Little Collins Street bakery Raya, which highlights Southeast Asian flavours, is by baker Raymond Tan. Originally from Malaysia, Tan had never turned on an oven prior to moving to Melbourne in 2006. Now he bakes whole cakes available to pre-order. Flavours include the signature kaya butter toast cake, which sandwiches coconut and pandan jam between layers of coffee-soaked butter pound cake and toasted bread; upside-down pineapple cake; a brown butter and cardamom-spiced cake; and the miso black sesame chiffon cake.

Miss Trixie Drinks Tea

Former PR-professional-turned-baker Alice Bennett runs Miss Trixie Drinks Tea and is one half of the duo behind Richmond’s Co Bake Space. She’s best known for her “message cakes” – playful, pun-filled layer cakes covered in lollies that reference the phrase written on top. Standouts include the “Musk be your b’day” cake appropriately covered in musk sticks, and the “You’re the berry best” raspberry lolly-topped number. Pick between flavours like white chocolate and raspberry with passionfruit curd, or chocolate and sour cream with Biscoff and funfetti cake crunch.

Thy Caketh

Artist and baker Jessamie Holmes makes some of the city’s best sheet cakes. The former 3D-motion graphics designer started selling cakes under the name Thy Caketh in early 2022 and tells Broadsheet her designs have a distinct “gothic twang” to them. Holmes draws inspiration from witches, the Victorian era and similar references in fashion and architecture. She prefers traditional Eastern European flavours, using stone fruit, nuts, chocolate and various types of cheese, which she says connect her to her Viennese heritage. Order via Instagram.

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Zee Scott

Celebrant and baker Zee Scott has celebration cakes in her blood. Both Scott’s mother and maternal grandmother were professional wedding cake makers and, when Scott was a child, her mum would teach her to decorate biscuits with royal icing. Now she’s known for custom vintage-style tiered cakes in classic flavours like chocolate, vanilla, lemon and raspberry. The layer cakes are filled with lemon curd or raspberry, apple or cherry compote. Her designs are finished with intricate swirls, ruffles and hearts made from Swiss meringue buttercream.

Mali Bakes

Patchanida Chimkire caused a sensation on Instagram during the 2020 lockdown when her Mali Bakes account became a bright spot in an otherwise dark time. She started baking and delivering cookies around Melbourne and became known for her colourful vintage-style cakes. Chimkire now has a commercial kitchen and shopfront in Thornbury, plus a cake window in Fitzroy. In addition to her signature vintage cakes, get custom designs including bubble cakes topped with piped messages on button-like icing blobs and heart-shaped cakes simply covered in tiny heart icing details.

Sweet Bakes

Co-founder of Co Bake Space in Richmond, Alisha Henderson operates under the name Sweet Bakes, making a variety of custom cakes. Among her offerings are hand-painted watercolour-esque designs, which come in flavours including chocolate Nutella crunch, salted caramel, and gluten-free passionfruit curd and almond. While your pets can’t eat the cakes, you can upload their photo and get an edible creation in their likeness. Or pick a hand-message cake, including one that reads “thanks a bunch” and is complete with a painting of a bouquet.

This article first appeared in Domain Review, in partnership with Broadsheet.

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