We have been baking for well over 30 years, yet the transformation of commonplace ingredients into extraordinary creations still feels like an act of alchemy to us. Of course, a baker’s key currency is time, so we are keen to spend ours wisely.
At our bakery, deep in the English countryside, we daily measure, mix, bake, ice, embellish and pack every single cake entirely by hand. Because, for us, the shortcut has little appeal. Drag right to see our timeline.
The first fruit cake!
Kishore & Fiona go skiing with friends to Wengen and take 8 mini fruit cakes as Christmas gifts, made at home and baked in baked bean cans!
A business is born
Kishore has the idea to turn this into a business and Fiona Cairns Ltd is born.
First order - The Conran Shop
72 mini Christmas cakes, 72 iced gingerbread trees. All made at the kitchen table
Kishore persuades Fiona to go and see Harrods, a regular monthly order is established with delivery every Friday.
The bakery girls are taken to London and for tea at the Ritz – inspiration for many years of baking and a new regular customer!
Through a rock & roll catering company we have made countless cakes over the years for Paul McCartney, Bono and Simply Red.
Kishore has the vision to grow!
Kishore converts their outhouse into a bakery and stocks with 4 Neff ovens. This allows for weekly orders from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges & Next.
This very special partnership begins, in a small way – we start supplying 6 celebration cakes to Waitrose stores. The partnership grows tremendously over the years.
Fleckney & Kishore
The first warehouse in Fleckney is bought and production starts on a big scale! (We have since taken over 6 further units in the estate!)
Kishore sees this as a time to leave his daily commute and job in London to manage Fiona Cairns Ltd full time.
The Fiona Cairns Fairy Cake!
Kishore cracks the fairy cake, Fiona Cairns Ltd becomes well known for the iconic product. Still being one of the most popular products today.
A second unit is bought to accommodate production and the enormous success of this product continues…
Let them eat cake!
We truly take Paris by storm – we start supplying Le Bon Marche. This proves a great press story – an English company supplying cakes to the land of the boulangerie!!
Bake & Decorate
Fiona’s first book is published. ‘Bake & Decorate’ pioneers the idea of making tea time treats look beautiful through simple yet effective decorating methods.
The Royal Wedding
In 2011, we were privileged to be asked to create the Royal Wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It was, of course, the ultimate project for us as designers and cake makers.
The Birthday Cake Book
Fiona’s second book – later to be re-named Celebration Cakes – contains recipes for show-stopping centrepiece cakes. So much fun to create and the cakes are continually enjoyed by many on occasions to celebrate.
The Weekend Mail
Fiona begins to write recipes for The Weekend Mail. This is the beginning of a wonderful friendship and together with the Weekend Mail team Fiona has developed many delicious recipes and fabulous seasonal pull-outs.
Harrods window - The Queen's Jubilee
By now we truly love celebrating all things Royal, so were thrilled to be involved in the Queen’s Jubilee by making 28,000 cakes under the Heston brand for the Jubilee picnic. We also made the crown cake pictured, which was displayed in Harrods window.
The Home of Fabulous Cakes
This is Fiona’s first foray into television, presenting a baking series for daytime ITV.
Prince George's Christening
The top tiers of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake were enjoyed at the Christening of their first son, Prince George.
The Fiona Cairns NPD team win the Waitrose Product Innovation Award. Rachel Eardley collected the prize for creating the most fantastic ice cream cupcakes.
Seasonal Baking is published, an absolutely beautiful book celebrating baking throughout the seasons. Fiona collaborated with fantastic photographer Dan Jones, who brought the book alive with his beautiful images. We were especially pleased to be endorsed by Delia Smith!
We were thrilled with the fantastic commission to create fairy cakes for a Dior Couture pop-up shop in Harrods. These limited edition cakes were decorated with a bespoke Dior design and boxed up beautifully.
Cakes for troops
One of the more adventurous destinations for our cakes! Sending Christmas cakes out to Afghanistan was well appreciated by the troops of The Royal Irish Regiment!
It was an absolute honour to give a talk at the V&A – Fiona and Rachel were asked to speak about the history of wedding cakes. The Royal Wedding cake story has captured the imaginations of many and by now Fiona is spending time travelling the country recounting it.
Here is Kishore and Fiona cutting their wedding cake!
Princess Charlotte's Christening
Following her brother’s Christening, tiers from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake were again enjoyed at Princess Charlotte’s Christening at Sandringham.
Queen's 90th Birthday
We collaborated with Harrods, creating the most wonderful afternoon tea to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Royal themed cakes and biscuits were designed and despatched down to London to serve 90 covers a day.
Prince Louis's Christening
Following with tradition, we were delighted to create the Christening cake for Prince Louis.
Another Royal Wedding
In May, we felt very honoured to be asked to create the Royal wedding cake for Lady Gabriella Windsor & Thomas Kingston. A wonderful occasion for a beautiful couple!