Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop



Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale. Phone: 0424 422 878

The are no animal products at all in any of the goodies available at Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop – including the beverages.

So I am faced with the usually unpalatable prospect of having my cafe latte made with soy milk or the like.

OK, I’m game.


My soy latte ($4.30) is pretty good – it’s strong and quite bitter in a good, coffee way. I’ve certainly had much, much worse in more orthodox and high-falutin’ coffee joints.

But there’s another kind of bitterness – just a whiff of something a little off.

Could I get used to it? Could I learn to like it?

Well, I’d certainly like to, because this is undoubtedly a place for which its worth cultivating affection.

My mini-cupcake ($2), for instance, is a delicate flavour bomb, with good chocolatey taste and lovely icing.

I restrict myself to that one small sample of the goodness going on here on account of having just completed a more substantial meal elsewhere.

But there’s much to oggle – a wide range of cupcakes, a pecan pie, brownies that exude serious intensity.

Bad luck if you’re after savoury filling here, though – as close as you’ll get are the cheesy scrolls made with vegan cheese.


But it’ll be a pleasure to bring Bennie to such a sugary haven – and he’ll for sure dig the artwork that comes into its own once the 3D spectacles are donned.

The rest of the retro-styled decor and vibe are happy and friendly, as are the staff.





Tasty CBD icon embraces nightclub-style crowd control …


Ahhh, Hopetoun Tearooms … beloved cakery in Melbourne’s Royal Arcade.

Home to old ladies of all ages and genders, famed world-wide for its flashy, calorific window display.

Hopetoun Tearooms, it of the incredible green felt embossed wallpaper.

Last watering hole for Bennie’s mum before she headed for the Mercy Hospital up the road.

It’s nothing unusual to see tourists ogling the cake display and even folks queuing for a table.

But, heck, seeing a velvet rope outside and a door bitch coming and going stopped me in my tracks while attending to some CBD business today!

Freshwater Creek Cakes


650 Anglesea Rd, Freshwater Creek. Phone: 5264 5246

Despite its apparent fame – with those who live locally and those headed for some serious leisure time on the Surf Coast or Bellarine Peninsula – online information about Freshwater Creek Cakes has been hard to find.

So I am singularly unprepared for the fact that business does not have EFTPOS facilities.

The staff member who greets me tells me there’s an ATM at the gas station a few hundred metres down the road, so off I go … to find there is no such ATM and that I am left to make what I can of the single $10 note I am carrying.

No matter – it’s a pleasure to be around so much old-style goodiness.

Freshwater Creek Cakes has been operating at the same site since the mid-1980s.

It’s housed in a rather charmless building – the cool roadside signs give a much more evocative reflection of what I am expecting inside.

The No.1 hot-ticket item here are the sponge cakes.

They make about 100 a day and they come in four basic configurations – chocolate, vanilla with passionfruit icing, ginger fluff and a real old-school item called Victoria sponge with just jam and cream.

I don’t need EFTPOS or heaps of cash to know how very fine they are.

My Geelong Advertiser colleague Shaun had brought a couple to work a few nights previously and I happily slurped up a slice of the passionfruit/vanilla number.

Oh my! Deep, rich icing, feather-light sponge and the incredible, smooth and unmistakable texture of real whipped cream. None of that canned garbage here, folks!

Forget your chef’s hats and fancy awards – there is surely no greater praise than “just like mum used to make”!

The sponges cost $15.95 – a fair price given the quality of the product.

Like the cookies and cakes also on display, the prices here seem quite high – but that’s what you pay, I guess, for quality.

As far as bargains go, the day-after sponges are the go.

The bakery gets phone calls every morning inquiring if such items are on hand – not always the case.

They cost $8.

And as everyone knows, day-after sponges can often be even tastier and have, um, more structural integrity than fresh ones.

Confusingly, the cakes and loaves – which sell for about the $12-$13 – are both presented in loaf form.

What’s the difference between a loaf and a cake anyway?

The Freshwater line-up includes apricot and fruit loaf, date and nut loaf, pineapple and carrot loaf, banana cake, chocolate cake, lemon cake and orange cake.

The cookies sell for $7.95 a bag – and it’s on a bag of raspberry shortbreads that I squander the best part of my meagre $10.

They, too, taste “just like mum used to make”!

Freshwater Creek Cakes has a coffee machine but the eating-in options seem to be restricted to a couple of picnic tables to the side.

Cake Art Yarraville



Please note this premises now house a business known as Boutique Cake Art

Here is the message I received yesterday:


Hi there,

Christina here from Boutique Cake Art formerly Cake Art Yarraville. Just touching base as within the year I have currently taken over Cake Art and there have been a lot of changes in terms of services we now provide. Was just wondering whether you could update the piece you have done on this business or take the old profile down. Let me know what information I need to provide if an update is possible.

Thanks in advance

Regards, Christina Blaby Cake Art Yarraville 9314 6776

Monday – closed Tuesday – 10am-6pm Wednesday – 10am-6pm Thursday – 10am -6pm Friday – 10am- 6pm Saturday – 9am- 3pm Sunday – Cake Courses (9am-5pm- By Appointment)

http://www.madbatter.com.au – for cake course information and bookings


I will do a story in due course!


79 Anderson St, Yarraville. Phone: 9314 6776

Kristen Alston has been baking cakes professionally for 20 years and running her cake shop, Baked, in Carlisle St, Balaclava, for six years.

Living locally, though, she is making sure some of her work life lives here, too.

What she calls her “cake studio” has been open on Anderson St for about three weeks.

While there are some of your more prosaic take-home-and-eat cakes on hand, it’s clear the spectacular display cakes that are arrayed around the Anderson St showroom are what will capture the attention and inspire the delight of children and also adults of all ages.

Is it food or is it art? Is it both? Does it matter?

Kristen tells me that her customers by and large do eat their cakes, but some do attempt to let them hang around for as long as possible.

That is about six or seven months.

The outer, colourful shells will last a lot longer, even if they do become inedible, but the bases – mudcake – eventually start shrinking and collapsing.

Despite the advent of TV programs such as Ace Of Cakes, Kristen remains happily unaware of and unconcerned about awards or other competitive or glamourous aspects of her art that may be out there.

“I live in  a bit of a bubble,” she says.

Your typical substantial three-dimensional cake clocks in at about $300 and will feed 30 people.

The weirdest order she’s ever taken was from, ahem, members of a fetish club and involved intertwined penises.

I reckon it’s very hard to go past the Spongebob number.

This is the cake discussed in comments below: