What is Caketober?

A CELEBRATION OF CAKES AND FANCY DRESS ALL IN AID OF CHARITY!

To celebrate the arrival of Caketober, theEword’s Daniel Nolan and Samantha Bell headed over to Forever Manchester HQ to chat all things fancy dress and fondant fancy!

Give the podcast a listen…and then sign up to Caketober to take part

This year sees Caketober proudly celebrating its fifth year of cake-baking, fancy-dress making, and having a laugh all in the name of raising money for Forever Manchester.

Over the years, we at Caketober have raised over £20,000 for the charity, and we hope that this year we’ll smash all previous records.

As we regularly get asked where the money raised by Caketober ends up, we thought we’d shine a light on Forever Manchester and discuss the organisation, where donations go to, and some of the brilliant work that it’s already done.

Forever Manchester – the lowdown

Established in 1989, Forever Manchester promises to support charitable causes ‘The Mancunian Way’.

In their own words, Forever Manchester state their aim is “to fund and support a huge range of activities that help young people, older people and disabled people, as well as homelessness, sports, environmental, education, and cancer support projects, plus everything in between.

Rather than issue handouts, Forever Manchester gives a helping hand to those who are looking to improve their communities but need a little guidance or support.

Forever Manchester will help, for example, a dad who’s looking to set up a football team because he’s noticed kids playing out in the streets. Another example would be a local gardener who would like to set up a community area in their town or village.

Things like this – things that bring people together as one – are what makes Manchester the special place that it is.

You can feel a sense of local pride and community spirit that runs throughout the core of the charity; it can even be felt in their motto:

“Forever Manchester is a charity that raises money to fund and support community activity across Greater Manchester. We help local people do extraordinary things together.”

This is the place

The charity’s commitment to Manchester can best be felt in ‘This Is The Place’ – the poem that organisation commissioned Tony Walsh to compose to promote the charity, but more importantly, the city in which it operates.

Where does the money go?

Forever Manchester makes some guarantees to its patrons.

It guarantees:

  • 100% of all money raised will stay in Greater Manchester and support the neighbourhoods and communities that make this place so great.
  • To keep supporters informed about where their money goes.

To keep good on their pledge, they showcase who they have helped on their website.

Their support has helped with:

  • The renovation of The Moston Miners’ Club – turning it from a derelict shell into a thriving community centre.
  • The establishment of The Frank Cohen Centre – the only centre in Greater Manchester that exists specifically to deal with alcoholism.
  • The funding of Safety4Sisters – a Manchester-based charity that helps vulnerable migrant women who cannot access safe accommodation or are facing gender-based violence.

Here is a full list of the support Forever Manchester has given to Greater Manchester initiatives.

Help us to help others

So, that’s why we support Forever Manchester and we’re glad that we do.

If you like the sound of having fun with your colleagues and raising money for some amazing Mancunian causes at the same time, sign up for Caketober.

The Great British Bake Off is back (Mary Berry-less, but nevertheless it’s back). And guess what else is back? CAKETOBER! I.e. baking meets fancy dress meets fundraising. Just think: Mel and Sue dressed as Batman and Robin raising money for a great cause. And that great cause is Forever Manchester – a charity that raises money to support, inspire, and encourage communities throughout Manchester.

Whether you’re the next replacement for Mary Berry, the winner of all the best fancy dress awards, or simply just enjoy good cake, then you can all help out, and here’s how:

Ready, set, bake!

Go on, show us your kneading skills and get those buns in the oven. Get baking some delicious and tasty looking cakes to put on your own bake sale to raise funds for Forever Manchester. We don’t mind what you bake (save a slice for us), as long as you bake!

By treating your office to your hidden baking skills, you’re not only helping to raise money for a good cause, but you’re also boosting morale in work. Who doesn’t love an iced bun on a Wednesday afternoon, right?

To spice things up a little, why not run a little competition? Whose cake is the best decorated? Whose is the worst decorated? Whose is the tastiest? We’re running our own competition for the best bakes, so don’t let the office next door be crowned the Caketober champions. Oh, don’t worry, Paul Hollywood won’t be anywhere near the judging table…

Ready, set, dress!

It’s not all about the size of someone’s tarts (although it could play a factor) – it’s also about your creativity when it comes to dressing up. Getting your whole office involved will really help to spread the word about Caketober, and will hopefully help us raise even more money!

Here’s a few fancy dress ideas to get you started, but let’s see those imaginations flow. Set your office a theme to encourage everyone to take part, and even egg on the offices next door to get involved. What better way to start work than be stuck in a lift with a cowboy, a superhero, and a character from Game of Thrones?

Ready, set, eat!

Now, where would we be without those who actually got up and bought the cakes their colleagues have baked? Nowhere. Whether you’re after a slice of cake, a pastry, or had your eyes on your colleague’s buns for a while, now’s your chance. Get spending, get eating, and let’s keep raising money for Forever Manchester.

Don’t just buy one either; let’s buy a few and keep the baking and caking going all week. Try a little of everything and then you’ll get the final say over whose baking was the best. Move over, Simon Cowell – there’s a new judge in town.

Ready, set, sell!

It’s not just offices that can help out. Hey you, yeah you with the cool, hip coffee shop, we need you too! Fancy being a part of the ‘cake trail of Manchester’? Of course you do! Whether you simply nominate a cake from your menu to be the honorary Caketober entry and ask buyers for a donation, or you create your own Caketober recipe, or you even throw your very own Caketober event, it all helps.

To say thank you for your help, Forever Manchester will also give you a little helping hand on the PR front with your coffee shop all over social media. Plus, let’s not forget that the coffee shop that raises the most money will win a prize! And we all love a good prize…

Ready, set, share!

Whether you’re a tweeter, a facebooker, a snapchatter, or even a diehard linkedinner – share, share, share. Sharing all things Caketober on your social profiles will help to raise awareness of the great fundraising you’re doing.

Perfect those Instagram photos to share your tasty treats, and get those snapchat filters at the ready to show off the length of your cape. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Caketober too. Good luck and happy baking!

Here at Caketober, we urge companies to sign up and take part in our Caketober challenge. Not only because doing so raises money for Forever Manchester, but also because it provides real benefits for your company.

It’s true. Some people believe that there’s no such thing as an altruistic act. Whilst this view may be cynical, there is some truth in it.

Studies have shown that performing a philanthropic turn can lift the mood and well-being of the individual performing the act.

With this in mind, let’s examine the business benefits to be enjoyed by companies that throw themselves into helping others.

1) Increasing sales

That’s what most people are hired for: to help the company increase the number of sales they make. A great way of doing this is through charity work.

Research suggests that 90% of consumers would switch to a brand that supported a good cause.

If providing a helping hand to those in need isn’t enough to convince your bosses to take part in Caketober, maybe achieving an ROI that’s more appetising than the cakes will convince them.

2) More networking opportunities

By offering charitable support, a business can dramatically enhance its own networking connections.

When teaming up charitably with local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, and the wider community too, a business will quite often develop strong relationships – relationships that could prove difficult to make in other circumstances.

Who knows, one of these new connections could lead to future business for your company. Stranger things have happened.

3) Getting your name out there

Engaging in charitable acts and being seen as a company that takes its CSR seriously is a great way to get your brand and its message out there.

If you sponsor a charity event, it’s highly likely that the event (and with it, your sponsorship) will be picked up by the media.

This could lead to the following things:

  • People hearing about your company who haven’t before
  • Your company being viewed in a positive light (which, as we’ve established, makes consumers more likely to purchase from you)
  • You get your brand message out there in the press and explain why your company has aligned to the charity (or charities) of your choice

What’s more, by sharing pictures of your team’s charitable efforts on your social media channels and blog, you’ll have a genuine reason to communicate with your target audience in a way that will endear you to them.

4) Boosting employee morale

As well as helping individuals to feel good about themselves, acts of benevolence also help to improve the mood of a workplace.

Completing a charitable act will make an employee feel good about themselves, proud of where they work, and more connected to their employers and colleagues.

In fact, companies that put emphasis on giving back tend to have strong connections with their employers and are less likely to look for other work.

Surely, then, doing something good for the local community that also increases the tenure of your employees at the same time is well worth considering.

Sign your company up today!

So, if you like the sound of these benefits, want to have fun with your colleagues, and raise some money for a good cause at the same time, sign up for Caketober this year.

It’s time to dig out those leg-warmers, wigs, and face paint as Caketober’s office fancy dress has arrived! Sign up for this year’s battle of the businesses as we want to see whose fancy dress imagination is the most creative and downright hilarious. We’re not taking any excuses either, because we want to raise as much money for Forever Manchester as we can! So things like you “haven’t got enough time” or you “don’t know what to wear” just won’t slide. We’re even giving you a list of quick and easy costume ideas you can use.

Cowboy/girl

Cow Girls and Boys

The essentials:

  • Jeans
  • Boots
  • Checked shirt
  • Cowboy hat

Now we’re not saying you need to jump around the office lasso-ing your boss (unless you want to), but the cowboy/girl outfit is one of the easiest costumes you could adopt. If you want to go further then by all means get yourself a waistcoat, a belt, and a plastic gun. If you’re feeling a bit fancy, then partner up and come as the double-act Jessie and Woody from Toy Story (we suggest not asking someone to dress as the horse Bullseye though…). Go on: channel your inner Clint Eastwood.

80s

80s

The essentials:

For the Rick Astleys:

  • Shell suit (pop down to the local thrift shop to find a bargain shell jacket)
  • “Made in the 80s” t-shirt (you can hand-make this)

For the Bonnie Tylers:

  • Leg-warmers
  • Anything neon
  • Colourful gymwear

Not much goes into creating an 80s look, because whether we like to admit it or not, we all have something 80s-related hidden in the back of the wardrobe. An inflatable boombox always gives your outfit that eye-of-the-tiger edge, and you can get one online for under £5.

If you’re stuck for ideas, take some inspiration from the Wham! guys. Think gymwear had an argument with a box of crayons and you’re onto an 80s winner.

Bankrobbers/Mime

Bank robber

The essentials:

  • Black trousers or shorts
  • Striped black-and-white t-shirt
  • Canvas bag with £ on (can be hand-made)
  • Black eye mask and hat optional
  • Black-and-white face paint for mime option

Two costumes for the price of one! If you’re feeling daring and a bit mischievous, take the role of a bankrobber, although don’t get too much into character – you do still have a job to do. Using the same attire, with a bit of white face paint and black outlined features, you’ve got yourself a mime outfit. Take the role on very seriously and you won’t have to speak up in meetings or answer the phone. Be careful, though: your colleagues may want a mime performance!

The 118 Guys

118

The essentials:

  • Red shorts
  • 118-118 vest (can be hand-made)
  • Long white socks with red stripes
  • Afro
  • Handlebar moustache

This classic, jovial costume all in all would set you back under a tenner online, or you can try your hand at making it yourself. Remember: this would work best as a double-act costume, so choose your partner in crime carefully as you’ll be stuck with them all day. You’ve got to have bundles of fun for this one; no lounging around the office, the 118 guys are always on the move because – after all – who are you gonna call?

Where’s Wally?

wheres wally

The essentials:

  • Red-and-white striped top
  • Blue trousers (blue denim jeans are totally acceptable)
  • Red-and-white striped hat
  • Glasses

The all-time classic of Where’s Wally. One of the easiest costumes you could come across, plus it lets you have a little fun in the office. Play the game of Where’s Wally throughout the day to liven up your working hours, but don’t make your hiding places too hard, as no work will get done (or is that the idea?).

‘Chavs’/‘Scallies’

Vicky Pollard

The essentials:

For the mandem:

  • Any form of tracksuit (a Fred Perry or Burberry print would work a treat)
  • A cap
  • Gold chains/rings/one giant diamante earring

For the galdem:

  • Any form of tracksuit
  • Over-sized hoop earrings
  • Lots and lots of gel to slick your hair

If you manage to pull this look off, it can be one of the funniest costumes going. Your style icons are Vicky Pollard and Blazin’ Squad. Ladies: don’t forget your “yeah but no but yeah but no but”. And lads: try to tone down the use of the middle finger, because you are still in the office after all. Remember to constantly have a frown on your face, or, as they say, have a “screw face”. In fact, it would be good to learn some sayings to really play the part…

‘Chav’ sayings 101:

  • Peng (“fit”)
  • Jam your hype (“chill out”)
  • Wargwarn (“what’s going on?”)
  • Sweet (“okay”, “fine”)

Word of warning: we wouldn’t suggest calling anyone in work ‘peng’ – could get a little awkward…

So there you have it, no excuses not to dress up and have fun this Caketober. Make sure you show us your best fancy dress costumes from your office. You can tweet us either @4EVERManchester or @theEword.

You’ve just got into work, sat down at your desk, and then you see it: your colleague walking in holding a tray of baked goods. What an absolute legend they are! Nothing beats some home-baked treats in the office. Not only will your work colleagues appreciate your efforts, but it’s always fun to have a little bake-sale battle, and more importantly, it (self-)raises money for amazing causes.

We know what you’re thinking: you just haven’t got enough time to bake a feast full of treats, right? Well, that can no longer be your excuse, because we’ve got four easy bake sale recipes to up your fundraising game. Mary Berry would be proud too, and we never want to disappoint the Queen of Baking do we? So, get your mixing bowl out, have your rolling pin at the ready, and put your apron on, because we’re about to bake up a storm for Caketober.

MaryBerry

1. Chocolate Brownies

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Do we even need to explain why chocolate brownies are an office pleaser? Didn’t think so…

Ingredients (9 small slices):

  • 113g butter
  • 125g plain flour
  • 340g caster sugar
  • 100g dark brown soft sugar
  • 90g cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (you can add more flavourings of your choice)
  • 220g chopped white chocolate (or add whatever your boss’s favourite chocolate is!)

Method:

  1. Get that oven hot! Preheat to 180°C/Gas 4.
  2. Line a small square tin with baking paper.
  3. Melt the butter in either the microwave or on the hob until it’s completely melted (the microwave will be quicker). Then set the butter aside to cool.
  4. Time to get your hands dirty (unless you’re the spoon-stirring type) – mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  5. Add each egg one-by-one, beating well after each addition.
  6. Pour the melted butter (make sure it’s cooled) into the bowl, and stir gently.
  7. Fold in the vanilla and chocolate chunks, or whichever add-ons you’ve chosen, and then transfer the mixture into your lined tray.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, then take it out of the oven poke the mixture with a skewer or something similar – if the skewer comes out clean, then your brownies are ready.
  9. Remove them from the oven, let them cool, and then enjoy!

If you fancy going above and beyond for your colleagues, and to guarantee that your brownies raise the most money, put them on sticks! Yes that’s right, using wooden lolly sticks, you can cut your brownie mixture into whichever shape(s) you like and then insert the lolly stick in the middle. Remember: adding a bit of extra effort goes a long way. Mary Berry seems to agree too…

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2. Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread_cookies_stacked_on_a_wire_rack

How many brew-runs do you think you do a week? Time to stop counting, because you won’t have to do them anymore if you spoil everyone with this sexy shortbread recipe.

Ingredients (20-24 shortbread):

  • 180g plain flour
  • 55g caster sugar (plus more for the finishing touches)
  • 125g butter

Method:

  1. Time to crank the pre-heating up to 190°C/Gas 5.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste texture.
  4. Sprinkle your cooking surface with a little flour to avoid any messy sticking.
  5. Time to turn up Tina Turner, because it’s time to start rolling. Roll out the mixture until it’s 1cm thick.
  6. Cut the mixture into your shape of choice, place it on a baking tray, sprinkle it with a little caster sugar, and chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s a pale golden-brown colour. Take it out of the oven, then set it aside to cool.

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, why not decorate your shortbread? Be wild, crazy, even a little cheeky with your designs. We’re sure Mary Berry will definitely appreciate it…

8EMJJ

3. Whoopie Pies

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Chocolate sponge sandwich with a buttercream filling? You’ve got to be kidding, yes please! The whole office will fall in love with you with these tasty whoopie pies.

Ingredients (12 pies):

For the sponge

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 180ml milk

For the buttercream

  • 120ml milk
  • 2 ½ tablespoons plain flour
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Method:

For the sponge

  1. Preheat then oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  2. Time to grease up those baking trays.
  3. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Then set this mixture aside.
  4. Stir together the egg, oil, vanilla, and milk. Slowly stir this into the dry mixture.
  5. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking trays.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm.
  7. Remove the dish from the oven, and allow it to cool.

For buttercream

  1. In the saucepan, whisk together the milk and flour. Cook this over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is thick. Remove it from heat and cool.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir in the cooked milk and beat for an additional 20 minutes, until really fluffy.
  3. Sandwich the filling between two chocolate sponge discs and tuck in!

If you fancy spicing things up a little bit, experiment with different flavours. How about a peanut butter filling? Now that would be teasing. Your colleagues would be all over them, apparently like a rash, eh, Paul? (Maybe check that nobody in the office suffers from a peanut allergy first, though.)

tenor

4. Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Tart

Espresso_chocolate_tart_with_cholocate_sauce

It’s important to cater to the whole office, and if any of your work colleagues have gluten-free requirements, they will certainly appreciate your efforts on this one. This stress-free recipe is a no-bake, so it’ll leave you with a lot of spare time to doll your tart up (we’re talking about the cake).

Ingredients (serves 12):

The filling

  • 75g dates
  • 3 oranges (2 zested, 1 juiced)
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 175g clear honey
  • 140g raw cacao powder (can be found in health-food shops or online), plus save a little extra for the finishing touches

The crust

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 140g ground almonds
  • 175g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder

Method:

  • Soak the dates in a bowl of boiling hot water for 20 minutes.

For the crust

  • Blend all of the ingredients for the crust until combined, then tip this mixture into a tart tin. Use your fingers to spread it evenly across the base, making sure it is pushed into all the sides. Cover this in cling film and chill (it, not yourself) whilst making the filling.

For the filling

  • Drain the soaked dates, then put them in the blender with your orange zest and orange juice, coconut oil, honey, and cacao. Whizz this together until it’s mostly smooth, then spoon it into the chilled crust, and chill it for at least 1 further hour.
  • Remove it from the fridge 10 minutes before serving, and sprinkle your additional orange zest and cacao on top for garnish.

Don’t just settle for this type of tart – experiment a little with flavours and throw in your favourite fruit or toppings. Your office won’t believe their taste buds when you tell them it’s gluten-free, and we think this might prove to be the winner.

Sue

It’s time to raise as much money as you can, treat your office, and have some baking fun. Are you ready?

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Everyone has a different reaction when they hear that work is putting on a fancy dress event: some raid their wardrobes as soon as they get home to find last year’s Mickey Mouse ears, some spend the weekend scouring Primark for their very best onesies and some shudder at the thought of spending extra cash for a work do.

But if you don’t want to use last year’s outfit, you don’t want to buy a new onesie or you don’t want to splash the cash – don’t panic! Here at Caketober we are the fancy dress experts and we have come up with the best ways you can create fun DIY outfits that will make you stand out from your colleagues…

Get the Paints Out

It isn’t always about the outfit, sometimes a bit of good brushwork will turn you into the best dressed employee in the room. Everyone loves to get the face paints out and pretend to be a child again – so why not give it ago? What’s more, it’s loads of fun to do with friends (if you trust them to paint something nice on your face, that is.)

Super cheap and available in most craft shops, kids shops and big supermarkets, face painting is one of the easiest ways to pimp up your fancy dress outfit. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, browse through some of our favourite face painting ideas!

face paint

It’s All About Crafts

You don’t have to order the best fancy dress outfits on Amazon or buy the most expensive pieces from your local fancy dress shop – sometimes it’s much more fun and much cheaper to make your own outfit!

Some people love to grab a cardboard box from the supermarket, paint their favourite food or drink label over the front (check out this guy in the milk carton!), make two arm holes and wear their favourite food or drink packet!

Alternatively, learn from the cookies below – draw your favourite food onto a piece of cardboard attach a piece of string and throw it around your neck – simple but effective. By dressing as your favourite baked goods you will also fit in with the theme of Caketober…you will just have to remind your colleagues that you’re not for sale – or for eating for that matter.

crafts

Keep it Simple

Sometimes, less is more. Everyone loves to see an elaborate fancy dress costume but the simplest ideas are often the funniest and the ones that stand out the most. Check out these old timers with their rollers in and their cardigans on. But they aren’t old ladies, they’re a group of 20-somethings in an amazing but simple fancy dress costume. So if you have some rollers at home, make sure you use them for your next fancy dress event.

keep it simple

Simple costumes are often the best. Why not put on some huge specs and dress as a nerd? Or don your bed sheet and dress as a Holy Roman Emperor (providing it’s not too chilly that is)? Your outfit doesn’t have to be complicated to be one of the best in the room.

Get the Look: You’re Worth It

If you love fancy dress and you love cake (and who doesn’t?) find out about how you can get involved in this year’s fantastic Caketober! Which fabulous outfit will you be trying out this year? Tell us by tweeting @Caketober!

Baking with Children: Piñata cake special

Caketober is not just for adults. To prove this, we’ve asked a ten-year-old child to bake us a cake. Not just any cake either – we wanted a piñata cake.

What on Earth’s a Piñata Cake?  

A cake that’s packed with a secret surprise – a middle full of sweets – a bit like, yes, you guessed it – a piñata !

If that sounds difficult, it’s because it is. Luckily, the child we asked, Miss Natalie Walker, with the teeniest bit of help from her glamourous adult assistant, Sarah Graham, was more than up to the challenge.

Before we share pictures of our young baker’s marvellous efforts, we urge you to take a moment to think of the benefits of baking with your children.

The Benefits of Baking with Children

Maths Skills: By working out measurements and timings, your child will be exposed to numbers and mathematics without even realising it.

Personal Development: Deciphering step-by-step directions, adding ingredients in sequence, and mastering new techniques – all of these things help towards improving your child’s confidence and comprehension.

Bonding: Without the distraction of phones, iPads or the TV – baking provides you and your child a unique opportunity to spend some quality time together, talking and creating delicious treats, but more importantly, making memories.

Self-Esteem: Cooking provides children with instant feedback, this helps to grow their confidence. Successfully learning a new skill, such as baking, is proven to help improve a child’s self-esteem.

Positive food relationship: Being around adults baking and learning about new ingredients at an early age gives children a sense of wonderment when it comes to trying new foods and reduces the chances of them becoming fussy eaters in later life.

Fun: Last but not least, baking is fun, and eating what you have created together is even more fun!

The Piñata Pics

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Baking with children

Caketober

Caketober with children

Children baking

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Baking with bairns
A moment with our junior baker

Q: Natalie, what was it that first got you interested in baking?

A: I remember going to the market and seeing lots of lovely cakes and then asking my Nana if she’d help me to make some.

Q: What do you love about baking?

A: I love that you can create anything in your mind and then bake it, that and my passion for eating.

Q: Who is your baking hero and why?

A: Paul Hollywood – he’s very sophisticated and he’s very honest too.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your piñata cake?

A: It’s basically a four-tiered cake with buttercream, different colours and lots of sweets in the middle. I used Rolos, Milky Way Buttons and Smarties.

Q: Finally, if you could turn into a cake, what cake would you be and why?

A: I would be a one-tiered pink sponge cake with fondant icing. I like pink and I like fondant icing really.

Things to take from this

So, why did we ask a child to bake such a complicated cake?

Firstly, because it was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Secondly, because, the way we see it, if a ten-year-old can make a piñata cake in the spirit of Caketober, then surely  adults can bake, or even simply buy some yummy cakes in the name of charity?

If you’d like the sound of baking for good causes, we’d love for you to be involved. Why not try out one of our recipes or get in touch with our team here for info on how you can help out? Also, if you do make any cakes, please share them with us on Twitter too, we’d love to see your creations.

The words “fancy dress” evoke many different responses in people. Some are filled with delight at the idea of putting on a costume and becoming one of their favourite characters for a few hours, while others prefer throwing on a pair of animal ears and calling it a day.

Whether you’re a fancy dress connoisseur or feel wary about straying from anything different than jeans, a t-shirt and a funny hat, we’ve looked at the best costumes you can create when you dress up and bake for Caketober!

Movie magic

We have been spoilt for choice for Blockbuster films and the amazing costumes that come with them over the past year.

For the ones looking to put in little effort but  achieve maximum effect, think under the sea with a Finding Dory theme! Costumes can be as easy as wearing orange or blue and painting your face, and there is a great opportunity to decorate your place of work like colourful depths of the ocean.

For those looking for something a bit more extravagant, we’ve seen an abundance of superhero movies this summer, so why not channel your inner light, or darkness, and come as your favourite hero or villain? From the iconic Superman “pants over trousers” look, to Black Widow’s sleek spy gear, there is plenty of choice for everyone to get involved.

With films like Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all becoming big hits this year, costumes from movies are a great fancy dress choice.

Literary classics

Movies aren’t the only place to find great costumes. Book lovers also have their time to shine, with a whole host of iconic costumes that will spark the imagination of even the most ardent fancy-dress hater.

You can choose you favourite Hogwarts house and grab your cloak for a magical Harry Potter theme, or go for a crazy Dr Seuss costume like The Cat in the Hat or Horton the Elephant.

There is a selection of characters to choose from when it comes to the works of Roald Dahl, from the ugly and messy outfits of The Twits, to the suave outfit of Fantastic Mr Fox, or even the whole cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

If you’re looking for something a bit more grown up, go for the punky style of Lisbeth Salander from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, or glam it up as Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan from Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby.

Animal magic

Animal costumes can be as simple or as complex as your love for fancy dress is. From the aforementioned cat ears, black clothes and cute whiskers, to the far more complex, you can have so much fun with animal-themed fancy dress!

With an animal theme, many people can simply wear their favourite animal onesie (that comes with the added bonus of being super comfortable all day). Failing that, the colours of your chosen animal and some decorative ears can look very effective with minimal effort.

The more daring are also spoilt for choice. Anyone who chooses to go as a bat, bird or butterfly will have the chance to make beautiful wings to attach to their costumes. Tigers, pandas, owls and other types of animals will afford you the chance to show off your artistic skills with extravagant face paint. Those who like to think outside the box can go for pieces of material hanging down from a transparent umbrella for a beautiful jellyfish, or sew eight legs onto their clothes for a simple but effective octopus or spider costume.

Musical legends

Many people like to emulate their favourite artists when it comes to fancy dress, and there are some iconic costumes from music history that always turn heads.

You can channel your inner 80s diva with a black tutu, fingerless gloves, lots of beads and some crazy hair accessories for an easy Madonna, or wear lots of black and silver and get your face paints out to emulate the glam rock band, Kiss. Freddie Mercury has a whole host of looks to choose from, as well as everyone’s favourite, Elvis Presley.

If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, both Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé have an array of weird and wonderful costumes that you can take your pick from, or wear your best grey turtle neck or red bubble coat (and practice your best dance moves) and go as Drake in the Hotline Bling video.

Cartoon fun

Fancy dress is also the time to channel your inner child and dress up as the characters from the shows you used to love watching when you were little.

From your favourite Disney Princess to the brilliant Danger Mouse, or any member of the Scooby Doo gang, there really are a whole host of cartoon costumes out there. The easiest ones range from Where’s Wally (glasses, hat, stripy top) to Woody from Toy Story (yellow check shirt, cowboy hat). You also have the simple but effective costumes of The Simpsons characters, and any of the Winnie the Pooh creatures.

If you want something a little more complex, Ariel from the Little Mermaid is always a winner (as are most of the Disney Princesses), and the characters from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland look really effective.

What will you go for?

We hope we’ve given you some great ideas for your Caketober fancy dress. If you think we’re missing out on a great idea, let us know by tweeting @Caketober.

If you love the sound of dressing up and eating cake, why not get involved? Get in touch with our team here for info on how you can help out.

We know what you are expecting. You think we are going to quote Marie Antoinette’s ‘Let them eat cake’ in our top ten cake quotes, possibly even at no.1.

Well, you’re gravely mistaken. As there is absolutely no evidence of everyone’s favourite 18th Century monarch uttering these words, we’re not going to slander her good name by further propagating this myth.

Instead, we’ve inserted another whopping great lie in our top ten quotes. Can you spot which of these quotes are genuine and which one is a crumby lie?

 

George Harrison“All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much”.

George Harrison, Musician

Wise words from The Beatle the cool kids love to love.

 

“For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.”Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock, Film Director

An early forerunner to ‘life is like a box of chocolate’ from Big Hitch here.

 

“Cake is a made up drug”.Brass Eye

Brass Eye, Comedy Classic

Back in 1997, the cult comedy, satirical news classic Brass Eye convinced a raft of fairly deplorable celebrities and MPs to allow themselves to be filmed discussing the ravaging effects of Cake, a made up drug. Don’t be fooled though. Cake may not be a drug, but addiction to it is very real.

 

“Would ye both eat your cake and have your cake?”.John Heywood

John Heywood, Playwright

Massive props to big Johnny H for the first recorded, olde-worlde style reference to the saying ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too.’

 

“My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it”Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson, Chancer

Noooo, you amaze us, Boris.

 

“A bad review is like baking a cake with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it.”Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel, Author

With titles such as ‘Betrayal’ ‘Dating Game’ and ‘Toxic Bachelors’, we imagine there are a fair few squashed cakes round at Steele’s gaff.

 

“I love you like a fat kid loves cake.”Fifty Cent

50 Cent, Rapper

Not fair Fiddy, fat kids do not have the monopoly on loving cake.

 

“Whatever the question, cake is the answer”Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, Actress

Sassy, very sassy!

 

“A party without cake is just a meeting”Julia Child

Julia Child

Hear, hear – let’s all have an office party, we’ll send you an Outlook request.

 

“I love eating chocolate cake and ice cream after a show. I almost justify it in my mind as, ‘You were a good boy onstage and you did your show, so now you can have some cake and ice cream’.”Steve Wright

Steve Wright, DJ

If ever in doubt about whether to have a cake, remember Steve’s words. You’ve earned it.

 

“The most dangerous food is wedding cake.”James Thurber

James Thurber, Writer

James, just calm down and eat your cake mate.

 

“I was a fat child and loved cake, perhaps because it was the only sweet thing in my life.”Andre Rieu

Andre Rieu, Violinist

Yet now Andre is a world renowned violinist. Proving there’s hope for us all.

 

“You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘See if you can blow this out.”Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

So what if I’m 38, buy a bigger cake?

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our top ten cake quotes. If you think you can spot which one is fake, please let us know by tweeting your answers @Caketober.

If you’d like the sound of eating cake and dressing to raise money for good causes, we’d love for you to be involved. Get in touch with our team here for info on how you can help out.

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