Dezeen Magazine

Kia Utzon-Frank disguises cakes as geometric marble sculptures

Clerkenwell Design Week 2016: London designer Kia Utzon-Frank has created a set of sculptural cakes that look like blocks of solid polished stone.

Utzon-Frank, who is currently a postgraduate student at the Royal College of Art, presented the cakes during this year's Clerkenwell Design Week from 24 to 26 May 2016.

To achieve the marble effect, the designer printed a texture onto a sheet of fondant icing before laying it over sponge.

While some of the cakes are cone-shaped and feature geometric decorations, others are spherical and are painted in 24-karat edible gold.

Inside, thin pieces of sponge are layered on top of each other to create a multicoloured gradient effect.

KUFcakes by Kia Utzon-Frank, food design at Clerkenwell Design Week 2016

"I found a printer that can print on marzipan and fondant in really high quality so I can print exactly what I want and wrap it around a cake," Utzon-Frank told Dezeen. "For the colours I use natural food colouring and fruit juices, but it takes a lot of tests to get the colours or a gradient right."

"The recipe is for a very thin roll cake that I layer with different infused chocolate ganaches and jams and then I can shape it how ever I want," she added. "I almost think that the bottom of the cones are the most beautiful part of the cakes, but you won't see it before it's been cut."

Designers are increasingly using food as a territory for experimentation. Projects range from real applications – including protein bars made from powered crickets and edible fungi that digests plastic as it grows – to a synthetic biology proposal that involves altering the human digestive system so it can digest rotten food.

"Cake is just another material," said the designer. "If something catches my interest it doesn't matter what it's made of. I think there's a huge freedom in not knowing much about the material I'm throwing myself at, as I then don't know the 'rules' and therefore is more open to experiment."

KUFcakes by Kia Utzon-Frank, food design at Clerkenwell Design Week 2016

"The interesting thing about cake is that it has the extra dimension of taste that can be designed," she added. "Usually you don't eat sculptures, but these ones you do so I think it's interesting that the taste can be as big a part of the design as the look."

Utzon-Frank's KUFcakes launched this week at the Clerkenwell London concept store, as part of the Design Undefined exhibition for Clerkenwell Design Week.

Also on show was Benjamin Hubert's made-to-measure, 3D-printed wheelchair.

Elsewhere in Clerkenwell, Dezeen's picks of the must-see installations included a high temple of timber below a historic archway, a flat-packed Museum of Making and a series of glass-tile sculptures designed to help visitors navigate the area.