Hello and welcome to Cottontail Cakes
My Name is Karen and I’m the chief baker and cake obsessive behind Cottontail Cakes. My husband, Ross, is the IT guy and manages the techie side of social media and the website/shop. We have 3 small people who are equal parts adorable and annoying.
Cakes have been the centre point of birthdays , Christmases and special occasions for as long as I can remember. My mum is an amazing baker and cake decorator (and chocolatier!). I have very fond memories of flicking through the Cadbury’s Novelty Cookbook looking for my next birthday cake. It is amazing what my mum could create from a few chocolate fingers, flakes and some green desiccated coconut.
At university, I baked the odd cake but when my closest friends started turning 30, I decided to make them all cakes. Everyone starts somewhere and the first few were decidedly… ropey. The only decorating experience I had, was my parents 25th wedding anniversary cake. It was a good job that my parents were in Thailand while I was making their cake, because the amount of icing sugar that was all over that house, was immense! The best thing I can say is that they tasted good.
I moved on to making birthday cakes for family, other friends, their children and the occasional friend of a friend. Becoming the next Cupcake Jemma or Primrose Bakery was my big maternity dream. Afterall, you have loads of time when you are looking after a baby! After I had baby number 3, that dream was firmly out of the picture. I completely lost my cakey mojo.
Then came 2020. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, produced a unique kind of hell for so many people. As society shutdown to protect the vulnerable, mental health around the country plummeted, mine included. Our little village is amazing though. A volunteer group was formed, who ran errands for those who had to shield. We did shopping, picked up prescriptions, made phone calls to the elderly who were stuck at home alone. A call went out for villagers to bake. So I dusted off my pinny and I baked. I baked for the pub who sent free meals out for to the elderly (and still does!), I baked for key workers who received parcels of food and goodies every week, I baked for my friends who were all going through their own challenges. It made me feel better. I hoped it would help people, if only momentarily, to know someone cared enough about them to take time and effort to make them something when we couldn’t hug each other or vent down the pub over a glass of something or even leave the house. I was hoping to pass on some of those childlike, happy feelings I had when mum baked something special for me, to people who needed it. At the very least, it gave people a reason to smile. Mission accomplished.
Now we are all veterans of lockdowns with Lockdown 3 starting to ease. The village volunteer group isn’t as active as we have all learned to adapt to this strange new normal. I started the postal goody boxes to help spread the cakey love to those we still can’t see in person, our friends and family who live too far away for a socially distant walk in the park and a natter. That’s why an important part of the treat boxes for me, is the inclusion of a handwritten message. You can tell the recipient whatever you like and send it anywhere in the UK that you want to, as the postage is included in the price of the box. Spread the cakey love, make someone smile.
Periodically we will be running Random Acts of Kindness where we send out a box of brownies and cookies, for free, to someone nominated by you guys. So look out for those on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Any excuse to spread some cakey goodness.