Animal Crackers Cakes at RSPCA Sheffield

Many thanks to Tony & staff at Sheffield RSPCA Animal centre off Woodburn Road Sheffield . We held our Sheffield Clandestine cake club in the center with  5 bakers & Pepper the dog. Tony told us how they rescue, treat & rehome animals. They do a foster then adopt service to help new owners decide if they can cope with their new pet & offer advice & tips while they settle in. People can view dogs by video & photo now as they found it doesn’t unsettle the dogs as much.

Here are our cakes
Annes Chilli Chocolate Orange Tiger cake

Choc Orange Chilli Tiger cake

Carolyns Chocolate Orange tiger striped cake

Choc Orange Tiger cake 2

Is this a hedgehog cake !! from Karen P

Mutant hedgehog choc cake

This is a proper hedgehog cake by Karen W !

Hedgehog Choc cake

Look at the inside of the cakes as we sampled then ! #yummy

Thanks to RSPCA Sheffield …we will be back .Tony always needs donations of money, charity shop goods, raffle prizes , & support for their events ! Donate & sponsor via

Our next bake is Prohibition Cakes Nov 19th 3-5

Contact Karen Perkins for info about future events !

Carob at Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club

imageBaking with Carob at our July meeting. The challenge was to learn how to bake with carob and I made a carob, honey and walnut cake using carob syrup. here is the write up I did for the Clandestine Cake Club

The cake I made had deep rich flavour and an almost treacly taste. #Yummy The carob was supplied by @savvyspreads in Sheffield.

Visit the Clandestine Cake Club website to join the Sheffield group . We meet monthly and new members are always welcome … Come by yourself … We are very friendly !

Contact me Karen Perkins via or via @fabcoach on Twitter

Back to School with #Sheffield Clandestine Cake club !

Cakes reminding us of back to School memories were in the lesson plan for our meeting at the Victorian Barlborough Primary school near Sheffield .

We had a few brilliant tips post cake to share too
– Buy powdered egg white on Amazon ( health and fitness section ) .. great for meringues
– use dried strawberries in sponges for intense flavour
– Fab blog called Eat Your Books reviews new cook books

Blackberry Crumble cake by Debs . These blackberries were foraged as Debs is a Forest School practitioner, and will be teaching the Sheffield club about foraging. In 2015 ..we will be having a themed event on (safe) foraged ingredients for our cakes .


Gin & Tonic cake with Creme Fraiche by Helen, reminding her of the restorative effect of Gin and Tonic.. but also of the pitfalls to teenagers of drinking gin … as she experienced at school as a teen !


Back to School sponge by Karen … proving a well known fact that cakes do not always come out perfectly, but fondant icing can render any wonky sponge perfect ! Victoria sponge with orange butter cream ,and rose petal jam filling with organic Dolly Mixture ( who knew such delicacies existed !)


Victoria sponge by Karen W , which really reminded her of after school teas, her mum made a cake alternate weeks Victoria sponge then Chocolate sponge. She reminisced about school chocolate sponge pudding with pink custard . The cake was a tribute to the baking of her mum , who sadly suffers from dementia ,but still enjoys her cake.


Christines Blackberry & Lemon Curd loaf. This reminded her of picking blackberries with her mum on the way home from school.


Thanks to the school who hosted us so magnificently & we raised £20.00 for Macmillan cancer charities from the entrance fee.



Here are our lovely bakers, a bit blurry .. butt that would be the sugar rush from all the delicious cakes .

Next Meeting is Oct 18th 3 till 5 in Sheffield … Theme Internationale Cakes

Book via @fabcoach or


Sheffield & 3 counties Cakenic 2014 was a cakey success !

3 Clandestine cake clubs , well in fact 4, met up at Christines house in the balmy Barlborough sunshine . Sheffield, Chesterfield, Newark & Sherwood, and the Loire Valley clubs celebrated our annual 3 counties Cakenic ” picnic with cake ” . Thanks to hosts Christine & Vern who kept the tea and Pimms flowing & held a tombola for NGS Cancer care charities.

There were 10 cakes ! First up Christines Red Gooseberry & Lemon Thyme

???????????????????????With gooseberries and lemon thyme from her garden. Moist & delicious.

Next was Sticky Vickie’s Lemon Meringue Cake . A Victoria sponge with lemon curd and cream filling topped with meringue and home made lemon curd. The curd was in fact microwaved so very fast.. recipe to follow on the Sheffield CCC page .



My cake was a raspberry &  white chocolate sponge cake with chocolate essence . The filling was raspberries whipped with double cream & a spot of icing sugar. I made a raspberry drizzle in the microwave for the topping, just frozen raspberries, sugar & water 50 seconds on high, then sprinkled with toasted almonds .

???????????????????????????The first of 2 savoury cakes was a Prune , Pistachio and Goats cheese cake from Rachel Khoo s French recipe , baked by Fiona who runs the Chesterfield CCC . A great picnic cake .


Next up a cheesily decadent Mozerella, Feta and bacon cake by Rosemary , based on Nigella’s community baking recipes on line. The centre just ooozed cheesiness !

??????????????????????????????????????????CCC newbie Karen made a yummy St Clements cake with zesty icing. She only heard about the cake club on Weds so is our fastest ever recruit !


The Loire Valley is famous for its sticky toffee pud cake now !! Thanks to Jean !! Topped with butterscotch topping and pecans.


Nick the Loire valley number 2 made a sticky ginger cake, with cream cheese and cream frosting . We hope to do a CCC twinning event soon !! Its a Mary Berry cake to celebrate the 2014 Great British Bake off ! #GBBO


Sticky orange and poppy seed cake with drizzle icing. Lovingly prepared by Liz , and delivered via a massive traffic jam !!


Finally Annes magnificent Lemon Sherbert Cake with lemon curd and cream filling . Tip sherbet dip dabs are great & you get to eat the lollies afterwards


So here’s the cakey evidence

photo (2)Thanks again to Christine & Vern ……


photo-2Join us at Sheffield Clandestine cake club ! Our next event is Sat 27th of September and is “Back to school” cakes of your school days, puddings or memories of school baking .

Hope to see you soon ! Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach !! Contact me to book at or on LinkedIn

Cakes That remind us of Home

Today 10 bakers from Sheffield Clandestine cake Club met at The Archer Project behind Sheffield Cathedral who hosted our event. Thanks to Sam who provided tea and tapwater to help us chomp our way through the different cakes . Sam gave a talk about how the project helps people facing homelessness & sleeping rough. The theme he chose was cakes that remind us of home as home has many definitions and is such a fundamental part of peoples lives.

Here are some of the cakes, with the stories our bakers told.


The first cake was a Coffee & Walnut cake which I baked from my mums recipe via Delia Smith . When I was young we only had cake once a week at High tea on Sunday . My mum baked chocolate cake one week, Victoria Sponge the next , then Coffee and Walnut..and back to chocolate !!

The next cake baked by Rosie was at Robin Hoods Hat cake as she hails from Nottingham. The candle was to remind her that she only had cakes at birthdays when she was young, and that her fondant icing reminded her of birthday cakes at home !! It had a yummy buttercream and jam filling .




Marys lemon cake was an old family favourite. Her mums lemon buns evolved into what she called ‘lemon finger cakes ‘. We know this now as the good old Lemon Drizzle Cake .



Bernie made a coconut cake . It was a 50 year old recipe from her mum and granny (Age 94 ). Old recipes she said were much simpler than today . The chocolate reminded her of the smell when her mum used to melt chocolate on top of cakes by putting them under the eye level grill ! They always used Bourneville, as that was the only dark chocolate then .



Anita brought a Spicy Banana fruit loaf. Its low fat as has 2 bananas liquidised till smooth. She told us of a local Midlands delicacy of ‘fruitcake on bread & butter ‘ !


Gill , with an impressive CCC cake debut …told us about baking birthday cakes at home  for her 2 kids, one liked Raspberry and the other lemon, so she combined the 2 into one lemon frosted delicacy !


Helens Malt loaf was inspired by her memories of her mum at home , who baked with recipes which were much simpler than today ( a common theme) . Measures were pints & half pints including raisins. The cherries and almond topping were from her childhood memories .


Just to say Bakers are invited to submit recipes for the Clandestine cake Club Vol 2 . Look on the CCC website for details and deadlines . Look t the left hand column.


We also had a visit from Video journalist Danielle Hayden who interviewed and videoed the group ! Link to follow !!

Join out next event on Sat 28th June to celebrate the Tour De France coming to Sheffield ! 

See you all there … Follow me on Twitter @fabcoach for updates on next events !!

Best Cakiness Karen xx



Cake Cake Cake !!

When is a pie not a pie? That was the conundrum posed by members of Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club at their last meeting… The answer: when it’s a cake!


See the Video which appeared on the Sheffield Telegraph website  CLICK HERE

The secret location for the monthly meeting – revealed only once bakers had booked a place – was Bradleys  café at the Nichols vintage crafts centre on Shalesmoor.

Around 20 bakers and their guests, of all ages and interests, turned up to chat, swap recipes and enjoy each other’s cakes.

Organiser Karen Perkins says: “We have 120 members registered and we want more people to join us – including men who bake. Well behaved kids are welcome too.


“We’re also looking for foodie charities or business venues to host us in 2015 – 2014 is already booked up!”

For more details see Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club

Next dates

12th April   Only 4 places left

24th May  Lots of space , central Sheffield near the Sheffield Food Festival

28th June Tour de Yorkshire cakes with Cycling theme 4 till 6

Book via the cake club website or


Karen Perkins


A new Harvest of cakes with Sheffield Clandestine Cake club

Sheffield Clandestine Cake club September event  produced  17 fabulous cakes on a Harvest theme & were displayed & demolished at Honey Pie Tearooms ,Meersbrook.  Hosted by Jo Hardiman and her lovely staff who made us very welcome,we had lashings of real tea…complete with strainer !  Here are some of the delicious cakes with a little bit of cakey techie info to help you bake them too ! Sheffield bakers are famed for their originality and ingredients as you will see from the wide range of autumn fruits & spices used in the cakes . Join a future meeting  …we bake for fun and are all non competitive bakers ! Howard Middleton sent his apologies too ! #GBBO


My name is Karen Perkins & my own recipe cake was a roasted hazelnut & almond cake, topped with home-made blackberry jam, whipped cream with blackberries & home made hazelnut & almond praline . I was surprised how easy the praline was , but take care with the hot sugar ! Follow me @Fabcoach on Twitter for dates & events from the Sheffield Clandestine cake Club.

DSC03825Alice made an apple & pear crumble cake. Fruit & seeds were popular ingredients in our autumn theme .
Dawns Streusel cake had Cinnamon & mixed spice streusel topping  with fruit and a butter & salted caramel filling. Caramel frosting topped it off !

Plum & Ginger was the sticky yummy Autumn theme chosen by Suzanne !


Mary’s chocolate & damson cake, one of Nigel Slaters finest ,had a soft mousse like centre .

DSC03832Pauls Apple & Cinnamon cake from the BBC Good food programme had moist apple inside.


Bernie made an Orchard fruit cake with 4 whole apples and pears in. Very yummy and full of your 5 a day.

Karen W made a Maple Syrup & Apple cake with ginger . It was still warm #heaven. She suggests serving it with cream.


Jacky made an apple, strawberry & blueberry cake with a marmalade syrup glaze.
Marthas cake came from the comedy thriller Drag me to Hell… following an internet search & had 1lb of grapes, slightly crushed plus olive oil instead of fat. It also contained fresh rosemary.
Debbies Apple & Walnut cake had black treacle & cream cheese frosting

Silvana baked a cheesecake from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook. It had homemade blackberry jam swirled in it.
DSC03827A beetroot, cinnamon & seed cake was Hannahs creation. Another Nigel Slater masterpiece with poppy & sunflower seeds , and icing topping with poppy seeds


Final cake was a delicious Dutch Apple cake by Liz with massive apologies from me as I missed the photo. It was round with neatly circled apple slices and a shiny sticky glaze .


DEC  ALTERNATIVE XMAS CAKES joint meeting with Chesterfield & Newark & Sherwood groups, …OMG over 25 cakes to try & a Secret Santa   ! Register free on the website & book via the events page! Its really easy !

Contact me for any details ! Hope to meet you soon Karen Perkins

Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – Cocktails and Mocktails cakey evidence from 22nd June 2013

Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – Cocktails and Mocktails.

Look at the 19 cakes from our last event.

More to come every month …join via the website to register ..and you get all the dates first !

Contact Karen Perkins at for info

Cherry Bomb

5 Reasons why walking is good for you !

I walk

1 to keep fit, for free

2 to keep my mind clear & refreshed for my coaching

3 to keep fit in beautiful and interesting landscapes

4 to keep fit with chilled walker friends & creative Netwalkers ( see below )

5 to allow me to eat lots of cake as I run the Sheffield Clandestine cake club

Hope to see you all walking soon   Karen   Follow me @fabcoach on Twitter

Netwalking 005 (Large).JPG


Business Net-walking continues apace

As it comes up to its second anniversary in October, Sheffield’s popular FREE Net-walking group continues to appeal to business people and entrepreneurs keen to network in the fresh air.

“At our last Net-walk, we had an incredibly diverse group: Cat Smith, the group financial controller for Sheffield’s prestigious Holiday Inn Royal Victoria with her toddler on her day off, Twitter coach Karen Perkins, cosmetics entrepreneur Jane Fardon with her dog, Sheila Quairney, head of Hallam University’s enterprise Hatchery, Gill Weir, founder of Sheffield Central Counseling, Sync City magazine’s editor Kat Buck and language translation specialist Janita Maaranen, to name but a few. It’s always a stimulating crowd and men and women alike are very welcome to attend.”

Marketing and PR specialist and keen walker Faye Smith of Keep your Fork, who has just been named a finalist in the Sue Ryder Yorkshire Women of Achievement in Business Awards, runs Net-walking jointly with childcare specialist client Lucy Lippolis of Sparkles, to offer fresh ideas and encouragement in the fresh air every third Friday of the month.

The next FREE Fresh Air Friday net-walk 9am on Friday 21 June, about 3 miles up the Porter Valley and back from Endcliffe Park Café, returning to the café for a well-deserved optional drink on completion. Entrepreneurs, experts and employees welcome! Meet at the café at 9am, rain or shine with suitable clothing, footwear and business cards.

The next walk will be on the usual third Friday of the month, Friday 19 July.

To book or for more details, contact Faye Smith at Keep your Fork marketing consultancy or check our Facebook page, NetWalking Sheffield

Telephone: 07985 038265 email: