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August 27, 2013 | Posted by | No Comments

Let Them Eat Cake

Reality television is one of two things in our society: a guilty pleasure and addictive habit, or the topic of much whining and complaining. But we must admit, the reality T.V. trend has brought to light the art form and the fad of cake decorating.

Wayne Thiebaud, Cakes, 1963, www.smithsonianmag.com

Wayne Thiebaud saw the art in desserts and pastries before any of us did. Cakes and desserts have become much more than just the eggs and flour that make up their fluffy composition. Dessert decoration is an art form that is dependent on being creative, unique, and intricate.

Van Gogh Cake, www.pinterest.com

Look at this masterpiece by cake designer, Maggie Austin. This cake is not simply beautifully colored icing, but an example of excellent composition and color theory of the ombre variety.

Ombre Cake, Maggie Austin, http://maggieaustincake.com/

Thanks to the fads of television cake competitions and luxury dessert shops, cakes are now suited for every occasion – the traditional birthday, wedding, first teenage speeding ticket, the dog’s bat mitzvah…

Disney Cake, www.cakecentral.com

Champagne Cake, www.sylviaweinstock.com

More so than the occasions of such desserts, the themes for cakes reach infinite limits. Disney cakes, Paris cakes, color themed, floral themed, dog themed, wine themed, striped, polka-a-dotted, and one with jingtinglers, and floofloovers, tartookas and whohoopers, gardookahs, and trumptookahs… Oh – those might be from a Dr. Seuss rhyme, but they have cakes for him too!

Dr. Seuss Cake, www.cakecentral.com

Not only is cake decoration an art, it is now inspired by art. Caitlin Freeman, owner of the Blue bottle Coffee Bar inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, makes cakes inspired by the modern art surrounding her.

Just as Wayne Thiebaud saw art in cake, Caitlin saw cake in his art.

Caitlin Freeman, Thiebaud Chocolate Cake, www.tmagazine.blog.nytimes.com

Most popular at the Blue Bottle Cafe, Caitlin has perfected the Mondrian Cake. Long thin square slices of red velvet, yellow velvet, and blue velvet cake are stacked together with chocolate ganache.

Caitlin Freeman, Mondrian Cake, www.npr.org

Icing defines this red velvet cake to give ode to Lichtenstein’s iconic pop dots.

Caitlin Freeman, Lichtenstein Cake, www.medium.com

I told you this would leave your mouth watering. I apologize for that. Masterpieces such as these are so intricate and unbelievable, you almost don’t want to cut in and take a slice – but we do. We appreciate our cake and eat it too.
So… See you at all the bakery? My treat.

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