Van Gogh cake
This was my first painted cake, and it took me a long time to make. When I say long I mean longer than usual. While making it, I was trying out new techniques and new materials.
All the colours you see are edible powder colors which I mix with alcohol to get the desired hue. I also use gel and liquid colors. I make the tiers separately and then stack them on top of each other. The flowers on top of the cake are made out of gum paste. Each petal is made separately by hand using white gum paste, and after they are dry, I paint them using the same colors as for the cake itself. Before I start painting a cake I like to just sit and study the artist for a while, and get to know how he used colours, brushstrokes and, as I like to say, I need to enter into his mind, to think like the artist himself. When that happens everything goes smoothly.
Gustav Klimt cake
It was such a challenge for me to make this cake. I spent two whole days just painting the cake, working from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and maybe even longer.
It is a three tier cake, but you can only see two tiers because the bottom tier is made to look like one, but inside it is separate. Because of the design I covered the two bottom tiers with four large pieces of fondant, one for each side, and the top tier is covered in one piece. When the tiers were stacked they were half a meter high and weighed about 15 kilograms. For all of my cakes I use white fondant to cover the cake and than I paint over that. I basically make a blank canvas to paint on.
I made everything on this cake, including every single flower you see, everything’s made from scratch. I also like making my own fondant and gum paste.
When you make a cake you need to know when to stop, as you know, less is more, but also too little is not good either. The hardest part on this model was the face, you need to be really careful when painting faces, particularly if it is someone famous like Frida. Even the tiniest mistake can be more than obvious.
Egon Schiele cake
As you know, Schiele painted his models tall and slim, so I wanted to try and make my cake tall and slim, and it was a bit challenging for me to achieve this.
I like to make a dense sponge when a cake is tall, but as long as you have a good dowel system inside of a cake you can use any recipe you wish. Structure is a very important part of making a cake, you don’t want your cake to fall apart when you try to move it, that would be heartbreaking.
Even the frame is edible on this model, it’s made out of gum paste and painted with a gold color. After I painted it gold, I used dark hues to get a patina on certain parts of the frame.
The hardest part was making all these water lilies, you need to make each petal separately and let them dry for a while. After that you need to put them together with floral tape and paint the flower.
Cave drawings and Venus of Willendorf
Here I tried creating something different, but also a unique form of art. I wanted to represent an era in human history on a cake. It is synthesis of the sculptures and paintings of the prehistoric period, Venus of Willendorf and cave drawings from the Altamira cave. I made Venus out of gum paste, also paying attention to details. Despite being rough around the edges I wanted to replicate every part of her, I even tried to put cracks on the very same places as on the real Venus. Because of the theme I put a lot of stones and dirt over the whole cake to recreate that prehistoric atmosphere. The dirt was just crushed cookies mixed with cocoa powder, and the stones were made out of gum paste.
The sculpture of Venus was painted using powder colors. I mixed brown and yellowish hues to get the natural color of the stone, after that I dusted it with cocoa powder and icing sugar to get that dusty effect. It took me one whole day to make this model.
Paul Cezanne cupcakes
In my cupcakes you can find some unusual ingredients that are not closely related to desserts, for example: ketchup, mayo, tomato, green peas, spinach, cucumber, and cabbage. I decorate them in my own style – first I make a fondant tile, the shape is usually round, and when they are dry I paint the design on them. You can use whatever you want to decorate your cupcakes – chocolate, marzipan, gum paste, or something else. I prefer fondant because it dries hard, and it’s easy to paint on it.
Photos: From archive of the author.