“Every time there’s a lockdown, sales of my message cakes spike,” says Miss Trixie Drinks Tea owner Alice Bennett. And we’re not surprised. Each buttermilk cake is decorated with a cheeky, punny message that says everything you need to express – and far better than any typical greetings card.

During Melbourne’s initial lockdown in 2020, Bennett lost her full-time job. So, she says, she took a 10-year side hustle and turned it into a full-time job. “The last 12 months have been a rollercoaster ride,” she tells Broadsheet. “I think people really get around the idea of giving cake as a gift … They’re super fun and lighten the mood.”

Each cake is themed around a childhood lolly, and Bennett adds a punny message to match it. A bestseller is Go Shorty, It’s Sherbet Day, decorated with Sherbet Bombs, while This Shit Is Bananas is covered in banana lollies. Bennett’s favourite is the Musk Stick Together cake, which she says is incredibly popular in lockdown times.

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Bennett, who is based in West Footscray, started Miss Trixie Drinks Tea as a personal blog 10 years ago, named for her grandmother who has since passed away. “It feels very special to carry her name moving forward,” she says. Now, Miss Trixie has around 25,000 followers on Instagram. Her nostalgic – but “adult and more sexy” – cakes and cookies sell out most weeks.

The cookies were born out of a childhood memory – when you’d go to a school fete and get a digestive biscuit and a “watery glaze”, then “make a smiley face with some marshmallows”, she says. Miss Trixie’s chocolate-chip cookies are made with rich Callebaut dark chocolate and they’re piled high with sprinkles, sour worms, pretzels and jelly beans.

Bennett also plans to release around 30 new message cakes over the next few months; they can be ordered online and delivered within 35 kilometres of West Footscray. Each cake costs around $90, or you can customise your order.

“I had a few ideas up my sleeve, but I know lots of people are just as punny,” says Bennett, who reached out to her Instagram followers for ideas. She says one of the new message cakes will read “It’s Simply the Zest”, decorated with mandarin-flavoured lollies. We’ll save that one for when we’re all out of lockdown.