Katherine Sabbath's Fairy Bread Cake

23 January 2020 Katherine Sabbath

Katherine Sabbath's Fairy Bread Cake

Photo by Jeremy Simons, styling by Emma Knowles

Ingredients Serves 12

Vanilla Cake

250g unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups (330g) caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 large pinch salt
3 cups (480g) self-raising flour
1 cup (250ml) milk, at room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened
2½ tablespoons single (pure) cream
½ teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
Assembly and decoration
¾ cup (135g) assorted sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 160°C fan-forced. Grease a 25.5cm square cake tin and line the tin with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Add the salt.

Alternately fold in the flour and the milk, in one-third increments. Fold until just combined.

Pour the batter into the tin. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, cream and lemon juice, if using, until thick and creamy.

Use a long, thin knife to level the top of the cake. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cake and cover with sprinkles. Cut the cake into large triangles or serve as one giant slice.

Katherine says…

My earliest memories are of savouring food and the pleasures that come with eating. Remember being spoonfed yoghurt as a toddler? What an absolute treat! Sharing food with my family was a fundamental part of feeling loved and expressing love.

My association of food with love continues today and is what fuels my everlasting passion for home baking. There is no greater joy than to surprise someone you love with a delicious homemade meal or treat. When baking in particular, not only does the house smell wonderful, but you’re also nourishing that inner child (whoever that lucky person or people may be) with a very thoughtful expression of love.

I’d like to share with you a little gem from my latest cookbook, Bake Australia Great, the very fun, scrumptious and easy Fairy Bread Cake. When I was growing up, no kid’s birthday could be celebrated without a plate of floppy sugar-studded white fairy bread (and hold the butter please, we’re in margarine territory here). I’m pretty sure I learned on the first day of primary school that “one simply does not party without sprinkle-covered bread”. You’ll be delighted with this fluffier and less floppy version.

Cake cheekily masquerading as non-cake is among my favourite things in life, right up there with miniature fruit and vegetables and dogs wearing T-shirts.

I’ve spiced up the humble fairy bread with lashings of velvety cream cheese frosting, a splash of fresh lemon juice adding extra pizazz. Oh, and please don’t forget, rainbow sprinkles for decoration and crunch are a MUST! I remember the time when I was 10 years old and one of my Vietnamese aunties thought she’d surprise my little brother and I with fairy bread… Except she didn’t have any rainbow sprinkles on hand and instead used caster sugar. Sandy-textured beige bread doesn’t do a lot for the imagination, you know?