A library of innovative cake decorating courses to help you

Spark new cake ideas, unlock creativity and stand out from the crowd.

Access the Level-UP library

Find your unique cake style

Stand out from the crowd!

Hey, buttercream cakemaker!

The cake world focuses a lot on teaching people how to make a decent-looking cake. Baking, making buttercream, covering, sharp edges, stacking, decorating etc. There’s a lot to learn and master. BUT…

What happens after you’ve become proficient at cake making?

The harsh truth is…

Once you’ve achieved proficiency, your cakes just blend in with the rest.

Think about it. Countless others have honed the same skills as you, producing equally impressive cakes.

Rookie Mistakes to avoid in your cake making in a Don't Tell Charles workshop

So, how do you rise above the sea of sameness?

How do you stand out from the crowd?

The answer lies in

unleashing your creativity


level up

A library of innovative courses specifically designed to help you

Spark new cake ideas

Unlock creativity

Stand out from the crowd!

Get instant access to world-class


$199 VALUE

Abstract Buttercream Painting

$199 VALUE

Abstract Buttercream Piping

$199 VALUE

Sandstone Buttercream

$199 VALUE

Beach Stone Buttercream

$199 VALUE

Marble Buttercream

$499 VALUE

Turn ideas into awesome cake designs

$199 VALUE

Buttercream Flower Patterns

$199 VALUE


$199 VALUE

Retro Buttercream Pattern


Fried Rice Paper Decoration


Chocolate Flowers Decorations


Marble Chocolate Sail Decoration


Abstract Chocolate Decorations


How to cover a cake with chocolate ganache


How to work with styrofoam dummies


How to prepare a transfer sheet


How to make practice buttercream

Pay once for LIFETIME access

Get free access to new courses & updates

Lifetime support from instructor & student community

I’m in love !!

Cake decorating can sometimes be rather boring after you run out of ideas on what to do. However, this Level-up *library* will give you new ideas and techniques! Now, instead of running out of ideas on what to do, I’m running out of time trying to keep up to try out new techniques!


Are you

in the right place?



Gain proficiency on a skill-by-skill basis. Build a strong foundation. Learn by mirroring techniques of others.

If you’re at this stage, check out this course instead. 



Combine foundational skills together in new and more interesting ways. Experiment. Develop own unique style.

If you’re at this stage, Level-UP is perfect for you!



See the full picture and bend/change the rules to achieve spectacular results.  10,000 hours of intense practice. Innovative breakthrough.

If you’re here, you don’t need any course! 🙌

* The above concept of 3 stages of mastery is by Robert Greene, as outlined in his book, Mastery.

Too busy to be creative?

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the past 10 years as a cake artist, it’s that cake making is a lot. And it can get pretty lonely.

Most often, you’re juggling everything on your own. You’re the dishwasher, the shopper, the planner, the baker…

You love creating and it’s what gives you JOY but in order to do what you love, you also have to do the stuff that you don’t… well, really love (I’m looking at you, dishes!!🍽️).

Unfortunately, juggling ALL THE THINGS takes up so much of your time and energy.  Although you would love to experiment more so you can spark new ideas and nurture creativity, you simply don’t have the time or the brain space. 🥱

I get it.

This is EXACTLY why I created Level-UP, for time-poor and energy-depleted cake-makers like you.

The idea is

I fail first so you don't have to

I’d come up with innovative cake decorating ideas and also show you how to do the same.

Then I’d test out those ideas on your behalf to save you valuable time. The mucking around and the cake fails are on me.

Once I’ve arrived at a fun and innovative new cake-decorating technique, I turn it into a course for you.

Thao sitting on a stool leaning on a bench with a range of cakes on it

All YOU have to do is follow the courses, pay attention to my process and

watch your creativity soar!

Did you notice a


My first go at …

It’s not perfect but I love it!

I know exactly what to do better next time!

If you’re looking to master foundational buttercream cake-making skills, Level-UP isn’t the right place for you (check out our foundation building course, Buttercream Cake Mastery instead).  BUT, if you’ve already got those skills and you want to challenge yourself in order to GROW, Level-UP is your tribe. 

Inside this membership, it’s not about creating perfect-looking cakes.

(you already got the skills for that).

It’s about

having the courage

to try something new,

embracing the unknown, taking risks and creating imperfect cakes that teach you invaluable lessons along the way.

Course Spotlight

Abstract Buttercream Piping

Trends inevitably come back around so it’s no surprise that the resurgance of the classic buttercream piping has been a hit in the past couple of years. Realistic buttercream flowers, vintage piping, the lambeth cake etc – social media is full of these cakes everywhere we look.

But we’re not about following trends here in Level-UP. So in this month’s course, the question I’m asking is: How can we use buttercream piping in a way that is DIFFERENT to what’s already being done?’

What’s inside:

🎬 3 x videos on useful tips for buttercream piping.
🌸 2 x videos on how to recreate my abstract piped flower cake.
📄 1 x PDF with lots of tips, inspo and discount codes.
🎨 Exclusive access to our inspo board on Pinterest.

You see, true creativity flourishes when we have the audacity to step outside our comfort zones.

It’s through these brave endeavours that we unlock our full potential and find our distinctive cake-making style. It’s a journey of self-discovery, where each cake becomes a canvas for personal growth.

The question is:

Do You Dare?

Keeps pushing me forward!

Level-UP courses are successfully pushing me out of my comfort zone, forcing me to learn and improve my skills. I am becoming more confident in my skills which I am constantly improving. I’m looking forward to finding my style and that’s the fun part of the process now!





Access the exisiting library of 60+ videos and 13+ PDFs whenever it suits you. Learn at your own pace and in your own time.


Our course videos are professionally produced and available to you in HD and with closed captions, so you’ll never miss any details. 


Written materials in downloadable PDF files are designed to complement the course videos to complete your learning experience. 


Get access to our student community on Facebook where like-minded cake makers support and inspire each other from all over the world. 


Spark ideas from our visually stimulating inspo boards on Pinterest.


Get a list of all the tools, supplies and colours we use in the courses PLUS discounts from our favourite suppliers. 


Ask me (Thao) questions at any point in your learning journey and get a direct response in real time. 

What makes Level-UP



We want to help you unlock creativity and stand out from the crowd with YOUR uniqueness (that you already possess).


Because we only have ONE GOAL, we get super laser-focused on creating content to help you achieve that goal. Yes, our courses do teach you new, modern cake decorating techniques however, these techniques are developed to encourage experimentation, to help you step outside your comfort zone and challenge design boundaries.


You only pay once, and get LIFETIME access to the Level-UP library. This includes access to new courses that will be added to the library in the future. 

Let’s recap!

3 reasons you need Level-UP:

You want to unlock your full potential and find your distinctive cake-making style.

You’re ready to step outside your comfort zone & be challenged in order to grow.

You don’t want to waste precious time experimenting and failing on your own.

Access the Level-UP library

Find your unique cake style

Stand out from the crowd!

Get LIFETIME access to

9 courses

at a fraction of the cost

That’s 60+ videos and 13+ PDFs worth over $2,583. You’ll also get free access to new courses that will be added to the library in the future.


One payment of



Approx. $326 USD


Twelve payments of



Approx. $33 USD/month

*You get immediate access to the library with this option. Your lifetime access activates after 12 completed payments. 

Be part of a supportive


But, I'm just a hobby baker. I don't really need this...

If you’re thinking “I’m just a hobby baker, I don’t need this”, I challenge you to think again. This is about YOU and your own self-discovery journey. Realising your own artistic potential, and becoming the cake artist you were always meant to be has nothing to do with whether the cakes you make yield a monetary return. 

Prioritise your




No you don’t need any new fancy equipment. This program is aimed at competent cake makers, so it would be using whatever equipment you already have. You may need to buy some new supplies such as acetate sheets for transfer sheets (can also use baking paper). Whatever supplies we use in the lesson, such as colourings or acetate sheets, we include purchase links and discount codes for them in the lesson.

We don’t provide a buttercream recipe. If you’re at the Creative-active phase, you would already have an established buttercream recipe that you use. I use our DTC buttercream for the classes that I teach, but you can use swiss meringue, italian meringue buttercream.

We don’t provide cake recipes. If you’re after baking lessons, you should check out our course, The Versatile Baker. As mentioned, buttercream recipes and cake recipes should be part of your foundation building phase. These are the building blocks you should already have established. If you haven’t yet, that’s totally ok. But I recommend checking out our foundation building courses such as Buttercream Cake Mastery and The Versatile Baker. 

The lessons are pre-recorded, with either on screen texts or closed captions. You can take the classes in your own time, and at whichever pace suits you. The student community and support is in real time though.

Yes, there are captions, on screen texts as well as written materials. I’ve covered all grounds to ensure that you get the best out of the learning experience regardless of your learning style.

This really depends on what your goals are. Just because it’s a hobby, doesn’t mean that it’s less important. I think most of us are used to thinking, if I invest a certain amount of money, I want a certain amount of money back. So naturally, if you don’t sell cakes, you can’t see a return on investment. 

But, return for investment doesn’t always have to be monetary. Why do you make cakes as a hobby? To destress? To express yourself? To explore your creativity? 

Whether you can justify the cost or not depends on the value you put on the outcome of making cakes as a hobby. 

This program is perfect if:

  • You are time poor.
  • You can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars at a time for an online course. 
  • You want break out of the stagnation of a creative block and reach your creative potential.

Absolutely, you can join from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.

As this is a membership, for the small price you pay every month, you’ll get access to the entire Level-UP content library for as long as your membership is active.

Love the membership?

Leave us a review


Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 5 reviews)
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Rated 5.0 out of 5
September 23, 2023

Level Up is an awesome course. This course helped to develop my style and gave me a boost of confidence when decorating. I love how the lesson is presented and broken down into sections. Would definitely recommend it!


Level up indeed !

Rated 5.0 out of 5
August 4, 2023

The level up class, like all the other DTC classes, are real value for money. Enjoyed the Retro class the most. Tried out the marble buttercream and fried rice paper technique.


The Level Up

Rated 5.0 out of 5
July 4, 2023

I love all of the DTC classes I’ve taken but the Level up class is amazing! I have learned so much from this class, how to marble buttercream, sandstone design, just to name a few. Thao has given me the tools to make really different and super cool looking designs. And if you get stuck she’s always there to help you! I seriously would recommend this class to anyone looks to up their cake design game.

sherri lane

New techniques every month!!

Rated 5.0 out of 5
March 23, 2023

I’m in love with the subscription plan! Cake decorating can sometimes be rather boring after you run out of ideas on what to do. However, this Level-up subscription will give you new ideas and techniques every month! Now, instead of running out of ideas on what to do, I’m running out of time trying to keep up to try out new techniques!


Keeps pushing me forward

Rated 5.0 out of 5
March 22, 2023

Level-UP courses are successfully pushing me out of my comfort zone, forcing me to learn and improve my skills. I am becoming more confident in my skills which I am constantly improving. I’m looking forward to finding my style and that’s the fun part of the process now


If you've gotten all the way here, there are 3 options for you:

You know this is right for you and you’re ready to go!

You still have some questions and couldn’t find your answers on this page. 

You’re on the fence but don’t have anymore questions. Perhaps a sneak peak of one of the courses might help you make a decision

Whatever you do, don’t become stagnant by not taking action. 

Thao smiling at the camera

See You Soon!

Thao, x

Course Creator

Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Send us your Level-UP questions

For the first 4 months of 2020, we donated $17,000 AUD to organisations that helped, and continue to help, those affected by the devastating bushfires that ravaged Australia:

Foodbank NSW – $4316

Wildlife Victoria – $4317

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal – $4316

National Bushfire Disaster Appeal – $2025

Vets for Compassion – $450

Foodbank Victoria – $1575

Between May 2020 and August 2021, we donated all proceeds to Foodbank Victoria who are doing incredible work to help with the COVID-19 Food Crisis.  To date (end of August 2021) we have donated a total of  $7251.00 to Foodbank Victoria. 

You can read more about the amazing work they’re doing here: Foodbank Victoria.


From October 2021, all donations will be made to Impact For Women, who are making a difference for women and children escaping extreme violence at home.

Impact For Women – $1587.55

Vinnies Flood Appeal – $777

Foodbank QLD – $663

Foodbank Victoria – $1999