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Cakeboi headlining 2023 Maitland Aroma Festival


Crepes, cookies, cakes and pastries dished up by the region’s favourite sweet-guy Cakeboi Reece Hignell, such is the plan for the 2023 Maitland Aroma Coffee and Chocolate Festival next month. 

The popular two-day event will be headlined by the former MasterChef contestant and Newcastle business owner when it hits The Levee’s Riverside Car Park from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August. 

The festival, says Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold, celebrates the best of winter and has become an unmissable event for local coffee and chocolate connoisseurs of all ages. 

“What better way to ward off the winter chill than with a warm coffee from some of the Hunter’s finest roasters in hand, and a decadent sweet treat to match,” he said.  

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Hignell, better known as Cakeboi, will emcee the event’s Flavour Stage, where local businesses and roasters such as River Roast, My Three Beans and Schibello Coffee run a host of delicious workshops and demonstrations.  

Patrons can wander between brews to learn all about crafting the perfect coffee at home, cake decoration, different coffee flavours from around the world and more.  

Joining the line-up of vendors at Maitland Aroma are featured coffee partner Bliss Coffee Roasters, as well as Dash and the Hound, Sprocket Roasters, Aurebelle Coffee and Gourmet Coffee Cruiser.  

Mr Hignell said he was “excited to be on stage and sharing some cooking tidbits with the people of Maitland”.

“We’ll be bringing everyone on a journey over the weekend, with some insightful sessions where you can soak up some culinary advice that you can take home and try out,” he said. 

“Whether you’re a passionate baking enthusiast or simply have a sweet tooth, there’s something for everyone.” 

The event promises pastries aplenty, with chocolate treats from Funky Monkey Cookies, Cacaotte Organic Chocolate, Choux Patisserie, Big Thicc and Mama Rosie’s Rocky Road amongst the stallholders. 

A collection of local musos, such as the Pat Eyre Duo, jazz band Half Nelson, soul group Hamilton Alley Trio and Lady and Jay, will bring the tunes.  

Maitland Aroma is a free entry, all ages event with family activities, such as painting with coffee and pretend play fun in the Babyccinos Kids Zone.  

It also offers non-chocolate and coffee treats too, including wine and craft beer, cider and liqueurs.  

Estia Health joins Maitland Aroma this year as the event’s community partner, while Norco and MILKLAB serve as milk and alternative milk partner, respectively.  

Keen on cakes? – try this recipe by Reece Hignell aka Cakeboi.

Reece Hignell at his Hamilton-based café, Cakeboi. Photo: Peter Stoop

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