Amateur bakers fruitcake idea to recreate Derbyshire village using 35 whiskysoaked Christmas
“Just keep topping it up with whisky and it will be fine. It’s a secret family recipe but I recommend using butter, whisky and dark brown sugar.”On Thursday, the smaller buildings will be auctioned off, while the church will be divided up into 11 cakes for “the pensioners and needy in the village”. Reverend Louise Petheram, from the Youlgrave parish, said the project, which hopes to raise £250,000, was “a brilliant community effort”. Lynn has made the village hall, bakery, butchers and other buildingsCredit: Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press The baking began back in June with 35 fruit cakes being cut and shaped by Lynn into 16 buildings, including the village bakery, butchers, hotel, church and co-op.“The icing alone took 387 hours,” said Mrs Nolan, 59, who suffered a shoulder injury from spending so much time kneading marzipan.“In the end I had little old ladies cutting up bricks and gravel for me and another helped me with the marzipan because my shoulder became so sore. “All the bricks were put on one by one on most of the buildings, so it was very time consuming. And we had to wire up some of the houses so the tiny lights would work, feeding the wires through the marzipan walls.” “I’m not a professional baker,” said Mrs Nolan, a retired florist. “I used to work in a little shop owned by Warburtons Bakery and I would decorate cakes for them to put in their windows. But everything I know is self-taught.” The mother-of-two first mentioned the idea to a church council member and the project was quickly approved. “From there we put an advert in our church magazine appealing for ingredients and literally overnight, things started appearing on my doorstep.“I would go to take the dog out and there would be a tray of eggs on my porch or a bag with some butter and sugar, donated by locals.“We also got a mystery chap on the phone who said if there was any shortfall he would supply it, as he owned a bakery. And he would turn up with icing and marzipan.” It started off as a fundraising idea to help to restore the church roof and spiralled into a project which literally captured a village.Amateur baker Lynn Nolan spent more than six months creating a detailed model of the buildings in Youlgrave, Derbyshire, out of fruitcake.Other villagers pitched in, offering the use of their ovens to bake the 35 cakes needed and donating ingredients to help decorate the buildings. Now after months of work, and nearly 400 hours of icing, Mrs Nolan’s creation is being auctioned off next week to raise money for All Saints Church. The village bakery features tiny Battenberg and carrot cakes, presented alongside pies, buns and cheeses. Lifelike sausages and hams hang in the butcher’s shop window, while outside the George Hotel, miniature pint glasses are perched on tables and a gravel path leads to the huge cake-church.The project also features a model of Youlgrave’s Thimble Hall, the smallest detached house in the world. Made from Mrs Nolan’s family fruitcake, she said the models should last five years. The project is on show at All Saints churchCredit: Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press She said: “I am relatively new as a minister here but I have been so impressed by how the whole village has pulled together, donating ingredients and putting cakes in the oven with their Sunday roasts.”A benefactor has already donated £1,000 to the cause and Mrs Nolan is optimistic about Thursday’s auction.“People keep telling me I should apply for The Great British Bake Off,” she said. “But I’ve got 10 more cakes to make for the craft fair on Saturday, so I’m concentrating on that for now.” Lynn Nolan has recreated 16 buildings from her local village of YoulgraveCredit: Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press Thimble Hall – the smallest detached house in the worldCredit: Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press The buildings are to be auctioned off to raise money for the village churchCredit: Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.