Tell us a little about your business… Baked By Brooke is my home-based business, baking all things sweet, decadent and delicious! I truly enjoy turning the simplest of ingredients into something that makes you say “mmm, yum”, before you know the words have even come out of your mouth. My specialties are mudcakes and cupcakes, made using good old-fashioned recipes – some of which have been in my family for years. I bake with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and the eggs I use come from the happiest, most free-range chickens you will ever find, from a farm close by in Gatton.
When did you decide cakes were your passion? Baking is something I enjoyed from the time I was old enough to lick the beaters in my Mum’s kitchen! Growing up, there would always be home baked afternoon teas waiting for my siblings and I after school. Mum taught me how to bake in primary school and I’ve adored it ever since! I first tried making a decorative cake when I had no idea what to get my (now) husband for his birthday years ago. He is a photographer, so I made him a cake in the shape of a camera. My “trial” cake worked so well that he got his cake a week early!
What distinguishes you from your competitors? I’ve often been complimented on my cakes not only looking great, but tasting great as well. I’ve heard so many disappointing stories of cakes for special occasions that looked amazing, but were dry or bland to eat, and left on the plate. All my cakes, and buttercreams are made from scratch. Packet mixes and pre-mixes would be quicker, but they taste nothing like the real thing!
Favourite flavour? I have to admit I like cake mixture more than baked cake! It’s a little hard to give out scoops of cake batter at a party though, so when I’m selecting a flavour for my own celebration cakes, I go for cookie dough cheesecake or a mocha mudcake.
A favourite or funny memory from a previous event/client? I recently created a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for a gorgeous little boy’s first birthday. The cake took hours and hours of crafting and assembly and I was really happy with how he looked. I was sent some party photos of the cake after the event… in the final photo there had been a train wreck and Thomas’ face had been bitten off completely by the birthday boy’s older sister! At least I know Thomas was enjoyed 🙂
What advice would you give couple when thinking about a cake for their wedding? Firstly “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. There are some stunning cakes that look smooth, elegant and classy, that are decorated with fondant icing (that’s the smooth icing you see on many wedding cakes), but do you like the taste of it? Many couples and their guests peel it off and eat just the cake – so why pay for something that you won’t eat?! Consider other styles and designs, too. Secondly, think about how your cake will be transported and stored leading up to your event or wedding. It only takes minutes in a warm car or room for a cake to become a hot mess, so plan ahead and crank the air-con in advance! Finally, I won’t use the line that the secret ingredient in a good cake is love, but you can tell when a cake maker loves what they do, and this shines through in the taste, texture and appearance of your cake.