Cooking up inspiration with Madalena Machado da Cruz



Passionate bakers this story is for you! If your dream job would be to create exquisite masterpiece wedding or birthday cakes for a living, Madalena Machado da Cruz will help and inspire you to reach your dreams. Madalena has made a living of teaching cake decorating courses, has baked many delicious wedding and birthday cakes, and regularly supplies the Karkloof Market with Portuguese delicacies and gluten free goods.


It takes one moment to finally decide to follow your heart, passion and belly, in Madalena’s case all it took was to see a beautifully decorated cake to realise this was her destiny. “When my son turned one, my cousin ordered a cake for her daughter and my son as they were born a week apart. When I saw the cake I was marvelled with the decoration and I said to myself that I would make that kind of work. I started with a beginner’s course at Johannesburg Technical College and from then on I taught myself.” Madalena is constantly keeping abreast with the baking industry, “I’m always updated with the new trends and techniques because I teach. I’m in contact with Guilds overseas and people from there, since the time I started teaching.”


Creating wedding cakes hasn’t been the only food path Madalena has taken through her food journey; “I also worked at the Western Holding Mine Canteen as a Catering Supervisor where I replaced a lady that had a Home Economics Degree. I was with them for 8 years and I really enjoy working there; where I had under my supervision the VIP Dining room, the conference room, the kitchen where an average of 100 meals were prepared every day,” says Madalena.


Baking is a labour of love, and Madalena seconds this when sharing the best advice she received in her food journey; “The best cooking advice in the kitchen was given by my granny who was a special person. Always make your cooking with a lot of love, use the best ingredients and remember hygiene is always a high priority.”



Bakers, if you’re wanting to hone in on your skills in cake decorating and take that plunge into creating your dream cake baking business, Madalena’s courses will give you that extra edge, experience and qualification! Scroll further down for one of Madalena’s favourite family Portuguese recipes!

For more information about the courses (beginners, intermediate and advanced) contact Madalena:

Tel: 033-2394424
Cells: 0769702610

Quick questions:

  • What advice would you like to give budding chefs or food obsessed home cooks like myself?
    Use always the best fresh ingredients and always be perfect in what you do. No hurry.
  • What is your favourite meal to cook at home?
    “Galinha a Guia” Chicken a la Guia (a Portuguese specialty)
  • What is your favourite kitchen appliance?
    My Bimby (Thermomix)
  • What is your motto in the kitchen?
    Clean as you work.
  • Who is your chef hero?
    Ron Ben Israel
  • Complete this sentence: I believe food is………….
    “one of the most enjoyable pleasures in life”

Madelena shares a recipe her grandmother used to make frequently.

Chicken Polau Recipe

1 onion chopped
3 cloves chopped
1 chicken cut up in pieces
4 or 5 aniseed stars
Coriander leaves
1 Tbsp Curry powder
Potatoes cut up in quarters
Salt to your taste
Vegetable oil

Fry the onions and garlic in the oil until onions are transparent.
Add the chicken pieces and salt. Cook until chicken is almost done. Add the potatoes.
Add the Aniseed stars and the curry powder and water enough to cook the potatoes. When the potatoes are soft, add the coriander leaves and close the pot, leaving out of the stove for a few minutes before serving with white rice.

One thought on “Cooking up inspiration with Madalena Machado da Cruz

  1. Awesome cake, by a awesome lady.
    I can vouch for your talents and am of the impression that the photos above a mearly a drop in the ocean.
    I would recommend your experience, dedication and patience to any person who really wants to follow this passion and guarentee their success after being a student under your wing.

    Next step, maybe a feature on master chef for a cake challenge???

    Lots of love
    Joao Pinheiro

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