We spoke to Katie, founder of Cake or Death, to find out how the business started and what makes her tick… (Yes, OK. I interviewed myself.)

Hi Katie! When did you start Cake or Death?

In 2018 I got very close to getting on the Great British Bake Off (they told me I hadn’t made the final 12 on my birthday, thanks guys) and I promised myself if I didn’t get on TV, I would start my own baking business instead.

What is Cake or Death all about?

Sending the most delicious vegan brownies and treats straight through your letterbox, in a gorgeous leopard print box, with a personalised note. In short, we have the answer to the perfect gift.

So why did you make Cake or Death a vegan cake company?

It seemed to me there was very little delicious vegan cake on the market, and a helpful cafe owner told me if I could develop a decent vegan brownie recipe, I would sell a tonne. So I spent a long time experimenting with vegan brownies until I came up with The One. 

Can I have the recipe?

No. It’s a secret. I’d have to kill you. And that’s not very vegan. 

Why did you call your business Cake or Death? Sounds a bit sinister. 

It’s actually after a sketch by the brilliant comedian Eddie Izzard. You can watch it here. Whatever you think of the name, it’s memorable. 

How come you started sending brownies through the post? 

I was supplying vegan cake and brownies to cafes all over London and then in March 2020 the pandemic hit and they all closed and cancelled their orders. So I thought to myself, I do have this delicious brownie recipe, and they would fit through the letterbox. I asked family and friends to order and then the whole thing snowballed out of control. 

What, like a brownie pyramid scheme? 

Sort of. People received the brownies as a gift, and loved them so much they sent them to all their friends. When people are unable to see one another, sending brownies is the perfect way to say happy birthday, or I miss you. People LOVE Cake or Death brownies and I get messages from customers saying they are the best they have ever tasted. Some of my customers have ordered over 50 times. 

I fear for their health.

Well quite. I mean we are called Cake or Death. 

I see you have ten different flavours. What’s your favourite? 

It depends on my mood. Ultimately the peanut butter brownie because I love the salt/sweet combination. Also the raspberry is stunning because you get pops of tart raspberry in each mouthful. But most people go for Biscoff or Oreo, which are obviously delicious. 

Do you still do everything yourself? 

No! Thank goodness. We are a small team who bake, pack and think up new flavours in a little bakery in Exeter that smells amazing and the walls are covered in pink leopard print. 

Oh yes, the pink leopard print. Literally every high street shop has nicked that.

I know right! I’m pretty sure our neon pink leopard print gift boxes inspired the current fashion trend for leopard print. The gorgeous box really makes the brownies an amazing gift. I've seen one woman use it as a clutch bag.

What are you doing when you’re not sending brownies all over the UK? 

Annoying my husband and son. Walking my silly little dog. Cycling around Devon and eating brownies at the top of enormous hills.

Katie Cross