Recently, we featured talented Australian-Croatian baker Valentina Toto and her fantastic Croatian-themed super realistic cake creations
Today we meet two more talented Croatian diaspora bakers, Tanya Petrina in Canada and Anita Ćudina in Australia, who are putting smiles on people’s faces with their amazing Croatian-themed super realistic cakes for all occasions.
Tanya in Canada
Born in Toronto, Canada, where she currently lives, both of Tanya’s parents were born in Croatia’s Karlovac County close to Ozalj.
Tanya is a self-taught baker who always had a passion for baking from a young age.
“For special occasions and holidays, I would usually bake for my friends and family for fun. I eventually began receiving requests to bake Croatian kolače (traditional Croatian cookies) for people within the community. Through word of mouth and with the help of my Instagram account, I quickly began receiving more inquiries and have established a client base,” Tanya explains.
Tanya first starting making a few Croatian-themed cakes with a Croatian grb for her dad’s birthdays and that has expanded.
“I have been doing cookie, cake and cupcake orders occasionally over the last few years. Last year, in early 2020, I started making Croatian-themed cakes based on client requests. As I posted pictures of the cakes on my Instagram account, the Croatian-themed cakes became a very popular demand. I found that people got more and more creative with their requests, once they saw a few I had already made. Some clients give me the full creative freedom to make the cake designs, only asking that there is a Croatian grb or a specific Croatian theme,” she says.
Tanya says that making a cake from start to finish takes a lot of time, first for planning/designing and then for baking/assembling.
“Once I have worked with the client to establish the design and ensure it is feasible, I need to allot quite a bit of hours for the various steps which usually include: making the cake batter and baking the cake, making the icing and colouring it, making fillings, prepping the decor/details that would go on the cake, and finally putting everything together. Each cake is unique so the amount of time spent will vary. No matter how big or small the cake is, a lot of details go into making a specialty cake, and I always ensure that I make the perfect cake for every client.”
Tanya says he has made more than 25 Croatian inspired/themed cakes since the beginning of 2020 and has upcoming orders for them in the next two months.
“I have made them for family, friends, friends of friends, referrals from past clients and others who have found me through Instagram. I only bake part-time, so there is limited availability,” Tanya concludes.
You can find Tanya on Instagram @bakedbytp.
Anita in Australia
Born in Australia, Anita Ćudina currently is based in Perth, Western Australia. Both of her parents are from Pakoštane, a coastal village set between Zadar and Šibenik.
Anita grew up in a small Croatian Community in Fremantle and her parents and family have been and still are actively involved in the Croatian Community.
“I danced folklore for Hrvatska Folklorna Grupa ‘Zagreb’ as a child and still do today alongside my children and husband. I am also a member of the committee for HFG Zagreb. Our soccer club North Perth Croatia/Western Knights was an important part of my life, my parents being founding members and to this day I still continue to help the club,” says Anita, who first started decorating cakes in 2012.
“It was something I wanted to try. I soon found out I had a bit of a creative streak and really enjoyed it and started a small business. After 6 years I decided to limit the number of cakes I did, so now I only choose to do cakes on the odd occasion and for family. With the help of my mum I am now making Croatian Biscuits which I make and sell to order,” she says.
Anita created her first Croatian-themed cake back in 2013 for her soccer club Western Knights’ 45th Anniversary Celebration for 350 people.
“It was an honour to make this cake as this is the club which I have grown up with and the club that is close to my heart. 5 years later I made the 50th Anniversary cake too,” Anita said, before adding.
“Every cake is different but for example the goalkeeper gravity defying cake took approximately 30 hours from start to finish (I did it over one week). This involving the planning, structure, baking, ganaching and decorating. The whole cake was edible apart from the board, frame and goals.”
Anita has also made about 25-30 Croatian-themed cakes, with the majority of the soccer cakes for her son’s birthdays.
“I do cakes for weddings, baby shower/gender reveal, kid’s birthday, holy communion, confirmation, christenings you name it. I have made wine barrel cakes, handbag cakes, soccer boot and sneaker cakes, ladies stiletto shoe cakes, trains, trucks, boats, cars, minions, paint tins and lots lots more,” Anita concludes.
You can reach Anita on email: [email protected]