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6 part drama series for BBC Radio 4 (2007), released Audible (2021)


Created and written by Nicola Baldwin

Episodes 3 & 4 by Amanda Whittington 

Produced by Steven Canny

Directors Steven Canny, Abigail Le Fleming, Luke Fresle


Six part culinary drama series for BBC Radio 4. After plans for a birthday celebration go wrong, old friends Maggie and Tess, and new neighbour Sabina accidentally establish a weekly ‘cake club’ to meet, share and bake unusual recipes, which becomes interwoven with the unfolding drama of their own lives.


MAGGIE - Lesley Sharp

TESS - Tamsin Greig

SABINA - Nisha Nayar

NICKY - Matthew Dunster

RAY - Neil Dudgeon

JANICE - Sheila Hancock

With Louise Brealey, Stephen Hogan, Leena Dhingra, Stephanie Leonidas, Joe Prospero


Episode 2 – Private Parkin

There are many, many different recipes for parkin…..

Although they share similar ingredients, no two recipes seem to combine them in the same way. Some have twice the flour to oatmeal, some the other way round. Some use eggs. A lot of versions add a cup of milk to the melting stage. Some people swear by lard, some people swear at it.

Nicky swears by lard and always makes his Parkin with….

Quarter pound of flour

Half pound medium oatmeal

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsps ginger

Half pound of lard (or other cooking fat)

Half pound of black treacle, or golden syrup

Half pound of Demerara sugar


Heat sugar, fat, treacle (or syrup) in pan (now would be the time to put in a cup of milk if you wish). Mix dry ingredients, but put baking soda (bicarb) directly into pan. Pour onto dry ingredients and stir.

Cook one and a half hours in a slow oven, in a square tin….



Episode 3 – Fairy Cakes (Works of Art Buns)

Fairy Cakes are quick and easy to make with children. If you have no children available; butter, sugar and flour work just as well.

4 oz butter  whisked up with

4 oz sugar, and then fold in

4 oz flour, alternately (or not) with

2 beaten eggs….


Put dollops into little paper cases on a baking tray.

Cook at Gas mark 5, for 15 minutes and they’re done.


If you’re particularly attracted by the idea of cake decorating, there is a host of tips out there on the internet. Did you know you can test the effects of a chocolate marbleize mix by dipping a balloon into it?!….  

You can make something called Chocolate plastic (mmm!)

 Or make Chocolate drizzle by painting with melted chocolate, or have fun icing and covering with as many sweets as will fit….

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