Scraping our chin off the floor after finding Petal & Peach Cakery on Instagram, we found ourselves thinking up excuses to throw a party, just so we could order one of baker Rebecca’s jaw-dropping creations.
So beautifully adorned with icing, fruit and flowers they’re practically art, Rebecca’s buttercream cakes are full to the brim with flavours and textures, incorporating her love of fresh flowers with an endless desire to be creative. We had to know more about someone who makes cakes that we want to frame and put on our wall as much we want to eat them, so we had a chat with Rebecca about all things Petal & Peach.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I love bright colours, fresh flowers and anything with gravy. I am a mumma to two beautiful girls, the wife of an encouraging man and a midwife. I also bake delicious cakes.
How did Petal & Peach come about?
I have always enjoyed baking and was encouraged by a friend to consider doing it as a business. I started an Instagram page so that I could build a portfolio and suddenly found myself getting enquiries from people I had never met. After lots of planning and preparations, Petal and Peach was officially launched in September 2015.
When did you first try your hand at baking?
I have baked on and off since I was about 14. When I was 19, I bought my first house and that’s where I really developed a love of baking cakes. Over the years I have also taught myself how to make delicious macarons and doughnuts and these sometimes feature on my cakes too.
What’s your favourite thing to cook?
Savoury – I make the most delicious prawn laksa and I love the smell of that bubbling away on my stovetop.
Sweet – this changes constantly, at the moment I am loving making meringues, lime curd and my Tahitian vanilla cupcakes (which always smell so amazing as they bake).
What has been your greatest challenge since you launched?
Really, it has been accepting that Brisbane likes my cakes! I recently made a cake with a doughnut covered in gold which was shared with over 500,000 people (a big deal for me). A doughnut literally changed my life. I bake simply because I love to and I am still blown away when people tell me they like my style.
What inspired your love of food?
I was lucky enough to have many influences as I grew up – an Austrian grandmother who made the best potato salad, Arabic friends who introduced me to beautiful spices and dips, an encouraging Food Technology teacher in high school. I am not actually sure where it started, but for as long as I can remember it has been the one thing I have always been passionate about.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Being interviewed by Gourmand & Gourmet feels like a pretty big deal! But probably what makes me most proud is that I just gave it a go. The fact that it has all started with a bang is just a beautiful, unexpected bonus and I feel so immensely grateful.
What does a typical week at work involve for you, besides “Full on!”
A lot of my week is taken up with consultations and quoting. I really enjoy the process of learning who my client is and what they need from their cake. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are my busiest days with early drives out to the flower markets, mixing, baking, washing up (so much washing up), torting, filling, frosting, stacking, tinting, piping, painting, arranging, boxing, delivering and setting up cakes. In the evenings I reply to emails, catch up on paperwork and making make plans for the future of Petal and Peach. I spend too much of my week wondering if a frosting is too peach or too pink.
What does the future hold for Petal & Peach?
Petal and Peach is quickly making a bold statement in the events industry. We have several exciting collaborations in the pipeline and that will be our focus for the next twelve months. We are also planning on launching some new desserts through the year.
What do you think of the Brisbane food scene right now?
Brisbane is a really exciting place to be at the moment. I am enjoying seeing a wide variety of foods from different countries and cultures become more and more available in my local area. I also feel that Brisbane has some of the best Middle Eastern inspired restaurants in the country, which is wonderful because that is my absolute favourite.
What do you love most about your job?
Being included in some of the most special celebrations, visiting the flower markets where I find most of my inspiration for cakes and of course, flavour development before a new product is launched.
If we took a peek in your fridge, what would we find?
Roughly 46 Cherry ripes.
Maleny gurnsey milk.
A coconut and raspberry cake with Tahitian vanilla cheesecake frosting (it is a test combo and I think it’s safe to say it works!)
A small bunch of Dahlias and baby gum.
Where/what was the last great meal you ate in Brisbane?
Gerard’s Bistro – the bekka wings with yoghurt and rose, bone marrow and lamb fat salted caramel were the standouts.