Mississauga woman competes in Cross Country Cake Off reality show

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Published June 6, 2023 at 10:03 am

tanuja premachandran cake off mississauga
Mississauga resident Tanuja Premachandran appears in the Cross Country Cake Off. Photos courtesy of CTV's Cross Country Cake Off

A Mississauga woman takes her cake-decorating talents to a popular reality show this week.

Cooksville resident Tanuja Premachandran will appear on Cross Country Cake Off on CTV this Friday, June 9.

“This is an experience of a lifetime,” Premachandran tells insauga.com. “Who’d ever thought that I would ever be on a TV show.”

Premachandran, who works full time in human resources, started decorating cakes about eight years ago in her home country of India. She started watching TV shows and reading magazines about making cakes.

“There were these cake shows on some of the channels,” she says. “So I used to ardently watch them and get inspired.”

It was difficult to find the materials she needed in India.

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“Basically, in the part of the world that I come from baking is not a household activity, right? You know, we don’t bake often.”

So she started with simple tea cakes. But her husband’s job took the family to the U.S. about five years ago, and Mississauga about two years ago. And she continued to work on her cake-making skills.

Now, she makes beautifully decorated cakes on the weekends for family, friends and neighbours in her condo building. People come to her asking for unique cakes.

“I just try to help them out, and I enjoy doing that decorative stuff on cake. So basically, my forte, I would say, is fondant work,” she says.

Fondant is a type of icing used to decorate or sculpt on cakes.

Premachandran also makes special birthday cakes for her daughter who just turned 13 years old.

tanuja premachandran cake off mississauga

As her cakes have become popular, Premachandran’s friends thought of her when Cross Country Cake Off put out a casting call. She went through the lengthy process of interviews but didn’t think she would make it.

“I had doubts about myself,” she says.

As a home baker without professional training, she was thrilled to be selected for the show.

“Getting on TV was never in my wildest imagination,” she says. “It was a great, great experience getting to see and meet so many people (and) getting to see how all of it works — that was a beautiful experience.”

Premachandran, her family and friends are getting together to watch the episode this Friday.

“They’re excited,” she says. “We personally do not know anybody who has been on a reality show.”

The show is the mid-Canada round, one of five regional qualifying rounds in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.

In each regional episode, eight bakers present their homemade creations to the judges in hopes of securing a spot in the next round. From there, the top four cake makers from each qualifier move forward to compete in a timed cake challenge in the Cross Country Cake Off kitchen.

tanuja premachandran cake off mississauga

Premachandran faces seven other cake makers in the episode filmed at Casa Loma in Toronto and she can’t say how she did (we have to watch and find out). But she said the experience meeting other talented bakers has inspired her to continue learning new techniques.

“All those little experiences, they count, they count a lot,” she says. And that is something that will stay a very, very beautiful memory in my lifetime.”

For more information on the show, see the website here.

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