Cakes and bakes. Ginger Bakers

‘Mixing generosity, fairness and adventure to create the perfect cakes for cafes, shops and you’. That’s the ethos of Ginger Bakers whose range of cakes, tarts, loaf cakes and traybakes are made with ‘heaps of love’ at Ginger HQ just outside Kendal.

What started in the kitchen of Lisa Smith’s home in 2006 - baking cakes to sell at local farmers’ markets - has grown into a substantial business, producing over 5,000 cakes a week, gathering fans and accolades along the way.

Almost 20 Great Taste Awards are now tucked under its belt, three more being added in 2021 with Brandy and Orange Mince PieLemon Pistachio and Ginger Blondie, and Gin, Clementine and Cranberry Fruit Cake. 

Ginger Bakers was also a finalist at the Great British Food Awards 2020 with its Westmorland Pepper Fruit Cake. Given that the origins of the cake - with its flavours of ginger, cloves and black pepper - lay in the spice trade of 18th century Whitehaven on Cumbria’s west coast, this was ‘history in the cake-making’, a terrific achievement to be ‘highly commended’ by the judges.

‘We’ve spent 16 years creating, conjuring, developing and tweaking our range of cakes and bakes,’ says Lisa who in the early days also made gluten free cakes for a local café. That’s still a significant ingredient of the business because about 40% of her range is gluten-free, Chocolate Brownie, Caramel Shortbread, Light Brandy Fruit Cake, Ginger and Whisky Fruit Cake, and Berry and Beetroot Brownie being five of those products. 

Local sourcing is another big thing for Ginger Bakers. Chocolate Damson Brownieand Damson Brandy Fruit Cake Loaf, for instance, use damsons from Cumbria’s Lyth Valley while Breaking Origin Imperial Stout from the Lakes Brew Co. finds it way into theLimited Edition Chocolate and Stout Cake. The latter is new for 2022 along with Fruit and Nut Cake, Ginger Fudge and Brazil Nut Slice, and Seville Orange Brownie Tart.

Produce is regularly supplied by Growing Well, a mental health charity and organic farm based at Low Sizergh Farm near Kendal. In return Ginger Bakers gives back 10% of its profits for every cake sold using Growing Well’s  produce.

Finally there’s the Ginger Bakers Cake Club. ’Commitment to cake’ seems like the easiest thing in the world; the important bit is deciding whether you want to sign up for three, six or 12 months and then ‘effortlessly journey through the variety’ of the Ginger Baker range.

And that name? Nothing to do with rock band Cream’s legendary drummer but instead inspired by Lisa’s two children who also lend their names to a couple of bakes: Chocolate Nancy and Ginger Jake.

Ginger Bakers, Lakeland Food Park, Crook Road, Kendal LA8 8QJ: 01539 232815, www.gingerbakers.co.uk Buy online, at Ginger HQ or at many other independent stores in the UK.

Stay connected

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the LAKE DISTRICT travel guide.