Frequently Asked Questions

If you are having trouble using the website, or if you can't find the answer to your question, please call us on 0115 845 0660 or email us and we will be happy to help. Our sales office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. (NB Our Nottingham Shop is open longer hours than our sales office, details below!)

Do you make decorated cakes too?

I'm afraid not! We are so busy baking our cake bases and making our icings that we no longer have time to produce decorated cakes as well. 

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Can I collect my order from you in person? What are your shop opening hours?

Yes! We have a sugarcraft shop here at the bakery in Nottingham, so please do come along and visit us if you're nearby. The shop is open 8am till 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 5pm Saturdays. We are closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays. We also usually close for some days between Christmas and New Year. If in doubt, call us on 0115 845 0660. Feel free to call beforehand so we can get your order ready for you to collect if you're short on time!

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Can I order Samples?

Yes! You can order samples in our online shop here, or call us on 0115 845 0660.

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How soon will my order arrive?

We always send your order as soon as possible.  If you select 'express courier' delivery and if you have not ordered any 'baked to order' items this will normally mean your order arrives just one or two working days after ordering. As the delivery driver will need a signature, it is best to have your order delivered to an address where someone will be in all day - sending to a work address is no problem.

Our carrier usually delivers between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Please bear in mind that severe weather conditions can sometimes cause delays - allow extra time when ordering if snow is forecast! Also remember that Bank Holidays are not classed as working days and will cause delays to delivery times, especially over Easter and other long Bank Holiday weekends.

BAKED TO ORDER items will take longer - please allow 10 to 14 days for delivery. If your order contains a mixture of baked to order and standard stock items, we will wait till we have baked the special items and then despatch the whole order at once - this avoids extra carriage costs.

If you selected economy 2nd class Royal Mail delivery, please allow longer for delivery. 

Please see our Delivery page for more information.

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Do you make round sponge cakes?

YES! After many customer requests, we now offer 6", 8", 10" and 12" round sponges in our most popular sponge cake flavours. If you need other shapes, our square or rectangualr sponge cakes are very easy to cut to whichever shape you want - the easiest way is to chill or semi-freeze the cake first to make it firmer, then use a cakeboard as a template and a sharp serrated knife to trim to shape, making sure you keep the knife upright.

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How much is the postage?

For mainland UK addresses, we charge £7.00 per order for express courier delivery. Orders over £70 are sent free of charge (mainland UK only, not Northern Ireland/Highlands and Islands).  Very small lightweight orders are also offered an economy second class Royal Mail delivery option.

Please see our Delivery page for more details. NB If you are registered with us as a trade customer, delivery charges and carriage free order levels are different - please contact us for details.

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Do you deliver to other countries?

We may sometimes be able to accept orders from other European countries, but please note that this website may not aslways be able to calculate the cost of shipping to these countries accurately. Orders for other EU countries will need shipping to be calculated based on weight and volume, and any extra costs must be paid before the order can be despatched - we will contact you with the details after we receive your order. If shipping to your country is too expensive, you will of course have the choice to cancel the order.

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How long will the cakes keep?

Our rich fruit cakes keep a very long time, but are best eaten within 18 months of baking. Every cake has a batch code to tell us when it was baked and a best before date on the label. Our vanilla and chocolate genoese, death by chocolate cake, lemon sponge, eggless sponge, red velvet and carrot cakes keep for five weeks from baking, and our cupcakes should keep for four weeks. Store all cakes in a cool place in the original packaging. All our sponge cakes also freeze very well to extend the life if needed. Do bear in mind that, once decorated, the life of the sponge may be affected by the type of filling cream and/or jam used - eg thin watery jam or cream with a high moisture content may make the sponge soggy over time and speed up mould growth.

Please note that the shelf life of sponge cakes is calculated from the day of baking, not the day of delivery, and most cakes will be around 3 to 4 days old when you receive them. We recommend that you order sponges to arrive about a week before the celebration, then decorate them in the week leading up to the wedding or party. This ensures the cake is in prime condition when served, and ought to give plenty of time to enjoy the left-overs.

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Can I freeze the cakes?

Our sponge cakes freeze and defrost very well - some customers even prefer working on them semi-frozen, finding it easier to get a perfect finish to the icing on a very firm base. We don't recommend freezing our fruit cakes, and there should be no need as they keep very well for 18 months from baking. It is not a good idea to freeze our sugarpastes or flowerpaste - in our experience, it does not extend the life, and you risk problems with condensation on the icing as it defrosts.

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Are your products suitable for vegetarians?

All our cakes and Sweet Silk sugarpastes are fine for a normal vegetarian diet, but as the cakes contain butter and eggs they would not be suitable for vegans. Our eggless sponge is suitable for those following an egg-free diet, but does contain milk so is not suitable for vegans. Like most other commercial flowerpastes, our Pastiche range contains gelatine and is not suitable for vegetarians.

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Do you make Christmas Cake bases?

We supply our normal rich fruit cake for any occasion, including weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. At Christmas customers often order shallower cakes (2" deep) which work out 20% cheaper than standard. If you have lots of the same size cakes to decorate, you can also save money by having them as a Christmas bulk pack (not individually wrapped and boxed) - call us for details. We don't make any cakes with less fruit, as any saving would be very marginal. We also offer bulk packs of fruit cake bases which can be a great way to save money if you have several cakes the same size to decorate.

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What about allergens - gluten, dairy, egg? What sort of nuts do you use? Do you make dairy free or gluten free cakes?

Full ingredient lists for all our own products are available on the relevant product page. If you cannot find the information you need, please call us on 0115 845 0660 and we will do our best to help.

We are a small bakery with only one baking production area, and unfortunately cannot guarantee that ANY of our products are totally free from egg, milk, soya or nuts, as these are all used daily as ingredients, or appear in ingredients we use.

We regularly use ground hazelnuts (in fruit cake) and chopped walnuts (in carrot cake only), and occasionally have other nuts on the premises (pecans, almonds etc), particularly at Christmas. We are not aware of any form of peanut appearing in any of our ingredients. However, many of the ingredients we buy contain the non-specific warning ' may contain nuts' which we must therefore pass on to our customers.

When making eggless sponge cakes, every possble precaution is taken to avoid cross contamination. However, the same limitations still apply as we are a small business and all products are baked in the same area. We strongly recommend that these products are not suitable for those with severe allergies, particularly with nuts, as there is an inevitable risk of cross contamination by airbourne particles which we can never completely eliminate.

We do not currently offer any gluten free or dairy free cakes. Unfortunately, new tighter rules on permissable trace levels of guten in products marketed as 'gluten free' make it almost impossible for small bakeries such as ours to produce genuinely gluten free cakes. HOWEVER we do offer a vanilla gluten free sponge cake mix for you to bake at home. Find it in the Cake Mix section!

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I want a cake deeper than 2.5" - can you help?

We can bake deeper fruit cakes to special order - please call us for details. We charge by weight, so a 3" deep cake (20% deeper than normal) will also be 20% more expensive. We can bake fruit cakes up to a maximum of 3.5" deep - if you need the cake to look deeper, why not build up the height with cake drums the same size as the cake, then cover the whole structure as one? This gives the visual effect without the expense and weight of extra inches of fruit cake, and will also be much easier to cut than a 4 or 5 inch deep cake.


Unfortunately we can't bake deeper sponge cakes to order, but why not order our big slabs of sponge and build up as many layers as you need to create the effect desired.

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I can't see the shape of fruit cake I want

We have baking tins for almost every conceivable shape of cake, including petal, teardrop, octagonal, rectangle, horseshoe, scalloped oval, diamond, numerals and many more - we can bake fruit cakes in all these shapes to special order - please call us and let us know what you would like.

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What size cakes do I need?

Please see our 'cakeculator' tool for a portion guide.

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How much sugarpaste and marzipan do I need?

Please see our 'cakeculator' tool to calculcate the amount of sugarpaste or marzipan you will need for your cake.

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What size board should I use?

It is usually best to use a board 3" bigger than the size of the cake, but it will depend on your chosen design.

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I have a shop - can I order Sweet Success products in bulk?

Yes! We are always happy to hear from new trade customers, whether you have a decorated cake business or a sugarcraft shop where you'd like to stock our products. We can offer discounts to genuine established cake businesses, subject to a minimum order level. Please call Rebecca, Mike or Liana on 0115 8450660 to see how we can help, or complete our Trade Discount Application Form.

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I decorate a lot of cakes but run my business from home - can I get a Trade Discount?

Yes of course, if you order enough! We are always happy to hear from new trade customers, whether you are an established cake decorating business or just beginning to trade from home. We can offer discounts to most genuine cake businesses, subject to a minimum order level. Please call us on 0115 8450660 to see how we can help, or complete our Trade Discount Application Form.

If you are just thinking of setting up a cake business, or in the very early stages, we are happy to give advice by email or phone, but it is best to wait till your business is properly set up, registered with the local authority and has a business website before filling in the trade application form, else you may find some of the questions difficult to complete! You need to provide prrof of trading - this can be a business website, compliments slip or business card, recent trade invoice etc.

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