But, described as ‘a national idea‘ that has recently taken off in the wake of the success of television programmes such as ‘The Great British Bake Off’, there’s a secret movement evolving that has seen cake become the latest trend for the nation’s baking enthusiasts recently, with a wave of close knit members groups cropping up everywhere in the name of ‘cake.’
The ‘Clandestine Cake Club’ was founded by Lynn Hill from Leeds, to simply ‘create opportunities for more people to get together over coffee and cake’. Designed as a social baking extravaganza for those with a sweeter tooth and a zest for cooking, ‘after many interesting Twitter discussions, Clandestine Cake Club was born’.
Now a whole rostrum of dough kneading, mix making hands up and down the country have taken the biscuit and promptly set about establishing their own localised cake making hubs across the land.
Lynn says the focus of such cake clubs will be so that ‘members will bake their own cake at home and bring it along to a planned Secret Location. Social interaction with strangers will still be there where the creative talents of members will be on display and shared, eaten and enjoyed with others’.
So, the ethos of such a club is to promote social interaction through being inventive, creative and experimental, because its members ‘love to Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake’ and ‘because you love the mystique of a secret location and the different people attending. You love the baking challenge when given a theme’.
Hands on, strictly not competitive (there is usually just a theme and cakes must be home-made), fun with a mysterious edge, the club vibe is based on liberal and laid back principles and as the darkness of winter eats into the calendar year, a weekly cake binge provides a comforting way to mask those seasonal blues.
As of yet, it seems London is yet to establish a cooking contingent of any great force, with Lynn calling to arms those Londoners who would be keen to set up a ‘C.C.C’. With a total of 382 site members, her concept reflects the growing national interest in community based events, as we have seen in the rise of London’s supper clubs for example. One C.C.C has emerged in the capital though, with Kentish Town the first to bake the most of an opportunity and set up their own club.
There’s nothing pretentious about the whole format. Anyone is welcome (that means men and women) and it is centered around the social, adventurous and laid back ethos Lynn is keen on promoting. Helen Rimmer praised the Warrington C.C.C, saying; ‘lovely night , great venue and staff, amazing cakes and the loveliest group of bakers thanks to all’.
The Spice Club Manchester congratulated the Manchester C.C.C, with one writer saying; ‘I had a fantastic time this evening‘. I ate far too much cake and then even got the chance to take a little doggy bag home. I think I’m still on a little bit of a sugar high to be honest but it was most definitely worth it and I’m already looking forward to the next one!’
So, does this entice you to the kitchen and make you want to have your cake and eat it?
If it does, it would certainly make sense to check if there is a Clandestine Cake Club near you, and if there isn’t, found a new one yourself!