Melbourne has so much to offer. I love experiencing new places and events and sharing them with you.
I have an interest in gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diets so I will let you know if you these can be catered for in my reviews.
Toucan Cakes has only been around since the end of March 2012 and already is taking Melbourne by storm. Started by Sara Calleja, it began as love for baking. Sara became vegan in March and found herself in a predicament – "I LOVE baking, and could not imagine making a cake free of eggs, milk and butter; the basic essential ingredients of a cake." She began experimenting with other ingredients, and has come up with an extensive cake menu that is innovative, fresh and delicious.
The upside of this experiment was that people wanted to buy her cakes. "Originally I intended to sell to friends and family, but soon other people were finding out about them and also wanting to order". So primarily through word of mouth and much repeated business, the cake orders rose.
The most popular flavours are cookies n' cream, chocolate and coconut and vanilla bean and pistachio. Check out the menu online, there are so many to chose from, Sara has provided a shortlist to make the job of choosing easier, (and believe me you will need help). From time to time you can order a sample box of cupcakes to provide a range of tastes and help you decide on your favourites.
So our friends and we sampled some on the weekend. We tried a few different varieties.
Apple cider cinnamon cupcakes - made with real apple cider, icing, a sprinkling of cinnamon and a decorative cinnamon stick.
Orange cupcakes - a moist cake made with freshly squeezed orange juice and grated orange zest. Topped with cream cheese frosting.
Peanut butter chocolate - Chocolate cake with peanut butter swirls topped with choc peanut butter frosting.
We also tried the sticky date cake - a sweet caramel cake with chopped dates and a sticky caramel glaze. My friends and I loved it. The walnuts and caramel like flavour makes this one a real winner.
I asked Sara of her Toucan's goals: "My goals are simple: I want to be able to do what I love (which is making cakes), and promote veganism and animal welfare through food. Toucan Cakes has already donated cakes towards fundraisers for the Cancer Council Australia, Pet's Haven Animal Rescue, Second Chance Animal Rescue Shelter, and a Vegetarian Victoria event. In the very near future I plan on increasing donations and regularly sponsoring Edgar's Mission. Animal welfare is very important to me, and I want to use my business to support fantastic charities dedicated to helping animals."
Currently Toucan cakes is building a new website, but in the meantime you can place an order via email or Facebook. You can have them delivered for more than $20 spent, within a 15km radius of Brunswick, or pick them up.
The price for cupcakes are $24 for 12 cupcakes (except for those with spirits). You can also buy cakes from Toucan such as a single layer frosted 7 inch cake for $12.
These cupcakes and cakes are amazing, and knowing that they are kinder to animals and your body, because they are vegan, is just the icing on the cake.