Step into the wonderful world of Insta-famous, superstar baker Katherine Sabbath. Her visionary, pop-bright approach to cake-making, baking, and decorating is a candy-coloured universe all of its own.
Based in Sydney, the self-taught baker swapped her career as a high school teacher to focus on cake creation in 2015 - when her Instagram followers numbered about 180,000.
These days, her international cult following has grown to over 400,000, and she's just released a pop-up cookbook, that captures the essence (and colour) of her unique and inspired style.
Ahead of season 3 of The Great Australian Bake Off, I spoke to Katherine about her baking beginnings, favourite ingredients, a baking challenge she hasn't mastered just yet, and one of her cake-making secrets.
When did your love of baking begin – and what’s your first baking memory?
My love for baking is influenced by my late German Grandmother, Liselotte, who would always bake the most delicious cakes and tarts! When I was five years old, I remember her showing me how to make a vanilla custard pudding... I can still smell the fragrant vanilla beans and egg yolk!
You released your first cookbook just last year. Can you tell us a little about it, and what it was like piecing it together?
My self-published, pop-up cookbook, Katherine Sabbath - Greatest Hits: The Pop Edition has been an extremely exciting yet hugely challenging project! Each book weighs over 2kg, is hand assembled, and I couldn't be more proud! It's a thrill to know this unique publication is loved by bakers around the world and is nearly sold out!
I love the style that you bring to your work. What are some of your influences: Pop artists? Designers? Fashion? Other bakers or chefs?
I love art in all of its wonderful forms, music, and pop culture in general! I'm also very much influenced by the beauty and colour found in our natural environment.
Do you have an absolute favourite cake?
I love a good Black Forest cake!
What's your favourite surprising ingredient?
Crunchy peanut butter.
When you’re not making beautiful cakes, what do you like to cook?
Lots and lots of roasted vegetables! Haha, I think all bakers would know the struggle of maintaining some balance in our diets.
OK, so what would be your top 3 baking tips?
- Get to know your oven and adjust cooking temperatures accordingly.
- Add your own personality to a recipe - have fun experimenting with your own flavours and presentation methods!
- Practice makes perfect. I rarely achieve a perfect result on my first attempt, so don't be too hard on yourself!
Do you have a baking secret you can share with us?
My baking secret is to use cake flour in my cake recipes as it has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which results in a lighter and fluffier cake!
Lastly, if you were a contestant on The Great Australian Bake Off – what baking recipe would challenge you the most?
I still struggle with basic macarons!
Katherine Sabbath's pop-up cookbook is available here.