A family’s heritage of baking comes to life on Swanston St
Cousins Trini Lee and Tia Tan are bringing their shared passion for baking and entrepreneurial dreams to life.
The duo recently launched Miilk Cake Studio, an Asian-inspired cake shop at 166 Swanston St, with recipes including childhood favourites passed down by aunties and uncles for generations.
The menu features an array of heart-warming classics such as basque cheesecake, red velvet, and a silky chocolate tart using 21 diverse flavours including pandan and purple ube yam.
But the “true stars of the show” are the Singaporean-inspired cakes not available at your average cake shop.
These include the Triple Hojicha, made with pure Japanese hojicha and infused into Miilk cream and sponge, a “light-as-air cake for any event”, while the Tropical Paradise is a “perfect pairing” of pandan and mango, with the sweet pops of mango jelly throughout “are sure to impress”.
“We love the hustle and bustle of Melbourne city, there seems to be no better place than here to share our South-East Asian inspired goodies,” Trini and Tia said.
We’ve loved cakes from a very young age and always looked forward to birthday parties and crazy cakes - think ice cream cake, a princess castle, luscious chocolate mud cake and a life-sized Elmo.
Through Miilk Cake Studio, the pair said they hoped to share their family’s heritage baking, which began in 1950 when the Tan family’s humble bread shop called Tong Ann Bakery was founded in the small regional village of Bukit Timah, Singapore, while Trini’s mother also owned a hot bread shop in Darwin.
Trini and Tia, who also live in the CBD, started operating a franchise cake business from their teenage years, but during COVID, they fine-tuned their family recipes and launched Miilk online, and “now we are so happy to be able to have Miilk Cake Studio on Swanston St”.
Trini has a marketing and management degree from the Australian Catholic University, and Tia has a commerce degree from Melbourne University, which together they said, “brings baking and business to life” while celebrating precious family recipes and generations of professional cake-baking experience.
Miilk uses both plant-based and dairy milk in the baking process to ensure inclusivity across dietary preferences/allergies and intolerances.
“We’re almost at the one-month mark now [since opening] and it’s safe to say that it has been a great start,” Trini and Tia said.
“Of course, we know we have a long way to go and still want to keep gathering feedback, improving products, getting to know new and old faces, and hopefully make many more cakes for your special occasions!” •
For more information: miilkcakestudio.com
Caption: The team at MiiLK Cake Studio celebrate the opening of their shop on Swanston St. Photography: Hannah Komissarova.