The best birthday cake I ever had was when I was about nine years old. I was sad about Christmas being over, and longed for the bleak stretch of January to be brightened with music and fairy lights once again.
Being an extremely thoughtful person, my mum managed to root out some mince pies from God-knows-where, and arrange them in a birthday cake-esque formation; studded with nine candles and surrounded with spare crackers she’d kept aside especially. It looked weird as anything, and I loved it.
I was genuinely so moved that someone would sprinkle my love of all things festive over my birthday celebrations, and in the years since have tried to make other people’s birthdays feel as personal as possible. And I know precisely what to get should I ever befriend a baked bean aficionado…
Rubydoocakes, a bakery in Chippenham, Wiltshire, have baked an extremely impressive Heinz Baked Beans cake. It’s so intricately detailed that, at first glance, it simply looks like an enormous, overflowing can of baked beans.
The painstaking work which has gone into crafting each individual bean is evident, and the ‘can’ itself bears the iconic – and instantly comforting – Heinz logo. The cake has since cooked up quite a storm on Facebook, fascinating bean lovers and haters alike.
One person praised it as their idea of ‘perfection’, while another described it as their ‘nightmare’, perfectly illustrating the baked bean divide which has caused Sunday breakfast arguments since time immortal.
as if there are actually people out there who don’t like baked beans the world is a scary place 😔
— evie 🍒 (@eviewhite99) July 8, 2019
Mad that there’s people out there that don’t like baked beans?????? Like wtf
— robyn stewart (@robynstewartx) July 13, 2019
British people are known for our love of the ‘musical fruit’, with 23 per cent of Brits eating them ‘two or three times a week’ according to a Heinz poll reported by Yours.
According to this 2017 poll of 2,000 people, eighty per cent of Birmingham residents eat beans at least once a week, making them the most prolific baked bean eaters in the UK. This honour was closely followed by Manchester (70 per cent) and Sheffield (65 per cent).
However, fear of beans is a real thing, with leguminophobia (bean phobia) apparently having life-altering consequences for certain individuals.
In 2014, a pub chef hit the headlines after being forced to quit his job due to his fear of beans, according to the Metro. The chef had reportedly been forced to hide in terror when cooked breakfasts were being prepared, and decided to become a window cleaner instead.
I’m personally pro-baked beans, and love nothing more than pouring them over a buttery baked potato alongside a sizeable fistful of cheddar cheese. If there’s a better Monday night easy-tea, I’m yet to learn of it.
UNILAD spoke with Louise Skeates from Rubydoocakes, who told us about the hard work which had gone into making the eye-catching cake:
The cake came from a cake order via Bark for a lad’s girlfriend’s birthday who loved Heinz Baked Beans and wanted something different. I just love the design! Although the beans took a couple of hours to make!!
[…] The beans were literally little balls of rolled orange fondant, then slightly squished that just took forever to make.
The gifted baker continued:
I didn’t see the birthday girl but the boyfriend absolutely loved the cake and said it was exactly what he wanted for her! It was perfect!
According to Louise, the response to the cake has been ‘overwhelming’, and she has since received orders galore for baked bean cakes as well as ‘spaghetti hoops and baked beans and sausages’.
Louise told UNILAD:
The best advice I could give to any aspiring cake artist is to just keep trying. Every cake artist had made many cakes that fail or we are highly critical of.
Eventually we get that one cake that just works and it makes all the sleepless nights, long days, sore feet and bad backs worth it!
Oh, and for any of those fretting about the flavour of this cake, rest assured it doesn’t actually taste of beans.
According to Louise, the fun exterior actually masks a scrumptious chocolate fudge cake, without so much as a hint of tomato sauce.
I must say, I will be gravely disappointed if I don’t see one of these gloriously orange masterpieces being whipped up in the Bake Off tent this summer…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.