Monday, 18 February 2013

Clandestine Cake Club Cookery Book - review

The Clandestine Cake Club founder Lynn Hill published her first book last week on Valentine's Day. The book is a combination of Lynn Hill's and cake club members recipes, a wide range of cakes are covered in the book, from Battenburg through to Bundts, from tea loaves to layer cakes.

The joy of this book for me is the fact that these recipes have been made by home cooks in their own kitchens; and that they are cakes that have stood up to being tested in ordinary homes and by people with a genuine love of baking.

A typical cake club can be quite varied with the range of cakes baked by the members and this book reflects the same. Its diverse and interesting, colourful and engaging, the recipes are clear and well laid out and there are hints and tips.

The photography and depiction of the cakes is a credit to the food stylists who worked on this book. The cakes really leap off the page!

If you follow this blog you will know that I founded and still run the South Lancashire Clandestine Cake Club along with Linzi at Lancashire Food.

Two of South Lancs Clandestine Cake Clubs members, Linzi and Carla both have recipes in the book, in fact Carla has two recipes! I have tried their cakes at our cake club events and know they both know a thing or two about baking, recipes and cakes. It was lovely to see their pride last week after the book was published (see picture bottom right above).

There are other cakes in this book that I have made myself and enjoyed in the past. Vanessa Kimbells' victoria sponge with cardomom, rose cream and rhubarb is a fabulous cake and I was so pleased to see Lynn Hill's own spiced pear cake recipe in the book as I adore that recipe (and haven't been able to find it anywhere).

If you buy this book do try these two recipes they do come highly recommended and were very quickly devoured when I made them. There are not many cake slices that come back from a cake club and last long here.

This is just the book you want to reach for when you feel like baking a 'proper' cake. If you cannot find inspiration in this book - I do not know where would you look next?

The Clandestine Cake Club Cookery Book is a great recipe book for anyone that likes to bake, it would make a great gift and with Easter coming up most bakers I know would rather have a copy of this than an Easter Egg, no matter how much they say they love chocolate!

Thanks to Lynn Hill and Quercus Books (the publishers) who sent me a copy but with no expectations for a positive review.

If you fancy joining a cake club and meeting like minded bakers in different locations, over drinks and lots of cakes, then hop along to the Clandestine Cake Club's site.
Our next event in South Lancashire is on 16th March 2013.

Here are some pictures (top and bottom of this post) from our last event when we went to meet a local WI group...just to give you more of insight and to whet your appetite  it was a great night with some amazing bakes...just a typical cake club really. Enjoy!


  1. I just got my copy Sue and I will be promoting it at the SW France and Scarborough groups soon! LOVELY book isn't it? GREAT review too! Karen xx

  2. Lovely review Sue and stunning pictures as always. Whenever I go to CCC I get caked out and think I might get put off forever, but by the next day, I'm raring to tuck in again.


Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x