THIS is the real Great British Bake Off – the eight-year-old Cub Scout who baked more than 30 lemon drizzle cakes to raise £400 for his troop.
Wil Jenkinson mixed, baked and sold his now-famous cakes door-to-door around Chinnor, near Thame, to help pay for a new trailer for the Chinnor Cub Scouts.
In return, he was presented with the 1st Chinnor Scouts’ top honour – the Graham Gedge Award for outstanding achievement.
He began baking when he learnt that two Scout leaders were taking on the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for their much-needed camping trailer.
Wil said: “I really like helping the Cub community, and I wanted to get involved. I thought if I did this they wouldn’t have to keep on climbing mountains.”
For more than two months in the summer, twice a week Wil would come home from school, bake a cake, and go out selling slices door-to-door.
He even baked one most weekends.
Wil’s mum, Katya Barnett, 41, said: “He wouldn’t just make a normal loaf size, these were slabs – we would get about 30 slices out of one cake.
“He would be in uniform, and he would make his little speech at the door. Wil loves to meet people.
“The average donation per slice was £1, but on one occasion a kindly gentleman who did not fancy a slice of cake donated a £10 note anyway.”
The Graham Gedge Award presented to Wil was established in memory of one of Chinnor’s Scout Leaders who gave years of dedicated service to the group.
The Cub Scouts’ group actually bought the trailer before the summer with a loan from the Chinnor Scouts’ accountant, and since then have been fundraising to repay the loan.
The Three Peaks Challenge raised about £700, Chinnor Parish Council donated a further £800 and, with various fundraising initiatives, the group has almost repaid the loan, but Wil’s contribution still stands out.
His Akela, Martin Richardson, said: “To think someone of that age could care so much – I could not have been prouder if he had been my own son.”
RECIPE - WIL’S LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE
12oz caster sugar
4 drops of lemon essence
12oz self raising flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 Tablespoons of caster sugar
1. Beat together the butter and caster sugar until creamy.
2. Add the lemon essence, beaten eggs and whisk until it resembles double cream.
3. Sieve the flour and baking powder.
4. Pour the mixture into the sieved flour and baking powder and fold.
5. Line a baking tin 40x30cm 4cm deep with greaseproof paper.
6. Pour the cake mixture into the baking tin and put into a pre heated oven gas mark 5 for 25 minutes.
7. Check it is cooked by putting a skewer into the centre of the cake; if it comes out clean it is cooked.
8. Take the cake out of the oven and prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick.
9. Mix together in a saucepan the juice of two lemons and the caster sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then pour all over the cake and wait for the cake to cool (this is extremely hard to do in our house, says Wil, so we sometimes have a small slice while it is still warm!)