Photo Essays

The Sculptural Desserts of an Architect–Turned–Pastry Chef

Dinara Kasko incorporates 3D modeling and printing technology into her quasi-Minimalist confectionary.

Dinara Kasko's strawberry-coconut cake (all images courtesy of Dinara Kasko)
Dinara Kasko’s strawberry-coconut cake (all images courtesy of Dinara Kasko)

Me don’t know art, but me know what me like: FOOD … . See pretty picture with lady inside, looks so delicious, me fit to be tied, me love to eat it with sugar and cream … . But no, no, no, me know the rules: picture exciting, but not for biting!

The above is a snippet from a ditty by the world’s most notorious gourmand, Cookie Monster, sung during his trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1983 Sesame Street film, Don’t Eat the Pictures. (Worth noting here that the appetite of Cookie Monster is clearly not restricted to cookies alone.) Cookie Monster is a beast, but it’s not unusual to want to sink your teeth into something totally inedible, even if it’s art. Sometimes, it just looks that good.

Ukrainian pastry chef Dinara Kasko, inspired by her background in architecture, makes geometric desserts that look far more like tiny sculptures than soft, velvety cakes — but that’s exactly what they are. She graduated from the Kharkov University Architecture School, then worked as an architect, designer, and 3D visualizer, frequently utilizing 3D printing technology in her work.

The Voronoi cells with berries, with shortcrust dough, crispy layer, berry sponge cake, berry confit, mousse with Pina Colada tea, by Dinara Kasko
The Voronoi cells with berries, with shortcrust dough, crispy layer, berry sponge cake, berry confit, mousse with Pina Colada tea, by Dinara Kasko

“I have always been interested in art,” she told Alberto Ruiz in an interview for So Good Magazine. “I also had a lot of experience in photography and just a few years ago finally discovered baking for myself. … I’m trying to connect architecture, design, and patisserie. A beautiful cake as well as a beautiful building needs preliminary design. It’s necessary to work with the form, volume, composition, proportion, color, and texture correctly.” One imagines that Kasko’s creative mind, so attuned to the keen specificity of design, simply applied those techniques to scrumptious sweets.

Now, she makes her own molds for unique desserts. According to Jessica Jones at Dezeen, Kasko’s silicone molds are made with Autodesk’s 3ds Max software. The results are genuine works of edible art that Cookie Monster, and the rest of us, would happily devour: matte-white-chocolate bubbles encasing layers of sponge cake and guava; a geometric “concrete” diamond, dark and Brutalist on its exterior with a soft, chocolate-cake interior; a Mondrian-esque chocolate square, nearly cut into pieces, its lines filled with something red and delicious. It took an algorithm to make them, and they probably taste amazing.

The "AntiPavlova" — meringue, mousse with mascarpone, mango, strawberry, and raspberry powder — by Dinara Kasko
The “AntiPavlova” — meringue, mousse with mascarpone, mango, strawberry, and raspberry powder — by Dinara Kasko

Foods and artworks that seem aesthetically complicated or, conversely, totally simple  — nothing looks more effortless, nor more expensive, than a brief stroke of squid ink or an Eames chair — can seem inaccessible. But Kasko’s persona is deliberately approachable and friendly. “Hello! I’m [a] Pastry Chef from Ukraine,” she writes. “I started to bake like most housewives, with some simple cakes and pies, but it quickly turned into my passion. … I’m studying, modeling, and baking. I prefer simple plain geometric shapes, like cubes, triangles, and spheres. … I hope you will like what I do.”

To make it all the more accessible, she sells some of her 3D pastry molds. Now you, too, can attempt a Zaha Hadid-inspired layer cake.

Cake "Chocolate block" with Valrnona chocolate by Dinara Kasko
Cake “Chocolate block” with Valrnona chocolate by Dinara Kasko
Chocolate bonbons by Dinara Kasko
Chocolate bonbons by Dinara Kasko
Chocolate sponge cake, streusel with nuts, mousse with chocolate Valrhona Caramelia, ganache with Caramelia and yuzu, jelly with yuzu and passion fruit, by Dinara Kasko
Chocolate sponge cake, streusel with nuts, mousse with chocolate Valrhona Caramelia, ganache with Caramelia and yuzu, jelly with yuzu and passion fruit, by Dinara Kasko
Ball, cube, triangle composition with mousse with caramelized white chocolate, blueberry confit, blackcurrant confit, chocolate sponge cake with red currant, berry glaze, and, for decoration, isomalt and chocolate, by Dinara Kasko
Ball, cube, triangle composition with mousse with caramelized white chocolate, blueberry confit, blackcurrant confit, chocolate sponge cake with red currant, berry glaze, and, for decoration, isomalt and chocolate, by Dinara Kasko
Inside of Ball, cube, triangle composition by Dinara Kasko
Inside of Ball, cube, triangle composition by Dinara Kasko

See more of Dinara Kasko’s pastry designs on her website, and watch dazzling making-of videos on her Instagram page.

comments (0)