6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today CLICK HERE

Elizabeth May - sweet treats at a quirky cake shop in Chorley

14:38 13 February 2012

Mum and daughter team Susan Elizabeth Millar and Margaret May Lees in their new cake and chocolate parlour

Mum and daughter team Susan Elizabeth Millar and Margaret May Lees in their new cake and chocolate parlour

Expect quirky, out of the ordinary delights from a cake shop in Chorley on Valentine's Day. Emma Mayoh reports PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON

William and Finley Millar dont need to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The five and three-year-old only need to visit their mums cake and chocolate parlour in Chorley. Over the next few weeks Susan Elizabeth Millar and her mum, Margaret May Lees, who run Elizabeth May Cakes, will be working on a window display that will look like it has been lifted straight from the film set.


Huge, intricate cakes will be surrounded by chocolate snowdrops and daffodils sprouting from the ground alongside a chocolate waterfall and river teeming with chocolate frogs. As the seasons change, so will the cake and chocolate goodies.

I want it to be a real talking point, said Susan Elizabeth. Were a bit quirky and perhaps a bit strange in our approach to our cakes and we want people to see that. We already have a traffic jam outside here in the mornings. We want it to be fun, not only for people to look at, but for us to create too.

I was watching the film with the boys not long ago and they said you can make that mummy, so I guess the challenge is on.

Susan Elizabeth, who lives in Coppull, has always baked and learned her skills from her nanna, Betty Lawrenson. As a child she also loved creating and making things. But she chose to study business, finance and tourism and worked for holiday company Haven in Blackpool and North Wales. It was only after the birth of her sons she started to think about her next move. In 2009, she set up Little Lancashire Cupcakes in 2009 selling at farmers markets and wedding fairs.

Susan said: Being a mum was the most important thing, it still is, but I also wanted something to do for me. I did baking with the boys and people started telling me to give it a go professionally. It was like Id finally found what I was meant to be doing.

As more request for cakes came in Susan Elizabeth trained to be a chocolatier at Slatterys in Prestwich. Last year she joined forces with her mum, former Chorley councillor Margaret May, to set up the cake and chocolate parlour in Lyons Lane. Dad Richard also helps out with delivering the cakes and despite only being open for a few weeks, the orders are coming in thick and fast.

Between them the mother and daughter make dozens of different cakes including Mars delight, red velvet, marble and white chocolate and strawberry cupcakes as well as rocky road and cake pops. The large cakes are also as varied with everything from pretty wedding cakes covered in hundreds of tiny sugar paste flowers to a birthday cake made to look like a roast chicken dinner. They also made a cake for Gordon Burns when he retired from North West Tonight and they make lots of chocolates, from a solid one kilo block in the shape of a meerkat to chocolate shoes.

Many of the recipes have been concocted by Susan Elizabeth who has taught them to her mum. But there are a few treasured family ones that they are also using including a mincemeat recipe from Susan Elizabeths great grandma and a sponge cake from her nanna.

As well as baking delicious cakes Susan and Margaret also want to try and combat stereotypes they believe Chorley is sometimes victim to.

Margaret, also from Coppull, said: There seems to be this criticism that the town is full of banks, building societies and charity shops. But this is not the case. There are a lot of long-standing businesses here that are proud of being in the town and make it a place to be proud of.

Were very pleased to be able to join those businesses but we also hope that we might attract more into the town too. Chorley is a fantastic place and we want more people to see how good it is.


William and Finley Millar dont need to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The five and three-year-old only need to visit their mums cake and chocolate parlour in Chorley. Over the next few weeks Susan Elizabeth Millar and her mum, Margaret May Lees, who run Elizabeth May Cakes, will be working on a window display that will look like it has been lifted straight from the film set.

Huge, intricate cakes will be surrounded by chocolate snowdrops and daffodils sprouting from the ground alongside a chocolate waterfall and river teeming with chocolate frogs. As the seasons change, so will the cake and chocolate goodies.

I want it to be a real talking point, said Susan Elizabeth. Were a bit quirky and perhaps a bit strange in our approach to our cakes and we want people to see that. We already have a traffic jam outside here in the mornings. We want it to be fun, not only for people to look at, but for us to create too.

I was watching the film with the boys not long ago and they said you can make that mummy, so I guess the challenge is on.

Susan Elizabeth, who lives in Coppull, has always baked and learned her skills from her nanna, Betty Lawrenson. As a child she also loved creating and making things. But she chose to study business, finance and tourism and worked for holiday company Haven in Blackpool and North Wales. It was only after the birth of her sons she started to think about her next move. In 2009, she set up Little Lancashire Cupcakes in 2009 selling at farmers markets and wedding fairs.

Susan said: Being a mum was the most important thing, it still is, but I also wanted something to do for me. I did baking with the boys and people started telling me to give it a go professionally. It was like Id finally found what I was meant to be doing.

As more request for cakes came in Susan Elizabeth trained to be a chocolatier at Slatterys in Prestwich. Last year she joined forces with her mum, former Chorley councillor Margaret May, to set up the cake and chocolate parlour in Lyons Lane. Dad Richard also helps out with delivering the cakes and despite only being open for a few weeks, the orders are coming in thick and fast.

Between them the mother and daughter make dozens of different cakes including Mars delight, red velvet, marble and white chocolate and strawberry cupcakes as well as rocky road and cake pops.

The large cakes are also as varied with everything from pretty wedding cakes covered in hundreds of tiny sugar paste flowers to a birthday cake made to look like a roast chicken dinner. They also made a cake for Gordon Burns when he retired from North West Tonight and they make lots of chocolates, from a solid one kilo block in the shape of a meerkat to chocolate shoes.

Many of the recipes have been concocted by Susan Elizabeth who has taught them to her mum. But there are a few treasured family ones that they are also using including a mincemeat recipe from Susan Elizabeths great grandma and a sponge cake from her nanna.

As well as baking delicious cakes Susan and Margaret also want to try and combat stereotypes they believe Chorley is sometimes victim to.

Margaret, also from Coppull, said: There seems to be this criticism that the town is full of banks, building societies and charity shops. But this is not the case. There are a lot of long-standing businesses here that are proud of being in the town and make it a place to be proud of.

Were very pleased to be able to join those businesses but we also hope that we might attract more into the town too. Chorley is a fantastic place and we want more people to see how good it is.



The print version of this article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Lancashire Life

We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here

0 comments

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Food & Drink

11:45
The Ribble Valley is one of the top regions in the country for fine dining

Fine dining is at the heart of the Ribble Valley. Here is our guide to just a few you might like to try. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Thursday Fish, Chips and Fizz Special

Enjoy free Prosecco with fish and chips

Read more
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Cameron, front, and his fellow finalists

Despite just two hours of sleep the young chef follows in the footsteps of his boss to win county title

Read more
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Grandma Singletons Whey Cream Farmhouse Butter

Butter is back on the menu. We visit a Longridge dairy producing a special type of spread. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Ginger curd, lime curd and lemon curd

Nikki Frith and Lindsey Oldroyd entered the Dragon’s Den lair and survived. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Friday, May 15, 2015
A chippy tea on a Friday is still a popular Lancashire tradition

The chippy tea is still a great tradition of life in Lancashire, it’s even had a song written about it. Here are a few of our favourites, in no particular order

Read more
The Inn at Ravenglass

Sue Riley winkles out a new place that is shellfish heaven thanks to a former Roux Brothers disciple

Read more
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
A selection at Holly's Cakes and Bakes

At just 21 years old, baker Holly Wilkinson is on the rise in Kirkby Lonsdale.

Read more
Monday, May 11, 2015
Vanilla Panna Cotta,  Scorched Watermelon, Lime, Chilli & Pineapple Salsa and Poppy Seed Tuille

The newly renovated Nest restaurant at Bartle Hall was the location for the latest Lancashire Life lunch. Rebekka O’Grady samples their fresh new menu

Read more
Sunday, May 10, 2015
The dining room is light and airy without being barn-like

I’m always a little nervous about going to dinner with someone who has been on a diet. Will they tut loudly when I order chips or, worse still, will they growl like a ravenous bear cub when they study the menu full of forbidden fruits (especially those served in a sugary coulis)?

Read more
Friday, May 8, 2015
Lancashire Cheese and Spinach Souffle

Martin Pilkington is impressed by the tasting menu srved in the stunning setting of Mitton Hall

Read more
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
A selection of cheese

A young woman is following in her dad’s footsteps at one of Lancashire’s legendary food producers. She spoke to Roger Borrell. Pictures by Kirsty Thompson

Read more
Monday, May 4, 2015
Cragwood Manor

Take in the views while eating some of the best food in Lancashire and the Lake District

Read more
Friday, May 1, 2015
Salmon in the Sous Vide

Sous-vide machines are set to be as commonplace in the kitchen as a microwave. Emma Mayoh gets a masterclass from a chef at a Claughton company who are leading the way

Read more

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP




Food and Drink Directory
Lancashire's trusted business finder