Bun Fight at Starbucks

Bun fight erupts after Starbucks trademarks the name ‘Duffin’ for their new doughnut-muffin hybrid


It is meant to be a delightfully sweet and tasty treat, but the Duffin, a doughnut – muffin hybrid, has left a very bitter taste in one pastry chef’s mouth, after Starbucks trademarked the name.

Bea Vo, owner of Bea’s of Bloomsbury, has been selling her Duffins from her four London bakeries for over two years. 

She was shocked to learn that high street coffee giants Starbucks had launched it’s own version of the snack and registered the name.

Cake off: The owner of London's Bea's bakery claims Starbucks is furious after Starbuck's trademarked the name 'Duffin'

Cake off: The owner of London’s Bea’s bakery claims Starbucks is furious after Starbuck’s trademarked the name ‘Duffin’


The Bea’s of Bloomsbury Duffin uses a buttermilk and nutmeg batter which is baked and stuffed with raspberry jam before being dipped in melted butter and then dusted with sugar.

The Starbucks version, which was developed by their pastry suppliers Rich’s Products also uses nutmeg and buttermilk and is injected with raspberry jam, however it foregoes the butter dip process.


She told ABC news: ‘I didn’t really give it too much thought until I found out their version of the duffin also contains raspberry jam, nutmeg and buttermilk.

‘My recipe, which was published in my cookbook back in August 2011, is the only one out there to carry all of those traits. Doughnut muffins have been around for a while, Nigella Lawson even has them in her first cookbook — but the style of mine, that is what makes it unique.

‘What makes a Duffin characteristic is that it’s dipped in melted butter and then rolled in sugar. The Starbucks version doesn’t even bother with the dipping in melted butter. By all accounts it isn’t even a true doughnut-muffin — it’s a jam-filled muffin.’


Ms Vo has described theirs as being an inferior version of her recipe.

In a statement Starbucks’ vice-president for marketing and category Ian Cranna, said: ‘Since launching, we have discovered there are other Duffins out there in the UK, including at Bea’s of Bloomsbury… however we’d like to make it clear that neither Starbucks nor Rich’s Products has suggested to Bea’s of Bloomsbury that they will attempt to stop them selling their own Duffins.’


The Starbuck's Duffin
Bea's of Billingham Duffin

The Starbuck’s Duffin (left) uses a very similar recipe to the Bea’s of Billingham Duffin (right)


However Starbucks said they had no idea that other Duffins were being sold or that anyone was using the name.

They claimed to have conducted an ‘extensive’ online search as well as a full trademark search for the name but had drawn a blank. 

‘Inspired by our muffins, we sat together with our bakers and pondered how you could make a muffin go one step further,’ their marketing department claimed.

However Ms Vo remains entirely unconvinced, pointing out that a quick google search will reveal dozens of refernces and recipes for Duffins, including her own.

She told the Independent: ‘Starbucks maintains its original account that its invention is a unique invention and that it did an extensive online search for the word duffin and found nothing and as a result their supplier trademarked that name. I think that’s rubbish.

‘I would love to see  the emails between Starbucks and Rich’s Products during the birth of their invention.’  

The Top Ten Toasters for your Bread


Two top British brands – Dualit and Emma Bridgewater – have joined forces to create this pleasingly chintzy hand-built toaster that will last you for years. Available in a two- or four-slice version, it includes a defrost setting and extra wide slots for hand-cut toast.

From £99.99, lakeland.co.uk


From fuchsia pink to apple green, this compact and curvy toaster comes in a range of funky colours. It’s quite slow, so it’s not one for those who have to rush off in the mornings, but it toasts everything from bagels to crumpets.

£14.99, argos.co.uk


Bread doesn’t get more evenly toasted than this, even when cooked from frozen. This solid, retro-style toaster also boasts plenty of colour options, although be warned: the stainless steel one is tricky to clean.

From £100, amazon.co.uk


If you want a few curved lines in your kitchen, this high-performance toaster comes in a range of colours and finishes, and includes bagel, defrost, cancel, reheat and high-lift functions, as well as extra-wide slots, even browning, a slide-out crumb tray and cord storage.

From £49.99, lakeland.co.uk


This stylish toaster from German brand Graef, which comes in a two- or four-slice model, fits everything from crumpets and tea cakes to chunky slices of home-made bread – and thanks to the long slots, you don’t get tips of bread sticking out of the top, remaining irritatingly unbrowned.

From £75.95, amara.com


This is simple to use and gets good results – all you need in the morning. Features include variable browning controls, a frozen-bread setting and a reheat function. Most bread slices fit into the deep slots, with the exception of extra-wide bread such as a bloomer slice.

£40, tesco.com


Breville’s Opula is a nifty little machine: the four-slice toaster has a variable browning control ( so you can get your slice of white just right) and, if you like your bread thick and handcut in the morning, there’s a variable slot to accommodate even the fattest wedges of bread. It also features handy defrost and reheat functions, plus a high lift for easy toast extraction.

£35, debenhams.com


Add a touch of glamour to breakfast time with this eye-catching four-slice toaster that works equally well with fresh and frozen bread. Available in black or white, it features a high-lift carriage and a bun warmer and has both defrost and reheat settings.

£44.99, johnlewis.com


You could be forgiven for assuming this see-through, two-slice toaster is a gimmick. But engineers spent 15 years perfecting it, so it browns bread perfectly and the controls are easy to use. Mind you, the transparent sides mean you can see all the crumbs inside.

£160, houseoffraser.co.uk


Bring a splash of colour to your kitchen with this great-value, two-tone toaster. It has blue illumination control buttons, plus all the usual features you’d expect, along with a bun warmer for heating pastries and bread.

£24.99, uk.russellhobbs.com

Sad Ending for another Bakery

Final bread baked at Channel Island Bakery and Warry’s Bakery

The final loaves of bread have been baked by Jersey’s Channel Island Bakery and Warry’s Bakery in Guernsey.

The bakeries – both operated by Cimandis – made their last batches of loaves on Friday and they have since been distributed.

The company announced the closures last month and confirmed earlier that production had stopped.

A spokesman said competition from cheaper, imported bread had led to the decision to close the operations.

The bakeries employed 44 staff in Jersey and 36 in Guernsey.

‘State of flux’

Mario Pirozzollo, from Empire Catering in Jersey, said 60% of his company’s bread supply had come from Cimandis.

He said his costs would inevitably rise as a result of having to import greater quantities.

“We’re in a state of flux at the moment,” he said.

“The freight charge to get a pallet of bread over is quite considerable, bearing in mind that bread is very low density.”

Mr Pirozzollo said he would freeze more imported bread in order to ensure he could continue to supply his customers.

Wheat Harvest

Big drop in wheat volumes predicted

30 September, 2013

The English wheat harvest is likely to be just 11.74m tonnes this year, according to estimates from Defra, a fall of almost 10% compared to last year.

Defra’s June survey, published last week, revealed that total wheat plantings for 2013 in England were down 19%, from 1.86 million hectares to 1.51m hectares, the smallest area since the early 1980s. Plantings were hampered by poor weather last autumn, a situation that means this year’s harvest is likely to be well below the 13m tonnes produced last year.

However, the National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU’s) 2013 Harvest Survey said yields were up 16% from 6.7 to 7.8 tonnes per hectare.

According to the NFU combinable crops board chairman Andrew Watts, the fall in production would lead to above-normal volumes of wheat imports for the second year running. However, the high quality meant much more of what has been harvested would be of value to the food industry this year.

“Farmers worked really hard to get this year’s crop up and running, but with planting down by 19%, I’m not surprised overall wheat production is down,” he said. “Many arable farmers are still working under the shadow of 2012’s appalling weather and the knock-on impact this has had. For most, the problem is now in the office; working to balance the books, cover production costs and, looking ahead to next year, I’m hoping we can move on to a more positive outlook.”

The NFU said that, as a net importer of food, the UK must start to produce more itself and called on government to deliver on its promises to improve long-neglected agricultural research and knowledge exchange to help weather-proof British crops.

“A reverse in the decline of spend for agricultural R&D is crucial if we are to increase production and impact less on the environment in years to come, particularly if extreme weather events become more frequent,” said Watts. “Innovation and technology are vital in keeping crops healthy and resilient, yet this technology has been under a sustained and unwarranted attack recently, and the impacts could be grave for the industry.

“The last thing we want is for legislators to regulate the UK and EU out of arable production by undermining access to pesticides and products that will be vital to protect the crops of the future.”

– See more at: http://www.bakeryinfo.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/11902/Big_drop_in_wheat_volumes_predicted.html#sthash.IbL6RMIJ.dpuf


The big question is this..do people like entering competitions and being bombarded with free giveaway tweets and Facebook competitions. There are loads of them about and I must admit I have been guilty of putting a good few on social media myself. I have used it as a way of getting customers to follow me and my bakery brand Bakestone. It has been successful on my part till recently. The interest in recent competition entries has fallen, so is it that the prize value isn’t aspirational enough or the wrong prize in the first place? comments would really be appreciated.


Scones are traditionally served with jam and cream for Afternoon Tea. With our fantastic, simple recipe you can enjoy tasty homemade scones at any time. Enjoy them plain or for a fruity twist add sultanas or glacier cherries.

Makes 15 5cm scones, 30 minutes prep, 10-15 minutes cooking

*225g plain white flour
*15g baking flour
*40g caster sugar
*50g butter, chopped into small cubes
*150ml milk
*½tsp salt
*Optional additional ingredients: 75g sultanas or 75g roughly chopped glacier cherries


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, then sieve together the flour, salt, and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl.
2. Rub in the butter using your fingertips until a consistency of ground almonds has been achieved. If you are adding sultanas of cherries stir them in now.
3. Make a well in the centre and slowly start to add the milk whilst mixing gently with a wooden spoon and then combine the ingredients together to form a smooth paste.
4. Leave the mix to rest for ten minutes in a bowl covered with cling film.
5. Then roll out the mix on a lightly floured surface to approximately 15mm thick, then take a 5cm cutter and start cutting out the scones then place the scones on baking tray lined with baking paper (or a silicone mat of you have one) and rest for a further ten minutes.
6. Carefully brush the scones with egg wash (simply made from whisking an egg) then place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown in colour.
7. Remove from the oven and allow the scones to cool on a cooling wire. Serve whilst still warm with butter or for an even sweeter treat serve with jam and cream, yum!

Donut Fight

It promises to be battle that will delight those of a sweet-tooth persuasion.

Dunkin’ Donuts is to square up to Krispy Kreme in what promises to be an epic clash of the fried dough treat.

The US chain is making a return to Britain 20 years after it first tried to break into the UK market.

The rise of coffee chains such as Costa and Coffee Republic in recent years has tempted the business to return to these shores for another try.

Dunkin’ Donuts last attempt to break into the UK market ended in failure, and it pulled out in the mid-1990s.

It has agreed deals with two franchise partners to launch 50 restaurants in London over the next five years, with talks ongoing over a possible further 100 branches across the UK.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2419826/Dunkin-Donuts-Krispy-Kreme-bid-crack-UK-market-20-years-pulling-Britain.html#ixzz2eqxgPrGL 
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