BAKE A SHOWSTOPPER!
Cake maker extraordinaire Molly Robbins is the face of a charity fund-raiser that will see up to 100 Christmas cakes baked and elaborately decorated, all for a good cause
Celebrity cake-maker Molly Robbins is set to judge a charity Christmas Cake-Off to raise vital funds for a local hospice.
Baking queen Molly, who is the daughter of TV actor Ted Robbins, explains: “My dad has been a long-time supporter of the hospice so I thought it was lovely that they’ve asked me to be involved in the Christmas Cake-Off.”
The inaugural Christmas Cake-Off Competition, launched by Rossendale Hospice, is part of an ongoing need for support and funding: “I am so looking forward to judging the competition. I like to keep things local and the hospice does some fantastic work,” adds Molly, who lives in Rawtenstall.
Earlier this year the hospice revealed the charity was facing its biggest shortfall in funding in its 32-year history due to the pandemic, estimating it would lose a quarter of its income.
CEO Irene Smith says: “Our clinical team impact so many lives and we’re now asking our wonderful community to support us in providing vital care to those who need it most.
“Local and national restrictions which have been imposed have made it difficult, so it’s good news that you can become a Rossendale Hospice supporter without leaving the comfort and safety of your own home.”
Joanna Williams, Rossendale Hospice’s Community Fundraiser, adds: “This year has been incredibly challenging for so many and we wanted to herald the Christmas season with a fun competition. We have had to cancel so many fund-raising events this year, but we are hoping that bakers will rise to this challenge and help raise funds for us.”
To enter the Cake-Off Competition bakers simply buy a Rossendale Hospice Christmas Cake Kit and send a photo of their finished masterpiece to the hospice. Cakes can be embellished as classically or elaborately as each baker wishes with their photographed showstopper judged by Molly at the end of the competition, which closes on 18th December and the winners announced on 21st December.
Molly who has lived in Rossendale all her life, studied Art and Special Effects in Manchester, but it wasn’t until she completed her degree, around 10 years ago, that she became interested in baking.
“At the time there was a lot of American TV covering extreme cake-making,” she recalls. “I really started to enjoy it, so I had a go and it went from there – the business has grown organically.”
Molly first launched Molly’s Creative Cakes, making colourful and fun 3D celebration cakes and went on to launch Molly’s Creature Creator, which manufactures two different novelty character cake moulds: “Our moulds can be turned into any 3D animal or character, and if you use the mould it eliminates the need for any carving,” explains Molly, who also does regular online tutorials and demonstrations.
“My cakes are fun and very colourful, they’re certainly not traditional!”
Since she started cake-making a decade ago, Molly has become well known internationally within the cake-making world, partly due to her regular appearances on TV.
Through a speciality cake magazine she was asked to join Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers, appearing in all three series, and has since appeared on TVs throughout the world following Netflix’s acquisition of the series: “I think the series has been sold to 64 countries so a lot of people are watching!”
During the series, that ran up until last year, the TV cameras followed Molly’s cake-making business. She baked more than 80 cakes including some ‘extreme’ commissions: “The programme makers wanted someone who could make outrageous cakes so in Series 1 I made a life-size Shetland pony and, in another episode, a life-size baby elephant!”
The entire series was filmed at Molly’s studio in Rawtenstall, where the crew followed her cake-making journey from getting the commission to making the cakes and delivering them to delighted clients.
Making a delicious cake base of lemon, chocolate or a classic Victoria sponge, Molly’s cakes are instantly identifiable due to their intricate decoration and it is this meticulous attention to detail that has made Molly a cake-making star.
She has recently been doing demonstrations at socially distanced cake-making pop-ups and while a trip to the Australian Cake Show had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, she is set for a busy 2021: “I will be going to cake shows in Europe, Australia, Miami and the Philippines, where I will be doing demonstrations and I can’t wait! It’s always so interesting to see what’s new out there.”
To donate to the hospice or buy a cake kit (£15) to enter Rossendale Hospice’s Cake-Off Competition, go to: rossendalehospice.org