Holidays have been cancelled, weddings postponed and downsized, milestone birthday celebrations nixed. Sydney cake-maker Stacy Brewer might be more aware of this than most – 50 per cent of her business is weddings and events. And since Sydney’s second lockdown hit, she’s had all her major events postponed.
Initially she made the shift to a smaller range of cakes, crafted for people to send to their loved ones to show they care during lockdown. And then, a brilliant idea: cakes that express exactly how we all feel. Now, she’s still selling her retro-inspired cakes, with perfectly piped buttercream and pastel icing – but they’re not topped with cherries, good wishes or candles. Instead, they’re emblazoned with the words “Fuck Covid” and “Covid Sucks”.
“When the second lockdown in Sydney hit everyone was like, ‘Here we go again’,” Brewer tells Broadsheet. “I needed to create something that would bring instant joy to peoples’ faces, and I think the ‘Fuck Covid’ cakes pretty much sum it up.
“This past year has been really difficult, with so many people having to postpone weddings, big-bash birthdays, holidays. When you haven’t been able to celebrate or share important moments with loved ones, or you know they are a bit down and out, sending flowers is great – but why not send something that makes you laugh, tastes great and looks shit hot?”
Brewer’s Marie Antoinette-style Fuck Covid cakes are made with vanilla-bean cake, vanilla-bean buttercream and raspberry, and piped with pastel icing. And it seems as though Brewer’s aim – to add a little joy to long days in lockdown – has paid off.
“Everyone seems to have a laugh and then send it on to someone they know who is having a tough time,” she says. “There are a few people that aren’t a fan of the curse word, but we can’t please everyone. In the end they are designed to bring joy and have a laugh in times that are otherwise pretty shitty.”
Once lockdown is over, Brewer – who has worked at a range of restaurants, as well as the Grounds of Alexandria and with cake master Andy Bowdy before striking out on her own three years ago – will return to making cakes for weddings and other celebrations. That includes one-metre-circumference wedding cakes that she can barely fit through the door of her Bondi kitchen.
“Cakes can bring happiness in many ways. Sometimes we just need to stop and eat cake.”