For Valentine’s Day, meet the kings and queens of lockdown baking!

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For Valentine’s Day, meet the kings and queens of lockdown baking!

From well-established enterprises to micro businesses launched in lockdown, baking has never been bigger

Talya Masher, Dr Sourdough
Talya Masher, Dr Sourdough

Lola’s and cupcake go together like Valentine’s Day and… well, cupcakes!

Lola’s has been synonymous with beautifully decorated, sweet-flavoured, mouth-watering baked treats since it was founded in 2006.

Back in pre-pandemic days, even walking into a Lola’s store or past a Lola’s concession stand was a treat as there was so much prettiness to look at and sometimes even tasters on offer of the newest flavours.

Vanilla and chocolate unicorn cupcakes, anyone?

The first concession was in Selfridges and then a flagship store opened in Mayfair. 

The brand has now grown to 20 stores and concessions, plus a number of collection lockers where people can pick up their orders.

Since the first lockdown last March, there has been a grocery department within Lola’s to give people access to superb quality fresh fruit and vegetables, delivered.

Meanwhile, Lola’s baked goodies are being delivered seven days a week, while several stores remain open for people to browse goodies and collect orders, including Brent Cross, Selfridges Foodhall and the Lola’s Bakery in West Hampstead. 

Nothing says I love you like a brownie

“It’s a given that people will be looking for fun things to do to mark Valentine’s Day, and while this can be a challenge even in normal times, the strict lockdown could mean trouble in paradise!” says head of marketing Adam Doffman.

“The amazing team has developed and expanded our range to reflect couples’ new situations – they will either be staying in together to celebrate or connecting from different households using technology.”

Ready for Valentine’s Day?

In addition to the iconic cupcakes and brownies, Lola’s has added cupcake and cake-decorating kits and a Valentine’s hamper to the range, both with UK-wide delivery.

“We hope all the lovebirds out there enjoy our new range and, if you’re single, what better way to celebrate this than with a fresh and delicious Lola’s?” says Adam. 

The Lola’s Valentine’s range also features heart-shaped Belgian chocolate cookies and brownies, expertly arranged flowers, and gorgeous Valentine-themed layer cakes and vegan layer cakes.

Create your own message cakes


There has been an explosion of home bakers during the  year of lockdown – and some have managed to turn what  was once just a hobby into a lucrative business

Matty’s Kitchen

Matty Caplin started his baking life five years ago aged 16 at Karma Bread in Hampstead. He left to start up on his own last March and sells under

He specialises in chocolate tea cakes – large chocolates filled with various flavour marshmallow fluffs on a biscuit base – plus a wide variety of cookies, brownies and cakes.

Follow Matty’s Kitchen on Insta:

Bestselling products: Lotus white chocolate tea cake – a white chocolate Lotus chocolate shell, vanilla marshmallow fluff, liquid Biscoff and a Lotus biscuit base – and Kinder Bueno stuffed cookie, which is filled with a white chocolate hazelnut crème and topped with Kinder!

Best thing about being a baker: Being creative – and getting to eat my bakes every day!

Proudest moment: Fulfilling my Chanukah and Christmas orders. During the final week of December, I baked 800 tea cakes and more than 1,000 cookies. I also baked and delivered mince pies to the elderly who were spending Christmas alone, and seeing their faces light up really warmed my heart!

Biggest baking disaster: Nothing yet! I live in fear of dropping a tray of tea cakes.  

Baking inspiration: Abigail at ‘Le Choux’ who recently opened her own shop. I am also inspired by Edd Kimber, also known as The Boy Who Bakes. He won the first ever season of the Great British Bake Off.

It’s the end of a busy day – you’ve hung up your apron and you sit down to watch TV… what do you eat?

Give me a platter of sushi and sashimi (with a side of cookies) and I will be a very happy boy! 


Read the food supplement here!


Doctor Sourdough

Talya Masher is a junior doctor on maternity leave. With a newborn baby, two other kids, home-schooling and piles of washing, she needed an outlet during lockdown. She was drawn to the scientific nature of sourdough and started experimenting. As @doctor.sourdough, she now bakes kosher breads, focaccias, crackers, pizzas, cinnamon buns, babkas, pancakes and banana loaves. 

Talya Masher, Dr Sourdough

Bestselling products: Raisin and walnut loaf, rosemary and garlic focaccia, chocolate babka and cinnamon buns. 

Best thing about being a baker: I love being in charge of my own baking schedule compared to relentless hospital shifts.

Proudest moment: I made a loaf with edible flowers (pictured above) that was shared by many sourdough bloggers and baking accounts on Instagram. But even more satisfying is the constant support and feedback from my customers. There
has been a rush in the past few weeks
 to stock freezers in preparation of my return to real doctoring! 

Biggest baking disaster: During the summer heatwave, every loaf was coming out flat.
 It was a steep learning curve to discover how sourdough is so dependent on variables such as temperature. 

Baking Inspiration: My mum, who has taught me everything I know in the kitchen (and started her own Instagram account, @on.the.kob, during lockdown). 

It’s the end of a busy day – you’ve hung up your apron and you sit down to watch TV… what do you eat? I can never resist a sourdough cheese toastie. 

A loaf made by Dr Sourdough


Tamo’s treats

Tamsin Sacks started baking for friends and family during the first lockdown and by lockdown #3 had given up uni to concentrate on this full-time @tamostreats.  She makes celebration cakes, cookies, brownies, and desserts.

Bestselling products: Treat boxes and cupcakes for  sending to friends and family. People love my lemon meringue and chocolate brownie cupcakes.

Tamsin Sacks

Best thing about being a baker: You never give anybody a cake to make them sad. I love seeing people’s reactions. 

Proudest moment: Getting to a point where I could turn Tamo’s Treats into my full-time job not just a hobby. 

Biggest baking disaster: I made a birthday cake for my best friend and, as I was taking it out the car, I dropped it…
I was mortified. 

Baking inspiration? Matt Adlard and Georgia Green (Georgia’s Cakes). Their YouTube tutorials helped me so much
(and still do). 

It’s the end of a busy day –  you’ve hung up your apron and you sit down to watch TV… what do you eat?

I’m absolutely obsessed with Yarden’s schnitzels. My dad calls me Shnitz.

Tamo’s treats !


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