A little bakery with big dreams in Northcote has taken accommodating food intolerances and allergies to the next level. Buku Cakery has only been open for 7 months, but is already making waves in Melbourne’s growing vegan and health-conscious community. Mother and daughter duo Christina & Tesha were inspired to begin Buku Cakery due to Christina’s gluten & dairy intolerances, and resultant love of alternative baking. Tesha is a pastry chef by trade, who is self-taught in the (often complex) art of vegan baking.
The attention to detail in each and every baked good is astounding, starting with the ingredients they go to great lengths to specially source. No animal products, gluten or refined sugar are used at Buku. Instead, Tesha spent almost two years sourcing a unique coconut sugar to sweeten everything, which is lighter & has a lower moisture content than most varieties. Gluten-free flours are made in-house from scratch, with brown rice flour and aquafaba (otherwise known as the liquid of cooked chickpeas) common base ingredients.
And there are by no means any ordinary goods offered at Buku- this is no basic vegan bakeshop. Think beetroot blackbean brownie, yuzu lemon slice, nocatolli, hazelnut roche, coconut cacao protein truffles- just a few varieties of traditional baked goods that Tesha has reinvented as vegan.
“It’s just a miracle, I don’t even know how I did it,” says Tesha of her one-off gluten, dairy & refined sugar free pistachio and raspberry cake, iced with coconut yoghurt frosting & garnished with fresh flowers. We suspect these “miracle” moments happen often at Buku, given the exhausting trial and error method required to perfect vegan baked-goods.
A dine-in plant-based breakfast and lunch menu accompanies the dessert-filled cabinets. A vegan pavlova porridge, and mango & coconut yoghurt chia pot take our fancy, as does a housemade nut and seed toast (topped with paleo cacao hazelnut spread, no less). Indulgent, guilt free smoothies in strawberry, salted butterscotch and crème-brulee varieties are a a standout, as is the apple-pie kombucha spider.
A don’t be too shy to ask for a special request- Buku are able to whip up extraordinary one-off cakes given a little notice- just ask the chef!
Buku is located at 555 High St Northcote, and open Wednesday-Sunday 8am-4pm.