December 4, 2021

#BakeForSyria Bake Sale and Brunch at North Star Coffee Shop & General Store in Leeds this weekend

This 18 – 19 August, North Star Coffee Shop & General Store are hosting a #BakeForSyria bake sale and brunch to raise essential funds for Unicef’s appeal for the children of Syria via Unicef Next Generation London.

The new #BakeForSyria cookbook was curated by Lily Vanilli, with support from Clerkenwell Boy and Serena Guen. The book brings together Syrian-inspired savoury and sweet baking recipes from some of the best chefs from around the world, including Nigel Slater, Dominique Ansel, Imad Alarnab, Jamie Oliver, Deliciously Ella, Helen Goh and Yotam Ottolenghi.

Sarah Lemanski, Young British Foodie Award winner and founder of Noisette Bakehouse (the micro-bakery which curates the food offering at North Star Coffee Roaster’s Leeds Dock coffee shop), donated a recipe to the #BakeForSyria book, for baked rice pudding with poached quince, honey syrup, sweet fennel and rose dukkah. To celebrate the launch of the book and inspire others to get involved, North Star Coffee Shop are hosting a bake sale from 12 – 4pm on 18 August, selling a selection of the baked goods which feature in the book. All profits from the bake sale will be donated to Unicef’s appeal for the children of Syria via Unicef Next Generation London.

Noisette Bakehouse have also collaborated with key supporters of #BakeForSyria to create a Syrian-inspired brunch menu. Lily Vanilli, Felicity Spector and Izy Hossack have each designed their own dish which will only be available on 18 – 19 August from 10am – 3pm. A proportion of the profit from brunch sales will also be donated towards the appeal and for anyone wanting to show further support to the cause, or alternatively, if they are unable to attend the bake sale or brunch, they can donate via

North Star Coffee Roasters will also have two special coffee offerings on that weekend: Brazil Sitio Sao Francisco (with notes of blueberry, milk chocolate and cola) and El Salvador Chelazos (sweet with hints of plum and orange) as well as a choice of loose leaf organic teas which range from mint infusions and peachy oolongs to refined Darjeeling. Below are some of the dishes that will feature on the Syrian-inspired brunch menu (more to be announced soon), alongside North Star Coffee Roaster’s recommendations on coffee/tea pairings:

In collaboration with Lily Vanilli:

  • Cocoa Milk Loaf filled with Absinthe Custard which is baked and topped with House Made Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream, Chocolate Magic Shell & Fennel Sugared Almonds.
  • North Star Coffee Roasters recommend you pair with: a fresh mint infusion to cut through the richness of the Cocoa French Toast and compliment the herbal aromatics of the Absinthe Custard and Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream.

    Lily Vanilli – Cocoa Milk Loaf

In collaboration with Felicity Spector:

  • Cornmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon Roasted Plums, Tahini Whipped Ricotta, Maple & Pistachios.
  • North Star Coffee Roasters recommend you pair with: a flat white of the El Salvador Chelazos which is sweet and creamy with hints of stone fruit and chocolate.

In collaboration with Izy Hossack:

  • Falafel Spiced Sweet Potato and Egg Breakfast. Sweet potato patties spiced with classic falafel seasoning, served with Baharat Roasted Summer Vegetables, Fried Egg and Tahina Sauce with the option to add marinated feta or lamb and mint sausage.

    Izy Hossack – Falafel Spiced Sweet Potato and Egg Breakfast

In collaboration with Noisette Bakehouse:

  • Cardamom Infused Overnight Oats with Roasted Peach, Coconut Rose Milk and Sweet Dukkah.
  • North Star Coffee Roasters recommend you pair with: a pot of Jade Formosa Oolong from Taiwan which is grassy and sweet with real peachy notes coming through.
  • Boureka Style Grilled Cheese. A twist on North Star’s usual grilled cheese, including House Made Ricotta, Herby Feta, Spinach and Nigella Seeds. Served with dressed leaves and House Made Chilli Jam.
  • North Star Coffee Roasters recommend you pair with: a pot of malty breakfast tea which is big in body and flavour blending the very best single estate Assam from India with some of the more refined Ceylon from Sri Lanka.

The #BakeForSyria cookbook features over 100 sweet and savoury baking recipes and is available to purchase in North Star’s general store, as well as online at All proceeds raised from book sales are donated to Unicef’s appeal for the children of Syria via Unicef Next Generation London.

#BakeForSyria initially began as a charity bake sale on London’s Columbia Road. The event was inspired by #CookForSyria, the global fundraising initiative curated by Clerkenwell Boy and Serena Guen in partnership with Unicef NEXTGen London. Launched in 2016, #CookForSyria received the Observer Food Monthly’s 2017 Best Ethical Food Project Award and has raised £550,000 net worldwide.

Sarah Lemanski, founder of Noisette Bakehouse, says: “The team at Noisette Bakehouse in collaboration with the whole team at North Star Coffee Shop are excited to bring the #BakeForSyria campaign to Leeds, a campaign curated by Lily Vanilli, with whom we have developed a strong relationship over the past four years, since winning the YBF awards. With the support of Clerkenwell Boy and Serena Guen the campaign has snowballed into an incredible force for good that has extended well beyond London with events happening across the globe. The ethos of cooking, baking and sharing with generosity of spirit is so ingrained in the culture of many of the countries affected by the seven years of devastating war in Syria that it feels apt to get involved with such a brilliant campaign that goes to the root of this ethos to raise funds for children and families and really highlight the work of Unicef.

“The weekend will feature a delicious menu of baked goods and brunch dishes that take inspiration from traditional Syrian and Middle Eastern recipes. The brunch menu in particular will see an exciting fusion between our popular brunch menu and the flavours and ingredients of the Middle East. Think wholesome, flavourful and comforting food to be shared, so tell all your friends and bring the whole family to support and in return you’ll be making a significant contribution to raising awareness and funds for the campaign.”

Lily Jones (aka Vanilli), curator of #BakeForSyria, co-founder of the YBF Awards and owner of the Lily Vanilli Bakery in London, says:“The cocoa milk loaf filled with absinthe custard, baked and served with mint choc chip ice cream, chocolate magic shell and fennel sugared almonds is inspired by one of my ice cream flavours (absinthe mint chocolate chip) and reworked into breakfast form by Sarah, the genius from Noisette Bakehouse. #BakeForSyria has always been about celebrating coming together and sharing food, and this dish totally does that. By the simple act of hosting a supper club, buying the book or ordering this incredible breakfast at North Star, you can do your bit to help raise vital funds for the millions of Syrian children affected by the conflict. What could be better and easier than that?”