Natalie Paull has been baking and loving all things sweet for more than 25 years. She started cooking in professional kitchens at the age of 18 and spent her formative years working with Australian food luminaries Maggie Beer and Stephanie Alexander. Nat opened the blink-and-you'll-miss-it cult cafe and bakery Beatrix Bakes in inner-city Melbourne in 2011 to widespread acclaim. Before closing its doors in August 2022, Beatrix fans lined up in the rain in their hundreds to secure a taste of the day's ever-colourful – and delicious – offerings of perfect cakes, buns, tarts, biscuits and more. In following her heart and baking the cakes she loves to eat, Nat has established a reputation for melding the traditional pillars of cake baking with her distinct brand of irreverent innovation. Her first book Beatrix Bakes was released in 2020 and was an instant hit. It has been reprinted multiple times and is regarded as an essential resource for aspiring and committed bakers alike. Also, she eats a lot of cake. Every day.
'If ever a book was going to make you want to bake, this is
it! So full of perfect instruction to allow everyone to shine
and written in her beautifully quirky way with all the love
that Nat pours into her baking.'
‘Beatrix Bakes is not for everybody, which is a good thing. It is both serious and poetic. Every dedicated baker will benefit from the comprehensive and, dare I say, entertaining explanations of every single thing they ever wanted to know, and lots they did not even know they didn’t know. I cannot wait to make my first nutty crust – and who ever knew to chill flour! The message from Nat is that patience and understanding lie behind all the seemingly effortless creations. The flavour combinations are stunning and original. For anyone who follows Beatrix Bakes on Instagram here are the secrets of all those mouth-watering pictures. I have just lifted the Walnut and olive oil shortbread bars from the oven and am waiting until they are cool enough to try. I shall challenge myself very soon to try the Tart-a-misu with its divine prune filling.’
Beatrix Bakes is more than a baking bible. It is a story about the heart of making cakes and the soul of sharing them. The Beatrix Bakes world is one of sweet spots and finding the small moments in baking that inspire and nurture us. And we are so lucky that, in this book, we can get lost in this world of sweet wonder. Natalie Paull’s baking is powered by precision and adventure – in her book, she effortlessly takes the home baker on a journey of discovery, building confidence with her laws of baking, while sparking our imagination with her fun yet practical cakes, pies, tarts, cookies and buns that are, in all honestly, unequivocally joyous.
In a city that reveres desserts, Beatrix has risen to grand dame. Knowing I have the secret code to her flaky, gooey treats has me dizzy with power.
*Zoe Foster Blake*