This week I’m taking a stickybeak into the kitchens of Miss Ladybird Cakes in McKinnon, Victoria.
Gina Tubb opened Miss Ladybird Cakes almost two years ago with a plan to design and create custom cakes that were that little bit different. As a qualified chef, Gina likes to use her skills and culinary knowledge to push the boundaries of traditional wedding cakes with a focus on quality ingredients, amazing flavours and lots of love going into every recipe.
The first thing I noticed about entering the quirky shopfront is the aroma, warm cakes baking and caramel, yum! Gina jumped up from answering emails to show me the front cafe or her ‘play space’ as she calls it.
The cafe is filled with vintage furniture as well as a display fridge of treats which are served with tea and coffee on weekends. Gina also uses this space for bridal consults and loves that it allows couples to enter her world while they enjoy a cake tasting.
The custom shelving is Gina’s favourite part of the space and was built by her brother out of op shop finds and vintage pieces to create an impressive wall of display for her cakes. It is an ode to Gina’s passion for baking with cookbooks, ingredients and decorations popping out of nooks and crannies between the cakes. You can’t miss the beautiful mural on one wall designed by Gina’s sister and painted by her brother.
There are three tier cakes trimmed with gold leaf and pretty cakes topped with pastel flowers but there’s also a deep sea octopus cake and one that appears to have blood dripping down the side. Gina explains that it was designed to be red paint as in “painting the roses red” from Alice in Wonderland and whilst people either love it or they hate it, it makes a great talking point.
Past the shopfront is Gina’s office and then the kitchens which Gina likes to call the real heart of her business at Miss LadyBird Cakes. I meet ‘Lola the oven’ which had to come in through the window when they first put her in. Chef Amelia is busy prepping wholesale cake orders and there are fridges filled with every possible treat from macarons to slices.
Gina is here seven days per week and is often working long into the night after her staff have gone home. “It’s the less glamorous side to the business” she says. “It’s not all pretty Instagram posts and putting fresh flowers on cakes, it’s me in my flour covered apron bent over the oven or driving deliveries all over town”. “It’s a lot of hard work but I wouldn’t have it any other way”.
All images via Samara Clifford Photography
Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a charming look into a wonderful world of cakes and sweet treats! Just imagine a wedding cake or a dessert buffet….
About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events. Make Your Day Wedding Styling is my creative outlet and I love nothing more than that ten minutes just before the guests enter the wedding reception, it feels like a special sort of magic!