The first rule of Clandestine Cake Club is: you don’t talk about Clandestine Cake Club.
Women and men congregate in secret locations across the country to introduce their baking endeavours to like-minded people, have a natter and share sweet treats.
Only fat, full-sized cakes over-spilling with buttery, gooey centres, covered in garish swathes of icing and embellished with sugary decorative delights are acceptable.
No calorie-counting, no pretentions, no judging, no competition: just unadulterated cake-fuelled pleasure.
The club, originally established in Leeds by baking enthusiast Lynn Hill, adheres to strict rules, banning cupcakes, muffins, pies, tarts, cake pops and brownies.
Members only find out about the date and location of the event a couple of days before.
The club also imposes specific themes for its events, which have started materialising on the Cayman Islands, Barcelona and Majorca since its launch in 2010. The club takes inspiration from quirky events cropping up on the national calendar.
This month they’re hosting a vampire party in celebration of Dracula first going on sale in London in 1897 - inevitably featuring a blood-thirsty collection of gothic and grotesque concoctions.
"Everybody loves cake," says Karen Perkins, a life coach who launched the club in Sheffield on 28 April.
"We plumped for a star and planet theme as it was National Astronomical Day – and I decided to heed my husband’s warning of not suggesting a space cake theme," she says.
"I was gobsmacked by how amazing the cakes were."
The designs varied from black hole cakes encased in bitter black chocolate ganache to stacked star cakes bejewelled with edible gold spray paint and swirling scarlet icing.
"We’re a nation of hidden bakers. The club celebrates that," enthuses Karen.
"It’s such a fun and sociable thing to do – and so unexpected. You never know who’s going to turn up."
Karen mentions how the club also appeals to both men and women, despite the stereotype of baking.
"The event in Sheffield filled up really easily. We’re keen to move to bigger venues in the future, and maybe try and get some charities involved," she says.
"We want to push boundaries"
The club has given Karen a platform to express her passions too.
"Cake is my demographic and I wanted to give myself a new challenge," says Karen.
Karen baked a bold blue Stars and Planets cake for the event, complete with sprinklings of minature chocolate stars, flying saucers and a centre stuffed with homemade strawberry jam.
Sat beside it was Shooting Stars - a lemon maderia cake spread with zingy lemon curd buttercream.
"We want to push boundaries and try something different, maybe by introducing political themes to our parties.
"As soon as I saw the ethos behind the club, I thought, ‘I’ve got to do that!’"
But how exactly would politics be introduced into the club?
"The cuts are a big issue at the moment and an austerity theme could really capture people’s imagination," Karen says.
Over 100 clubs have formed across the UK and overseas over the last two years, from Sheffield, to Devon, to Belfast. Karen says the founders are keen to maintain the club’s ethos and ensure that it does not get hijacked.
But, for now, the legions of members joining the new baking bonanza must remember the second rule of Clandestine Cake Club: eat cake, talk about cake and, most importantly, have fun.
To get involved or find out more, tweet Karen @fabcoach.