A baker has seen an uplift in cake orders following her announcement of becoming a finalist in the National Cupcake Championships 2015. 

Mary Eastman, owner of Mary’s Fairies in Portsmouth, revealed her early success on social media and enquiries have since “gone through the roof”.

Eastman has reached the final in the Free From category with a coconut and raspberry cupcake free from both gluten and dairy. While Eastman has always received general birthday cake enquiries, getting through to the Free From final has meant she has started getting free-from customer questions as well.

Eastman said: “I used to steer clear of gluten-free baking as I was a bit wary of it, but then one of the coffee shops I supply to asked if I would consider it and I’ve built up a range over the last year or two.

“Since tweeting [about being a finalist] I’ve had a stream of enquiries. I’d bake maybe two or three for this particular coffee shop, but not for the private orders that I’m now getting enquiries for. They are coming from new people, so I’m really pleased.

“I hope it continues and I can see that side of the business is going to grow. This is an area that is going to expand – there seem to be more people wanting them.”

Eastman bakes from home and still has a permanent job four days a week. Mary’s Fairies does equal business across private sales and wholesale, supplying several coffee shops in the area.

The final of the National Cupcake Championships 2015 will take place on 14 September – the first day of National Cupcake Week – at Bakels in Bicester. The event is sponsored by Barry Callebaut, Hello and… and hosted by Bakels.