A MUCH-LOVED baker is bidding farewell to the popular Yummy Cupcake Company, after 10 years of baking sweet treats for the people of South Lakeland.
But fans of the local brand have the chance to keep a memento of the well-known business, as owner Jen Cavanagh has released a book filled with mouth-watering recipes for her famous cupcakes and traybakes.
As Jen prepares for her final markets over the Christmas period, she is looking at the book as a final farewell to her loyal customers over the last 10 years, who have often asked about the secrets to her scrumptious sweet treats.
Jen said: “The last 10 years have been amazing, I’ve met so many lovely people and fellow small businesses through the Yummy Cupcake Company. I’m feeling a little sad of course, as it’s the end of an era, but it’s also the start of a whole new adventure and I’m excited about the future – even if I’m not sure what it holds yet!”
Jen started the Yummy Cupcake Company after returning from a stint living in New York – where cupcakes were hugely popular and brands such as Magnolia Bakery had garnered a worldwide following. Adjusting to life back home, Jen juggled job interviews with experimenting in the kitchen, before signing up for her first market stall where she had her first taste of success when it completely sold out.
As word began to spread, Jen set up a shop in Lancaster city centre in 2008, while also supplying local shops and cafés. Demand then continued to increase, and Jen moved to a bigger kitchen unit at Halecat, before making the difficult decision this year to hang up her apron for the last time – but not before giving her customers a parting gift.
Jen said: “It’s really lovely to think that the Yummy Cupcake Company brings back special and sentimental memories for so many people. I know many Lancaster students who would come and visit the stall when they’d have a reunion, and there have been couples who had their first date at our café and then asked us to provide the cupcakes at their weddings.”
She added: “I didn’t have any formal training, and the recipes had always been either in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but friends and family were always asking me for recipes so that gave me the initial idea for the book.”
The Book, titled ‘A Decade of Cake’, is now available to order on the Yummy Cupcake Company’s Facebook page. It was funded through a Kickstarter campaign and fate took an interesting twist when she found out she had reached her target of £3,000 on the day she went into labour and gave birth to her little boy, Sam.
Jen said: “I wasn’t sure about the level of interest for the book at first. I decided on an initial print run and put together a plan for the recipes and photography, then I launched the Kickstarter campaign. There were options for people to pre-order, buy a bakery workshop experience or they could have recipes dedicated to them. It was quite a nerve-wracking thing to do as I was self-publishing, but we hit our target within a month and it was a lovely coincidence as Sam was born just a day later!”
Jen added: “We’ve already had orders to ship the book to the USA, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece and France and Abu Dhabi, which is amazing! Throughout December, I’m doing a few more markets and then I’ll be closing the doors and taking the time to enjoy Christmas and think about my next steps. I live on a farm and I’m really passionate about food, so I hope I’ll still be doing something to do with food. Not knowing what’s around the corner is really quite exciting, and I’m so glad to have been able to release the book – it’s the icing on the cake of a fantastic 10 years for the Yummy Cupcake Company.”
The Yummy Cupcake Company Fact File
First flavour to always sell out?
Cookies and cream
The most unusual place your cupcakes have been posted out to?
HM Forces in Afghanistan and I also took some gingerbread biscuits to Antarctica
How many cupcakes baked over 10 years?
Hard to estimate, but definitely over 1million
How many flavours have you experimented with?
Probably close to 100 combinations
Most unusual flavour?
Maple and Bacon (the bacon was sourced from pigs reared and butchered by another market trader)
The youngest/oldest Yummy Cupcake Company fan?
I’ve lost count of the number of people who said their child’s first word was cake… And we’ve also made a few 100th birthday cakes over the years.
Average number of eggs used per week?
400 free range eggs
How many markets have you taken part in over the years?
How many weddings have you supplied cakes for?
Any celebrity customers?
John Bishop and his production company ordered cupcakes for the wrap party of their production that was filmed in Lancaster. Our cupcakes have featured in a few magazines too (not just about baking – a tattoo magazine as well)