2019 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE – Bake Australia Great Cookbook With Rainbow Serpent Cake Recipe

by Valerie Gray, From Val's Kitchen

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FROM VAL'S KITCHEN 2019 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE - Bake Australia Great Cookbook

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I’ve never been to Australia. It’s been on my bucket list for years. The dessert creations in the cookbook Bake America Great all look so good, and so beautiful. If the recipes in this cookbook are classic Australian desserts then I really want to go there now. Some of the recipes in this cookbook are on the simpler side, some more complicated. The cookbook gives great instructions for every single one, making it possible for folks that enjoy baking to deliver creations that will wow their guests during the holiday season. The cookbook is a visual smorgasbord, containing drool-inducing imagery of finished creations. The Rainbow Serpent Cake I’ve shared below with permission of the publisher is just visually stunning, a real crowd pleaser at any function given it’s colorful appearance and it’s meaning.

The book’s chapter titles give hints to what lies inside – Go Ahead: Bake My Day, Easy As…., She’ll Be Right, Advanced Australian Fare, and Basics.

FROM VAL'S KITCHEN 2019 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE - Bake Australia Great Cookbook

Bake Australia Great: Classic Australia Made Edible By One Kool Kat

  • Author: Katherine Sabbath
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books (November 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1911632248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1911632245
  • Purchase on Amazon

Tie on your apron, preheat your oven and grease your cake tins, because these creations will make you bake Australia the greatest way.
Australia has a rich culinary landscape, reflecting a wide selection of traditional foods and recipes, unique treats, much-loved cultural imports from many different lands, iconic sights and sites – and this cookbook is a celebration of them all.

Sydney cake queen Katherine Sabbath and her step-by-step sweet recipes are a triumph of her nation. With levelled chapters that will guide you through easy, medium and advanced pastries, your skills will grow page after page. Bake Australia Great is the perfect tool to surprise – and delight – your guests. Novices can experiment with Fairy Bread Cake, Opal Cookies and Toasty Anzac Slice while the more skilled have plenty of choices between Tim Tam Triple, Tropi-cool Party Cake and much more.

From small to huge, from cookies to layered glazed cake, it is the matching book for those cheerful bakers who don’t take themselves too seriously, love to have fun in the kitchen and then post a snap on social media.

About the Author

Sydney cake queen Katherine Sabbath is one of the coolest creatives around, loved equally for her cutting-edge cake designs and quirky personal style. Kat is a high school teacher turned cake creative whose unique designs have featured in print internationally, online as well as on TV. She shares it all with her half a million Instagram followers, who hang on every sprinkle. Her fans are so devoted they have even been known to sport her cake designs as permanent tattoos. Kat’s first book, a self-published pop-up art book, Katherine Sabbath – Greatest Hits, has sold out its two print runs. Kat lives in Sydney with her husband, who doesn’t like cake, and her dog, who does.

You can learn more about these titles and others on the Quarto Murdoch Books website. You can also keep up with Quarto on social media, on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Here’s a recipe for Rainbow Serpent Cake from the cookbook, excerpted with permission from the publisher.

Bake Australia Great Rainbow Serpent Cake recipe

Rainbow Serpent Cake

The Rainbow Serpent is one of the most well-known Dreamtime creation stories and holds great importance in Aboriginal society. When a rainbow appears in the sky, that’s the sign that the Rainbow Serpent is moving from one waterhole to another. This rainbow snake cake will bring joy to any gathering. Embedded with edible jewels and rainbow decoration, it is a truly dazzling sight.

Vanilla Cake

  • ½ cup (130 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2⅓ cups (375 g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk, at room temperature

1.Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) fan forced. Lightly grease a pair of non-stick 25cm (10 inch) doughnut tins.

2.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.

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

4.Divide the batter between the doughnut tins and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or spatula. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 15minutes, then gently turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cover the cakes with a clean, damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out.

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 1½cups (330 g) caster sugar
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 cups (500 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • Blue, pink, green and orange gel food colouring

1.Put the sugar and egg whites in a heatproof glass bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is slightly warm to the touch. Remove from the heat.

2.Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until the mixture has formed stiff and glossy peaks (about 10–15 minutes).

3.Add the butter in three batches, beating until incorporated after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until fluffy.

4.Divide the buttercream among four bowls and tint each portion until the desired shade is reached. Cover and set aside in a cool place.

Assembly and decoration

  • 350 g (12 oz) packet gummy jubes, halved lengthways
  • 3 x 50 g (1¾ oz) packets Smarties
  • 1 rainbow sour strap

1.Carefully slice each cake in half and position the pieces on an 80x 40 cm (32 x 16 inch) cake board to make a serpent shape, as shown. Use a little of the buttercream to securethe cake pieces to the board.

2.Use a knife to trim the head and tail of the snake, then brush away the excess crumbs.

3.Use an offset spatula to apply a different shade of buttercream to each cake section.

4.Decorate the serpent’s body with the halved jubesand the Smarties, using the picture as a guide.

5.Use sharp scissors or a knife to cut the sour strap into the shape of the serpent’s tongue and attach it to the cake.

6.Attach small strips of sour strap to two halved black jubes and place on the cake to create the eyes.

Decorating Tips

Doughnut tins are sold in cake decorating stores and through online retailers. Alternatively, use two 25 cm (10 inch) bundt tins.

You can also use pasteurised egg whites from a carton to make Swiss meringue buttercream. You won’t need to whisk the sugar into the egg whites over a pan of simmering water –simply place the sugar and egg whites directly into the mixer.

You won’t need to use all of the jubes or Smarties, but the quantities I’ve suggested should ensure you have enough sweets of each colour to decorate the serpent as shown.


The cake is best served at room temperature. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

FROM VAL'S KITCHEN 2019 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE - Bake Australia Great Cookbook

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Jennie Duncan September 23, 2019 - 3:04 pm

The snake cake is amazing! So much talent!

valmg September 24, 2019 - 7:46 am

Isn’t it gorgeous!

Valentina September 23, 2019 - 3:26 pm

All these gift ideas are so great! Love the ideas.

Lauren Kelly September 23, 2019 - 3:34 pm

This sounds incredible! I love buttercream!

Erin September 23, 2019 - 3:47 pm

I have never been to Australia, but have been to New Zealand. I am sure the desserts are different, but hopefully similar. Loved the treats in New Zealand, so definitely checking this out.

valmg September 24, 2019 - 7:45 am

The desserts all looked great, some very different.

Betsy September 23, 2019 - 4:49 pm

Hi! Love this! So cute! In case you want to include the U.S. equivalent of some things… Gummy Jubes are JuJuBees for small ones or Dots for larger ones (both made by the Tootsie company) or the generic name of Gum Drop will apply to any candy that looks like this. Also, you sadly cannot buy Smarties here. So M&M’s is what most people would need to buy. People in the U.S. may want to use Froot by the Foot for the tongue, also. Caster sugar is called powdered sugar here.
So cute! I love your cake!

valmg September 24, 2019 - 7:45 am

I appreciate the suggestion but as it isn’t my recipe I am unable to alter it in any way. I’m in the US and see Smarties all the time, also m&m’s are chocolate so would not be what I’d suggest to substitute for smarties..


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