-working environments and we love the vibe from entrepreneurs who work in such places. A big 'HELLO AND THANKS' goes to Ben at BeKagool who tweeted us a photo of the cake being enjoyed in the office after we left.
Finally, we popped along to St Andrew's Park, Bristol...
We had to celebrate on 'home turf' too, of course! Word got to us that the Bristol Vegan Parents Group was meeting with the kids for a half term get-together, so we took them some complimentary cupcakes to sort out a snack for that lovely lot. The meeting point was "by the coffee hut in the centre", so cake and coffee worked out perfectly!
A fabulous day - we feel well and truly celebrated!
Thanks to all our willing cake eaters and our hard-working team. Here's to another successful year at 280 Bakes!
Owner of 280 Bakes
Here are some of our latest bakes, all home baked and delivered. which one's your favourite?
We often post photos of our cakes on our social media, when they're off for delivery. Join us over on Facebook, Twitter or follow us on Instagram today!
The Team at 280 Bakes
BUTTERCREAM or fondant: The choice is yours on our cakes, but what's the difference?
When helping our customers decide what they would like as decoration on their home baked cakes, we normally recommend either buttercream or fondant icing (both can be made vegan and gluten free friendly). However, not everyone knows the differences between the two types of icing, and there are pros and cons to each, depending on what style you want from your cake, so here's your definitive guide.
Buttercream is our cheapest option, and is nearly always used on our cupcakes. We'd describe it as sweet and rustic looking, perfect for filling sandwich cakes like Victoria Sponge, or a base for decorating with other items, like your favourite sweets. We can do it vanilla or chocolate flavour, but have done lemon in the past. It's not great in hot weather though, be warned!
Some customers like to know fondant is "the kind you see on traditional birthday cakes". Fondant is sheet sugar paste, essentially, is used in modelling and can come in many colours. It is a little more expensive as more work and skill is involved in using it compared to buttercream, kneading it until it's smooth and pliable. A buttercream 'crumb coat' is normally applied underneath the fondant to ensure there's no lumps.
It's not for everyone, as it's a little sticky to eat and is fingerprint prone if you have little hands around, but fondant gives you a beautiful smooth finish on a cake, like you can see here:
This is the third type of icing we use at 280 Bakes. It's not a common request, but it's good if you want something a little less sugary. Meringue icing basically a sugar and egg white mix, creating a meringue style finish. Glossy white, fluffy, and very pretty, we love this one. A word of caution goes to our bakers on this one: Another cake for cooler days, this icing needs to be stored in the fridge. Make sure there's no strong odours from other food in there. Meringue icing picks up strong smells and ends up tasting a little off. Garlic icing, anyone...?
We hope this helps with deciding what style of icing you'd like on your cake. At the end of the day, each type has its place, not everyone likes it, but it can really be the 'icing on the cake' - literally - for our delicious home baked cakes.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
With just one week left of Veganuary, when a huge swathe of new vegans join the movement, here's our final January vegan blog: Can you spot the difference between a vegan and non-vegan cake?
What do you think of when you think vegan cakes? Unless you're a regular customer of ours, you might not think of much! No eggs, no margarine or butter, no milk chocolate, no milk... What could a vegan cake look like?!
Well, a vegan cake looks just like a normal cake, actually. And no, we don't use kale... Take a look at some of our recent bakes, and we challenge you to spot the vegan ones! (Answers at the bottom of the blog post)
Our Louise has just come back from Costa Rica, bearing photos of cakes from the Latine American country. No tasters, but the photos look awesome!
So, Costa Rica s not known for its cake - or really, even its food. You might think of beaches, wildlife, music, before you think of the food from that area, but there really is so much lovely goodness to try, and cake is no exception. Take a look at some of my photos below ... Let me know if you've ever baked these yourself!
A true baker snaps photos of cake while she's on holiday...
Look out for more cakes from abroad, whenever one of our bakers goes on holiday. You can follow our 'cake holidays' on #280ontour on Twitter.
Thanks for reading,
Louise & Team.
If you're reading this from the USA, you may know it's Vanilla Cupcake Day today!
Here in the UK, specifically Bristol, we don't seem to make such a 'thing' of cake days like Vanilla Cupcake Day, and the team can't quite fathom why... Look at these amazing vanilla cupcakes we've made - why not celebrate them?!
These are rose cupcakes and almond buns...
Lego inspired cupcakes for a little dude's birthday...
Straight up vanilla, seasonal blackberry cupcakes with vanilla frosting, and one of our 'Sweet Temptations' range for those with an extra sweet tooth!
Which would you choose to tea tonight? It's not too late to order for tea...
Yours, vanilla-ly so,
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We've chosen today, World Vegan Day, to launch our new vegan range of cakes: Sweet Temptations.
"Sweet Temptations" is the cake range for you if you have an extra sweet sweet tooth. We use vegan-friendly sweets to decorate, while baking tried and tested, moist with delicious flavours, in a neat (but huge!) collection of recipes only available to our bakers. Our team are experts in vegan cake baking, and we can't wait to share our new range with you!
Sweets used in the new range include... Candy Necklaces, Fizzers, Flying saucers (great on top of cupcakes!), Love Hearts, Parma Violets, Pear Drops, Rainbow Drops, Skittles, and vegan fudge from our friends at Fab Fudge.
If you discover any other vegan sweets we can include in our Sweet Temptations range, do let us know in the comments below.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Baking Tres Leches cake for her Costa Rican husband is fast becoming an annual tradition for our Louise. Check out how the birthday cake turned out for 2017!
Tres Leches is everything Costa Rican. It's sugary, full of milk and fruit, and, like everything in that country, ENORMOUS! This year's birthday cake was a step up from last years, I feel - what do you think?
The recipe is here, but here are the photo stages of the most impressive Tres Leches cake ever. The birthday boy is ice cream crazy, so I went with that theme for this year.
Tres Leches starts with baking two enormous vanilla sponges, doused in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and semi-skimmed. The two sponges have 10 eggs between them on the ingredients list, so it's about as far from vegan as you can get!
Stage two - decorate and fill the beast with cream and fruit. Tropical fruit works really well, but anything colourful works.
I love how it looks like someone's dropped a couple of ice cream cones on the top of this one, and the chocolate really finishes it off.
Pretty proud of this one!
Even better, it will last for days (kept in the fridge) - there must be 30 slices there. No doubt we'll have visitors this weekend...!
Dairy free, citrus intolerances, no soya, nut allergies... All of these can be challenges when ordering a cake for someone with intolerances or allergies.
Never fear, we can help!
If you know anything about us at 280 Bakes, it's probably that we do one of two things: CakeOD (same day cake deliveries in Bristol), and that we specialise in vegan cakes.
Our dietary requirements skills go far beyond this food preference group, however. We regularly bake for dairy free customers (not quite the same as vegan), gluten free cakes, and easily accommodate allergies, such as: soya, almond milk, nuts, citrus... and general dislikes, such as raisins in carrot cake! You'd be surprised how many 'off the shelf' carrot cakes have raisins in them...
The cakes below are dairy free cupcakes with no nut milk, chocolate raspberry cake (vegan), and gluten free red velvet, all recent orders in Bristol.
Over 70% of our customers come to use for their cakes with specific ingredients missing. What's more, some of our team itself have food intolerances - red onion (which, admittedly doesn't go in cake often!!), and previously a problem with eating bread for one of our bakers. We know it can be tough to avoid certain things.
We bake and deliver fantastic, tasty cakes for those who thought it wasn't possible.
At 280 Bakes, we know cake can be a special treat in the afternoon, a part of the celebration for so many family events, and a reason to share. Why should people with food intolerances be excluded from this joy?
Check out our glowing review on a coeliac customer's blog, during this year's Coeliac Awareness Week. Apparently we make Bristol's best gluten free cupcakes - thanks, Lauren!
Actual quotes from recent customers of ours:
So next time you're in need of a cake with 'special' requirements, don't hesitate to contact us. It would be our pleasure to bring you delicious cake, and you won't have to 'jog on' anywhere!
Tel: 07835 882817 Email: email@example.com Or contact us here
The Team @ 280 Bakes
So, we've baked hundreds of cakes for you guys, but which are our all time favourite orders? Let's find out!
Birthday cakes are regularly ordered by our customers, and these two are our favourite so far. Emma (who's since left our baking team *sad face*) made the Cookie Monster cake, which hit the nail on the head for Steve's 40th - he loved it! The Chicken Cake was baked by Debbie, who was tasked with a poultry theme for a leaving do in Lawrence Weston. Still makes us laugh, when we see this clever, cute cake!
We are known for our home baked cakes, so no 'top cakes' blog would be complete without some of our traditional loaves and rounds appearing. You can't beat a Victoria Sponge for when the family pops over for the afternoon (available on CakeOD, our same day delivery service), and but our award-winning Fairtrade banana cake comes a close second - always popular at our events too, perhaps because it's low fat. What a cake!
As far as cupcakes go, we've done some amazing baking and decorating. Two that really stick in our minds, though, are our marshmallow cupcake and the ones we did themed on Aero chocolate bars. The marshmallow ones were for a customer's 40th birthday. The cakes were a surprise from his colleague and you should have seen his eyes light up - marshmallows are his favourite! The Aero cupcakes were a inspirational bake from Louise last weekend at the Viking Invasion event we went to. They came out particularly well, we think.
Both these cakes were Louise's. She used to dread doing cupcakes, but now has got really into the swing of them - even bought some new nozzles the other week for more design capabilities! Stay tuned to see more photos of her scrumptious cupcakes on our newsletter.
We've a good name for being vegan cake specialists, and, as 65% of our customers are in fact vegan, we aim to please! These two cakes are our best selling vegan cake, all home made of course, from scratch. You won't catch us using a cake mix any time! Here's our no.1 best seller, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (as featured on the Bristol Food Tour), and our vegan Carrot Cake. Just yum!
These are both available for a non-vegan diet too, but why not give them a try? Not only are they 'cruelty free', having no animal products in them, they are consequently better for the environment too!
And finally, let's bring in some gluten free cake to complete our top ten. We often get gluten free requests, from coeliacs and friends of gluten intolerant people, and we can bake vegan gluten free too - skills! These two are Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (as seen on Made In Bristol TV) and, a family favourite, Lemon Cake. And, as a bonus, we offer a low sugar lemon cake, too, if you're trying to cut down.
That's our top ten favourite cakes! What do you think? Would you add anything to the list?
Don't forget, all our cakes are available for standard, vegan and gluten free diets. Just drop us a line to order yours!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by our team, but if you fancy guest blogging, give us a shout!