Mondrian cake

The Story behind Mail Order Mondrian Cake

There is one thing I can assure you that we are not missing since the SFMOMA closure:  making the mondrian cake.  

We made 14-feet of it to serve at the Modern Art Desserts book launch in San Francisco and we filled suitcases with it to take to the east coast book launch in New York.  We were making cakes by the dozens and soon the six-foot kitchen became mostly Mondrian manufacturing. 

The Mondrian cake has ever only been available at the Blue Bottle cafe at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  When SFMOMA announced the closure, we were faced with concerned inquiries from customers, museum members and staff about where they could get their Mondrian cake fix.  We would overhear some customers say they paid museum admission just to come up to get a slice of the Mondrian cake.  We couldn’t let these desserts devotees down.  We were at a cross roads.

Should we pack up our Hobart mixer, ganache and pounds of butter and call it? Should we try to replicate our art-inspired desserts at another museum? Should we just crumple into a corner, weeping and shamefully licking batter off our last rubber spatula?

Some people travel to visit renowned museums just to see one particular work of art:  the steely gaze of the Mona Lisa, the rhythmic brush strokes of a Van Gogh, the luminescent fields of color in a Rothko. These paintings make a lasting impression for some visitors that has them leaving the museum feeling nourished by their experience.   Imagine a cake based on a work of art doing this very same thing.  Now imagine that cake showing up on your doorstep.  

Photo courtesy of Tess Wilson.
Ok, well this is an umbrella in a box, not a Mondrian cake,  but it seemed such a well suited package that we considered it for a moment. 

Blue Bottle’s own communications specialist, Byard Duncan, produced this podcast and shares it here to give you the inside scoop on how we are making this happen and what our plans are to keep feeding you in ways a masterpiece may. 

We decided it might be best to start shipping a small amount of pastries to customers across the country. This past week, we debuted our mail-order Mondrian cakes, which are packed carefully on dry ice and arrive impeccably at your doorstep after 48 hours. 

SFMOMA’s install crew might be found wearing white gloves in the galleries to handle their masterpieces, but in order for us to get you your edible work of art, we have to wear these.  They’re far from cute, but they do the trick when packing dry ice.

You can order the cake by clicking on the red BUY THE CAKE button at the top of this page or visit the new Blue Bottle Coffee webstore to purchase it here.

Sunday Sweets: Modern Art Dessert

This Rothko Dessert along with an Avedon Parfait and Mondrian Cake are just some of the delights inside one our favorite books from this year: Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats.Based on iconic works of art, the unusual cookbook is by Caitlin Freeman, a pastry chef at the Blue Bottle café at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Learn to make a colorful Mondrian Cake at home or treat yourself to images of more desserts here.

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Cakes and Oysters | San Francisco, CA

Finally got a taste of the famous Mondrian Cake at Blue Bottle Coffee in SFMOMA. In addition, checked out the museum before it closed it’s doors for 3 years to renovate and expand.

Our outing didn’t stop there. We continued the party over at Hog Island Oyster Bar for their happy hour!

See all the other great photos on IG here: #mondriancakeninjas