“ Cariad Cakes is an online store selling home baked cakes including dairy and gluten free varieties. „
If you follow my reviews from time to time you may know that I am rather partial to cake! In recent years I have tried to only have them on a few occasions during the year to keep my weight down as the years advance! However, this has had the benefit that I search out rather special cakes for those occasions, and the subject of this review takes me to Shropshire, where you will find the home of a rather special cake making duo that together have created Cariad Cakes.
Discovering their website one day by chance I was enticed to look further by the delicious names and ingredients contained within the cakes. Bilberries from the moors, local redcurrants, and a wealth of other delights caught my eye and fuelled my interest!
A Little History
Cariad Cakes was formed in 2002 in Ludlow, by the husband and wife duo Kay and David who hand-make these delicious bakery treats to order. I think it is this home-made attribute which really makes these cakes something to look at, because all the cakes I have ordered really do taste oven fresh.
At the heart of everything they do is the desire to keep ethical considerations in mind, and so all the cakes are vegetarian, and as many of the ingredients as possible are sourced locally. This reduces the miles that ingredients have to travel, and also rewards local producers with much needed business.
All the cakes are, in my opinion, really reasonable to purchase. The market they are aiming at is not purely celebratory, but everyday too. Most of the cakes retail for £4.60, and postage is kept to a minimum at £2.80 per cake. Although this isn't something I would purchase every week, it is set just right so that if an occasion is coming when I have friends over, or family round, I can order in advance and within about 5 days I know that a delicious cake will arrive ready to serve.
The cakes are loaf shape, and I find that they slice really well into 8 or even 10 generous slices. Where the company excels is in their presentation as the cakes are beautifully wrapped, and the choice they have really reflects the landscape around the area where the cakes are produced. The first cake I ever ordered was probably the one which caught my eye first and that was the Shropshire Hills Cake. This is made from wimberries, also called bilberries, which grow on the hills locally, Shropshire honey, free range eggs and Shropshire ale. The result is a moist cake which melts in the mouth and has, in recent years, picked up the Great Taste Awards winning medal!
Others include Redcurrant & Orange Madeira Cake, which is made from locally grown redcurrants and orange zest, and many others including two vegan cakes as well as diabetic and gluten free choices. As I have been trying recently to avoid sugar I can also highly recommend the two sugar free options on the list, as these are delicious.
One of my passions is finding small businesses, trialling their products, and then making a commitment to support them as often as I can; I think Britain needs companies like these, who make superb artisan products witth such commitment and expertise.
If you live locally to Cariad cakes in Ludlow you will be able to purchase their cakes from farm shops and markets, but for those further afield sometimes you might be lucky and find them being stocked in your local farm shop, but otherwise mail order is an excellent way to sample their delicious cakes.
I think one of these cakes would make an excellent gift, and you can also purchase a gift token allowing the recipient to choose a cake of their choice for home delivery. This would be an excellent present for anyone who loves cakes, and not too expensive to purchase either. If you choose to send the cake itself I think it is reassuring to know that it will arrive looking like a present, as all the cakes, whatever their reason for ordering, arrive in cellophane bags decorated with gold stars and tied up with ribbon.
Payment is secure and is by Paypal which makes it really easy to order from their website.
All the different cakes have varying shelf lives, but all are suitable for freezing. I often do this as it allows me to take out a couple of slices if we want some at the weekend. When I have kept the cakes in a tin they are just as fresh several days later, due to their freshness on arrival. They do not contain any artificial ingredients or additives at all so rely on fresh ingredients for their longevity.
The full range as copied from their website on 16/04/2001 now includes
Dairy Free Chocolate & Cherry, Gluten Free Orchard Plum & Ginger, Farmhouse Apple, Shropshire Hills Cake , Classic Bara Brith, Chocolate Heaven, Dairy Free Cranberry & Vanilla Cake, Zingy Lemon Madeira, White Star Christmas Cake, Rich Lemon & Sultana Fruit Cake, Sugar Free Orange & Apricot, Shropshire Raspberry & Honey, Cranberry & Cherry Fruit Cake, Raisin Ginger Cake, Gluten Free Chocolate Fruit Cake, Gluten Free Mocha Cake.
Their slogan is Cariad Cakes - "A Slice of Heaven from the Marches" which I can wholeheartedly endorse- these cakes are something special and I feel they fulfil a niche market, in that they are able to supply delicious cakes at mid range prices by mail order. Highly recommended!