Every so often, you come across an idea that’s so simple and yet so perfect. When pictures of fabulous cakes started coming up on my Instagram feed recently, I was intrigued and, being a keen baker myself, I decided to find out more about Free Cakes Cambridge.
Their concept is straightforward. A volunteer baker makes a birthday or celebration cake for someone who wouldn’t otherwise receive one. Partner organisations such as children’s centres, Wintercomfort, Cambridge Women’s Aid and The Teenage Cancer Trust put in a request to Free Cakes Cambridge HQ for a cake, personalised to the recipient’s favourite theme or taste. The baker makes the cake at home and delivers it to the lucky recipient personally.
The Free Cakes Cambridge group was set up in 2014 by Claire Eudall, an enthusiastic baker who wanted to use her skills for good purposes. It’s an offshoot of the Free Cakes for Kids community organisation which started in Oxford in 2007 and which today has eighty groups spread across the UK. Rosalyn Scott joined in 2016 and now runs the Cambridge group of around forty volunteers, the majority of whom are keen amateur bakers living in and around the city, although there are also two professional bakers on the team.
You don’t need any special qualifications to get involved. “We send out food prep guidelines to our bakers,” Rosalyn tells me. “You just need to love baking and have a good imagination. And you must be happy to take a theme and run with it.” Volunteer bakers get together regularly for cake decorating workshops and, of course, for afternoon tea!
The Free Cakes Cambridge team has created some amazing cake designs, as you can see from the photos in this post. But it’s not just the gorgeous design that matters. A special cake made just for them helps people facing difficulties to feel supported and valued, as well as giving family and friends a wonderful chance to celebrate together.
If you work with a potential partner organisation or if you’d like to volunteer to join the team and spread some love in the form of baked goods around this city, just email Rosalyn on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her through the group’s Facebook page (where you can also feast your eyes on lots of lovely cake photos!).
All image credits: Free Cakes Cambridge