IT'S a Terry's Chocolate Orange - but not as you know it!

York cake decorator Chelle Holmes has been turning the famous treat into everything from unicorns, pumpkins and even the Grinch using her icing skills.

For Christmas this year she is making a gnome like 'gonk' - and sales are such that her first order of 50 sold out in 40 minutes. Second and third orders sold out equally fast - and she now has to make 150 of the grey, bearded characters in time for Christmas. She sells each one for £10.

What's more Chelle's hobby has caught the imagination of other cake decorators and hobbyists from across the world. A Facebook group set up just four weeks ago has close to 6,000 members - including people in Canada and Australia.

In the group - Terry's Chocolate Orange Decorators UK - Chelle posts 'how to' videos and members share photos of their designs and share tips.

Chelle, who runs Holmes Made Cakes, says scores of other cake makers are switching to decorating Terry's Chocolate Oranges as a means to make some much-needed cash during the Covid crisis.

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The mum of two from Huntington York, said: "The Facebook group is more about helping people. I've had so many messages from people who are saying: 'This has saved my Christmas'. A couple have said it has even saved their business."

Chelle says people are making good money from the venture - with each orange netting around £7.50. Chelle reckons experienced cake decorators can make up to four decorated oranges an hour.

"I've sold 150 - but I know of someone who has sold 300," she said, adding she expects to make £1,120 profit from her batch.

Chelle began decorating chocolate oranges in icing a few years ago and posting pictures in various online cake decorating groups. But she is amazed that it has suddenly taken off this year.

She said: "I guess the appeal is the novelty factor. 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."

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