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Bumping the Bland – Rowie’s Cakes

Oscar Wilde, an appreciator of fine things once said: “I can resist everything except temptation.”

For many people a taste of something tempting can bring them undone.

Fortunately a hero has come along.
A heroine actually.


She carries a promise of happiness for the many who suffer from food allergies and intolerances, but still would like to enjoy a guilt-free treat.

She knows because she is one of them, diagnosed 20 years ago.

Rowie Dillon of Rowie’s Cakes has been hard at work for 14 years to bring a mouthful of magnificence for those who have to be conscious of what their body can tolerate.
She now presides over kitchens that bake lovely products all free of wheat, yeast, dairy and gluten. She also does delights free of soy, egg and nuts.


No way are these boring and bland. They are indulgently wicked cakes, bickies, treats and desserts.

Of course there are secrets, and it has taken many years of test recipes to get things just right. On her list of ingredients are flours made from Aztec grains like tapioca and quinoa, as well as rice, corn and amaranth, and a range of natural oils. When you delete dairy and eggs you can balance these for different tones, textures and tastes, from soft to crunchy, velvety to silky. Her healthy snacks now taste so good the rest of the population who have no allergy worries seek them out for their deliciousness. Never has naughty tasted so nice.

She goes to work cheerfully every morning. “When you talk cakes, you’re talking happy.”


The world appears to agree and loves what she does; as well as distribution through David Jones, Woolworths and Thomas Dux you can find them on Qantas and Tiger Air. They take 6000 cakes and 2000 gourmet sandwiches a day. Her famously scrumptious Rocky Road ships out at a pallet a day.


Her first book, titled ‘Indulge’, is a source of gluten-free sweet and savoury recipes. She is working on her second book, with even more indulgence.

For the future, Rowie is looking to double her capacity in the next 18 months, setting aside a special kitchen for a growing range of savoury products

Rowie’s motto is: Damn fine ingredients and ethical production.


You can taste that in every mouthful.

For those who thought they had been dealt some bad cards, Rowie’s Cakes are proof that bland doesn’t have to be in your hand ever again.


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Ian MacTavish

Mr MacTavish is a celebrated writer and one of Australia's more respected Wine reviewers, appearing regularly in national magazines, in print and on line. So far, he has never been heard to say 'no' to a wee dram.

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