A BAKER will be retiring after nearly 30 years of making cakes for special occasions across Oxfordshire.

Lynn Hawkins opened Cake Expectations, in Botley Road, selling equipment and specialist cakes in May 1986.

After 29 years of cake-making for special occasions across the county, the 62-year-old is retiring – although she plans to carry on making cakes for friends, She said: “I always think it’s been a privilege.

“For all these people celebrating special occasions in their lives, they are remembering that and the cake is part of their memories.

“It has been lovely, I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

She added: “I will miss it and probably do cakes for family and friends on request though.”

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In the 1990s the shop discontinued its equipment range and focused on cakes for weddings, christenings, birthdays and special occasions.

She set up the shop with fellow baker Joan Coombs who died in the early nineties.

The Oxford Times:

The former Sugarcraft courses teacher has made a range of cakes over the years from the quirky to the bizarre, including one for Sir Richard Branson.

She said: “The quirkiest was probably one we made very early on.

“We did a cake for a plumber and he wanted it to be a toilet.

“Recently we did a 4ft high cake for a wedding at the Four Pillars Hotel – that was probably the biggest one.”

The Oxford Times:

The baker, who lives in Sandford-on-Thames, created a hot air balloon cake to celebrate Sir Richard Branson’s record- breaking transatlantic crossing.

Miss Hawkins said her art form was becoming more popular with the television show, The Great British Bake Off. She said: “It’s great, more people are having a go themselves.”

The business will close with Ms Hawkin’s retirement at the end of the month.

The Oxford Times:

The shop has fought off the typical problems associated with Botley Road, flooding and roadworks – and made cakes to depict them.

She said: “During the floods of 2007 people just could not get to the shop.

“I had to work from home to fulfil all of the orders.

“We were very lucky we did not have any water come into the shop.”

Shortly afterwards, the shop produced a cake showing the bridge near Osney Island and houses complete with sandbags.

The cake was presented to the police, fire service and Environment Agency.

Ms Hawkins said like anything else trends have come and gone in the world of cakes.

She said: “The fashion of cakes has changed almost yearly.

“A wedding cake from 1986 would look really outdated today.

“When I started it was all frills, flowers and bows.”