Your Beautiful Queen Baking Memories

To celebrate 120 years of Queen, we asked Australia to tell us their favourite Queen baking memory. From the very first day the competition opened, we were overwhelmed with the number of beautiful Queen baking memories we received. We loved reading each and every memory and are extremely honoured to have been a part of so many baking moments over the past 120 years. Read on to discover the 12 winning entries, plus a few more that made us smile.

Queen Baking Memories Competition Winners

Congratulations to our 12 winners and thank you for your Queen baking memories. Read the winning entries below.


My favourite memory is of making cupcakes with my Nana when I was very young. I can still see in my minds picture, the little bottles of Queen’s that sat in the cupboard next to all the other baking ingredients. And I loved the smell of the Queen vanilla essence that she would add to the batter. I still have a smell memory every time I think of it. It’s funny you know, I always associated the smell of vanilla with love and warm fuzzy feelings and now that I think of it, this was probably the reason why. How lucky was I to have spent that special time with my Nana? Cameras were a rare commodity back then so I don’t have any photos of what we baked but I do have a photo that was taken a couple of years ago of the house where all the cooking was done. It’s been empty for many years but that little room at the front left of the house was where the stove and part of the kitchen was. Nana used to push out the corrugated iron window and prop it open with a piece of timber and you could smell the cakes cooking. Ahhhh such wonderful memories 🙂



My favourite memory, to some it might seem a little strange and to others funny, and for other mothers something that they can relate too. My daughter, who was four at the time, and I were making a pavlova together, I had but out all the ingredients and we were adding them to the mixer together. As I started it I remembered the vanilla essence, my daughter was standing not two metres from the pantry, with her little hand on the top of the mixer because she liked to think she was driving it. I turned away for two maybe three seconds and low and behold my daughter had lent into the bowl to see how it as mixing and got her hair caught in the beaters. Her saving grace was her hair length and thankfully it didn’t do any major damage to her head at all. Although for many years after she was help me bake until the mixmaster started and then reappear when it stopped. As a result of the accident I always remember my Queens vanilla essence when baking.



For as long as I can remember my Mum’s birthday has always been celebrated with a marble cake. Despite a genuine lack of skill in the kitchen, one year, my Dad decided it was his responsibility to make sure she had a birthday cake and so, against her wishes, he took over the kitchen. Many hours later, with a little help from @queenfinefoods , he presented a rainbow marble cake to exceed all others. Over the years, my sisters and I all took turns helping him during his annual baking challenge and now, his Grandchildren take turns joining him to make Mum’s birthday cake. Mum’s willingness to leave him unattended in the kitchen has not improved but he continues to amaze us with his impressive marble cake! Photo: This year it was my niece’s turn to help ‘Poppy’ in the kitchen #queen120



I remember being picked up n sat on the counter because i was just too little to see over/on it, while mum was baking her gorgeous sponge and my “job” was to pass her the queens vanilla essence…. i also remember asking why do you have it mum if it’s the queens? yep i was about 4 ( i’m NOT telling you how old i am now 🙂 ) i still have mums original sunbeam mixer she made all those wonderful cakes sponges n biscuits with and yes i still use queens there IS no other……. as i teach my granddaughters…. what i was taught all those years ago



This photo was taken 29 years ago I’m blowing out the candles on my 3rd birthday cake in the back of my nana and pops Kingswood Holden station wagon with my brother and nana’s arm holding me in, it was so windy that day we were at a beach near Yeppoon, Queensland. The only option was to light the candles in the car boot away from the sea breeze! Mum as she always did every birthday baked a cake, this was a honey sponge cake, page 162 of the 1970’s edition of The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook made with dash of good old Queens vanilla which was a staple in mums pantry! Wonderful memories of my mum’s incredible baking! I showed this photo to mum and she said she still has the pink box that is under pops hat, incredible! #queen120 @queenfinefoods #queenbaking #queenvanilla



My most treasured childhood memories were the ones I spent baking with my Nan. I remembered one day watching my Nan mixing cake better and her hand was shaking. I asked her what was wrong. She said nothing, I’m just putting love into the cake. When her shaking got worse, I became her hands in the kitchen. She taught me so much about baking and her passion and zest was infectious. She told me her secret to a great cake was using Queen products. In all her years of baking, Queen has never let her down. Today I’m continuing my baking journey that I started with my Name with my kids and still continue to use Queen’s products. #queen120 @queenfinefoods



My very first memory of baking with Queen,

Is trying to recreate my mum’s whipped cream.

Fresh cream, icing sugar and vanilla essence just a dash,

Whipped up makes a delicious result in a flash

My first attempt didn’t work so well,

Too much vanilla as I was tempted by the smell.

I’ve learned to control my heavy hand,

Adding delicious flavours from the best in the land.

Queen products are a part of my every bake,

Perfecting whatever recipe I undertake.

Thanks Queen and congrats on your 120th year,

Memories of baking with my mum I hold hear.

The next generation starts with my daughter who’s four,

Here’s to at least another 120 years more.



Every Sunday morning, my grandma and I would bake

This is my favourite memory, I still remember the smell of the cake

The aroma would fill the house as the cake began to rise

The smell was distinctly Queen’s Vanilla, it always brought joy to my eyes

Even at 84, she continues on this wonderful tradition

So my little boy will have these amazing memories of cakes and Queens Vanilla in Grandmas kitchen



Every time I open my bottle of @queenfinefoods vanilla I can’t help but close my eyes and inhale. So many memories are evoked from that one deep sniff…learning to count as mum would beat red devil’s food cake batter by hand (300 times after each egg was added!), stealing fingers full of the fluffy, buttery, sweet and salty choc-chip cookie mix (always best before the flour was added) and laughing but copying as mum would dab a dot of vanilla behind each ear, saying, “it makes a delicious perfume!” This is me circa 1983, blinded by the light of the flash, clinging to my beloved bday gift and getting ready to blow out the candles from the cake my mumma had made me. Feeling extra loved and extra special because she had made it just for me and it was so beautiful and bejewelled (and coloured to mint-green perfection using Queen food colouring). 34 years later and @queenfinefoods is now in my own pantry, and like my mum did for me, I get to bake and make treats for the people I love. Thanks for the memories Queen.

#queen120 #timeless

PS, playdough would be so boring without you Queen!



My maternal side of the family were all farmers and l have such fond memories of being on the farm as a 5 year old. Milking the cow -not my job- but l did take the milk up to Gran who would then make the most delicious scones, using a few drops of Queen Vanilla essence. While sitting in the kitchen waiting for the scones to cook, l was allowed to whip the cream, from our cow of course, and Gran added a couple more drops of vanilla essence to that, and a teaspoon of sugar. Then the men would come up for morning tea, l was allowed to have a very weak cup of tea in a precious china cup while the men had big men’s mugs of tea. Scones, homemade strawberry jam and cream – such memories stay with you forever and 58 years later l can still remember the taste … divine.



When the sunlight on my bench streams through and illuminates yet another beautiful little empty bottle of #vanillaessence – I can’t help but smile. You see an #emptybottle is a reminder of every #cake and every #bake and every #biscuit that went into the emptying of that container of liquid-vanilla-goodness. I don’t even mind when I run out mid-tablespoon in the middle of a recipe – as I did in this moment mid-mix last week and had to rest my half-full #measuringspoon and grab my back-up bottle from the cupboard (always, always have a backup bottle or 2!!!)!!!! The beautiful thing about #Queen and it’s vanilla range (in each of its wonderful forms, essence, extract, limited edition, beans or paste) for me is the memories associated with it – none more so than that particular bottle in my photograph; Helping my #mum make her magnificent Victoria sponge for our birthdays, or standing on tippy-toes as a child in the supermarket aisle reaching for a bottle on her instructions, whipping cream and being allowed to pour in the vanilla under her watchful eye, or just the sight of it on the bench or table next to her pride-and-joy 1980’s original kenwood mixer (which still runs beautifully by the way!!!). The petite size of the bottle was an engaging novelty for me as a child even before I understood it’s purpose in her kitchen. Years later, in my own kitchen, on my own bench, it’s no accident that I have my own kenwood mixer and of course my own bottle of the same vanilla essence that I watched my mum use. Though I will clarify here that I use @Queenfinefoods products for their quality first, and for the sake of nostalgia second. That sense of continued history never fails to fill me with #happy. So, every time I get to the end of another #littlebrownbottle, even if it’s in the middle of a crazy, messy, wonderful not-so-perfect-picture baking scene like this one – it’s a moment to reflect on all the little brown bottles that went before it, and to look forward those I will eagerly open and use up next. #Queen120



Every school holidays my little brother and I would go stay with Nan & Granddad. The boys would go fishing or crabbing, and we girls would stay home and bake bread, sometimes rolls. I loved everything about it, and still do, but my favourite memory is the time I begged Nan to let me put red food dye into the dough. I wanted to make a special surprise for Mum & Dad when they picked us up that afternoon. Well, to Nan’s humour and horror, the RED dye went in too late, one the dough was already a dough. My hands were red, and goodness did we struggle to scrub it off, it got on my hair, face, everywhere (in hindsight, a whole bottle was a bit too much). But to my pleasure, our little buns turned out a treat, a swirled, marbled, mottled red throughout the fluffy white bun. My brother and I loved them, the grown ups not so much, but they feigned sheer pleasure much to my delight. Nan’s been long gone now, but I’ll never forget that day, the fun we had, and now every time I use good old Queen Fine Foods ‘pillar box red’, boy do the memories come flooding back & make me smile.


Thank you to everyone for entering, we wish we had a prize for you all! Below are some of the entries that made us giggle.


I was five years, I remember baking some meringue with my grandmother. She was whipping up some egg whites with Queen vanilla essence. She asked me “Do you want to see a magic trick?” I happily obliged. Suddenly she turned the whisking bowl upside down over my head. I was shocked that not one drop of the meringue had landed on my head. An hour later I attempted to surprise my Grandma and do that very same trick she had done to me. I grabbed the whisking bowl and turned it upside down over Grandma’s head. Suddenly I heard a high pitched scream. To my confusion, the whisking bowl had contained thickened cream, not egg whites. This ‘sweet’ memory has stuck with me ever since.



I remember learning to bake with my grandma, I was her little helper. She would tell me what she needed and I would go to the pantry and bring everything to the kitchen bench. When she needed the vanilla essence she would say “get the Queenie”. Even today I refer to recipes as 1 teaspoon of “queenie”.



My favourite memory of baking with Queen would have to be the green eggs. I had made a birthday cake for my friends son & used food colour. Cake was baked but I hadn’t put the food colour away. My son & I were making scrambled eggs & the phone rang. It was my mum. I handed the whisk to my son that was only about 3 or 4 so he could keep beating the eggs while I chatted to mum. Turned to check how it was going & he had added some green food colour. My mum said don’t worry about it just cook them it won’t hurt. he was just helping & doing what he saw you do when making the cake. Ok so I cooked the green eggs. Mum said it would be fine. Hmm do you think I could eat green scrambled eggs? No I just couldn’t stomach it. Every time I think of the story book Green eggs & ham I think of that. The cake on the other hand was beautiful.



Baking with my 2 beautiful niece’s they love to bake and every time they come my house they ask to make something so lovely to share my passion for baking with them when I get out their little aprons they get so excited!! They usually fight over who puts the “nilla” (vanilla bean paste) in as its easy for them to squeeze (great idea in the squeeze tube love it). If you ask them what they are going to be when they grow up they both say work in aunty liss’ cake shop. Would be so great to achieve that dream and have them work in my shop.



One of my favourite memory’s would have to be my youngest daughters 18th birthday. i made her a round chocolate mud cake for the top tier and vanilla cup cakes on the bottom with vanilla butter cream icing. When she went to inspect it she came back in with the look of horror on her face. When I asked her is she didn’t like it she said no I love it but we can’t take that out to the guests because the flys have pooed all over the cupcakes. I couldn’t stop laughing. I used organic vanilla bean paste with seeds. This was the icing on the cake!



The day my little sister and I discovered the secret to getting a batch of pikelets to ourselves…a generous addition of green food colouring! Although they were perfectly cooked and smelled delicious, none of the adults would touch the unappetising bright green and brown blobs topped with butter and strawberry jam.



I remember as a kid my was baking, it would have been a range of things, cos if my thrifty mum was heating up the oven she’d always make more than one thing! She’d left the vanilla essence bottle within my reach, uncapped. Well liking the smell, I took a swig, downing about half…I’m sorry but not even Queen vanilla tastes too good straight from the bottle! Doesn’t look to good spat out on mums cupboards either!! Fortunately for me, the look on my face made mum laugh to hard to growl at me, so I still got to eat some of the baking!



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