Yorkshire baker sparks global craze for decorating Terry's Chocolate Oranges

A baker from York has sparked a global craze for decorating Terry's Chocolate Oranges after creating edible Christmas-themed gnome-like figures complete with edible fur and hats.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 11:45 am

Cake decorator Chelle Holmes, 42, has previously turned the traditional Christmas treat into edible unicorns, pumpkins and even the Grinch using her icing skills.

This year orders for her first three batches of grey, bearded edible "gonks" - gnome-like characters that she sells for £10 each - sold out in just 40 minutes.

Chelle now has to make 150 of the five-inch high figures in time for Christmas, with painstaking accuracy and attention to detail.

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Cake decorator Chelle Holmes, 42, has previously turned the traditional Christmas treat into edible unicorns, pumpkins and even the Grinch using her icing skills. SWNS

She uses icing for all of the intricate decoration to make the fur, beard and woolly hat that the festive favourites wear.

Chelle began decorating Terry's Chocolate Oranges in icing a few years ago and posting pictures in various online cake decorating groups.

But she is amazed it has suddenly taken off this year.

She said: "I sell them every year, but I have never sold so many and they have sold out very quickly.

Cake decorator Chelle Holmes, 42, has previously turned the traditional Christmas treat into edible unicorns, pumpkins and even the Grinch using her icing skills. SWNS

"I have had to stop taking orders now or I won't have time to do anything else.

"I suppose the appeal is the novelty factor. I did pumpkins for Halloween, I've done little unicorns and stuff, but people have gone crazy for the gonks.

"People love a Terry's Chocolate Orange at Christmas and to have it decorated rather than just popped into a stocking is something people seem to like.

"It's a bit of fun and not too expensive and they are cute."

Cake decorator Chelle Holmes, 42, has previously turned the traditional Christmas treat into edible unicorns, pumpkins and even the Grinch using her icing skills. SWNS

As well as the gonks, Chelle has decorated Terry's Chocolate Oranges to resemble snowmen and even Leonardo Di Caprio's face.

Despite the intricate design that goes into each, she says she can make around four per hour, but she makes them in batches rather than individually.

Chelle prepares the icing and then decorates the chocolate orange in stages, putting the coats on the batch then returning to add the beard and hat.

Everything is edible on her designs and she encourages people to break the decorated chocolate oranges into segments as you would normally.

As well as the Yuletide treats, she has previously decorated chocolate oranges to depict Sean Connery and Leonardo Di Caprio from a scene in Django Unchained.

She added: "My favourite is the snowman that I did, because it's a bit different.

"The rest are a chocolate orange that is decorated, but this has a body too.

"The snowman's head is the chocolate orange and it has a body underneath it. It has a really big head and a small body. I think it's the best one I've ever done.

"I love the Leonardo Di Caprio one too because that's the current meme that's going round.

"And when Sean Connery died, I just had to one of him because I am a big Bond fan.

"The icing doesn't set very hard, so I recommend to people that they cut it up and can eat it in segments like you would a normal one.

"But I have had people tell me they have just bitten into it."

The mum-of-two's hobby has also caught the imagination of other cake decorators from across the world, sparking a global craze from her three bed bungalow in York.

Chelle set up a Facebook group in which she posts "how to" videos and shares tips on how to decorate to almost 6,000 members from as far afield as Canada and Australia.

She has been inundated with messages of thanks from fellow cake decorators who thank her for the inspiration.

Chelle, who quit her job as a care worker to concentrate on decorating cakes nine years ago, added: "I set up the group just before Halloween and it has just grown so quickly.

"I put my decorations on there, but it's more about helping people. I've had so many messages from people who are saying 'This has saved my Christmas'.

"A couple said it has even saved their business. I've sold 150 but I know of someone who has sold 300.

"I've had people from Australia, Canada, even India message me saying they love them."

Each gonk nets around £7.50 in profit meaning she will earn a cool £1,120 from her batch of 150.