Cakes, anyone can do it

Cakes, anyone can do it

It’s strange to think that until opening Hopleys over 7 years ago I had really made very few cakes in my life! This is somewhat of an admission for a Chef / patron of a Café specialising in excellent Cakes, however there is a good reason.

My Mother was a fantastic Baker and there was never a time when growing up that we didn’t have a plentiful supply of home bakes available, I never really needed to bake and relied on Mum to produce any extras I needed for catering functions when I started out (things were a little more low key in those days). My Mother sadly died 6 months before Hopleys opened and so I simply had to get on with it, and although initially I didn’t relish the idea I very soon loved the experience of mixing industrial size quantities of cake mixture and perfecting our recipes.

I’ve also come to appreciate that as an instinctive cook who works on taste sight and smell I without intention kept clear of the carefully weighed and measured approach of the cake baker! However I am now very happy to embrace the world of the formal recipe….at least when it comes to cakes.

If you’re not an experienced baker or lack confidence then one of the key starting points is to trust your recipe and pick something that you know has the potential to be delicious. We are very happy to share our cake recipes and methods with you and have recipe sheets available at Hopleys Café if you want to pop in and get one. Another top tip is don’t compromise on the quality of ingredients in your cake. We always use the best quality ingredients available, so when it says butter it means butter!      We tend to differ from most other bakeries and caterers in that we aim to make our cakes look and taste homemade not mass produced. We like our cakes to be rustic and give each one its own personality. Most of our cake recipes have a high fruit content as this provides a natural sweetener as well as helping to keep the cake moist. Our favourite fillings are plums, rhubarb, blueberries and pears.

Here are a few more simple tips for successful cake baking

  • Use the tin size stated in the recipe and lining it with parchment makes it nice and easy to remove.
    If you want to use a different one then you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.
  • Preheat the oven If you put a cake into an oven that’s not hot enough, it will affect the way it rises. Fan ovens can dry a cake slightly so for a longer shelf-life use the conventional setting.
  • Make sure ingredients are the right temperature Most recipes require the fat and  eggs to be at room temperature. If you take the butter straight from the fridge it doesn’t cream well and cold eggs are liable to curdle the cake mixture.
  • Get as much air into the cake as you can, the creaming method is good exercise if you do it by hand! If appropriate to your recipe ensure you cream your butter and sugar together until the mixture lightens in texture and colour. This increases the air and volume of the cake, giving you a lighter result. Sift flour and other stated ingredients together to mix, add air and make them easier to fold in. A large balloon whisk (used gently) is best for folding as it helps to avoid lumps of flour but doesn’t overwork the mixture. Don’t be tempted to whisk vigorously as this will knock out the air and result in a heavy cake.
  • Once the cake mixture is made put it straight into the oven, the children or grandchildren are then free to lick the bowl!
  • Put the cake on the correct shelf (usually the middle is best) try not to peek as you need to keep the oven door closed!
  • Cooling cakes Recipes will usually give instructions for cooling but as a general rule, most sponge cakes are best left for a few minutes and then turned onto a cooling rack to avoid soggy edges. Rich fruit cakes are better cooled in the tin

Cakes available to order from Copleys Food

Whether you want to have cakes as a teatime treat for a corporate event, family get-together, Charity Garden Party, or as a thank you to your hard-working staff, good quality cake with a homemade feel will always hit the spot. People feel it’s more of a treat if a lot of care has gone into the baking of a cake, and we gain a lot of satisfaction and pleasure in our customers enjoyment of our cake.


If you are planning an event or get together and feel you may be in need of good cake contact us to discuss options and pricing.

12 Mar 2019

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