Sales of printed baking books in America were up 42% from October 2020 to October 2021, according to the NPD Group, the market research firm.

That’s in line with ever-growing viewing for “The Great British Baking Show” on Netflix, among other baking shows and videos, and robust sales of baking pans and tools, the group noted, writes Journal Sentinal.

I have to agree that during the lockdown I made more cakes for my family than ever before and lots of different flavours of muffins for my grandchildren. It left me wanting to do this more and more and I enjoy baking now more than I have ever done before.

Kristen McLean, the books industry analyst for NPD, observed at the time of the group’s finding that people were baking to fill their hours but found they enjoyed the creativity. They turned to books as well as streaming services and social media for inspiration, and she doesn’t expect that to stop.

I wrote my book A Little Book on Tea Cake and Chocolate back in 2018 and loved writing it and it has inspired me to write a different type of book this time. I want to write recipe ideas and tips for people who are housebound or in pain. I suffer from chronic pain in my spine and worked out lots of different ways to help me bake without it triggering a spiral of pain. There are lots of tricks and tips I can give others on how to enjoy baking no matter what your health issues are. It will lift your spirits as you watch the cake rise.

Check out The Spectator’s Lockdown creations: the best of the year’s cookery books reviewed who writes that it is impossible not to read this season’s books without a sense of how they were created in a pandemic.

According to Bakery & Snacks, 27 million brits turned to baking during the lockdown.

Source: Journal Sentinal , The Spectator, Bakery & Snacks


It’s Chocolate Cupcake Day Monday 18th October. Whoop, who needs an excuse to eat chocolate?

Chocolate Cupcake Day reminds us that sometimes it is more than acceptable to have a piece of confectionary delight that we simply don’t share with another, so find yourself a cupcake and make it disappear, just be sure it’s chocolate!

Chocolate Cupcake Day was established to celebrate that most perfect form of the Cupcake, the Chocolate Cupcake. Cupcakes are called by many names throughout the world, our personal favorite would have to be the term “Fairy Cake” from the British. The origin of the cupcake seems to go back as far as 1796, where cakes cooked in small cups were first mentioned, and the actual term cupcake was first seen in Eliza Leslie’s 1828 cookbook.

Following that, there was a bit of a lull in the cupcake scene. But in 1919, food company Hostess began making what we would recognize today as the first mass-produced cupcake, popularizing the concept. Interestingly, the company’s cakes weren’t a flash in the pan. They remain its most popular brand, beating out Twinkies, selling more than 600 million per year. 

In the 1950s, British prime minister Winston Churchill suggested that manufacturers update cupcakes. Instead of making them with just dried fruit and spices, he suggested adding icing sugar. Later in his life, he blamed the humble cupcake for his jowl. 

However, the real hey-day of cupcakes wasn’t the 1950s, but the 2000s. The decade saw a flurry of activity on the cupcake scene, with recipes published in major newspapers and commercial outlets introducing new lines. In 2005, Sprinkles Cupcakes opened the world’s first cupcake-only bakery. It now sells more than 25,000 cupcakes per day across eleven stores. 

So popular is the idea of a personal cake, a cake of diminutive size, that there have been many different variations on both the style and technique. The invention of the microwave has even created recipes that enable you to mix and cook a cupcake in less than five minutes! Talk about the perfect cake, is there anything better than unabashedly delicious instant gratification? We don’t think so!

It’s worth noting that one needn’t actually bake a cupcake in a cup or even a cupcake tin.

Take, for example, the periodic table of cupcakes. These are cupcakes frosted in colors to match the periodic table of elements and then marked with each of the elements in black frosting. While these have been made in traditional cupcake tins, they have also been made as sheet cakes, cut down to cupcake size, and frosted appropriately!

Cupcakes are really all about the size of the end result, not the method of getting there, and Chocolate Cupcake Day tells you to indulge in every variation, as long as it contains chocolate! So, go on and enjoy some chocolate cupcakes.

Source: Days of the Year