Robyn enjoys the sweet life

Some of the cakes displayed in previous year created by bakers from around Australia.

Sunshine Coast cake artist Robyn Brown may have retired from the public services a couple of years ago, but she is busier than ever swapping accounting for cake making.

While her new business Brownz Bakes keeps her busy right now she is preparing for the annual International Cake Show Australia (ICSA) being held in Brisbane from 12-14 April.

For the first time based at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre’s Exhibition Hall two, the show is Australia’s huge cake and cookie decorating, baking and sugar art show. It takes sweet creativity to a whole new level and is best described as an edible art gallery meets Willy Wonka’s famous factory, a food festival, culinary college and shoppers’ paradise.

Sweet enthusiasts from all Australian States, and 27 different countries travel to Brisbane each year to soak up the sweet atmosphere, upskill, compete and shop till they drop.

Robyn, a member and secretary of the Australian Cake Artists and Decorators Association has been nominated for the ACADA 2024 Cake Oscar Award for Wafer Paper Artist of the Year.

“I mainly create wedding cakes,” she said.

“That’s what I aim to do but I also do birthday cakes, children’s birthday cakes. Custom cakes to suit the individual.

“Everybody can get a cookie-cutter cake from just about anywhere but sometimes they don’t want that shape, that size or that flavour.

“There is quite a big call for custom cakes on the coast.”

She said cake-making was pretty much a lifelong occupation but during Covid she and her husband decide it was time to come north and retire and while golf three times a week was appealing for her other half; Robyn knew she wanted more.

“I’ve been doing wedding cakes since I was 16 and then it was between having children and needing to have a real job,” she said.

“I worked at Woolworths and the public service. While working for the public service I did an accounting degree and a CPA.

“When I came up here – I retired at 54 and went – I’m too young to sit and watch Netflix for the next 20-30 years. I went what can I do? It was then I drew back on my cakemaking.

“When I was working, I used to do people’s cakes free, and people said you should give up the public service and do this full time.

“Let me tell you, you will not get paid doing cake for what I was getting paid in the public service – just putting it out there. And you work less hours when you work for somebody else. People don’t appreciate how much goes into what they call a “simple cake” – how many hours, how much work. It’s the going backwards and forwards – there’s a lot of unpaid hours.”

Robyn’s speciality is wedding cakes, putting a lot of effort into her beautiful wafer paper and sugar creations that adorn stunning cakes.

“I do predominantly wedding cakes – a lot of fondant,” she said.

“There are a lot of butter cream bakers or cake artists up here. But not a lot of fondant artists, people don’t like fondant. Well they like to eat it, but people don’t like to play with it.”

International Cake Show Australia 2024 Fast Facts

Where: Exhibition Hall Two, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Corner Glenelg and Merivale Streets, South Brisbane

When: 12-14 April

Open to the public: 10am – 4pm Daily

Bookings and information: head to the ACADA website.

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