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
we were SUPER excited to be asked along to speak at the Bristol Foodies Festival this month!
The Foodies Festival is an annual event in Bristol (and around the UK), bringing chefs and foodies together over a fantastic weekend of talks, music, demonstrations, classes and food stalls.
Our Louise went along to speak at the cake and dessert stage in Bristol on the Friday afternoon (21st May 2018). She demonstrated how to make a vegan chocolate Guinness cake and shared samples to a willing and hungry crowd.
"It was so much fun, a totally different thing for us to be doing," said Louise. "And I felt kind of 'Madonna' walking around with a head mic set on!"
Well done Louise, maybe this is a start of something HUGE! More demos please....
Missed out on trying a sample from the Foodies Festival? We've posted the recipe for the vegan chocolate Guinness cake on our blog so you can try it yourself. And if you don't fancy baking, just contact us to order one!
Big thanks to Charlotte White at Restoration Cake and the Foodies Festival team for inviting us along. See you again, we hope!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
...well, kind of. We're baking 'copy-cat' royal wedding cake, but you need to be quick to nab yours as there's only five available!
Order by 3pm Friday - gluten free, standard and vegan cakes are available. Deliveries are to Bristol and Portishead only, and all cakes are 10 slice, home baked by our network of local bakers.
Have a lovely weekend!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
It's a chocolate fudge cake with a difference or two: it's both vegan and made using Guinness! Here's very our recipe - enjoy!
This is one of the easiest cakes to make, and it has never failed.
We've developed the recipe so you can always get a good rise. The sponge is likely to crack a little on the top, but that's part of it's character - the baking soda is quite high in this recipe. The sponge is light and moist, and a deep rich chocolate colour.
What's missing from this cake is eggs and butter - it is a vegan cake, after all. The oil replaces the butter and it binds together just fine without eggs.
Have a go, and see what you think!
Top tip: Make sure the water gets to the flour before the oil, or the cake may not hold together very well (lack of eggs here doesn't help!). To combat this, just follow the recipe in order and you should be fine.
Vegan Chocolate Guinness Cake
***Serves 8 large slices or a dozen cupcakes**
190g self raising flour
130g caster sugar
7 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
240ml strong coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
120ml vegetable oil
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and make sure the baking rack is on the centre shelf. Grease and line an 8 inch round tin.
2. Mixing is very simple: Mix the dry ingredient together. Then add the Guinness, coffee, water (before the oil, remember) and the rest of the wet ingredients.
3. Pour into your tin and bake for 35 minutes. Remove when baked (test with a skewer in the centre - if it comes out clean, you're good) and leave to cool for around 10 minutes. This will make it easier to get out of the tin onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Decorating this cake couldn't be simpler - just dust with sieved icing sugar for a great effect with few extra calories. Failing that, we'll never turn away a cake with chocolate frosting.
** AS FEATURED AT FOODIES FESTIVAL - BRISTOL (2018) **
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Our second vegan baking workshop of 2018 went down a storm this weekend!
This was the last of our 2018 workshops, and boy, did we make it a good one!
Eleven people joined Louise at Bakesmiths in Bristol to bake three vegan cake recipes:
Cherry and Almond Cake
Fairtrade Banana Cake
Every baker went home with a great batch of cakes to share with friends and family - or to hide and enjoy on the sly!
While the cakes were baking, we also had some good discussion about what it means to be vegan, the benefits and challenges of, and how egg and butter replacements can be used in cakes. We ended in a team challenge, which saw the winners go away with a gift bag of vegan treats from Wild Oats, Bristol.
Thanks for your enthusiasm, guys, and we hope you enjoy the recipes time and time again. Don't forget the bonus recipe in your workshop goodie bags!
Our baking workshops may be back for 2019, so if you didn't get a ticket to one this year, don't worry - ask Santa! If and when we run another, we'll announce it here, on our Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you're following along to get the latest news.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We're problem solvers at 280 bakes - here's Seven problems we can solve for you today!
Welcome to my week long blogathon! I'll be solving one customer problem a day through team 280 Bakes fabulous cake baking and top rated services. Let's get started!
You have a vegan friend visiting this weekend and you have no idea how to feed them.
Well, we're vegan baking specialists, so that's dessert/elevenses/afternoon tea all sorted. Check out our cake ranges, all available with vegan alternatives.
You love to bake but can't eat any more!!
We're always looking for new bakers to join our team. If you're a keen cake baker, you have a car and you're looking to make some extra cash, our position could be for you! Find out more on our 'work for us' page.
Problem # 3
You forgot your friend's birthday!
Never fear, we're here for you when you need a gift last minute. On our CakeOD service (registered trademark, don'cha know?!), you can choose from six customer favourites to be delivered to any Bristol address, same day. Just let us know which cake you'd like by 12.30pm, any day of the week, and we'll get baking. All cakes are available gluten free and vegan, of course.
You'd like to order a cake (because a birthday ain't a birthday without a cake!), but want a little extra more for your friend - they deserve it!
This year we started offering chocolates and flowers as an optional extra to cake orders. Just mention when ordering that you'd like to add one or both of these to make your cake order extra special.
You can't bake to save your life
Take a look at our baking hacks cheat sheet - you'll find some helpful tips to help you nail that bake. And if you're looking for a good recipe to start you off, why not try one of these?
Bread Pudding Pumpkin Based Recipes Tres Leches Cake
You can't eat gluten but you lovvvvve cake
No problem! We have numerous recipes, including ones for the old favourites, for gluten free customers. From Victoria Sponge to Apple Cake, we've got you covered. Just give us a call on 07835 882817 and we'll deliver!
A friend's having a tough time and you want to cheer them up
We quite often get calls from lovely people who just want to cheer up a friend who's not having a good time of it lately. Perhaps they've had some bad news at work, some health problems, or it's a significant sad anniversary. And what better way to show you care than to have a cake delivered. They might even be kind enough to share it with you! We're not saying cake takes away all problems, but at least the recipient knows they're in your thoughts.
These are genuine customer photos - thanks to the subjects for sharing!
That's it for our week long blogathon, solving problems with cake. Which one did you identify with the most?
Great, now I have this song in my head now!
"There's ain't a problem that we can't fix, cos we can do it in the mix!"
Owner, 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
OrderS for Easter this year close on Good Friday (30th March) at 7pm...
Make sure you've got your orders in for Easter bakes before 7pm on Good Friday (this Friday coming). We're baking Crème Egg Brownies, Vanilla Egg Nest Cupcakes, and Kitkat Cupcakes as specials, but let us know if you need anything else for family and friends visiting.
Please do ask if you require vegan or gluten free cakes - we'd love to help.
Deliveries are available until Saturday evening. We will not be delivering cakes on Easter Sunday and there's a limited service on Easter Monday.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Maybe you're allergic to eggs? Maybe you're vegan? Here are the best egg replacements for baking.
Bananas are our top ingredient for baking where eggs would like to be. We use Fairtrade bananas every time - the boss can recommend the banana coconut recipe we have, it's Louise's favourite! Our Banana Cake is award winning too, so it must work!
Aqua-what?! This is the juice in a can of chickpeas. Weird, huh? You just need to whip it up with a bit of cream of tartar. It's best when you just need egg white replacer, not the yolk. None of our recipes use aquafaba, but it does work, despite the doubting face you're wearing right now!
Don't go putting this in your cakes, but tofu is a great egg replacer in savoury items like quiches. Just make sure the pieces are chopped up nice and small, and you'll never know they are there.
...or Peanut Butter - now we've got you! None of this weird tofu / aquafaba, thank you! Nut butter is just lush in cookies in particular. And the jar? We like our Skippy BIIIIIIG. Have a go!
This goes ingredient great in our low fat banana cake - an old, old recipe for years back, but it's still a winner.
We use avocadoes in our go-to vegan / gluten free chocolate cake - again, it's mashed up really well to prevent any green lumps being visible. No, you can't taste it!
Happy egg-free baking!
The Team @ 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
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by our team, but if you fancy guest blogging, give us a shout!