Friday, 30 December 2011

Wishing you a Happy Christmas and New Year!

It's been a mad rush towards the end of 2011 to get all my Christmas orders made and delivered -but we did it! And we've even had time to have a little rest now as well. Thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout the year-it's just gone in a total flash there's been so much going on. Keep ordering those cakes and have a great 2012!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Cool Little Review

I was delighted to find this brilliant review of my Proud to be Ginger Nut biscuits from the fab Madhouse Family Review-thanks guys!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Just a quick post to let you know that we are now supplying a selection of our products to the fabulous, foodie haven that is Mmm deli in Newcastle's Grainger Market. You can stock up on our award winning Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas Puddings as well as our gorgeous biscuits and slices.

If you haven't been along to Mmm yet, then I definitely recommend that you make a special visit-it's an absolutely lovely shop selling a vast range of locally produced foods and owned by the fantastic Simone! They have got a really gorgeous selection of hampers for Christmas too, so if you know of someone who loves their food then get down to Mmm and order one!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Peach Trees and Bumblebees

Peach Trees and Bumblebees

We were lucky enough to be interviewed by the fantastic Blog, Peach Trees and Bumblebees. If you haven't come across this blog yet, it's foodie heaven, with loads of great recipes (a new one every day!), feature articles and interviews. You can check  out the interview at

Thanks to everyone at the wonderfully named Peach Trees and Bumble Bees!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Some New Stockists

As from this week, you can now buy a selection of the Spotty Dog products in two new and equally lovely outlets! The first is Park View Kitchen, a gorgeous deli and gourmet food shop in Whitley Bay. They have a really brilliant selection of locally sourced products, so pop along and I'll bet there's something you'll want to buy!

Another exciting new outlet is the new Fullerton Place Spa at Shortflatt Tower, just outside Belsay, Northumberland. This Spa is a real gem, hidden away in the Northumberland countryside beside the beautiful Shortflatt Tower. You can treat yourself to an amazing massage, laze around in their hot tub or experience their unique Hamman and follow this up with a coffee and one of my cakes-total bliss, I'd say!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Kitchenalia from the Spotty Dog Cakery

It has always been my aim to launch a range of kitchenware products that all of my customers will love. So, I'm very excited that, in time for Christmas, we're launching the first of these new products! Our Retro Cake and Biscuit tins filled with Spotty Dog goodies are now available to buy at both and Each cream and red tin is made in the most gorgeous fifties style and they've both got pride of place on my kitchen table already. These tins will make fantastic Christmas presents or just a treat for you to keep for yourself!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas Puddings Launch

It must be nearly Christmas because yesterday I launched our award winning Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas Puddings online! So, you can all buy a gorgeous fruity pud and have it delivered straight to your door. I've been making the puddings since the beginning of October so they will all have time to mature and taste fantastic by the end of December. As always, the puddings are made with our own free range eggs and the majority of the other ingredients used are from a whole food co-operative committed to ethical sourcing.

You can buy the puddings online at both and on and treat yourself!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Steamed Puddings

Very shortly, I'm going to be launching my Gold Great Taste Award winning Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas Pudding. As we are very aware of our impact on the environment here at the Spotty Dog Cakery, we try to ensure all of our packaging is recycled/recyclable/from a sustainable source. So, all of our Plum Puds are packaged in re-usable plastic pudding basins so you can keep on using them to make some gorgeous puds over the rest of winter or even just use them for storage like any other tupperware box.

As promised, here is a Steamed Pudding recipe which is absolutely delicious.

Steamed Apricot and Autumn Spices Pudding

200g butter
200g brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tbsp milk
125 ml apricot jam
100g raisins

2 pint pudding basin (half the quantities for a 1 pint basin)

1. Lightly butter the pudding basin.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs beating well as you go.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger and mix into the batter. Stir in the raisins and then add the milk to make a dropping consistency.
4. Pour the jam into the basin and then spoon over the batter.
5. Cover the basin top with greaseproof paper, crease in the middle to allow for the pudding to expand and tie the paper securely to the basin with string. 
6. Place the pudding in a saucepan not much larger than the basin and pour hot water to around 3/4 of the way up the basin. Cover and simmer for 1 hour remembering to keep the water around the basin topped up. 
7. Turn the basin out onto a warm plate and serve with thick double cream. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Make Time for Tea

Here at the Scarlett and the Spotty Dog Cakery, we love Tea! And when I say Tea, I don't just mean the drink, I mean the little baked treat of some description to go with it-you know, the piece of battenberg cake, the ginger biscuit or the slice of toast and jam. There's something about the 'something to keep me going' in the middle of the afternoon that feels like such a treat, but not so much of a treat that I won't have it every day. As my Mum would say, I need it to keep my energies up! 

But, I've noticed that here at Spotty Dog HQ, we may be in a bit of a minority. Lots of people, for different reasons (lack of time, guilt over 'snacking' are the most often quoted) don't have some kind of drink and a baked pick -me -up mid afternoon.  And I think this is a real shame. If you're at work or not, it shouldn't be impossible to spare 2 minutes to grab a drink and something cakey or biscuity to eat. Try it and (without wanting to sound corny) I promise you'll feel that life is just a bit better than it was before!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

New Recruits

Here in the Cakery, we have some new recruits! Don't worry, we haven't grown so much that we've got a huge new workforce, just 2 new (furry!) product tasters called Hamish and Hettie.

They are both unbelievably cute (if a little naughty) and are providing hours of entertainment for us all. Very importantly, they both LOVE cake so they're pretty happy in their new home.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Christmas is Coming

I know it's only September and I know some of you may not want to think about Christmas yet but I learnt last year (my first Christmas in business) that Christmas prep' starts early in this game! Very early! So, this week I started making first batches of my Sugar Plum Fairy Pudding (which won a Gold Great Taste Award, remember!) 

I've already had pre-orders through for my puds, some from customers who loved them last year and some are for new customers, which is great. I am absolutely loving making the puds again-they have the most gorgeous smell as they cook away in the bottom of the Aga and they're relatively simple to make-all I need is my huge mixing bowl my Gran gave me and a spoon-very retro!

In other news, I've just been on a fabulous trip to York and enjoyed an amazing Afternoon Tea at the wonderful Bettys (see pictures of their lovely shop window below).

Friday, 2 September 2011

Fenwick of Newcastle

I'm very excited to announce that you can now buy a range of our products in the Food Hall at Fenwick of Newcastle! I'll be doing a tasting session to officially launch the products on Saturday 3 September and I'm  really looking forward to it as I absolutely love the Food Hall -it's full of some gorgeous things, including some really great products from other small, local producers. Come along and say hi if you're out and about in Newcastle tomorrow!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Olive Magazine

We're very excited here at the Scarlett and the Spotty Dog Cakery as we're in Olive Magazine this month (October issue)! Attached below is a link to the picture in the article (the Spotty Dog looks exceptionally sweet!). The article is all about people who've 'ditched their day job and turned their passion into a profession' and I was one of the lucky 5 who got to talk to Emily Kerrigan about my business. Excerpts from the article are below but go and grab yourself a copy of the brilliant mag for loads of great recipes, restaurants and food related travel pieces!

The biscuit maker
Armed with a knack for baking and
a mascot in the form of her pet Jack
Russell, Rebecca Scarlett Hedley gave
up life as a lawyer to start Scarlett & the
Spotty Dog Cakery in 2010. Within
months, delis were selling out of the
old-fashioned goodies she’d baked in her
family’s Northumberland farmhouse.
1 Be true to yourself
I was 26 when I started my biscuit
business. It took nerve to concede
that after years spent qualifying, law
wasn’t the creative role I craved. If I’d
listened to doubters telling me the market
was saturated, I would have lost faith. But
I knew my brownies and flapjacks would
stand out because I used free-range eggs
from my hens and best-quality chocolate,
and wrapped my biccies with scarlet
ribbons and spotty-dog stickers.
2 Accept all offers of help
My family was fantastic. My
parents suggested I move home
and run the business from their country
farmhouse – I earned my keep helping
with DIY. My brother, an accountant,
offered gratefully received advice.
3Set achievable targets
I stuck to small goals – the first
was persuading my favourite local
café to sell my biscuits. Bit by bit, word
spread and the Spotty Dog made its way
onto deli shelves across Northumberland.
The ultimate dream is to open my own
shop – in the meantime I’m slowly
working my way further south.
4 Get online
The internet is a tremendous tool.
The biscuits are sold in cafés as a
direct result of contacts made on Twitter,
and two of my biggest stockists – loveyour and
– are online retailers. I only wish I’d had
the confidence to approach them sooner.
5 Get the right kit
I struggled to meet demand with
my little Kenwood mixer but with
support from a brilliant small regional
business fund I’ve been able to invest in
an industrial-sized one. Everything else is
the same – me, my ethics and my dog
– except that these days, the baking sheets
are bigger and the order book a bit fatter

Olive Magazine October 2011

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Scarlett and the Spotty Dog in the Journal

We hope you might have spotted us in our local paper, the Journal, very recently! Their Food and Drink Editor did a lovely piece talking about Great Taste Award winners in the area and also wrote a full page spread using several of my very own recipes. Links to the articles are attached below and there are going to be lots more exciting press coming up shortly (I'll keep you all posted!). 

The Stars of the 2011 Great Taste Awards
Summer Cakes and Tray Bakes

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A Lovely New Stockist

I just wanted to bring you up to date with a lovely new stockist. We have started supplying the truly brilliant little village shop in Humshaugh, Northumberland. What’s special about this shop is that it’s run by the community for their community. A few years ago, the newsagents and general store was saved from shut down when the previous owners decided to retire following the controversial closure of the in store Post Office. The multi award winning shop is now run by enthusiastic volunteers from the village and sells a great range of products, from the essentials like bread and milk to truly local produce grown by keen gardeners from the village. The shop has such a lovely, bright and welcoming atmosphere-well worth a visit if you’re in the area (just don’t forget to buy one of my cakes....!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Great Taste Awards 2011

Just a quick update to share some very exciting news. I found out this week that we've been awarded 2 Gold Great Taste Awards in the 2011 GTA and we're absolutely delighted! We won the awards for our Proud to be Ginger Nuts and our Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas Pudding (which the judges described as 'excellent'). We are all really chuffed with these results and it feels like a big pat on the back!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Time for a Blooming Great Country Tea Party

We are hosting a Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party on Sunday July 10 which I'm very excited about. I'm going to take over the whole kitchen (again!) and turn it into my idea of the perfect Tea Room with lots of bunting, mismatched china and, of course, Cake! I can't wait!

I'm inviting lots of friends and family for, what I hope will be, one of many Pop Up Tea Room Events in The Secret Kitchen, in aid of some very worthwhile causes. 

I also have 4 spare places (because it's always fun to meet new people!) for anyone who would like to come along (it's free, but donations will be extremely welcome given the cause that we're supporting). So, do email me if you'd like to come along for an afternoon of Tea and Cake-come on, how can you refuse?!

Monday, 16 May 2011

American Pancakes with Strawberries and Preparations for a New Arrival

It has been a little while since my last post which I thought I should rectify today! Things have been so busy over the past couple of months that I can't believe that it's almost the middle of May. I'm slowly but surely increasing the number of lovely little places that I supply and orders are flooding in from all those fab customers from Not on the High Street-so thank you to all those who continue to support me!

Since the weather has turned so summery and bright, we've been outside doing lots of jobs-I spent most of yesterday with my brother collecting and chopping logs. Saturday was taken up with an equally fun project-planning the arrival of our newest additions: two little pigs! I am so excited as I have always wanted us to become a little more self sufficient than we are. We have the hens and the veg' plot, but I'd love to produce my own pork, so, after much discussion, we've decided to give it a go-pictures of the latest recruits to follow! But, I hope they look like these ones belonging to our friends.... 

When you're out and about in the fresh air, you need a good breakfast to set you up for the day. On Sunday, we had a plateful of American Pancakes with Strawberries and Greek Yoghurt and it kept us going all the way through to lunch-give them a go and let me know what you think

This recipe comes from BBC Food


·         135g/4¾oz plain flour
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         ½ tsp salt
·         2 tbsp caster sugar
·         130ml/4½fl oz milk
·         1 large egg, lightly beaten
·         2 tbsp melted butter (allowed to cool slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
·         Strawberries, Greek Yoghurt and some kind of Berry Jam to serve

1.    Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.
2.    Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.
3.    Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it's melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm (½in) thick.
4.    Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.
5.    Serve with lashings of Strawberries, Yoghurt and Jam

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Living North

We have had a very busy weekend at Living North Live. It has been great to meet lots of our customers and, hopefully, create lots of new fans!

Here's a picture of the stall-we've gone for a tea party theme-and we had lots of compliments on it and our banner which was painted by my very talented artist friend, Glyn.

We also had some great stall neighbours from Mmm Deli in Newcastle's Grainger Market ( and we bought lots of delicious food at the fair including some great Sicilian Olive Oil and Roasted Garlic Mayo from Mmm-mmm indeed!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Coffee and Cake in the Sunshine

Spring feels like it’s in the air these days which is great. Things are starting to come together with the business too as the New Year starts to get going. I’ve got lots of fairs planned over the next few months and I’m increasing the number of great little places that I’m supplying.

Excitingly, I’ve also started to sell a range of my cakes and biscuits online through the really brilliant website Love Your Larder ( which is, essentially, a bit like an online Farmer’s Market with lots of great producers selling gorgeous food.

I was taking quite a few pictures of my cakes last week as I wanted to take advantage of the sunny days and show them off at their best ready for the start of the online sales.
Best of all, when all the pictures have been taken, but the sun’s still shining, there’s only one thing to do which is to sit outside, drink the coffee and eat the cakes!