Usually candy-coloured and decadent – cupcakes can be a sugar-loaded indulgence, a sugar-loaded sometimes food. But Jessica van der Walt of Mad Hatter Cupcakery is baking a different kind of cake, a vegan version with greatly reduced kilojoules.
For van der Walt, Mad Hatter Cupcakery began as a hobby. “I was bored at the time and started baking vegan cupcakes for my local market in Glebe,” she explains. Van der Walt quickly built up a loyal fan base pedalling her vegan treats from a cupcake cart built by her husband. “We built another two carts and expanded to include Newtown and Taylor Square. Before we knew it, Mad Hatter Cupcakery had its own kiosk at Broadway Shopping Centre.”
With flavours such as triple-choc, snikers (like Snickers), salted-caramel popcorn and tiramisu, van der Walt insists that the indulgent essence of the cupcakes has not been compromised with the removal of animal-based ingredients like butter and eggs. “Vegan baking is a lot lighter on the KJs, has no cholesterol and still has amazing flavour and texture if done right,” she says. “The cake is still light and airy but more moist – which I prefer – and the frosting has a whipped cream texture, silky and sweet but not sickening.”
Van der Walt has also opened a patisserie at their production headquarters in Darlinghurst. Here you can also find signature cupcakes as well as tarts, pastries and eggless macaroons, which according to van der Walt, “Taste very much like the real thing.”
Mad Hatter Cupcakery
Level 1, Broadway Shopping Centre 1 Bay Street, Broadway
Mad Hatter Patisserie
24 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst