Something wonderful happened over the past couple of years: bakers and cake makers everywhere started to lift their game. High. ‘Cake’ seems too diminutive a term for what they have created, ‘volcanic towers of confectionary’ seems more on the mark, with every finished piece bearing an explosion of sweets and florals like a confectioner’s cornucopia. These glorious constructions provide the intersection between art and afters, and simultaneously manage to be pinnacles of both.
We went on a hunt to scout out cakes that taste as beautiful as they look and it turns out Brisbane is brimming with ‘em. (A few beachfront bakers have slipped past the bouncer so some travel may be required but trust us, it’s worth it.) Special occasions need special cakes, and a cheeky commission is the perfect thing to blow everybody’s organic cotton socks off.
If you’re on the hunt for Brisbane’s best cake makers, look no further.
Whipped Cake Co.
There’s nothing wrong with being whipped, especially by cakes as majestic as these. Amie, the whizbang genius behind each Whipped Cake Co. masterpiece, designs each cake to order with a unique flair and applies her crisp technique to each and every aspect even going so far as to marble her own chocolate shards (marry me?).
Our pick: The galaxy cake
Best for: Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, other incredible milestones.
Wild Child Cakes
Wild Child cakes is best for when you want to cut loose on a flagrant birthday display and just tear shit up. These cakes look like what would happen if the Mad Hatter catered the Easter Bunny’s birthday as they toy with convention, confection, and our darkest emotions.
Our pick: sticky date layer cake with salted caramel and figs
Best for: beach weddings, party centrepieces
They’ve refined their ratio of cake to decoration at exactly 1:1 and I have to say that they’ve pretty much nailed it. Possibly the most overloaded cakes on offer, Cocoa Bianco’s extravagant showstoppers make it all too easy to sneak cheeky snacks before the official first slice.
Our pick: fifty shades of gold/Bounty
Best for: extravagant parties, December birthdays
Tome’s fandom is a collective appreciation of that which is mind-bogglingly delicious and pleasing to look at. Their towering cake stacks have garnered a cult following of faithful sugar junkies with an all-encompassing yen for eye candy. You’ll know a Tome cake by the cluster of popcorn, macarons, and peonies decorating it, and the swooning that accompanies every unveiling.
Our pick: salted caramel anything
Best for: special occasions, job promotions, low blood sugar
Smack bam in the middle of a garden centre, Wild Canary has a naturally botanical slant and seasonal focus underpinning every aspect of their cake operation. Fresh and local produce reigns supreme in the cakey innards, while flourishes of fresh flower garnishes make you feel like you’re eating the Chelsea Flower Show. Ideal for the earth child who wants to have their cake and eat their microblooms too—the cornerstone of any balanced cake decoration.
Our pick: lemon and passionfruit layered meringue cake
Best for: special occasions, long lunches, picnics
Two baking kweens reign in tandem over this burgeoning empire, each commission more enchanting than the last. (Nothing with eyes and a shadow could resist after sneaking a glance of their chequered cross-sections.) Alphabet also offer a fairly hectic daily display of fresh bakes—stuff like cookies, doughnuts, pies, tarts, and anything else you could imagine yourself picking up on the fly.
Our pick: anything with s’mores
Best for: birthdays, catering, cake appreciation days
Nancy Ho Bakes
After taking home the win on the Great Australian Bake-Off, Nancy Ho’s incredible baking feats entered the annals of food seen on television that we will never get to actually enjoy ourselves, or so we thought. Now that she’s set up her own cake baking business you can now enjoy your own slice of primetime brilliance.
Our pick: Saigon Caffeine, a Vietnamese coffee cake with a caramelised condensed milk filling
Best for: ridiculously special occasions
Petal and Peach Bakery
As the name would suggest, the cakes from Petal and Peach incorporate the best of floristry and confectionary into one artistic statement. Decorative florals cascade down the side Petal and Peach’s towering testaments to our love of cake, with even their most modest bakes adorned with vibrant sprays like fascinators of fancy ladies at Ascot.
Our pick: dark chocolate brownie cake with literally any additions
Best for: when you can’t decide between a bouquet of flowers or a dessert
Where most would balk at the prospect of a wedding cake commission, Cake Kiosk boldly steams ahead. They’re game for absolutely anything from piñata cakes to rainbow frosting, which they’ll whip up into some sensationally flamboyant edible masterpieces guaranteed to throw shade on the chocolate crackles.
Our pick: sticky date and fresh apple with butterscotch icing
Best for: birthdays, misc. occasions
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie