Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Ultimate Custard Square Hunt - Windmill Cake Shop, Paraparaumu

Custard squares have been safe from my scrutinising eye for a while - mainly just because opportunity hasn't really presented itself - but today one suffered a cruel death at my hands. Lookout, custardy pastries of Wellington; I'm on the warpath!

Today's victim was from the unassuming looking Windmill Cake Shop, in Paraparaumu. We had driven up to check out the Kapiti Food Fair, which was great, and Windmill had a stall there. Mr Cake reminded me that someone had recommended their custard squares to me. They didn't have any custard squares at the food fair, but the lady on the stall told me the shop would be open until 3pm, so we stopped in on the way past.

They had a huge cabinet, and I can imagine this place bustling with people during the week - hungry worker bees queuing for some sweet treat to go with their lunch. There weren't too many people there when we popped in but still a steady flow, for mid-Saturday afternoon. I was relieved to see that they still had quite a few custard squares.

The specimen we selected - a mere $2 - was quickly photographed, and just as quickly demolished (a poor substitute for a skipped lunch!). We were impressed - it definitely ticks the traditional, unmodernised, un-tampered-with, good old Kiwi classic custard square box - no super fluffy custard or passionfruit icing here! The custard was fresh, vanilla-y, pretty squishy (I suspect gelatine-free, woohoo). The pastry was a teeny bit soggy - probably was baked and filled a good 5-6 hours before we ate it, though, and it did have a great flakiness to it, and some bits were still pretty crisp. The icing was nondescript, unremarkable but not too sweet or gloopy or any of those things. Overall rating: 7.5/10 - great value and a very classic specimen. Nice work, Windmill Cakes!

Windmill Cake Shop is located on Coastlands Parade, Paraparaumu, ph 04 296 1244, They also have a shop in Porirua.


  1. $2!! What! I love out-of-town bakeries :)

  2. I know, right? Though I guess the 45-minute drive makes it a bit costlier for us city folk. ;-)

  3. Good work Mrs Cake! I think you hit the nail on the head about the gelatin. I've had too many bad custard squares and I didn't really realise that it was too much gelatin that made it bad. Custard squares shouldn't be chewy or solid. They should be squidgy melt in the mouth. As for solving the problem of non-fresh custard squares, have you heard of bakertweet? It's been invented but none in NZ as far as I am aware. Basically the bakery involved would tweet everytime a product comes out of the oven. Their fans can choose either to head down and get a fresh custard square, or save themselves for a fresh croissant. I think it is pure genious.

  4. bunnyeatsdesign, bakertweet sounds awesome! I think we need to spread the word. ;-)

  5. They also do a good almond croissant

  6. Yum... I love almond croissant. I love the ones from the French bakery (I forget what it's called) at the top of Willis Street.


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