A self-taught baker who learned her craft on Google and YouTube now makes professional-standard desserts that regularly go viral on social media.
Busy teacher and mother-of-three Walla Abu-Eid has been whipping up incredible cakes in the kitchen of her Guildford home in Sydney’s inner-west since 2013.
The 30-year-old’s mouthwatering creations have garnered a loyal audience of 67,300 followers less than a year after she started an Instagram page to promote her homemade recipes and part-time catering business.
Among her most popular posts is a decadent baked cheesecake made from six simple ingredients and flavoured with Lotus Biscoff, a spiced cinnamon biscuit and spread popular in Belgium.
‘It’s been crazy. People tell me my cakes look so professional, but I really just do it as a hobby whenever I have time,’ Ms Abu-Eid told Daily Mail Australia.
Self-taught baker Walla Abueid’s ‘Lotus Biscoff cheesecake’, flavoured with biscuits and spread from the iconic Belgian brand
The baked dessert (pictured) is made from six simple ingredients: eggs, cream cheese, sugar, butter flour and vanilla extract
Gifted baker and mum-of-three Walla Abu-Eid
Fans flood the comments to gush over her talent and creativity, with many requesting custom-made cakes for birthdays and family gatherings.
One Sydney mother said she went to the supermarket specifically to buy Biscoff spread and biscuits ‘all thanks’ to Ms Abu-Eid’s Instagram account which inspired her to start baking.
‘This is truly a sigh to behold,’ another said of her sumptuous cheesecake.
And it’s not the only Biscoff-inspired dessert on Ms Abu-Eid’s Instagram feed, which is filled with carefully curated photos of doughnuts, mousses and tarts all built around the distinctive cinnamon sweet.
Walla’s Biscoff cheesecake recipe
32 Biscoff biscuits
100g unsalted butter, melted
500g Philadelphia cheese (room temp)
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
125g sour cream (room temp)
1 jar Biscoff spread (softened in the microwave)
1. Crush biscuits in a food processor then add melted butter and mix well.
2. Place biscuits on the base and sides of a springform tin. Place in the fridge until cheese layer is ready.
3. Whisk cream cheese until soft and pale. Add sour cream, sugar and flour and whisk until well mixed.
4. Add Biscoff spread and mix well. Add eggs (one at a time) and mix between each addition just until just incorporated (be careful not to over-mix).
5. Place in a 160°C oven for 30-45 mins (30 mins if your cake tin is big, 45 mins if smaller). To test, touch centre gently with fingers and make sure it’s just as firm as the sides.
6. Open oven door slightly and cool cheesecake completely before placing it in the fridge. Once at room temperature, place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
7. Decorate with Biscoff spread and biscuits.
Source: Walla Abu-Eid via Instagram
Ms Abu-Eid’s spiced cinnamon Lotus Biscoff cheesecake
A photo of her tantalising ‘Lotus Biscoff lasagne’ posted on May 3 was picked up by over 60 global news outlets and featured on the homepages of Unilad and Ladbible.
‘That went absolutely viral, everyone loved it,’ she said.
Asked if she had secured a paid partnership with Lotus to promote the brand, the baker laughed and said a collaboration like that would be a dream come true.
‘I wish I had a deal with Biscoff, I just love the flavour. I actually did contact them, but no word yet!’ she said.
Ms Abueid (left) in May shared photos of her ‘Biscoff lasagne’ (right) which was picked up by more than 60 global news outlets including Unilad and Ladbible
Ms Abu-Eid’s Lotus Biscoff doughnuts, topped with a caramelised glaze and biscuit crumbs
On the back of the extraordinary baking craze that’s swept Australia and the rest of the world since the coronavirus crisis began, Ms Abu-Eid shared tips and tricks for first-timers looking to step into the kitchen.
Patience and practice are crucial, she says, but there’s no need to enroll in expensive courses.
‘I didn’t go to any academy or take any classes, [I learned] from the internet – lots of Googling, reading blogs and watching YouTube,’ she said.
‘I’d look at clips over and over until I’d gotten everything I could from each one, then move on to the next.’
Ms Abu-Eid never lets herself run out of five staple ingredients – eggs, butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract – which she says forms the base for almost every cake.
Brand partnership imminent: Ms Abu-Eid’s Lotus Biscoff gateaux, stacked over four layers and dripping in caramelised cinnamon fondant
Walla Abueid’s tips for home bakers
1. Patience and practice
Ms Abueid’s remarkable skill has been honed with years of time and effort, with countless hours spent watching YouTube videos and reading cookery blogs to learn how to master challenging techniques like fondant and pastry.
‘It’s a lot of trial an error. At the start of my journey my cakes were ridiculous; I’d say they looked ugly, even!’ she said.
2. Always ask for feedback
Constantly asking for feedback on taste, texture and presentation is the best way to perfect a recipe, Ms Abueid says.
‘Get people to taste your dishes and listen to what they say. Whenever I try a new recipe I upload it online and ask followers to tell me what they think – it’s a great asset,’ she said.
3. Advertise online
For bakers eager to build a following on social media, Ms Abueid says it’s all about consistent sharing and self-promotion.
‘If you’re wanting to turn it into a business, advertise wherever you can – Facebook, Instagram, Marketplace. Just keep posting,’ she said.
While she’s content to keep baking as a much-loved hobby rather than a full-time business, Ms Abu-Eid hopes to pass her skills to at least one her three young daughters.
‘My second girl Masa is very interested, she’s always asking to help in the kitchen,’ she said.
‘We went to the toy store last weekend and she picked a baking set because she said she wants to be just like mum!’
Whether she follows in those footsteps remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Masa and her sisters are exceptionally lucky to have a teacher as gifted as their mother.
To view the full range of Ms Abu-Eid’s cakes or place an order, visit her business Instagram account Bake My Cake by Walla.