Newcastle, NSW, Australia
I’m a former industrial chemist, and after deciding on a career change while at home with my two young children, I’m now a qualified pastry chef. In 2009 I started taking some classes in cake decorating and other pastry-related cookery, and taught myself many more decorating techniques from books and internet resources. In 2010 I started a pastry apprenticeship, studying Retail Baking (Cake & Pastry) Certificate III at TAFE, which I completed with Distinction in 2012. I completed my apprenticeship in December 2013, and am now working as a full time Pastry chef and Cake Decorator at 'Exquisite Cakes by Lennert' in Cessnock, NSW.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fairy Doll Cake

Fairy Doll cake... baked in a Dolly Varden tin, covered and piped with buttercream to tie in with the style of the doll's dress, which was supplied by the customer.

Harely Cake

Harley Davidson theme cake for a double birthday celebration

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Zumbo-licious!

I MET ADRIANO ZUMBO TODAY!!!!! (write-up to come... story of my life!)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cameron's Birthday Cake

Happy 4th Birthday Cameron!  Here we go... yoooOOO GABBA GABAAAAAA!!!!!!!




Friday, August 6, 2010

Rush Job...

The "fourth of three cakes" this week, for a combined birthday party at playgroup for Cameron and four other kids with birthdays around the same time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

70th Birthday Cake

Third one to catch up before the next wave hits (working on another three this week!), a 70th birthday cake.

School's Out!

Second catch-up cake from the beginning of July, the first cake on my "official" books... a blackboard cake for a retiring high school teacher.

Playboy Bunny II

First of my three catch-up cakes... another Playboy Bunny from late June.  A customer loved the one I did for Amie last year and asked me to do one for her daughter's birthday.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba models

I was feeling a bit nostalgic coming up to my blog's first birthday, so I had a look back at my earlier posts.  Boy, was I keen back then... multiple posts with several progress pictures each for every cake!  I guess everything was new and exciting early on, now it's a bit "another week, another cake" and I just want to get the job done rather than take the extra time to pull out the tripod every few hours.  Anyway, in honour of the early days, here's a progress picture for Cameron's upcoming 4th birthday cake...


Yo Gabba Gabba seems to be his favourite show these days, so I've made icing models of the characters to sit on his cake.  Apart from being somewhat fiddly and time-consuming, they really weren't that hard to do.  When you "break it down" (as DJ Lance would say) they're all made up of fairly simple shapes, just a lot of them.  I put a reference photo up on my monitor to copy from, and one character at a time, one feature at a time, one shape at a time... Foofa, Plex, Muno, Brobee and Toodee one by one appeared in my hands.

One Year On

It was one year ago today that I started my cake decorating blog... so once again, Happy Birthday to the horses and those who share their birthday with them, and Happy 1st Birthday Kylie’s Cakes & Things. One year ago I was getting ready for my first serious attempt at cake decorating for my son Cameron’s 3rd birthday. Now my boy is nearly 4, and looking down the row of thumbnails in my side-bar reminds me of just how much I’ve learned and achieved in the last 12 months.

I've baked and decorated over 20 special occasion cakes for friends, family and paying customers, as well as dozens of decorated cookies, and countless other recipes and baking experiments that didn't even get recorded.  I've gone from taking a few decorating classes as part of a long term plan to retrain as a pastry chef to being a self-employed cake decorator.  I'm also on the doorstep of my busiest week yet... Cameron's birthday cake plus two for customers, my first ever 3 cake week!

The greatest disappointment of the past year is that I haven't been able to find work.  Although cake decorating has become my main focus, I wanted to be a pastry chef first and foremost, and that is still my long-term dream.  If I'm not being turned down by employers that aren't interested in taking mature-age apprentices, I'm being overlooked in favour of others who already have some experience in the industry.  Still, I'm not giving up... further delays with the TAFE kitchen renovations notwithstanding, I start my Retail Baking studies later this month, and hopefully that elusive "foot in the door" moment will come along.