Thao Armstrong is the founder of Don’t Tell Charles, creator of the original Concrete Cake and a leader in the contemporary buttercream cake movement in Australia and across the world.

A self-taught cake designer with a background in Landscape Architecture, Thao taught herself to bake cupcakes and macarons and in 2013 opened Don’t Tell Charles Coffee & Desserts, a small specialty coffee & dessert shop in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. In 2016 Thao’s focus shifted to cakes and the cafe became Don’t Tell Charles, a designer cake studio specialising in high-end contemporary buttercream cakes.




Thao’s cakes became highly sought after, with clients even flying her internationally to make their wedding cakes. The workshops soon followed with the first ever being held in Singapore in April 2016. Since then Thao has taught workshops in Sydney, Indonesia, Auckland and London, and close to 100 physical workshops have been held in the Melbourne studio with students flying in from all over the world including the USA, UK, France, Canada, Panama, Argentina, Nigeria, Malaysia and Brazil.

In October 2017 the DTC Online School was established. It currently enrols over 6000 students across 11 published courses with many more on the way.  



Thao has a raging interest in food, architecture, interior design, art, fashion and.. karaoke. Her aesthetic is contemporary minimalist. She loves clean lines and straight edges. Thao describes herself as a perfectionist on a mission to find the right level of ‘chill’. Efficiency is her jam - nobody has time to waste doing the things they don’t need to do. 

Her goal is to push the boundary between where one design field ends and another begins; to inspire and empower people to explore and embrace their own unique artistic voice and to appreciate that there is no right or wrong when it comes to art.



Listen to Thao's interview on Everything is Teachable.

In this episode, we’ll learn how Thao taught herself to bake and decorate cakes, and how one Instagram DM launched her cake decorating workshop business. We also talk about how her business has evolved over the last six years, and most of all, we share why it’s so important to value your work and get paid for what you do. 


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