Hanna-Riikka Heikkilä's Cakes

I’ve always been a little bit in awe of home bakers who are always decorating their cakes in such original  and interesting ways. They’re not professional pastry chefs. They’re cakes are not necessarily perfect. They simply enjoy using food as a creative outlet and bringing joy to the people around them Hanna-Riikka Heikkilä is one of those people. A visual artist and art teacher by trade, she makes the most gloriously unique cakes for her friends and family in Finland. Each and every one of her creations is so vibrant and funky, like little pieces of art. It really seems to me that, as an artist, Hanna-Riikka has found an ideal base material in cake!

I asked Hanna-Riikka to share a little bit about her cake making process with dessert girl readers. Here is what she said:

When did you start baking?

I feel like I have always been baking. I was able to bake at home when I was little girl. That's when the first attempts to decorate cakes took place. I remember, when I was a young girl, my mother let me to bake my own cake. I decided to make it green and she let me to do it! It was very important to me. A few years ago, when my children were born, I started baking again. Luckily, in the cake shops, there are many kinds of decorative accessories that you can buy.

What inspires you?

I am a visual artist and art teacher so the biggest inspiration is art. Usually one sees very figurative cakes, but I am more interested in abstract cakes. Colors, different textures and combinations inspire me. Quite often I become inspired in a shop where you buy cake accessories---the colors they have and so on. Usually I use sugar paste on top. It is the most important thing in my cakes. But of course I want the cake to be delicious, too.

I want somehow to break the conventions of the cake world. I hope every cake I bake and decorate is a piece of art.

Hanna’s cakes really are incredible. I think my mouth was hanging open a little bit when I first saw them. I wasn’t even entirely sure that they were cakes! For more info on Hanna-Riikka, you can visit her blog, right here. (Thanks, Hanna-Riikka!)

You can find more cake pics after the jump.


Sachiko Windbeil's Cupcake Toppers

I’m loving these edible cupcake toppers by pastry chef Sachiko Windbeil. Originally from Japan, and now living in New York, Sachiko’s toppers (or as she calls them “cupcake accessories”) are sooo darn cute, like little pieces of art. Of course, we all know that, at the end of the day, a cupcake has to taste good, but a sweet little Blue Jay on top certainly doesn’t hurt! Seriously, who can resist those Bird Watching toppers?? And the gourds?? Adorable! I also can’t get enough of the colorful Easter Bunny toppers. So lovely. Actually, I think all of these toppers would look equally great on top of cake, too, if cupcakes aren't your thing. All of Sachiko’s toppers are made out of fondant and available on her Etsy site, right here.  ~Erin


Pamela Michelle Johnson (Paintings)

Sometimes I’m able to look at a piece of art and I’ll instantly know what I like about it and why it makes me feel happy or sad or both. When I first saw Pamela Michelle Johnson’s food paintings, I was immediately hit with an overwhelming feeling of sadness. The pieces are somewhat upsetting to look at, and, at first, it was hard for me to really pinpoint why pictures of Oreos and Pop Tarts were upsetting me. There is real melancholy aspect to her work, a loneliness. These are painting of sweets, without any of the sweetness. Perhaps Pamela can explain it best.

From Pamela: Whether it is gluttonous quantities of larger than life junk food or the solitary empty wrapper, abandoned soon after devouring was complete, the images are charged with social relevance. The work flaunts our culture back at us. It questions embracing a culture of complete and instant gratification while ignoring the consequences of our indulgences. The work questions many of our cultural ideals and social norms. These are the pictures of our insatiable appetites; they are the pictures of the consequences. You can see more of Pamela's work below. You can also check out additional paintings via her website, right here. ~Erin


Rifle Wedding Cake

I am a huge fan of Rifle Paper Company, the stationery brand and design studio created by illustrator Anna Bond and her husband Nathan. Anna’s drawings manage to be extraordinarily lovely, while still maintaining a feeling a fun and whimsy. I’ve admired her work for years now, so when I saw this Rifle-inspired wedding cake by pastry chef Melody Brandon, I couldn’t resist sharing it!

Inspired by a popular Rifle floral print, Melody painted the cake by hand and then added tiny sugar flowers to the cake to create a 3D effect. Frankly, I did a little happy dance inside when I saw it. How could I not? It combines two of my favorite things:  Rifle and cake! It’s so sweet and charming, I don’t know if I could bear to cut into it, but I would…because it’s cake! For more info on the Custom Floral Portrait Print that inspired the cake, visit Rifle's website, right here. You can find more info on Melody Brandon’s dessert studio, My Sweet & Saucy Shop, on her website. ~Erin
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