The Great Summersdale Book Bake Off

If there’s one thing we love here at Summersdale, it’s books. If there are two things we love, it’s books and cake. If there are three things we love, it’s books, cakes and good causes. It’s a lucky day for us when all three occur at the same time, and just such a glorious occasion happened last week at Waterstones.

It’s been a whirlwind of new-year and new books these last few months and one of the best things about that is that we get to pin up all our lovely new covers about the office. We’ve certainly got a jaunty list at the moment – primary reds, bold blues and greens and splashes of sunshine yellow, in a plethora of vivid designs – and we thought the only way our new covers could look any tastier is if they were edible. There are some things you don’t have to tell us twice and ‘make cakes that look like books’ is one of them.

So we set a Valentine’s Challenge, the Great Book Bake Off; pick any book from our list, past and present, and make a cake inspired by it. For weeks the office kitchen was filled with icing-talk and colouring-talk and general baking chit-chat. We all knew which books we were going to ‘make’ but no one quite knew what they would look like, or more importantly, taste like. There was another thing inspiring us as well; the good cause, Chloe’s New Legs.

Chloe’s New Legs is fundraising scheme for 17-year-old Chloe; a funny and feisty girl who happens to have cerebral palsy. She has the opportunity to have a cutting-edge procedure, new to the UK but pioneered in the USA. Consisting of an operation and weeks of intensive physiotherapy, this procedure is not available on the NHS but could change Chloe’s entire quality of life. We were excited to be able to sell our (hopefully) tasty cakes at the local Waterstones, for Chloe’s New Legs, and hoped we could help her on her way to her target total.

Valentine’s day dawned; love notes were exchanged, petals strewn and most importantly, cake ferried to Summersdale Publishers. What a haul we had! Among the many treats we had there was marmite cake (with real marmite!) from the cover of British Stuff, a beautiful recreation of Love With A Chance Of Drowning, curried broccoli cake from The Vegetable Patch and dainty vanilla and honey cupcakes swarming with bees, inspired by From A to Bee.

We even catered for the dairy-free amongst us we had pink vegan chocolate brownies iced in the style of All You Need Is Love and chocolate vegan moustache biscuits inspired by The Little Book Of Moustaches.

Many photos were taken and prying hands smacked away as we gathered up the goods to take to Waterstones, where the Chichester book-lovers were able to sample our creations for a donation to Chloe’s New Legs. We were very pleased at the end of the day to be able to donate over £80 to Chloe’s New Legs and we were very very pleased to be able to snaffle up any remaining cake. Verdict: delicious!