Run for your Cupcake!

Animal Magic! Lots of happy animal cupcakes. (c) Kate Boardman

Can there be any better week (apart from Chocolate Week) than National Cupcake Week? The perfect balance of moist cake topped with lashings of butter icing. My lips are watering even as I write this.

Of course, we haven’t always called them cupcakes in the UK. Cupcakes may have been around in the US for 200 years, but they were called fairy cakes, fancy cakes or just plain old buns when I was growing up. Over the last 20 years we have seen an explosion in cupcakes in the UK. From new High Street chains to whole TV shows dedicated to baking them. So I expect there to be lots of Cupcake news this week, as the nation sinks its teeth into mouthfuls of sugary goodness.

National Cupcake Week itself (16th to 22nd September 2013) is designed to help promote the popularity of cupcakes in order to help bakers boost their sales. The week also encourages local bakers and fundraising groups to raise money for CLIC Sargent, the charity for children and young people with cancer.

However, the team at Ethical Superstore will be disappointed at the start of National Cupcake Week as I was scheduled to be baking them for everyone. I forgot that I would be spending most of yesterday doing the Great North Run. So time ran out and I have no cupcakes to offer round the team as they sip their Cafedirect Rich Roast coffee. So how can I link the Great North Run to cupcakes?

Well the answer came around the 5 mile mark in yesterday’s race. St Mary’s Heworth is a lovely church right on the Great North Run route. The church opens up for teas, coffees and bacon butties to keep the cheering masses fed and watered. This year Revd Kate Boardman made an amazing array of cupcakes. But why were all the cakes of animal faces?

Well its turns out that also in the parish of St Mary is one of the hidden jewels of Gateshead – Bill Quay Community farm. The farm is an oasis of green overlooking the Tyne at the heart of where the ship building industry is based. The farm was council funded until recently, but was forced to go independent following savage local funding cuts. So Kate’s cupcakes were being sold to support the community farm as seeks to find ways of funding itself.

So what are you going to do for National Cupcake Week? Why not follow Kate’s example – make some cakes and then sell them for charity? We’d love to hear what you get up to. And don’t forget you can order your fairtrade sugar, organic self-raising flour and Organic icing sugar from Ethical Superstore too.

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