As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.

She bakes at the cafe in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where the most popular item is a dessert inspired by the art of Piet Mondrian. It features geometric blocks of white velvet cake, colored red, blue and yellow, stacked together and “glued” with chocolate. It takes two days to prepare, according to her new cookbook, Modern Art Desserts.

See your cake and eat it too

If you know me, you know that the little tiny top triangle on the food pyramid indicating a normal person’s limited dose of fats and desserts is actually much, much bigger (more like where the fruits are supposed to be…)

So of course it was no surprise that I went absolutely bonkers on stumbling upon this absolutely stunning recipe book. Mondrian tea cakes, Thiebaud three-layer cakes, even a bee-speckled Avedon Parfait- the creations in this book aren’t just beautiful but mouthwatering.

Not only do I want to eat everything in this book, but it made me want to go and see more modern art than I already do; the combinations and creations were clever and tongue-in-cheek (appropriately so!) How do you turn a Rineke Dijkstra into a dessert do you ask? Simple- turn stripes on a girl’s one piece at the beach into a delightful icebox cake (one of my favorite photographers with a simple dessert comprising of chocolate wafers and whipped cream. Want. Now. Please)

Caitlin Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee Fame has made this shining achievement of a recipe book into a blog found here.  If you’re feeling really ambitious you can even download some of the complex templates she uses to make the designs for free. I just know I need to add this one to my book list immediately.

Emily Sussman ‘15
Modern Art Desserts: From Mondrian Cake to Matisse Parfait

Yesterday I was browsing through Fully Booked’s culinary books, and came across Caitlin Freeman’s “Modern Art Desserts.” I hastily grabbed the book and went straight to the cashier, purchased it, and have been feeling giddy over my purchase ever since.

The first time I discovered Caitlin Freeman’s amazing dessert creations was through the amazing Rica, who tweeted me the link to the Vimeo video of Freeman’s making of the Mondrian Cake. I think twenty seconds to the video I decided I was in love with Freeman and her team at SF Moma’s Blue Bottle Cafe. 

I look at the desserts, observe how they make it, and I feel how inspired the pastry chefs are. I love it. 

Rest assured, I will definitely be paying back a visit to SF Moma when I fly to San Francisco… This time I won’t just be browsing through the museum shop. I’ll be at the Blue Bottle Cafe, with about a dozen cakes on my table. :D