Sweet taste of success

The arrival of Cakeboi in Hamilton has stirred up our love of home-made baking.

We all know him from the hit cooking show Masterchef – both the first and second time he appeared. Now Reece Hignell has taken his love of baking, added a sprinkle of fun and a dollop of classic cookery to create Cakeboi – his very own bakery, right in the heart of the Hunter.

Located in Lindsay Street, Hamilton, on the site of the former Pina’s Delicatessen, the space has been transformed into a wonderland of sugar, flour, butter, and colour. “I am so in love with the shop,” Reece said. “I love a bit of pastel pink, so painting the entire shop pink was a no brainer for me.”

With quirky signage, indoor and outdoor tables, plus the busy kitchen, you can sneak peaks into at the back of the space. The centre piece of the bakery is the cake display – full of delicious creations whipped up fresh each morning, ready to disappear slice-by-slice to the enthusiastic hungry following that Cakeboi has already won over.

“I bake whatever I like,” Reece laughed. “I have been flicking through my Nan’s cook books trying to find new ideas and inspiration. Even my staff have brought in recipes which we have tried in the shop.”
While the cake menu isn’t set in stone, you’ll find a regular mixture of classics and seasonal delights to tempt the tastebuds, including frangipane tarts, carrot cake with burnt butter and cream cheese frosting, flourless chocolate cake, dulce de leche, Persian love cake, coconut and raspberry cake, banana, coconut and caramel cake, Nan’s scones and more.

It was originally Reece’s late grandmother who introduced him to the baking world in the first place, and she still influences what he bakes, every day.

“My cakes are heavily inspired by old-school cooking, stuff my Nan would make, or the baking angels who are known as the CWA (Country Women’s Association) bakers. I just love classic cakes. I feel they have so much more to give in flavour and texture,” he said.

And they do. When you visit Cakeboi, it’s hard to decide just which tasty treat to select – better to bring along a friend with whom you can share a slice or two (or three) and then take a few home for later. Each cake is a winner.

Read more in the Winter issue of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.

Story by Judith Whitfield, images courtesy of Cakeboi