Gallery: Star's 125th birthday cake - free for you!

Head of News RUSSELL COOK rolled up his sleeves and got a bit of tuition helping to make the Evening Star's 125th birthday cake at the Cake Shop, in Woodbridge.

IT was something which could be compared with being a contestant on the Generation Game.

Remember when Bruce Forsyth hosted the popular programme and gave his guests some difficult challenges?

Head of News RUSSELL COOK rolled up his sleeves and got a bit of tuition helping to make the Evening Star's 125th birthday cake at the Cake Shop, in Woodbridge.

WOODBRIDGE: Mix the eggs with the oil, water and cake mix and, hey presto, out comes the perfect cake base.

Well that's the theory … but it needs an expert eye on proceedings to make sure the Star's centre piece birthday cake is just to everyone's taste.

Keeping a watch over the making of the giant dessert is baker and joint manager of the Woodbridge Cake Shop, Duncan Nunn.

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He is regularly up long before the crack of dawn, sometimes as early as 2am, and yesterday was no different as he arrived at the shop in The Thoroughfare to get the baking underway.

In between the loaves, cakes and confectionary he took time out to tutor the Star's head of news Russell Cook.

First came the big mix. No large spoon required here as it's carried out with an electrically operated mixer all contained in a huge steel bowl. Then once mixed it's spread out into the massive tray and levelled out evenly.

It all looks a simple operation but it takes great care and skill to not only get the correct mix but also lay it out in the tray as it has to be cut completely in half to take the filling. No mean feat for this massive cake.

Then it's into one of the huge ovens for the baking and 35 minutes later it's taken out to cool down.

But the cake is not the only thing to be cooling off as Russell and Duncan get down to taking the top and bottom layers of the mix off before the delicate slicing and filling of jam and cream is added.

Duncan, who lives in Kesgrave, is the man of the moment to smooth out the icing before the delicate job of decorating begins.

Although Russell had a go at a few designs, it's going to be the baker who will complete the task for tomorrow's big dessert which is set to be officially handed over to the Star live on air on during Mark Murphy's BBC Radio Suffolk Breakfast Show, which starts broadcasting at 6.30am.

“You see these bakers and confectioners making cakes and there was also some wonderful gingerbread men being created. They make it look all so easy,” said Russell.

“But when it comes down to trying your hand at it, it's a different matter. It was a great insight into how they bake their fantastic cakes but I think I'll leave it to the professionals!”

The Cake Shop is certainly top of its own trade as it was crowned a recent winner in the best bakery category at the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards - an accolade it has won for the past three years.

For Duncan making the cake is a huge honour for his business.

He said: “It's a big treat and an honour for us to bake the cake especially as the Star is our local paper. We have loved getting involved with the celebrations.”

And the staff at the Cake Shop, which numbers up to 20, are hoping the birthday goes off in great style.

Judging by the effort being put into the cake, there is high hopes it will.

- Do you have fond memories of the Star through the years? If so send them to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email


The Evening Star's 125th birthday cake is set to be something of a record breaker.

For it's one of the biggest that the Cake Shop, in Woodbridge, has created.

It measures 28in x 14in (71cms x 35.6cms).

The sponge base is made up of 6.5lbs of cake mix, 36 eggs, 2lb vegetable oil, and 20 fluid oz of water.

It is baked for 35 minutes before being allowed to cool down.

Once cooled the hard skin it taken off the top and bottom and sliced in half to allow jam and cream to be spread through the middle of the cake.

The final touch is the regal ice on top and the decorative pipe work which will include the Evening Star's 125 logo.


Tomorrow marks a milestone for the Evening Star as it celebrates its 125th birthday.

And we love our readers to join in with the fun … by getting a free piece of Evening Star birthday cake.

All you have to do is simply cut out the coupon below and take to one of the participating bakers (see below) either tomorrow, or Thursday

Duncans Bakery, 16 The Square, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich.

Krustys, 251 Dales Road, Ipswich.

Martins Bakery, 35 Woodbridge Road East, Ipswich.

The Bread Basket, 283 High Street, Walton, Felixstowe.

Victoria's Bakery, 424 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

Victoria's Bakery, 277 Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Victoria's Bakery, 186 Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.

Victoria's Bakery, 38-68 Carr Street, Ipswich.

Victoria's Bakery, 6 Tacket Street, Ipswich.

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