My Five Favourite Insta-Bakers
My blog has been rather quiet of late, and I do apologise for that; I have been rather busy at work and I booked an impromptu trip to London last weekend. Thus, to my disappointment, there has been very little time to play in the kitchen. However, with Christmas just around the corner, do expect a surge of posts over the next few weeks, as I have some big plans for home-baked presents this year. Why buy boxes of chocs and treats when you can make them yourself? Its all the more fun that way, and they make for the perfect Xmas present!! Although I haven’t been cooking this week, food is never far away from my thoughts. So I decided that I would dedicate a post to my favourite Insta-Bakers… and by that fun neologism I refer to the incredibly talented bakers who frequently feature on my Instagram newsfeed.
For a long time Facebook was the most popular social media site, but now there are so many apps and websites that have taken centre stage, like Instagram. Rather than scrolling down the utter nonsense that accumulates on my Facebook newsfeed I can instead browse through a sea of beautiful photos; of clothes, landscapes, art, and most fascinatingly for me, food! Instagram is an incredible platform for people like myself, for those little people who wish to share and discover delicious recipes. It is my go-to app when I’m in need of some foodie inspiration and it is also the foundation underpinning this very blog. I have spent a large amount of my time following different cooks, food writers, bakers, food stylists and photographers so that now my newsfeed is bubbling with foodie delights.
However, there are only a handful of Insta-Bakers who get my undivided attention; their photos are always so breathtakingly beautiful, their posts and recipes inspire me to bake more creatively , and they push the boundaries of flavour, colour and style. To my utter sadness each of these Insta-Stars are continents away from me, so all I can do is gaze at their beautiful bakes and imagine their deliciousness . Heck, only Tantalus can understand my pain! So, in no particular order, here are my famous five Insta-Bakers…
KATHERINE SABBATH: MY ULTIMATE CAKE-CRUSH
In sunny Sydney lies the sensational Katherine Sabbath; primary school teacher by day, inspirational cake creator by night, there’s no way of containing the creative powers of this baking goddess. Her creations are often marked by explosions of colour, shards of crackled chocolate bark, and the unmistakable dribbling of ganache. It’s a style I have come to recognise as I discover Sabbath-inspired creations cropping up on my newsfeed. I can’t help but get more and more excited as I begin to dream up my own Sabbath-Cake, something obscenely colourful, fun-filled and over the top. I just await for that perfect occasion…
Not only does Sabbath produce the most eye-catching cakes, but she also dabbles in the cake pop. But of course they are no ordinary pop; designed as individual ice creams they are funky, glittered little delights. You can’t help but feel like a giddy kid as you gaze at them. Sabbath is undoubtedly a very creative person; if you don’t get that from her baking, then you’ll certainly get a sense from her personal style. With dipped-dyed dark teal hair, funky printed t-shirts and over sized sun glasses there’s no doubting her creative potential. I only await in impatience to see what she comes up with next…
Aus seems to be blooming with talent, as my next Insta-Baker is the fabulous Nectar & Stone, also known as the Melbourne based desserts designer, Caroline Khoo. N&S is renowned for its beautifully marbled, gold-leaf topped chocolate pyramids. Boxed in a myriad of colours and shades, they are a unique creation of delicious filling encased by a smooth, glossy shell. They are just beautiful to look at, in their uniform shape and eye-catching colours; I can only imagine how delicious they taste. To my joy these boxed little beauties often reappear on my newsfeed, reposted by happy clients and admirers alike, making N&S a popular account for my daily fix of foodie photos. I can always rely on Khoo to produce breathtakingly beautiful photos, whether that be of her chocolate pyramids or of her beautifully hand crafted cakes.
I commend Khoo for her skills in creating the most beautifully and delicately iced cakes; she marbles bold colours into subtler shades and partly ices cakes to produce the ever so popular ‘naked cake’. The results are stunningly minimalistic. Her light touch is also apparent in her hand painted cookies, decorated with floral patterns and ombre marbling, too beautiful to eat. As a die-hard macaron lover I can’t help but fall in love with her miniature cakes, simply iced and decorated with a miniature macaron. Swoooon. What is there not to love about Nectar & Stone?
The last of the Australian Insta-Bakers is the incredibly talented Sweet Bakes, founded by Alisha Henderson, another Melbourne based babe. Like Nectar & Stone, Sweet Bakes’ creations are underpinned by a minimalistic beauty. But what I find most fascinating are her hand painted decorations, each like an individual painting, a true piece of art. From beautiful florals, to cartoon characters and quirky animals, her cakes and cookies are merely the canvas. Such skill and time must be committed to each individual painting, and no doubt, like a true artists, they must be perfect.
The photos on the Sweet Bakes account are what continually draw my eye, they keep me scrolling and make it harder for me to turn away. I find myself analysing each cookie with its individual drawing. I did study art for AS at college, so I feel like I am somewhat qualified to dabble in a little cake art myself. Perhaps I should start small, with a colourful floral pattern, rather than go all out on a birthday cat. Baby steps! But this is why I love these accounts; because they get me thinking, they inspire me to dream up my own creations, with my own flavours, style and colours, and they keep reminding me of why I love to bake. I can’t really ask for anything more from them? Except to keep doing what they do best.
Moving away from Aus, we head over to Canada as I introduce Lyndsay Sung, the baker and blogger behind Coco Cakeland. As you can see from the accompanying picture, the ethos behind Sung’s baking lies in the creation of bold, quirky cakes. As soon as I came across this account I instantly fell in love with all her cakey characters; mutant bunny (as seen here), pineapple head, mona lisa smile panda, her collection of dog faces, the list goes on and each as adorable as the next. Like Katherine Sabbath, Sung’s creative powers are in abundance.
I think what I like most about Sung’s work is the sheer simplicity of the designs; you get to really appreciate the incredible piping skills which shape each individual face. Sometimes I get so caught up in different ideas for decorating a cake, and I forget that often the simplest things are often the most effective. Like here, all attention is drawn to the detail which has gone into the piping. When it looks this good I guess you don’t need a lot else! Inevitably, after strolling through the photos on Sung’s account, I find myself dreaming of my own mutant animal cakes- I should probably touch up my piping skills before I wander down that road…
Now, last but in no way least, is the Canadian boutique bakery Jenna Rae Cakes, ran by the eponymous Jenna Rae and her twin sister Ashley Nicole. Yes, we have double trouble with this one…or perhaps double deliciousness. Yes. The latter. Anyone who knows me will understand my love for macarons, so naturally Jenna Rae Cakes is up there in my favourite Insta-Bakers. Most days I need a macaron fix; I need to gaze upon their beauty and concoct new delicious flavours for future recipes. One way of doing this is by browsing the Jenna Rae Cakes account. These ladies bake beautiful macarons, in abundance of both colour and flavour, from chai tea latte and toasted coconut cream, to guava and pomegranate.
Oh but wait, these ladies don’t just make macarons. No no. They also dabble in the creation of their own oreos, cookie sandwiches, chocolate gems (think N&S), whoopie pies, cupcakes and individual cakes. Jenna Rae Cakes has a lot to offer, not merely in flavour but in assortment too. Heck, if I lived in Winnipeg I would definitely be one of their best customers. I would also be morbidly obese. It’s probs for the best then!
And so, there are my five favourite Insta-Bakers. As you can see, they’re a ruddy creative bunch, with a hell of a lot of skill in the kitchen. Get following!!!