A reformed sugar addict has shared how she went from chronically fatigued and sick to ditching the substance for good and launching a hugely successful sugar-free cake company.
Kara Payne, the 34-year-old pastry chef and founder of 180 Cakes in Perth, was inspired to launch a range of healthy, sugar-free, diabetic-friendly cake mixes after giving up sugar herself.
Miss Payne said knew she had to go cold turkey on sugar when she started to become unwell and found herself plagued with thoughts about sweet treats 24 hours a day.
‘If I was out with friends I’d be thinking “can I have a dessert or can I have a cocktail full of sugar?” It was always in the back of my mind,’ she told FEMAIL, admitting even the sound of a wrapper opening nearby was enough to grab her attention.
34-year-old Perth baker, Kara Payne, was inspired to develop a range of healthy, sugar-free, diabetic-friendly cake mixes after giving up sugar herself
knew she had to go cold turkey on sugar when it was all she could think about, she was constantly sick and had very low energy
Miss Payne was surrounded by sweet snacks during the 10 years she worked as a pastry chef and her sugar addiction became so bad she was constantly sick and had very low energy, sleeping away her days off.
She stopped working as a baker after a shoulder injury but her addiction didn’t subside so on New Year’s Day 2017, Miss Payne made the bold decision to cut sugar out of her life completely.
Within a week, the former baker was feeling more energetic than ever but she missed getting creative in the kitchen with baking so she decided develop sugar-free dessert recipes that didn’t compromise on flavour.
After spending seven months trying, testing and tweaking different recipes, Miss Payne said knew she was onto a good thing when a friend’s diabetic nine-year-old daughter could not only eat her cakes without her blood sugar rising but wanted to go back for more.
Recipe: 180 Cakes sugar-free mini cheesecakes
For the base:
180 Cakes Vanilla Almond biscuit mix
For the filling:
180 Cakes vanilla bean frosting mix
150g dairy free butter, melted
250g dairy free or light cream cheese
1/2 a lemon
Add the cookie mix, oil and one egg to a bowl and mix well to combine
Divide the mixture evenly into 12 cupcake moulds and flatten to form mini bases
Bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes until slightly golden
Add 3/4 cup of the vanilla bean frosting mix to a bowl with melted butter and stir until it starts to thicken
Add 250g of cream cheese, mix well then squeeze in the juice from half a lemon
Once the bases are cool, spoon the mix evenly on top of each base
Add some chopped strawberries on top of each cake and refridgerate for at least four hours until set
Miss Payne spent months developing a cake mix that was sugar free without comprimising on deliciousness, enlisting the help of children at the Type 1 Diabetic Family Centre to be taste testers
‘I started talking to the mum and she told me she would have to make one cake for her daughter and one for all the other kids at parties and to have one cake for everyone was really rare,’ she said.
In February 2018, the baking businesswoman launched 180 Cakes’ range of doughnuts, frostings, biscuits, brownies, cookies and cakes mixes
It was through that conversation, Miss Payne decided to address this gap in the market with her business 180 Cakes and make a range of tasty desserts available to people who needed to reduce their sugar intake.
To make sure her creations tasted just as good as sugar-packed indulgent desserts, she turned to the children and parents at Perth’s Type One Diabetes Family Centre.
‘Children are brutally honest, they have no filter so they’ll tell you exactly what they think and if they don’t like something they just won’t eat it,’ she said.
In February 2018, with the help Chris, her partner of eight years, the baking businesswoman launched 180 Cakes’ range of doughnuts, frostings, biscuits, brownies, cookies and cakes mixes.
The baking packet mixes took off within the diabetic community in Perth and over the years has grown into a thriving business with customers all over Australia, New Zealand, the UK and most recently America
The baking packet mixes took off within the diabetic community in Perth and over the years has grown into a thriving business with customers all over Australia, New Zealand, the UK and most recently America.
All the mixes are sugar-free, gluten-free, suitable for keto, low carb, diabetic and healthy dessert lovers and can be made by adding a few simple ingredients.
Ms Payne has even taken to TikTok to show people how to make her delicious desserts including cupcake with rainbow frosting and mini vanilla cheesecakes.
180 Cake mixes are available from just $8 from selected retailers and their website.