There’s a new cake shop on Roman Road but this one bakes cakes to order, as well as selling them by the slice.
Run single handedly by owner and baker David Amoateng, Mama Mae’s designs, creates and bakes customers’ ideas into reality. By either choosing from a selection of sponge and icing flavours, or requesting your own, Amoateng will bring your cake creation to life in the small room tucked away at the back – all in an impressively quick turnaround – usually under just a few hours and up to 48-hours for more intricate bakes.
Nestled in-between Zee & Co and the Young Prince, the shop’s slate grey and glass exterior speaks to its contemporary interior. With hanging plants, a cork board countertop and an oversized wooden spoon for a door handle, the tiny shop with a single coffee table provides the eye with a feast of delights.
The design? ‘Oh yeah, that was me too,’ Amoateng replies humbly, who was a graphic designer in his previous life. The shop’s title, however, was inspired by his mother Mary, whom ‘everyone called Mae.’
Amoateng has enjoyed baking cakes since school. ‘In Year Nine we had to take food-tech classes and I remember thinking, this is actually quite fun.’
‘Since then, it’s largely been a process of trial and error: trying out different recipes and getting friends to taste them’. This method appears to have worked, as evidenced by the expertly crafted array of cakes on display, including a delectable-looking vegan chocolate and peanut butter slice.
Mama Mae’s most popular option is their vegan classic vanilla; Amoateng’s personal favourite is pistachio and rose. About 70% of what he bakes is vegan, as that’s what people seem to want the most.
Making vegan cakes isn’t that tricky, he explains, ‘Now that I’ve found a recipe that works, I just stick to that.’ Replacing the egg is a piece of cake, ‘I use soya and vinegar to make buttermilk, which helps with the rise.’
Amoateng tries to find his ingredients from sustainable sources, such as one of his favourite brand’s Aduna, which trades fairly with West African suppliers. ‘I like using traditional flavours which have a West African kick’ which can be found in his Chin-Chin-influenced cake – a popular snack from the region.
All of his cakes contain baobab, a fruit which comes from Africa’s ‘tree of life’. ‘Baobab is an awesome super fruit’, Amoateng explains, ‘it works as a natural raising agent but it’s rich in vitamin C too. I like the idea of my cakes not only tasting good but also having some health benefits.’
As well as requesting cakes for collection or delivery, you can also sit in at Mama Mae’s and eat cake by the slice (or two), while sipping on a cup of Nude coffee.
‘When I first had the idea of the shop, I thought offering tea would be enough, but my friends warned me that “you simply can’t have cake without coffee”, so I make that too.’
Cake fanatics will be pleased to know Mama Mae’s are currently running a happy hour from 6pm until 7pm on weekdays, where a selection of treats are half price. Yes, half price.
Amoateng, who’s from Dalston, wanted to base Mama Mae’s on Roman Road because of his fond childhood memories visiting the market every Saturday with his sister. ‘I always thought that if I had to choose somewhere to start the cake service, it would be here.’
Mama Mae’s, 452 Roman Road, E3 5LU
If you enjoyed this, check out Loafing’s bakes on Roman Road.
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