O Crumb, All Ye Faithful: Baker makes nativity cake masterpiece to help school

A Youlgrave baker has given an early Christmas gift to the village school after creating a jaw-dropping nativity scene in cake form to fundraise for playground refurbishments.

Lynn Nolan, 61, has spent six months crafting her vision of biblical Bethlehem over 18 square feet and 50 kilograms of icing, 50kg of marzipan, 240 eggs and four litres of whiskey.

Cake maker extraordinaire Lynn Nolan with her Bethlehem nativity masterpiece.

The project follows Lynn’s previous masterpiece, a scale model of Youlgrave itself, which raised more than £11,000 at auction last Christmas to repair the church roof.

She said: “When I finished the village model last year I said never again, but people kept asking me this year if I was going to do another one.

“When you actually see the size of it you think ‘oh my God’. Who knows what they’ll have me baking next year.”

The cake is currently on display in the village shop, and the 20 component fruitcakes will be auctioned at the Bulls Head Hotel on Wednesday, December 20, at 7.30pm.

The scene includes more than 20 characters and stable animals.

The owners of the shop helped Lynn by donating ingredients, with local branches of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons also supporting the estimated cost of £850.

The baking was carried out by numerous village residents, with pupils at the school lending a hand too.

Shopkeeper Lisa Bingham said: “I think it’s an amazing piece of work, and a real community effort. Every morning I come in and see something new in it. The attention to detail is exceptional.

“It’s quite moving. We’ve had customers come in to see it and leave in tears. Everyone has been stunned.”

It took Lynn and her team of assistants nearly six months to make.

The scene depicts an entire street of LED candle-lit houses and market stalls selling blankets, spices, breads and meats, and more than 20 characters.

Youlgrave All Saints’ Primary School headteacher Heather Stelling said: “It’s a phenomenal piece of work, and has made an impact on the whole community.

“I think it’s even more impressive than last year’s cake, given it’s on a hillside and includes so many details. We feel very lucky to have Lynn’s help.”

The school is aiming to raise £60,000 to transform its outdoor learning environment in 2018 with a stage, exercise equipment, climbing wall, and sensory garden.

For more information, visit www.youlgraveallsaints.co.uk/fundraising.

Donations and auction bids can be submitted via the shop, open seven days a week.

Lisa Bingham of Youlgrave's village shop is providing a temporary home cake Bethlehem

More from News