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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 March 2017
Brilliant book with great recipes with a twist.
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on 14 August 2013
This is just fab! Sometimes you just run out of ideas and there are ideas aplenty here. All laid out beautifully
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on 17 February 2014
I'm working my way through all the cakes in this book. It contains classics, twists on old favourites and cakes using unusual ingredients (candied beetroot anyone?). The recipes are well laid out and clear to follow. If you love baking, I think you'll like this book.
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on 28 February 2016
Very disappointed, I have just about every baking book going and this promised to be a good addition but it is dreadful. The quality of the cakes shown n the book is poor, I realise that some home bakers, if beginners might only be able t achieve cakes that look as bad as those pictured in the book but even they need a decent cake image to aim at, the Fraiser cake in particular looks like a child made it. The recipes are boring and nothing special and I think for a book at this price not paying for a stylist to sort out decent photographs so that the inner contains photographs of he quality of the front cover is a bit naughty, I have got to say that because of the very poor production quality of this book and boring recipes and ill checked recipes (most of the ones I have tried are not accurate) I can't recommend it and I am just thankful I didn't buy one as a gift for anyone. Just because it is produced by the Clandestine Cake Club does not mean such a poor quality book can be offered for sale at this price!!

I am cross that I bought this based on the nice cover pic and the fact that it is form the Clandestine Cake Club as this does not guarantee either good recipes or a good book.

Anyone looking for a similar book for either themselves or a gift would be better with any Mary Berry book or books like Peggy Porschen's 'Love Later Cakes' or Baking Boutique'
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on 14 February 2013
Having been an avid fan of the Clandestine Cake Club for a while now I was excited when I found out that they were bringing out a cookbook.

This is a lovely book. It contains 120 recipes, each of which comes with a short introduction detailing the origins of the cake as well as an accompanying photo which I know is essential to some cooks as they like to know what their finished cake should look like. On the whole the list of ingredients for each cake is not too long (although of course there are a couple where the ingredients list is long) and you should be able to find everything in your local supermarket. The instructions for each recipe are laid out in bullet point format and they are easy to follow.

If you enjoy making cakes for yourself, your friends or your family you will love this book as it contains original cakes that I have not found in any of the many other cookbooks I own.

Please find the recipes found in this book listed below. At the time of writing this review no 'look inside' feature was available for this book. I appreciate that in the future Amazon may provide such a feature for this book.


Banana bread
Scrumptious sticky toffee cake
Heavenly carrot cake
Featherweight cake
Glorious victoria sponge
Caramel cake
Pineapple upside down cake
Strawberry shortcake
Mocha marble cake
Vanilla & coconut cake
Strawberry swiss roll
Red velvet cake
Soured cream coffee cake


Cherry cake
Caraway seed cake
Cranberry and orange madeira cake
Rhubarb and custard cake
Battenburg cake
Date and walnut cake
Violet posy cake
Elderflower cordial cake
Ginger syrup cake
Raspberry 'cakewell'
Manchester tart cake
Sultana cake
Light stem ginger cake
Empire cake
Earl grey tea cake


Plum and cardomom cake
Overnight tea loaf
Fruity lunchbox cake
Magic bean cake
Red rum raspberry cake
Pear and apricot all-in-one cake
Dorset apple cake
Spicy pear cake
Blueberry, peach and amaretto cake
Strawberry and pistachio revani
Apricot cake
Blackcurrant and lemon layer cake
Passion fruit cake
Banana and cardomom loaf
Cardomom, rose and rhubarb cake


Dutch speculaas
Polish apple cake
Cayman mango cake
Sweet potato and pecan cake
Japanese green tea and orange cake
Baked ricotta cheesecake
Amaretto cream cake
Lingonberry white chocolate cake
Caribbean spiced rum cake
Dutch hazelnut cake
Tarta de almendras
Torta colombina
Tia maria and mascarpone cake
Irish coffee cake
Choo choo chai cake


Lime and coconut drizzle loaf
Crispy lemon cake
Yoghurt, lemon and lime cake
Syrupy lemon polenta cake
Vegan lemon cake
Coconut sunshine cake
Lemony lemonade cake
Lemon, parsnip and hazelnut cake
Pistachio and lime cake
Citrus sunbeam layer cake
Ricotta and lemon sponge cake
Lemon meringue cake
Lemon and poppyseed cake
Grapefruit loaf
Orange and white chocolate cake
Blood orange and rosemary cake
Dark 'n' stormy cake


Dark chocolate nut cake
Smoked chilli chocolate cake
Chocolate beetroot cake
Coconut paradise cake
Dark chocolate marmalade cake
Buttermilk chocolate cake
Chocolate honeycomb truffle cake
Chocolate orange disaster cake
Chocolate and marmite caramel cake
Chocolate nut rum cake
White chocolate and raspberry loaf
Honey chocolate cheesecake
Chocolate and maple brunch cake
Dark chocolate and amaretto cake
Courgette cocoa cake


Valentine's achy cakey heart cake
Finnish lemon mother's day cake
St Paddy's guinness loaf
Raspberry yoghurt birthday bundt
Easter spring roll
Pistachio and fruit simnel cake
Easter bun cake
Pink champagne anniversary cake
Father's day spiced ale cake
Italian cream wedding cake
Trick or treat tuck shop cake
Harvest spiced apple cake
Thanksgiving pumpkin cake
Rich celebration fruit cake
Christmas honey cake
Hogmanay dundee cake


Strawberry butterfly bundt
Coffee cup cake
Toffee shock cake
Pina colada cake
Shirley temple mocktail cake
Giant lemon fondant fancy
Mocha hedgehog cake
Blue velvet cake
Wild forest gateau
Neopolitan cake
Oreo rosette cake
Rainbow cake
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on 14 February 2013
This time last year I was bored. Really bored. Then I discovered the Clandestine Cake Club. Within a year it has transformed by life beyond recognition. I now run the Bolton branch; a tantalising mixture of bakers, all giddy about cake. Some always had the bug for baking. Most had little confidence in their own ability. Others heard of our venture and baked for the first time to join us. By September I was stood in front of the other organisers in Leeds doing a lecture on bundt cakes, and now we have a book.

We meet once a month in secret locations only revealed to attendees a few days before the event. We bake a cake on a specified theme and try a bit of each others. What is left is taken home in the cake 'trough' (as it's known in our house) and enjoyed later.

Nothing gives me more pleasure to review our very first book. Our creator Lynn Hill has worked incredibly hard to build the club up from a group of friends in a Leeds cafe to a menagerie of clubs spanning the globe. She sat back, and saw that it was good.

At cake club we love nothing more than to sit and have a natter over (several) slices of cake and a brew. We chat about our cakes, ideas, recipes and our general gluttony. It's not a competition. It's hugely supportive, and I can genuinely say that I have met some wonderful new friends. This is what life is all about. Sharing what you have with those around you in a happy environment.

I know Lynn has worked incredibly hard on this book. She gathered the recipes, made countless trips to the publisher in London, tested cakes (well you have to...) and probably the hardest thing of all... had to keep the recipes a secret for ages!

When I received the book I was flabbergasted. It's absolutely beautiful. I was a little concerned that by making our cakes in a professional kitchen, that it might lose some of our home made feel. I'm sure you'll agree that the pictures I have sampled capture all of the warmth, humour and utter unctuousness that comes with a club cake. There are tales of mishaps and wonderful little tips from each baker. They are all achievable. Every one.

The book is split into:
Victorian Cakes - pretty bakes inspired by historical tales. Pastel Battenberg, floral concoctions and tales of the empire remind us of the very first meeting held in Leeds in 2010.
Fruity Cakes - ahem... they're part of your five a day... A chapter jam packed with beautifully moist cakes including rhubarb, plums, pears and apples. Pretty as a picture!
Global Cakes - we take inspiration from our friends overseas and look at everything from Finnish Christmas cake to Japanese tea...
Chocolatey Cakes - the cakes we only ever manage a slither of at cake club, yet somehow have the strength to devour a whole slice later that night... Oozing centres and glossy ganache fill these pages.
Celebration Cakes - it's all about the pomp and ceremony here! We celebrate all year round with a variety of wonderful cakes, including champagne, spices and of course some beautiful festive bakes.
Creative Cakes - we love a bit of imagination at cake club! Our varied themes mean that we never get a plain sponge. Expect crazy colours, toppings and variations on a theme here.
Classic Cakes - there is a very special place in our hearts for a classic which is well executed, perhaps with the baker's own little twist or finishing touch. Even the sponge in this section is listed as curious...
Zesty Cakes - perfect for any occasion and a real crowd pleaser. So popular in fact, they have a section of their very own.

We have all bases covered. There is a recipe here for every occasion; each one painstakingly created by a cake clubber ready for their meeting. And remember folks, we have done all the swearing so you don't have to! All the cakes in the book have been tested by us and the publisher's culinary wizards to ensure they are book-worthy. What's really nice is the recipe credits both the creator and the club they come from too.

I have a ridiculous amount of baking books at home, and I can honestly say that none are as comprehensive or creative as this. There may be no competition at cake club, but we all take a great deal of pride in our work. I think it shows.

This review would not be complete without a huge thank you to Lynn. Without your vision, there would not be a band of baking enthusiasts meeting secretly every month, creating some weird and wonderful cakes. We've met new friends, supported our local businesses and learned new skills. Hopefully others can now share our passion and might be encouraged to join their local club, or indeed start a new one in their own area.

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on 25 June 2013
Had I seen this book before purchasing I would not have bought it. I couldn't understand after looking through it, just how it had achieved so many 5 star reviews; looking at them more closely I soon realised most of them had been written by Clandestine Cake Club Members and/or contributors from the book. Whilst the members might find this book wonderful I strongly disagree.

The book itself is hardly inspiring, the photos simple, boring and amateur. The recipes themselves are no better, many of them are your boring bog standard cakes you would find in any baking/cake book. Some recipes are overly simple (I have nothing against simple recipes, I just believe they need to return great results, these do not) other recipes are overly complicated calling for more ingredients than are really necessary. Some recipes refer to terms or techniques without explaining what they are or how the reader is to achieve them - a major issue for anyone just setting out in baking.

Out of the entire book the number of recipes I am excited to try can be counted on one hand.

Had I properly read the reviews and seen the book before ordering I would not have purchased it. I have many other far superior books to this one that present much better and more exciting cakes.
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on 15 June 2013
We are fundraising for a colleague climbing Kilimanjaro for charity next year. One event is the monthly cake sale which I organise. I read reviews of the book and interviews with the Clandestine Cake Club members in the newspapers but, having 100 cookbooks already, I held off buying a copy and borrowed one from my local library. So far, I have done 3 cakes which have flown out of the office kitchen! What I like most is that the cakes have been foolproof. I need to bake cakes that can be cut into rectangular shapes and, having guessed the appropriate equivalent to a round cake tin, each time they have been fine. I think, because the recipes have been tested so many times, if you are sensible you can do substitutions - for example, I used spices in the banana cake rather than vanilla because I prefer a cinnamon-y banana cake. The office have given me a favourites list, which I am gradually working through. Now I have my own copy of the book and the library has its one back again. Here's to many more happy cakes and happy colleagues!!
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on 22 June 2013
I spotted The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook just at the right time.

My husband's a police officer, and every so often when he's on nights, he and his colleagues will have cook-offs and bring the resulting treats into work - last time was curry, this time, cake!

As i've never been much of a baker i had only a few trusted cake recipes, and although we scoured the internet for something yummy, nothing really grabbed his fancy. So when i did my weekly shop at the local supermarket, i stopped off to look at the cookbooks. It was a choice between The CCC Cookbook, Hummingbird Bakery, or the Great British Bake-off. CCC won by a whisker, simply due to the variety of flavours and that each recipe seemed like the sort of thing that could keep the boys and girls in blue motivated on a cold, soggy North of England nighttime.

Hubs immediately decided to try the Date & Walnut cake (p45) as we had most of the ingredients in the pantry already, and only had 4 steps to the recipe - he'd never ever baked before! The cake was perfect, and went down a storm with his colleagues.

Since then, i've had a few forays into the baking world too - prior to getting this book, the extent of my skills was a batch of scones or my gran's tealoaf (there's a recipe for Overnight Tea Loaf on p66 which is surprisingly similar to the one i use!). The recipes are so easy to follow, if you follow the to the letter, it can't go wrong (although there is a troubleshooting section at the back just in case...)

Since i'm trying to lose weight, i bake for fun and let my (or my husband's) colleagues eat the results. So far, they're had treats every week:

A variation on the Battenburg (p43) - i made it blue and yellow to match the livery on the police cars.
The Rhubarb and Custard cake (or should that be Rhubarb and Custody?) on p41
And this week, they'll be getting the Ginger Syrup Cake (p50)

There are a number of recipes in this book suitable for dairy- or gluten-free diets, and even a vegan lemon cake. This book is a must if you're a beginner, or already love baking, or are stuck in a rut and want to create something out of the ordinary - there'll be something delicious for you to try! This book has also given me the confidence to try new things on my own.

Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.
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on 14 February 2013
I run the Durham Dales Clandestine Cake Club in NE England and have a copy of this book

I have two recipes featured in there too, some may say this review is biased but you can make your own mind up.

The recipes have all been contributed by home cooks who are avid cake bakers.

So many delicious recipes and they all actually look like the photos in the book- unlike some cookery books.

The book is well produced and can be a coffee table book and also a well used cake recipe bible.

It has information about what happens at a Clandestine Cake Club events and also has a helpful part at the back of the book for what to do if your cake doesn't quite cook to plan.

All the ingredients for the recipes are easily accessible in supermarkets and if you are a budget baker or a blow the budget baker I'm sure you'll find a delicious cake to bake to impress those around you.

If you love cake and beautifully produced books get this book and look for a clandestine cake club near you so you can meet other like minded people.

Now which cake do I make next ......
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