If your taste buds love cakes and pastries then you’re in for a treat because we’re about to make another one of your senses appreciate them—your sight. Believe it or not, baked goods are not just for eating anymore. They’re visual treats that the bakers and artists behind them, make sure you fall in love with at first sight. Culinary artists and chefs all over the globe are creating pure magic with dough, icing and a lots of creativity. After admiring (re: salivating over) countless cakes, we’ve put together a selection of bakeries from the world over whose offerings are a feast—for both your eyes and your palate.
1. Dominique Ansel As The mad scientist (of baking)
It is only fitting to begin this list with a legend. Dominique Ansel, of Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York, is the creator or the Cronut—a croissant and donut hybrid—and winner of several accolades for himself and his eponymous bakery. The bakery’s cronuts are so popular that patrons start queueing up around an hour before opening time. Apart from the innovative cronut, Chef Ansel’s bakery has several other baked goods to offer which are equally scrumptious. Take, for example, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shot. If the words ‘chocolate chip’ didn’t convince you already, let us tell you that this invention is made by shaping cookie dough into a shot glass and the filled with milk – to be eaten on the spot.
Another fascinating offering from the bakery is the Frozen S’more–a spin on the campfire tradition of roasting marshmallows—which has a custard ice cream center that is covered with crispy chocolate wafer chips, all enrobed in a modified frozen marshmallow. Forget made-to-order, this treat is torched-to-order. In his quest to do things differently, Chef Ansel created the Magic Soufflé which is basically a chocolate soufflé encased inside an orange blossom brioche, taking the culinary world by storm because it kept the best parts of a soufflé while eliminating the worst—the thirty minute waiting period. If you’re ever in Spring Street, New York, you know where to head.
Image courtesy— Dominique Ansel & Serious Eats
2. Sarah Brockett’s The Bold & the beautiful
This bakery is a little different from the rest, not just in terms of its products, but because it doesn’t exist. Yes, this bakery is a fictional one. Graphic designer Sarah Brockett combines sugar and spice in the best way possible by making amazing cookies, muffins and cakes labelled with crude sarcasm. While the Bold Bakery is just a branding concept right now, Sarah Brockett claims that she would love to make it a reality. Her baked goodies are a unique combination of sugar and sass. She mentions on her website that her raunchy baked items are a perfect way to indulge in ‘cake wars’ with people on your, pardon our French, shit list. These cynical frostings are a refreshing alternative to the traditional ‘happy birthday’ and ‘congratulations’ messages found on most cakes.
Image courtesy—Sarah Brockett
3. Conjurer’s Kitchen for The ultimate Death by chocolate
If you think that you can only find dead body parts (albeit, fake ones) on the sets of TV shows, you’re mistaken. UK-based Conjurer’s Kitchen is one bakery that has an endless supply of cadavers (easy there, Dexter enthusiast)- but the best part is that they are all edible. Specialists in handling the most unusual cakes, their creations range from anatomical to creepy, artistic to occasionally cute. Their website states that Conjurer’s Kitchen is ‘where Annabel de Vetten (aka Annabel Lecter) performs her culinary wizardry’ and we couldn’t have summed it up better. They also get bonus points for that awesome pun.
Formerly a sculptor and fine art painter, Annabel de Vetten draws inspiration from horror movies, alternative art and animals among other things. They once created a life-size version of Dexter in cake for the premier of Season 8 of the show. In addition to cakes, several delicious treats and oddities are created at the Conjurer’s Kitchen such as popcorn in a variety of unusual flavours, wonderfully decorated biscuits and astounding creations in chocolate. We’re assuming a lot of people (including us) are surprised that the cakes shown below are edible but Conjurer’s Kitchen claims that they are, down to the last bit.
Image courtesy—Conjurer’s Kitchen
4. Cakes that are Out of this world from Cakecrumbs
Self-taught cook and cake-decorator Rhiannon from Cakecrumbs took primary school geology and churned it out in edible form. Her series of planet-shaped cakes are not only hyper-realistic, they are also scientifically accurate. For example, her Jupiter Cake’s center is the theoretical rock/ice core (which she replicated with mudcake), followed by a layer of liquid metallic hydrogen (for which she used almond butter) and finally the liquid molecular hydrogen (made with coloured vanilla). Her Earth Cake was layered similarly and had a wonderfully-precise continent design made with marshmallow fondant. Rhiannon explains on her website that it all started when her sister approached her with the idea of teaching kids about the structure of the Earth through a model made out of cake. She also does other amazing things with fondant and icing which can be found on her website. Well, her creations certainly add plausibility to the phrase ‘world on a platter’.
5. Alexandre Dubosc’s ‘spin’ on traditional cakes
French food artist and filmmaker Alexandre Dubosc’s tribute to Tim Burton is as quirky as expected but it comes with two delightful twists—it is made out of chocolate and it is animated. Dubosc has created an incredible animated zoetrope (which is a device used to create animated sequences using a series of still images) cake titled The Caketrope of Burton’s Team and it incorporates elements from some of Burton’s films, including The Nightmare Before Christmas and Batman. He is also known for Alimation and Phytopage which are edible zoetrope animations like one mentioned above. His creations are an overload for the senses because you can’t decide whether you want to eat them, listen to them or watch them. His other food art and visual creations, which can be found on his website, are as amazing as his animated cakes.
Image courtesy– Alexandre Dubosc
We don’t know about you but we have some serious hunger pangs after looking at all those delicious baked goodies. It is wonderful to see how artists, sculptors and even filmmakers have taken up baking as a medium to express their creativity. We definitely don’t mind as long as the finished products look—and taste—as good as the ones mentioned above!