Secret cake club opens doors

Helen Cox, fourth from left, started a Kiwi Clandestine Cake Club after reading the UK club recipe book.
ZIZI SPARKS/FAIRFAX NZ

Helen Cox, fourth from left, started a Kiwi Clandestine Cake Club after reading the UK club recipe book.

There's a new club in town and its members indulge in the secretive eating of cake.

Clandestine Cake Clubs are popular worldwide and Helen Cox has cooked one up in Auckland.

Nine people gathered for a slice of the action, and of the cake, at the first meeting in Cox's Browns Bay home.

The Clandestine Cake Club's first meeting set a high standard
Zizi Sparks

The Clandestine Cake Club's first meeting set a high standard

Internationally, the clubs follow the same recipe and there are few rules.

No one knows the venue until just days before and as long as you've registered, you'll be sent an email with the location.

Bakers can bring a non-baking friend to help eat the cake but don't expect to be let in with rule-breaking cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pies or tarts.

Each meeting has a theme, Auckland's first is, "Sweet As – Quintessential Kiwi Cakes".

Ohakune carrot cake, a lamington and hokey pokey cake, and of course a buzzy bee are among the seven the theme draws to the table.

"That's the beauty and the magic. It's completely up to each person's interpretation of the theme," says Cox.

Although all cakes are welcome and taste buds are kind judges, presentation standards are high and some bakers spent hours on their edible projects.

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Cox is on maternity leave from her personal assistant job and says there's no such thing as a bad cake.

"As long as it's made with love and with fun. Having fun is the most important thing."

After a slice of each cake it takes a while for everyone to move. When they do, it's back to the table to cut up and hand out leftovers to take home.

Cox hopes to whisk up more members before the next meeting but says it's hard spreading the word to people outside her personal network.

Discussions decide next month's theme, "A Slice of Cake".

The mission is to turn a slice, such as caramel or ginger, into cake form.

All the members know for now is it will be held somewhere in Takapuna.

The first Clandestine Cake Club was started in Britain in 2010. There are now more than 30 in 16 countries including one in Christchurch.

To find out more and join the Auckland club, go to the clubs tab at clandestinecakeclub.co.uk.

 - Stuff

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