4 to try: Cake specialists
Whether your planning to bake yourself or looking for a mouth-watering treat, here are four cake specialists well-worth a visit.
The Cake Café
Daintree Building, Pleasants Street, Dublin 8. (01) 478 9394
In the restaurant business, endorsements don't come much better than from Anthony Bourdain, who's a fan of this little café off Camden Street. Drop in for a slice, or order a whole cake for a celebration. The Cake Café delivers all over Dublin, and its sister operation, Slice in Stoneybatter, ensures that northsiders are looked after too. Try the espresso and toasted walnut. Gluten and dairy-free options available.
If you're determined to bake yourself rather than letting the professionals do it for you, pay a visit to one of Decobake's shops in Clane, Dublin, Galway, Athlone or Limerick, or spend a couple of happy hours exploring its website, which has an extraordinary array of products. Coming up to Christmas you'll find all manner of red and green-coloured icing, cute cake decorations, snowflake baking cases, Christmas pudding-shaped cookie cutters and a Rudolph silicon mould. There are Christmas-themed boxes too, if you're planning to give edible gifts.
2-3 Kirwan's Lane, Galway. (091) 567010
Savvy Galwegians deal with the stress of Christmas baking by making a call to Goya's Bakery, which will supply boozy puddings, rich fruit cakes, mince pies, trifles and roulades for parties and family gatherings. It's rumoured that some customers pass Goya's cakes and puddings off as their own, but we couldn't possibly comment. Thankfully, there are reasons to eat cake all year long, not just at Christmas, and the café on Kirwan's Lane is a popular meeting point for shoppers in need of a little lift.
087 050 5567, wildflourbakery.ie
Kate Packwood of the Wildflour Bakery is the first person that cake-loving brides call once they've set the date. The Wildflour Bakery's cakes are beautiful to look at, inspired and just a bit different - Apple Matcha Sage for instance - and you can buy them from Lilliput Stores in Stoneybatter, or order to collect from Bean & Goose's stall at The Temple Bar Market on Saturdays.
Although Wildflour cakes are seen at all the best weddings, don't wait until someone's getting married to order; one of Kate Packwood's cakes would make a show-stopping centrepiece for a festive dessert table.
‘Stir up Sunday’ is the last Sunday before advent so this year, 22 November. It is the traditional day for everyone in the family to take a turn at stirring the Christmas pudding, whilst making a wish.