Dripping cakes still on the menu at one Cheltenham cafe
DRIPPING cakes may not be as popular as they were, but one Cheltenham woman is determined to keep the sweet-tasting tradition alive.
While eclairs and cupcakes may have eclipsed the Gloucestershire delicacy in recent years, Sue Betteridge is still dishing up 'drippers.'
And her expertise in the cake, which is made from dripping, flour, brown sugar, spices, currents and raisins, is no accident.
She picked up tips from father Lyndon 'Crusty' Williams, who was known throughout the town for his baking ability.
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Sue, who runs the Royal Well Cafe in Crescent Terrace with her husband Bruce, said dripping cakes used to be available across the town.
She said: "In my dad's time, it wasn't anything special as there were so many bakers around in Cheltenham - Gardener's, Leopold's, Hand's.
"There were lots of little bakers but now there is only us left making them in Cheltenham.
"My father has been gone for 30 years now but we have carried on in his ways. Making a dripping cake comes through time and experience."
"Bruce and I got our first shop in 1969 and my dad had just retired so he came and showed us how to make it then."
Sue admitted that the cakes were more popular with the more mature generation.
She added: "When you imagine dripping, you think of animal fat but nowadays it is vegetable fat being used instead.
"They certainly are not for the health conscious.
"It is mainly the older generation who tend to buy dripping cake; the youngsters go more for the fancy cupcakes.
"But we have stuck to the traditional types of cake."
Sue said many people in the town still remembered her father, who lived in Tivoli.
"He was incredibly well-known around Cheltenham," she said. "We used to deliver door-to-door all around the town.
"He had five vans on the road. I remember times when he would go out with the bread and run out before the end of the run."