THE heat was on in the kitchen when young people with life-shortening conditions went head to head in a Bake Off challenge.

Fleur Perry, 22, of Freshbrook, who came up with the idea for the event, took part in the challenge last week during her recent stay at Douglas House hospice for young adults, in Oxford.

She joined four other young women, all with similar conditions, to bake their own cupcake, muffin or desert recipes, assisted by members of the hospice care team.

Fleur, who has been diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 2, made fancy plum and almond smiling cupcakes for the challenge.

She said: ‘It was an absolutely fantastic day. There was a competitive atmosphere with attempts of sabotage by some team members.

“All the cakes turned our really well and tasted great.

“I have been baking all my life. When I was younger I helped my mum and granny bake, usually by licking the bowl. Nowadays I love experimenting with new recipes, flavours and techniques; and of course I still lick the bowl.”

The competition was judged by Tracey Mann, nationally renowned cake baker and decorator from Oxfordshire. The winner was Gemma Orton from Norfolk.

Tracey said: “The competition was incredibly difficult to judge. We had some fantastic entries and all five girls did absolutely brilliantly.

“Fleur’s fancy plum and almond cupcakes had a surprise homemade plum jam smile inside when you cut it open. They were great fun.”

Helen & Douglas House cares for children and young adults with these conditions and their families. Tracey was treated to a tour of both Helen House for children and Douglas House for young adults.

Tracey said: “I didn’t know what it would be like, but it was amazing – it really is such a positive environment.”

Kate Barklie from the Douglas House care team and organiser of the event said: “We love to enable something to happen that a guest has asked for and make it an amazing and special event for them.”