Veganuary Cake with Sheffield Underground Cake Club

We had a fab time baking our #Veganuary Cakes at Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield who hosted our bakers. We had 8 Vegan cakes to try. Lots of lattes & cups of tea to help us try them all & even take a slice each home. Everyone introduces themselves , their cake & what they learned baking it … plus tips for all.

Annes cake was a Lemon Tender Cake …from a Nigella recipe. Coconut milk , lemon zest & juice went into the cake. Topping was coconut milk yoghurt & vanilla essence plus icing sugar. Home made blueberry compote on top.

anne lemon & blueberry cake sheffield underground cake club karen perkins life coachdsc09741

A delicious dairy free Bakewell Tart cake , made with ground almonds, almond milk, fresh raspberries & toasted almonds. Made by Michelle.

sheffield underground cake club bakewell tart vegan cake karen perkins life coachdsc09744

Clare cooked chocolate vegan cake form Blue Moon Cafe, Sheffields cookbook. Her friends renamed it Brownie cake as it tasted like brownie #yummy .

sheffield underground cake club d chocolate brownie cake karen perkins life coachdsc09743

Karens cake was a moist chocolate effort. Both the cake batter & the frosting were made in a food processor, and both had a whole avocado blitzed in, instead of the butter & cream you would use in a non vegan cake. The batter had oil & hot soya milk whipped with cocoa too.

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Dave ( of Poptastic Dave fame ) made a vegan chocolate cake. He started by adapting a Victoria Sponge, replacing eggs with avocado & half & half gluten free flour & ground rice/semolina. With 70% cocoa too.

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Hilary made a Lemon Cake, with lots of fresh lemon juice & zest. She noticed that it took much longer to cook than her usual recipe.

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Karen W made a Cranberry & Orange cake , with orange juice, soya milk & oil, flour & sugar. Fresh cranberries too. It too took ” ages ” to cook … and was still warm when we tried it  #yummy

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Sian made her first vegan Victoria Sponge cake with dairy free buttercream & fresh strawberries. The sponge had almond milk & oil instead of eggs. The recipe was in the Tesco food magazine.

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Some pictures of the cut cakes !


Join us for the next events

Sat Feb 23rd          Passion Cakes          2.30 to 4.30
Sat March 23rd    Cakes of Europe       2.30 till 4.30 TBC
More to follow … any theme or venue suggestions very welcome

See you all soon
Karen   Follow us on Facebook @undergroundcakeclub


5 reasons to bake cakes with The Underground Cake Club

The Sheffield Underground Cake Club ( formerly Sheffield Clandestine Cake club ) meets monthly to bake to a theme at a secret venue . DSC09303

5 reasons we love baking are

1 Relaxation

2 Creativity … trying to think up new cakes for our theme

3 Fun and friendship …. I have met lots of lovely bakers & their guests, cafe owners & hosts through our events. You can attend as often or infrequently as you like #nopressure . Many people come along by themselves , bearing cake … and everyone welcomes them.

4 New ideas & tips for our baking. At each meeting we all introduce our cakes, what we found easy/difficult, tricky ingredients, cooking tips and everyone shares their tips & experiences.

5 No cake shaming. Every cake is welcome, burnt, sunk, dropped … we love to learn from experience so have fun trying & bring your cake along.

Our event on Saturday was A Taste of Autumn … our bakers did a brilliant job . We were hosted by Natalie at the lovely The Delightful Touch Cafe on Hickmott Rd Sheffield  .

Natalies been baking for years, cooking for over 16 years, Ex of the Wortley Arms ( her venison dish is in the Sheffield Cook Book. ) …she always loved cake & has now opened her own cafe ,with her husband.


Here are our yummy cakes

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Annes cake was Toffee Apple and Pecan, chopped apple and pecan, a caramel sponge , caramel buttercream and drizzled caramel with broken up pecans on top.

carolyns cinder toffee karen perkins lifecoach underground cake

Carolyns cake was a ginger & cinnamon cake, with added treacle, a buttercream filling with treacle caramel sauce  & buttercream topping, with homemade pecan brittle , and home blowtorched marshmallow . This was a Martha Collinson recipe ( ex bakeoff … from Waitrose magazine ) .

karen plum and ginger lifecoach

My cake was a ginger vanilla plum & mascarpone sponge, made with crystallised ginger. The filling was plums poached in sugar & sweet sherry syrup, with mascarpone buttercream .

And here are the interior shots !!


Our next meetings are

15th Dec
19th Jan
23rd Feb
23rd March
Book via our Facebook page The Underground Cake Club Join us !!! Contact me Karen Perkins on for more details

5 reasons to go on a Cruise

We chose to go on a cruise this weekend, to the feeding grounds of Gannets,  magnificent birds which live on the cliffs at Bempton, near Flamborough, East Yorks .

1  We chose the UK for our cruise, as getting to Bridlington takes under 2 hours by train, with a picnic & views of the Humber Bridge, Beverly Minster & the Yorkshire Wolds en route.

2  We booked a fab Airbnb in Bridlington. #thepuffinhouse #excellentvaluehola door sign brid trip karen perkins life coach career coach jpgplates in wall puffin house brid trip karen perkins life coach career coachgiraffe toilet brid trip karen perkins life coach career coach

This was our base for the weekend, complete with full Bridlington breakfast cooked to order, great prep for a 3.5 hour cruise in the North Sea looking for seabirds. full breccie puffin karen perkins life coach career coach fabcoach

Our vessel was The Yorkshire Belle, the cruise arranged by the RSPB. yorkshire belle karen perkins life coach career coach fabcoach.

The queues formed early on the Quay. Waiting for the Yorkshire Belle. DSC09408

I rather fancied a cruise in this hipster vessel !!

Bearded clam 1 hipster boat karen perkins life coach career coach fabcoach

We sailed out to sea, via the Flamborough cliffs and the Bempton gannetary. The brave & hardy RSPB staff at the back of our boat threw a disgustingly smelly mix of old fish called ” Chum” over the back of the boat, to lure a range of seabirds. The boat then sailed back near it &

3  We got to see an amazing list of seabirds.

Gannets, juvenile gannets, brown skuas, arctic skuas, fulmars, kittiwakes, manx shearwaters, black backed gulls, scooters, guillemots, shags, cormorants, arctic terns and we even saw a school of harbour porpoises.

After the cruise and a cup of tea we took a #beachtrek and walked 3 miles along the sand from Bridlington, south to Fraisthorpe beach, and The Cow Shed café . We got there just 10 minutes before last orders eeek ! Do check your times. I had avocado & courgette cake & latte. Mr P had a Cow Shed burger ( locally sourced) and crispy chunky chips. #recommended. They do soya lattes too. DSC09421DSC09432DSC09441beach in sun best 1 karen perkins life coach career coach fabcoachbeach brid plus groynes 1 karen perkins life coach career coach fabcoach plus crow

4  Magnificent #bigskies and beach beauty. The remains of Hurricane Helene blew us along the beach #exhilarating . Next I ordered a chocolate wafer, a local #yorkshire speciality, always remembering to watch out for ….

danger seagulls karen perkins life coach career coach fabcoach.

5  #Yummy icecream sandwich puffin house brid trip karen perkins life coach career coach

So remember to get outdoors & live life to the full … you don’t have to travel far to find good food and beautiful seascapes.

I am a life coach and love to help people get clarity, unlock their creativity & curiosity, and enjoy life so do please book a free session with me at KarenPerkinsCoaching  or follow me on Insta and Twitter @fabcoach

Best wishes Karen Karen perkins life coach sheffield Puffin selfie 2 bridlington.

Brilliant #tramlines excursions 2018

We had a brilliant tramlines again this year, testing out the new Hillsborough Park stages & navigating the lack of trams with a CITYBUS day ticket. #Buslanes  New venues discovered in the fringe & drop off spots for en route snacks . Top tip … when arriving at a fringe venue CHECK the actual line up on the day, as several bands we wanted to see had changed times or dropped out. Then you don’t waste time waiting & can get to your back up !!

Day 1 Set off Friday on the 88 bus to town all giddy. Got my Dayrider.  Fabulous free iced latte ( using offer card from #cmsheffield ) at Coffee 200 Degrees , new to Division St, sat in their window seat watching the kids shrieking on the FreakOut ride by the City Hall.

Met Mr P and leapt on an 86 to Hillsborough, luckily I had my new Co-op festival poncho…as large sploshes of rain started to plop on our heads. Scanned through the VIP entrance in 4 mins flat … we headed for the VIP area, complete with geese. geese at tramlines karen perkins life coach uk sheffield

Worth every penny for the toilets with no queues . Nice cheese & bacon burger to get started. First up, my favourite Everything, Everything looking natty in all navy blue , with orange mac for lead singer. #regretsregrets #distantpast got me dancing !!   Then the Orielles & a bit of Milburn. Poor non VIP’s , massive queues for toilets & Bar. ( Luckily by Saturday Tramlines seemed to have brought in more of each. )

Saw then Stereophonics looking very boyish. Jumped about in the rain and sang along. Left to catch the bus into town, crammed with people, but sadly loads had to walk back the 40 mins in the rain, as no trams . Our bus driver on the First 35 , was a star, helping everyone get safely off at the right stop in the city centre. We hopped off & straight onto a 3 home for a Harrys chips & chilli sauce.

Walked over 5 miles … thus slept in till 9.30 !! Tramlines keeps you fit.

Day 2 . Mahoosive bacon,eggs, black pudding, mushroom, tomato breakfast to set us up for the day.

Breakfast Hassop

Bus to Devonshire Green went to see the Unscene but they had disappeared from the Running Order. Saw Dan LOOPs  then went via the Washington ( nice blue walls) to Hillsborough on the bus and saw

Rae Morris

Hopped on the bus to Plot 22 … where the Train Robbers , Oxymoron, Limit Break were playing outside under a carpark wall . Fantastic venue near the old Sheaf Market & next to the Delicious Clam, home of deliciousclam records. Who knew ?   OUTDOOR STAGE CURATED BY THE EXCHANGE STREET COLLECTIVE
🌟 Limit Break
🌟 Riders Music
🌟 Milly Pye
🌟 Joey Mojito’s Them Sardines
🌟 Aaron The Poet
🌟 Aviators
🌟 MOAN – Sheffield
🌟 Liam Walsh (RUSTIQUE)

Home by bus …. slept till 9.30 am .

Super sunny day again. Sausage, black pud & fried egg on toast with Fika coffee. Left car near our final venue Picture House Social & bussed into town. First stop Plug, car park from plug tramlines karen perkins life coach uk sheffieldplug car park 2 tramlines karen perkins life coach uk sheffield

then Record Junkee for Brooders   then to Hillsborough #Tramlines on the No 86 . Saw Feet and Lily Moore then back to Record Junkee for Faux Pas …iced latte in Café Nero then 75 bus to Picture House Social.


Nice and cool. Played 3 matches of table tennis followed by delicious Arancini , zucchini fries & olives for tea whilst listening to OK Champ from our table. Drinks on the balcony & home for a well deserved rest. Can’t wait for next year … we are MAXfringeing it .

wrists 2 tramlines karen perkins life coach uk sheffield

Music is great for the soul … keep curious  Book a free coaching session with me now !!

See you next year !! @fabcoach

Baking for Stannington Carnival with Sheffield Underground Cake Club

Fabulous day today as Sheffield Underground Cake club members were invited by Stannington Carnival, to hold a cake club … and to judge the Carnival Baking Competition. Thanks to Anna & Danny for inviting us & setting up our cool gazebo.DSC09303.JPG

Here are the entries. The winner of the Best Tasting for Under 16’s was Jacob with his Strawberry Gateau ( left ) with highly commended Jam Tarts traffic lights by Ash.

Winner of the Best Tasting for over 16’s was Rod whose daughter , a Stannington local had persuaded him to submit his Almond & Apple cake. ( Front left ), closely followed by Annes Gooseberry & Elderflower cake

Winner of best Pun cake ( tho’ it was very difficult to separate them ) was the Chocolate Brown E .  We also had a Carrot Southcake a Les Miser-marbles Cake, Cha Millionaires Shortbread , Pineuptial Upside Down Cake, Jam Tart traffic lights.

Our Undergreound cake club cakes were baked to a Carnivale Theme.


Karens cake was a lemon & homegrown fruit cake. Full or gooseberries, blackcurrants and blueberries , with lemon icing & blueberry topping.
Annes Lemonade cake had lemon zest in the sponge plus a syrup of lemonade & lemon juice. Icing was delicious with lemon juice , butter & lemon sherbet.
Dannis Pimms cake was Victoria Sponge with orange zest & Pimms syrup with orange juice. The filling was fresh strawberries & mascarpone cream with a bit of fresh orange juice.

We had quite a few people say they were interested in joining Sheffield Underground Cake club. We meet every month to bake to a theme, in a mystery location. Contact me to join via @fabcoach on Twitter or Insta or Follow us on Undergroundcakeclub Facebook page

We are always looking for cafes or venues to host our cakes …let me know if you would like to get involved ! Next event will be in September …date to follow

Best wishes Karen Perkins

Here are more photos from the Carnival Competition.


3 ways to harness the power of Nature to relax, at the RHS Chatsworth Show

We made it to the RHS Chatsworth Garden Show today and had an enjoyable morning looking at all the plants, show gardens and displays.

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1 Plan ahead. A large event can be stressful, we ordered the programme with map, by post in advance, found that arriving at 8.30 am would get us near the front of the car park, and we strolled up to the café in the Chatsworth stable block for bacon & egg butties & coffee.  We found out by asking staff , that the gates opened at 9.30 not 10 so we were in and away !! We took a picnic too, so no queueing or expensive food bills.


2 Relax, take your time & just wander. Mindfully enjoy the plants and displays. Don’t keep thinking about the next one. If you want to buy .. get a garden plan and an idea of the shapes/colours you are looking for. Get yourself a trolley … and just go with your gut … the growers in the tents are experts and have some fabulous plants on sale. You can always go visit the nursery after the show. Take pics on your phone and do a montage when you get home to see what your dream garden project.


3 Don’t stay too long ! Less is more. We enjoyed the displays but left when we had finished …so drove back through Baslow, Froggatt and over Longshaw to see the views.


Book a coaching taster now and I will help you plan ahead, get clarity & a better work life balance , or downsize.

3 ways to use Nostalgia to manage anxiety


When you feel anxious or are stressed about something take 5 minutes out to tap into the healing power of Nostalgia.

1 Close your eyes … imagine a place or time when you felt happy, safe, free & in the moment. Maybe when you were a child , on a hot sandy beach paddling & sniffing the sea breeze or vinegar on hot chips.

2 Try & recall all the activities you enjoyed, remember the smells & tastes .. cheese and onion crisps , candy floss maybe . Visualise the scenery , recall happy or inspiring conversations . The smell of cut grass takes me back to warm, relaxing summer days.

3 Savour the moment, give yourself a hug or squeeze your hands , tell yourself how much you enjoyed remembering …. and open your eyes . come slowly back into today & take that happy feeling with you.

Please do share your favourite nostalgic places & how they make you feel.

Best wishes


Contact me via @fabcoach on Insta or Twitter