VETERANS donned aprons and took up their wooden spoons to see who knew their Victoria sponges from their chocolate gateaux.

To launch the fundraising Colossal Cake Sale, veterans and service personnel at Help for Heroes-run Phoenix House recovery centre in Catterick Garrison, took on the challenge to bake and ice a showstopper cake.

Six wounded, sick or injured men and women recovering at Phoenix House took part in the test, with the hope of winning a chocolate egg from the Little Chocolate Shop in Leyburn.

Stephanie Moon, chef consultant to Rudding Park in Harrogate, gave a demonstration before the baking began.

Ms Moon supports the charity’s Colossal Cake Sale, which runs from April 19 to May 5, encouraging people to bake a cake and Help our Heroes.

Alex Franks, of the Angel Share Bakery in Richmond, also demonstrated different icing techniques.

Shane McConnell, an RAF veteran, made a lemon cake.
He said: "I have learnt a few new techniques like lining the cake tins and not going too deep when you grate the lemon as you don’t want to use the pith."

Veteran Richard Piggott, who served with the Royal Artillery for 24 years, was crowned the overall winner for his Easter-themed lemon cake.

The 45-year-old, from Stanley in County Durham, said: “It’s the first cake I have made and I thought everyone else’s was better than mine.

“My son will love me even more for my cake-making skills.”

To contribute to The Northern Echo’s £100,000 appeal for a performing arts centre at Phoenix House, print out the form at, complete and send in with a cheque for Help For Heroes .

Send to Northern Echo Appeal, Phoenix House, Richmond Road, Catterick Garrison, DL9 3AW.