Amazing Bakers & Decorators Interview Series: Alisha from Sweet Bakes

Have you ever looked at pictures of beautifully decorated cakes or awe-inspiring treats and wondered what inspires the people that create them? We have too! So we put on our journalist hat and scoured the country for Australia’s top talent to create the Queen Amazing Bakers & Decorators Interview Series.

We’ve laughed, we have reminisced and even had a few ‘ah-ha moments’ while chatting to the best of the best in the business. We hope you enjoy these incredibly inspiring stories. Today we’re chatting to the lady behind the beauty of Sweet Bakes, Alisha Henderson.

This self-taught Melbourne baker is only in her early 20’s and already taking the sweet design world by storm. Inspired by colour, beauty and whimsy, Alisha fell into her baking career after posting pictures of her decorated cookies to Instagram. Before she knew it she was being asked to create wedding cakes!

Today Alisha dedicates herself full time to Sweet Bakes and focusses on contemporary cake & sweet designs. We love that every single cake she creates is customised to each client. In her own words;

“I draw inspiration from their event style, this can be anything from the balloons to the flowers, wedding dress, venue… the list goes on! All of my cakes are baked from scratch & are super yummy. The inside of the cake is just as important as the outside – after all, it is a cake! Our customer base is someone who is open to ‘non-traditional’. I love to be inspired by art & colour, our customers are generally the same, they love something refreshingly different.”

A baker that cares about the inside of the cake just as much as the outside – she’s certainly one after our own hearts! Join us to learn more about Alisha and Sweet Bakes:

Q: Alisha, what would be your earliest baking memory?

SB: I think my first baking memory is baking packet mix (gasp!!) cupcakes. I used to love eating those little paper pictures that came in the packets!!

Q: Has baking/decorating always been a big part of your life, or did you recently discover it?

SB: I’ve only recently realised that I really was always interested in baking. It was just something I never considered could be a job! I loved making little treats for my friends birthdays & family occasions when I was younger. I religiously made pancakes on a Sunday for a very long time! We have always had delicious cakes at every birthday that my Mum made for us.

Q: We love hearing what professionals describe their ultimate cakes to be. Tell us what your ultimate birthday cake would be:

SB: Chocolate!! I am a sucker for my chocolate cake… I can’t resist the off cuts! I absolutely love painting on cakes, so my ultimate birthday cake would be painted, definitely a lot of pink & beautiful fresh flowers.

Q: Have you had a baking disaster, if so tell us a little about it:

SB: Of course! One time I forgot to put raspberries into the cake 9 times in a row…. 9 times!!! I didn’t get any sleep that night thats for sure.

Q: Who or where do you look to for recipe and decorating inspiration?

SB: My decorating inspiration generally starts with colour. From there, my brain runs wild. Often my favourite designs happen with free reign. I love it when clients give me freedom, I like to see where the wind takes me! If you’re looking for inspiring images to get your mind racing, @partywithlenzo has the most stunning instagram feed. Never fails to inspire me!

Q: Can you see any trends in baking at the moment, what do you think will be big for 2015-2016?

SB: Of course ‘Naked Cakes’ have been big for the last few years, however I’m seeing more of a shift to ‘statement cakes’ now. Gone are the days of white covered fruit cakes! It’s all about having fun and using the cake as a centre piece now. Cake is fun to eat, so it should be fun to look at. Cake can be a key feature of an entire celebration, it would be a shame to make it boring.

Q: What Queen products are in your pantry right now? Do you have a favourite Queen product?

SB: Right now I have the Queen food dyes as well as Vanilla Bean paste. The Vanilla is a staple in my pantry & the colours are so vivid – I love them.

Q: And lastly, what is next on your ‘must bake’ list? Do you have something new or challenging in the works? Do share your secrets!

SB: On my must bake list is a Persian Love Cake – hanging out for a free moment to test this cake out. Yum!!!

To discover more of Alisha’s beautiful work, keep up with her on Instagram or visit her website

Floral Statement Cake SB

Buttercream Flower Cake SB

Macarons SB