Review: Sweet by Mollie Makes… £7.99 for a “magazine”?

Sweet is a brand new publication brought to us by the publishers of the popular crafty Mollie Makes magazine. Strap-lined “bakes, cakes and pretty makes” it comprises original features and editorial alongside excerpts from recent baking and sugarcraft books.

For a second at the till I hesitated. How much? £7.99 for a magazine? I went ahead as I like to get at least one copy of each new cookery magazine that comes out and look at it properly even if I never buy it again. (First issues of things that become popular later on are also highly sought after on Ebay!) Plus I was genuinely excited by what a brief flick through Sweet had promised.

Sweet opens with a feature on, appropriately enough, a sweet table by Australian stylist Alexandra Vardakis. The rest includes excerpted recipes and interviews with Richard Bertinet, Fiona Cairns, Vintage Tea Party’s Angel Adoree and Yarnstorm’s Jane Brocket, a five page feature on US blogger Beth Styles and editorial spreads on the best cake stands, baking accessories. It’s all topped off with a section of Mollie Makes style cake themed craft projects.

I’d like to set the scene of me turning the pages of Sweet sat in a chic retro tea shop with starched linen tablecloths, bone china cup and saucer with a plate of freshly baked madeleines to nibble on. Actually I was in the clanking void that is the Walthamstow of Costa Coffee. None of this mattered when my heart raced to see a picture from MY book inside! So yes, I’m destined to love it if they’ve published a full page photo of my bunting cookies. Honestly though, this is still one of the best baking magazines I’ve seen since we now have so many to pick from.

I’ve been waxing lyrical about Sweet on my Facebook page for a couple of days and several people have mentioned the price. Initially I felt that despite the price, the content and presentation of this magazine were the loveliest I’d seen since buying some Martha Stewart holiday baking editions many moons ago. Being a sucker for good graphics, the overall look was enough for me to fall for it.

On the down side, if like me, you collect nearly every baking book going, you may find you’ve got the books and thus the recipes that are featured. But that would happen with most food magazines.

Newspaper stands increasingly offer glossy full colour publications occupying a middle ground between magazine and book. They’re most common for things like iPhone and Android apps, I once bought one about WordPress and another about building e-commerce sites. On the face of it, they’re expensive at £8-£12 for a one off magazine-like read.

Sweet is in the same price bracket. Yes, it is a lot more expensive than most baking magazines but it’s virtually all content instead of being stuffed with adverts. Sweet has just 4 pages of advertisements (all in-house ads for sister publications) out of 130 pages. Sweet is printed on higher weight matt paper. Compare this to 21 pages of adverts in the first 50 pages of the October issue of Sainsbury’s magazine. I gave up counting once I saw how high the ratio was.

I think if you take into account how much editorial content Sweet offers for your money in comparison to cheaper publications it’s no less good value than any other food magazine. I hope that this edition of Sweet is a pilot issue and we get regular further issues once the market is tested.

I found my copy of Sweet in WHSmiths. It’s £7.99 but then I’ve already told you that. Copies also available to order online (delivery included).

Sarah Trivuncic

Sarah Trivuncic is one of the UK's leading food bloggers. She is the author of Bake Me I'm Yours... Sweet Bitesize Bakes and has been the voice behind Maison Cupcake since 2009. You can also connect with her on Google+

11 comments

  1. As a magazine addict whose also bought Sweet, I can only endorse your comments. I thought it was a little pricey, but it is a lovely magazine to look at. Substance wise, quite a few recipes are taken from books. It seems to be what a lot of magazines are king these days, although I like the ‘Baking Heaven’ series for their originality. I think I preferred Sweet to Love Baking though, even with the ‘free’ gifts, as Sweet has more content. Great review Sarah, and reassuring to know I’m not alone in trying new magazines. :)

    • It’s nice enough you’ll want to keep it. I’ve not read Love Baking yet although I need to get one!

  2. Thanks for the great review Sarah! Coincidentally I had just tweeted about Sweet magazine today to see if anyone had bought it and if it was worth the £8 price tag. I didn’t really get an answer about how it was (just the price). Anyways, you’ve convinced me to go buy it. And congrats on being featured! Very exciting indeed.

    • I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I think there’s a market for mags that specialise in sweet tables – there are a couple of sweet table features in there but I’d like to see even more!

  3. I’m sold! Just when I thought I had my cookbook & baking magazine addiction under control, you post a great review like this! I’ve paid a LOT more than £8 for cake mags as they’ve come from Australia. If you get something a little bit different or learn something new, they’re worth it. Hx

  4. do you know when a new SWEET magazine is coming out? My last one was no.I love this magazine and I like in the us Thank you

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