The other day we came across a cheeky meme: “I decorate cakes… what’s your superpower?” It immediately made us think of Caitlin Mitchell from A Little Cake Place. With almost too many awards to count and some extraordinary creations to her name, this is a cake maker who definitely deserves a cape.
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So how did this mild-mannered Queenslander become a sweet superhero? We‘ve all watched films that have made us want to travel to an incredible destination or take up some cool new hobby. But for Caitlin, one film literally changed her life. “I was working in the travel industry, and even though outside of work hours I had busied myself with creative activities, I still felt that something was missing,“ she remembers. “I was watching the 2011 film Bridesmaids and the main character made this beautiful cupcake that really caught my attention. In the same week I watched two other films where the main character also decorated cakes, and I started to feel that maybe someone was trying to tell me something!”
It didn‘t take long for Caitlin to enrol in a few cake-decorating classes and realise her passion. “I fell in love with the whole process,“ she says. “Even during those first few classes I realised that fondant was my future.”
After travelling to the UK to learn from some of the best in the business, Caitlin started A Little Cake Place and never looked back. Going on to place as a finalist at the coveted ABIA state awards just one year later, she quickly made a name for herself in the industry for her unique yet elegant creations. She was one of the first cake artists in Australia to embrace the chandelier cake trend (a hanging cake built ‘upside down‘), and now creates around 10 a year. “I love to create real show-stoppers,” she says, “and I tend to push boundaries.“ Which, when combined with her incredible artistry, explains why her cakes are so in-demand. And also why the awards have kept on coming. Among the accolades is the title of National Winner in Cake Design in the 2017 ABIA Awards. Caitlin also won a silver award for her competition wedding cake at the recent Cake International Expo in Brisbane.
But if you ask her, it‘s meeting couples at her home studio in Brisbane and creating their dream wedding cakes that she really loves (plus taste-testing, obviously). “My two favourite things about my job are when I see the clients‘ excitement at the end of a consultation, and when I see the final designs come to life,“ says Caitlin. “Those moments are pretty special to me and they always get me excited to create more!”
Q&A: Cakes with Caitlin
What’s your consultation process like?
“Initial contact is often over the phone or via email. Then couples will usually come to my home studio for a proper chat, so I can get to know all about them and their wedding plans. It‘s a really personalised experience – including a complimentary tasting – to ensure they end up with a cake that‘s unique to them.”
What’s your top tip for cake-loving wedding couples?
“Choose the flavour that you want to eat, and don‘t worry about guests’ preferences. It’s your wedding… and if they don‘t eat it, then all the more leftovers for you!”
What details take people by surprise?
“Most people aren‘t aware of things such as ‘cakeage costs’. Venues often charge to cut the cake, so be sure to ask about this in advance. Also, think about how the cake will be served (like as dessert or in addition to dessert), how far in advance you‘ll need to order and just how much cake you‘ll need – cakes can serve deceivingly more portions than you‘d expect.”
Any wedding cakes no-nos?
“There are often too many colours or too many patterns and different techniques on the one cake. Wedding cakes shouldn‘t look too busy – it‘s always best to start with ‘less’ and then only add details if required.”
What flavours are you loving right now?
“My current favourite is butterscotch, but I‘ve also recently loved Turkish delight, ANZAC biscuit and red-velvet flavours. I‘ll never be able to go past a good piece of choc mint, though!”
For your dream wedding cake, call Caitlin on (07) 3102 1909, visit the A Little Cake Place website here or email firstname.lastname@example.org Hear more about Caitlin’s journey here:
For more wedding cake inspo, head to the QB local wedding directory!