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Honeybuns Bakery and the mystery of the Shawn Mendes Muffins

Take a peek behind the scenes of Honeybuns bakery on Shawn Mendes Muffin Fun day

Hi there,

Crumbs, what a week we’ve had here at the Honeybuns bakery HQ in Dorset.…and it’s only Tuesday….

They say necessity is the mother of all invention. I’d expand that to something like, “necessity, lashings of tea and the tightest of media deadlines help to speed invention along”. On Monday morning, early doors, we received a phone call from Heart Radio seeking a Dorset cake, custom made to gift to Shawn Mendes the very next day. Honeybuns bakery seemed like a natural fit as Shawn has family living in our gorgeous county and Heart Radio wanted something special to remind him of home.
Shawn Mendes apple muffin logo

Normally, on a Monday we’re working through our regular weekly orders for our trade customers and online cake delivery service. Everything runs to a tight schedule with little room for error. I remember saying on the phone, “Yep, no problem at all, we can invent a new recipe this afternoon, bake it and have it ready for 5am tomorrow”. My long suffering colleague slowly shook her head and went to pop the kettle on.

After a couple of cups of tea we were up for this one of a kind Shawn Mendes Muffin Fun challenge. This involved us:

- doing a Zoom call with the shonkiest of mobile coverage

- dissuading our lurcher, Bruno, from photo bombing the afore mentioned zoom meeting

- creating an edible new recipe, getting it online and sorting out some Shawn Mendes bespoke packaging all in 12 hours.

The pressure was on and the tea was flowing. As was the adrenaline…..

The inspiration behind the Shawn Mendes Muffin Recipe

The inspiration for the new muffin came quite naturally to be fair. We’d been working on a new gluten free carrot cake for a customer. This was our logical starting point as we knew this cake worked both in a muffin and a tray bake format. We’d been tipped off that Shawn was especially partial to a muffin and that he was gluten intolerant. If we could swap the carrot for Dorset apples then we’d be on our way to meeting the challenge.

These new muffins, if they worked, would be:

- gluten free

- made with Dorset apples

- made with almond flour. After some background research we’d discovered one of Shawn’s favourite foods was almonds.

Emma holding Shawn Mendes gluten free apple muffins

The Shawn Mendes Muffin bake off

New product development at Honeybuns bakery can be a fraught process at times. It would be accurate to say we’re a little obsessive on the detail. This time we had the advantage of being able to adapt a reliable recipe so things were simpler. The first oven bake off session went well, I just needed to reduce the apple content a bit as the mixture was a little too wet. Normally we’d look to do 4 or 5 bake offs but we only needed to do two this time. Everything seemed to be falling in to place. I was happy baking in the kitchen and my colleague was busy sorting out the Shawn Mendes muffin announcement on our website and liaising with Heart Radio on the packaging front.

The Mystery of Shawn Mendes Missing muffins

I left the two batches of muffins to cool down ready to take over to the office. We needed to present the muffins via a Zoom chat with Shawn early the next morning. I must stress here that we carry out our product development in our bakery for any products that are going to be eaten. These muffins were for display only, so I chose to make them in my home kitchen. This meant I didn’t have to bother our busy production team to make them specially.

This seemed logical. I bake lots at home any way and I could quietly crack on and get these muffins sorted in my own time. It would be a fun challenge. It was fun….until the muffins disappeared.

My son then came through to tell me my buns had been “yummy”.

I slowly walked to the other side of the kitchen and popped the kettle back on.

Honeybuns bakery’s ground breaking Zoom call with Shawn Mendes

I was managing to stay fairly calm on Tuesday morning. The “third time lucky” batch of muffins were looking lovely. The packaging was fun and fab as per the brief from Heart Radio and we were all set to go on air with an international megastar residing In Cali-forn-eye-A.

I was trying not to dwell on the fact that Shawn Medes has 30 odd million followers on Instagram and that our higgeldy piggedly Honeybuns office was going to be on view to Mr Mendes fans worldwide. I also pushed from my mind the fact I was still wearing my wellies (from having mucked the donkeys out)….no one can see that on Zoom anyway apparently.

The heart radio team were superb at helping us overcome all the technical zoom issues. Shawn himself couldn’t have been kinder and easier to talk to. I was feeling my age and fighting the urge to tell him what a nice young man he was ….when I noticed our rescue lurcher, Bruno at the office window….live on air.

Bruno has form for “getting stuck into” our marketing efforts. He managed to demolish a gluten free seeded loaf in one of our early online baking videos. This time he was threatening to photo bomb our once in a lifetime Shawn Mendes Muffin moment.

Then….from the darkness came a familiar figure in a tatty dressing gown. At 6.05 am just as we were about to do the bespoke muffin reveal, my husband called Bruno back into the house and saved the day. I could, quite literally, have cried. It had all been such a whirlwind for our humble bakery. Rising to the challenges of missing muffins, shocking mobile coverage, my ineptitude with Zoom and the freaking dog trying to get in on the action.

Time for a brew.

Listen to the radio interview with Shawn, Emma and the Heart Breakfast team Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston:

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- Emma Goss Custard

Bake your own Shawn Mendes Muffins at home with the special Shawn Mendes Muffin recipe.
This gluten free Dorset Apple Cake recipe from Honeybuns Gluten free Baking book is a wonderful celebration of the humble apple. 
If you prefer you can buy our gluten free and vegan Apple Crumble Bar Traybake. Ready made, no baking required. 

COMMENT BELOW and share what you think about this apple muffin recipe! And do be sure to share it with a friend. Thanks for reading!

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