The Cake Mistress began in 2010 out of a love of cake and baking. But also frustration with a food scene out-of-touch with the home baker: the recipes were complex, the ingredients expensive and hard to find, and the equipment needed became industrial.
The Cake Mistress celebrates a return to home-style and traditional baking. Only relatively simple recipes that use common ingredients and standard baking equipment are published.
All recipes are standardised for international readers by using weights for ingredients. There’s a tips section for each recipe and expanding sections on baking science and technique.
Recipes are graded by difficulty, to encourage bakers at all experience levels to join in. And all recipes pass through the Test Kitchen to ensure they actually work.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
The Cake Mistress website is run by your resident Cake-hole, Emma. I started baking from age 8 next to my Mum. She regularly baked cakes, biscuits and slices for my siblings and I, and always made desserts for dinner parties from scratch.
She also created magical decorated cakes out of the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book, a staple for 80s and 90s Mums and kids in Australia. I haven’t met many of Gen X and Gen Y who haven’t had a slice of the Choo Choo Train.
When I grew up and moved across the country I began baking once more. Feeling homesick, I started on the same recipes Mum made for me as a child. It was a nostalgic connection back to family for me. One bite of Mum’s chocolate cake and I was back home.
The baking bug caught me once more. It was a brilliant way to procrastinate from studying, relax, and feel mastery when I’d lost control of other areas of my life. Soon, I’d extended my knowledge of baking by attending short courses at professional pastry schools in Melbourne Australia. So far I’ve studied French Entremet, Chocolate and Truffle making, Fudge making, cake decorating and fondant figurine modeling.
With time I grew tired of food becoming increasingly pretentious and elite. Things became “deconstructed”, recipes had multiple “components” and “pressure points”. You needed a small loan to purchase specialist ingredients. Dishes needed hours to assemble, expensive kitchen equipment and advanced techniques to create.
I thought back to my Mum’s simple 80s kitchen and my Nanna’s even simpler 60s kitchen. All they needed was a bowl and whisk. Some flour, sugar, eggs and butter, and you’ve got a cake. Plus sprinkles if you’re fancy.
So here we are. This website is my place to keep sharing great, simple baking recipes that don’t break the bank and don’t need expensive equipment.
My hope is to re-encourage others back to the kitchen to explore baking, and for them to understand nothing is more impressive than a dish made for the special people in your life with lots of love.
The Cake Mistress is an Australian website that began in 2010. We are currently based in Perth, Western Australia.