If you haven’t heard of cake creative Katherine Sabbath, you’ve more than likely seen (or tried replicating) some of her cakes.
The Sydney high school teacher turned cake creative says she’s always been a sprinkle-covered, sticky-fingered, bake-aholic. But it wasn’t until she started sharing photos of her brightly coloured life on Instagram in 2013 that her cakes and overall aesthetic began attracting followers.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Kat has a butter cream-covered spoon in every bowl. In between teaching hands-on workshops and collaborating with other creatives, Kat continues to experiment with flavours and ideas.
Meanwhile, her creativity is inspiring boldness in other home bakers, one colourful Insta-post at a time.
We caught up with Kat to chat all things cake, creativity and cooking.
When it comes to baking and being creative, where do you find inspiration?
Most of the time, I bake according to the flavours I feel like eating at the time. If I’m baking for a friend or a loved one, I try to incorporate all of their favourite sweet things as well as their personal aesthetic. I find that if you start from a delicious foundation, you’ll always end up with a cake that is well-received. When it comes to cake decorating, inspiration can come from absolutely everywhere. From the confectionery aisle of my local supermarket, to art, fashion & the beautiful natural environment around us.
What is your go-to recipe in the cooler months to impress your guests?
I recently worked with Kenwood to create some fun recipes for their new kMix range. One of these was a chocolate and salted-caramel pavlova, a slightly different take on the traditional pav. Pavlova is usually thought of as a summer dessert but the chocolate, salted caramel and toasted macadamias give it a delicious wintry feel. Try out the recipe here
What are the three kitchen appliances you can’t live without and why?
My kMix stand mixer is my absolute best friend in the kitchen. It mixes my favourite meringue-based buttercreams quickly and effortlessly. It honestly makes baking so much easier and so much more enjoyable. My kMix collection also has a blender that I use for easy breakfast smoothies and raw vegan mousses, as well as my trusty kitchen kettle (I’m a big fan of drinking green tea throughout the day).
You’ve just launched a pop-up cookbook that was successfully funded through Kickstarter. Have you always wanted to create a cookbook? What inspired the pop-up concept?
Yes! As a teacher, I’ve always loved sharing my ideas and helping others, so writing a cookbook to support all of the lovely people in the home-baking community was a massive dream of mine. Paper engineering is such an astounding and beautiful craft, but the art of pop-up books traditionally has been very simple. As soon as I came across the work of paper engineer, Benja Harney (Paperform), five years ago, I knew I had to be a part of his world. A pop-up cookbook filled with exceptional paper engineering and vibrant cakes was a vision too good to forget.
If you had to pick one, what would be your favourite recipe from the cookbook?
Hehe, wait until you see my pom pom cake – it’s from another universe, and just looking at it fills me with glee!
For those who missed out on funding your pop-up cookbook, will they be able to get their hands on your recipes another way?
Yes, most definitely! There will be limited numbers of my debut cookbook available for pre-order in June or July, so fellow baking enthusiasts can sign up to my newsletter at katherinesabbath.com to be the first to know when these are released. Yay!
What is the best and worst thing about being a full-time cake-baking bad-ass?
The best thing is being invited to lots of fun parties (with cake in tow, of course) and being a part of the blowing out of the candles or the ceremonial cutting of the cake. It’s a small gesture, but I get such a thrill out of making personalised and delicious cakes for the people I love. I also relish my workshop and teaching opportunities, as I have the opportunity to meet so many generous and creative people.
The worst thing (which isn’t actually that bad at all) is having to refrain from eating cake 24/7. I always thoroughly taste my recipes to ensure they’re perfect, but I make sure I enjoy cake in moderation.
You were recently in Brisbane for the Elle International Women’s Day event. Did you get a chance to dine in Brisbane? If so, where was your favourite spot? If not, do you have any Brisbane foodie spots on your hit list?
I was fortunate enough to dine with the Elle + H&M team in Brisbane at Survey Co, and the food and cocktails were delicious! I didn’t have other dining opportunities besides that one occasion as it was a quick visit, but I am happy to hear yummy suggestions in the lead-up to my next visit to Brissy.
After hosting sell-out workshops in Sydney, do you have any plans to come back to Brisbane to host a workshop?
I would LOVE to revisit my Brissy friends for a fun cake decorating workshop! I met so many lovely people during my short trip there with Elle. I’ve already started looking into venues and dates, so hopefully it will happen later this year or the beginning of 2018.
Your fellow foodie friend, Andy Bowdy, just appeared on MasterChef. Will we be seeing Katherine Sabbath making any exciting appearances soon?
I’m always up for a bit of good fun, so you may just have to watch this space!
What’s next for Katherine Sabbath?
My debut cookbook, Katherine Sabbath: Greatest Hits – The Pop Edition is due for release in September, 2017. It’s a pop-up art book, filled with all of my most well-known creations and comes with a full set of comprehensive recipe cards. It’s the first of its kind in Australia and perhaps the world. I’m so proud and excited to share this one-of-a-kind publication.
Quick six with Katherine Sabbath
Cupcakes or cookies? Crunchy, chewy cookies!
Hand whisk or mixer? kMix stand mixer (I can never go back).
Meringue or icing? Meringue.
Whiskey or wine? Can’t I have both? I love a good whiskey kick.
Music or podcast? Music but I also enjoy informative podcasts when I’m able to focus.
Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath? Both are legendary but Black Sabbath, of course.
Liked this? You’ll love these!
1. Brisbane’s Most Instagram-able Cafés
2. The Shopping Advice You Need From The Sheppard Sisters
3. Warm Up Your Winter With These Cosy Cocktails