We're becoming experts in sugar free baking, so we thought you'd like to hear our top tips for trying it at home!
· Use raw cacao nibs and raw cacao powder instead of chocolate. Surprisingly, even dark 70% cocoa chocolate may contain sugar, as can cocoa powder. Raw cacao has a rich flavour and is a good source of minerals (e.g. like iron)
· Use fruit purées instead of syrups, treacle or honey. Syrups add a gooey texture to traybakes, cookies and tarts which is hard to recreate... However, fruit purées supply sweetness and moisture and can make a useful alternative.
· Use wholemeal flour instead of refined white flour, or go totally gluten free. Although it may not be a sugar itself, refined white flour is digested really quickly, which may aggravate blood sugar levels. Use wholemeal flour to slow the rate at which your body absorbs all forms of sugar. The best cake flours for gluten free purposes are almond flour coconut flour (the cheaper of the two), or a mix.
· Use vanilla pods instead of vanilla extract. They're relatively small in terms of their sugar contribution in cakes, but they're still a processed sugar you may choose to avoid. You can make the pricey pod go a little further but removing the seeds and infuse the pods in yoghurt or cream.
· Use homemade fruit jams instead of store-bought jam, compotes or conserves. Even jams and conserves with no added sugar are still a concentrated source due to their high fruit content. You have greater control over the sugar content when you make it yourself, and there are zero sugar recipes if you search online.
· Use lighter toppings in place of icing, buttercream and frosting - these little extras can more than double the calories per portion. Instead, sprinkle your cake lightly with cacao powder, cinnamon or ground ginger. Use cream cheese topping flavoured with citrus zest, or a fresh cream filling with some seasonal fruit.
And if it all gets too much, we deliver!
The Team at 280 Bakes
Can cakes change the world? We believe it can!
I've had a challenging day, so I am determined to end the day on a positive, right here! Making the world a better place is a challenge for us all, from global leaders to making-small-changers. Cake is fab, we all know that, but bear with me while I tell you why our cakes are making the world just that little bit better.
60% of our cakes are vegan
Vegan diets are not everyone's cup of (non dairy milk) tea. Sure, animal rights may not be everyone's priority, but a plant-based diet has deeper implications than that: There's the wider environmental issues like soil erosion, climate change, and deforestation that a heavily meat based diet can exacerbate. Having a healthy planet should be top of our lists. We, and our grandchildren, will have no other home!
Enjoying a more plant-based diet can have a significant impact on our footprint on the planet, from creating less greenhouse gases, to the amount of pressure we're putting on our natural water resources. Vegan cakes can help here, as, among other animal product ingredients, they don't contain dairy milk or butter. Intensive dairy production is known to be environmentally detrimental, so the more vegetable based alternatives we can find here, the better.
Have you tried our vegan carrot cake? Our plant powered Victoria Sponge? Find out more here about our popular vegan cakes.
With hundreds of recipes, you'd be in safe hands if you order a vegan cake, like 60% of our customers do.
Our banana cakes are Fairtrade
The Fairtrade movement ensures a fair price is paid to farmers in developing countries. From coffee to chocolate, cotton to tea, so many Fairtrade products are out there... Including our very own award winning banana cake!
Right now, you can get 15% off banana cakes for Fairtrade Fortnight, so drop us a line quoting FAIR18 and we'll deliver right to your door.
Cake brings happiness
There's no denying, a good cake shared with a friend can make your day. We have hundreds of recipes, all wanting to be tasted by you, so why not share a smile with someone today, over a piece of home baked cake?
After all, changing the world needn't be only about the big campaigns and movements. Bringing some happiness to someone's day is all part of being human and making the world a better place.
Have you tried our Sweet Temptation range yet, inspired by your favourite sweets?
How about our low fat / low sugar '280 Skinny' range? You know, we even run a 'guilt free' baking workshop showing you how to make some of these 'healthier' cakes!
Have I missed anything? Are there other ways that cake makes the world a better place? Let me know in the comments below!
We have some fabulous news for those of you who want to learn how to make your cake baking a little on the healthier side...
Guilt Free Baking is our second workshop to be developed to help you to bake at home a little easier, to have some fun meeting like minded people, and to learn some new skills.
On Saturday 16th June, we'll be hosting the first of our 'skinny bakes' courses, where you can join us to bake low sugar and low fat cakes. Tickets are available now for just £40 for a three hour course, so don't miss out - our last workshop sold out in just a couple of weeks!
Find out more about our workshops here and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear the latest news. We'll be announcing the recipes we'll be baking for this course shortly, so stay tuned!
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
Nadiya from Bristol Vegan Food challenged us to bake her a gluten free, vegan and low sugar cake ... and make it taste amazing!
I couldn't resist this challenge - I love baking something a little different. So, I got my best baking brain on, and created a chocolate and raspberry cake, using
I'm pretty chuffed with how this turned out, considering almost all the traditional cake ingredients were missing from the recipe! There's apple sauce in the recipe which gives the cake a solid, brownie type of texture, a dense bake - as vegan cakes often can be. You'd definitely feel satisfied after a slice of this!
Great challenge, thanks Nadiya, hope to bake for you again soon.
Check out Bristol Vegan Food's foodie fun on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - they're well worth a follow. They're food enthusiasts with a professional nutritional background, and so easy to talk to.
If you'd like to try this cake, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07835 882817. We're here, waiting for your cakey call!
Louise @ 280 Bakes
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by our team, but if you fancy guest blogging, give us a shout!