Alisha Henderson

Hi, I’m Alisha, the cake face behind @sweetbakes_

She, like a good recipe, is a little bit of a lot of things. Once a professional cheerleader, journalism student, fitness instructor, excellent dog patter…and now your friendly neighbourhood cake lady + children’s author.

Her motivations for entering the world of treats is plain and simple. It’s all about fun! Taking the approach that life is meant to be lived with total joy, she naturally, found herself expressing her creativity with the most joyful food on the planet…cake!

Her wild sugary ride began with of a few sugar cookies baked for friends, to now, where she jets about sharing & inspiring fellow dessert enthusiasts in classes both in australia and internationally.  Alisha is passionate about creating fun, fab sweets that taste as good your mum’s baking…but look a little bit more fancy perhaps.

Sweet bakes mission is to inspire & edu-cake bakers everywhere. Alisha and her work are regularly featured in both print & television.

Alisha is the author/illustrator of a new children’s book series – tales of treats, with positive messages … and recipes to bake your characters to life!!

What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Coyo with banana…wow that’s surprising even for me, it’s normally cake.

How long have you been Cake Decorating for?
I’ve been running Sweet Bakes for 7 years!!! My goodness me! I started the business when I was 19 years old and haven’t looked back since.

Why did you choose Cake Decorating?
I feel as if I fell into it accidentally, but cake is truly something special. It most certainly not an essential food group…but my goodness does it have so much power to make people happy! This is why I love baking, it always come back to the ability to create such happiness. Cake is the most joyful food on the planet!

In times of doubt, what do you do to get back into your creative zone?
When I feel frazzled, it indicates to me that something isn’t working and needs to be fixed. I never like to feel as if I’m “caught on the wheel,” so as soon as that starts to creep in, I step back and take a good hard look at the structure of my days. I’m a big believer that the more I do for myself outside of work, the better my work & creative performance are. Meditation, mindfulness, gratitude & goal setting are daily rituals for me to get back in the zone!

Where did you learn your Cake Decorating skills?
I am totally self taught. I learnt how to do what I do, by making ALL of the mistakes possible. I love admitting this, no shame at all!!! Making mistakes is the best way to learn. Life is bumpy, and when cake throws a curve ball at me now, I’m always well equipped to tackle it and fix it because I’ve been there before.

What is your typical day like, what does it entail?
I get up early usually before 6am, meditate, exercise (I teach fitness classes a few days a week at a studio called Rise Nation) then head on into my new commercial premises. At the moment I am baking like a wild woman, and shipping baked goods all over the country. Lockdown has been the opposite of slow for me, things have ramped up! I love being back in the kitchen making Cake Mail, Cookie postcards and mini cakes for lockdown celebrations. I’m so in love with the work I’m doing right now, that even as my day ends and I head home, I am still dreaming up new products and sweet ideas. SO MUCH FUN.

We know Edible Art Paint is a medium you use, what do you love about it?
ITS THE BEST! An artist is only as good as their tools…and honestly it’s highly possible I am a terrible painter and Edible Art Paint is carrying the team here 😉

What is your #1 piece of advice for the newbies in Cake Decorating?
BREAK THE RULES! It’s always nice to get a few foundations covered (like recipes, how to ganache & fondant etc) but the best way to learn is just to cut loose! Try as many techniques as you can… and look beyond the ‘cake’ world for the ultimate inspiration.

Who is your inspiration in the Cake Decorating world?
Bets from  @magnoliakitchen- a dear friend and just a baking biz machine!
Julian Angel @historiadelciervo – Julian is wafer paper flower ROYALITY! Love his style, so fresh and modern!
Kirsten Tibballs @kirstentibballs – Okay so she not a “Cake Decorator” but she’s truly the most talented sweet maker out there (bonus points for being one of the sweetest humans ever too!)

Who is your inspiration out of the Cake Decorating world?
UMMM OPRAH… I mean, she is kinda the spiritual leader of the world as far as I’m concerned.
Do I get bonus points if I say Miranda Pitrovska from Sweet Sticks. Truly I meant it! So resilient, so positive, so incredibly inspiring.