Pavlova Picasso

12 mesmerizing desserts that prove pastry is an art

If you spend any time at Smorgasburg or on a computer, you might have heard about Japan's beautiful and slightly surreal Raindrop Cake, or Mizu Shingen Mochi. Darren Wong started serving his version of it—made with water and gelatin, and served with brown sugar and roasted soybean powder—at Smorgasburg recently and, well, people went a bit nuts. Staring at, indulging in and, of course, Instagramming stunning desserts have become a full-blown pastime (we're even a bit guilty of it ourselves). So we rounded up the 12 most stunning and creative desserts we've seen lately.

Beautiful Blossom


Lafayette's pastry chef Jen Yee turns out some of New York's most beautiful desserts, including this apple blossom tart made with apples compressed in cranberry syrup.

Photo: @jenyeepastry via Instagram

Beehive


Unlike the hairdo, Liholiho Yacht Club's beehive baked Hawaii will never go out of style.

Photo: @liholihoyachtclub via Instagram

The French Do It Best


The French Laundry executive pastry chef Elwyn Boyles takes "toast" seriously. The pink iteration is called "toast and jam," while the black version packs chocolate, peanut and banana together.

Photo: @_tfl_ via Instagram

Bay Stunner


SF's always-classy Dominique Crenn removes blood orange juice and pulp only to return it to its rightful place eventually.

Photo: @petitcrenn via Instagram

Bloomin' Marshmallows


Sugar whisperer Dominique Ansel's ode to Sakura (cherry blossom season) includes a marshmallow that blooms in the bowl. (See for yourself.)

Photo: @dindeo_ddae via Instagram

Cry Me a River


Don't worry, Darren Wong's raindrop cake won't burst.

Photo: @gammacataclysms via Instagram

Pearly Beauty


Don't fear the porcupine-like exterior of Benu's signature cake. There are treats to be found inside.

Photo: @dtrinh via Instagram

Wild and Crazy


Desserts get a bit wild at the newly opened Le Coq Rico in New York City.

Photo: @donthatemecuzimhungry via Instagram

Pink Paradise


Pastry chef François Payard introduces a macaron to a doughnut. And they get along quite well.

Photo: @nycfoodgals via Instagram

Salty Biscuit


This salt and biscuit ice cream with marshmallow, candy and caramel earns its cotton candy halo.

Photo: @tinnikaa via Instagram

Taste the Rainbow


This cotton candy concoction outshines the pack.

Photo: @m7ndy via Instagram

#NotFromAnIceCreamTruck


Cannalé. Push Pops. Really everything else is irrelevant.

Photo: @jenyeepastry via Instagram