Entertaining

These Cakes from Maggie Austin Are Edible Works of Art

They'll make you do a double take
Maggie Austin's Most Beautiful Cakes
Yellow Rosettes from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley.
Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

At first glance, you might assume the flowers on these cakes are real, but look closer: They are actually made of sugar (and edible).

Cake artist Maggie Austin has been impressing clients all around the world with her lifelike creations since launching her business in 2010. The textures and designs on her cakes are mind-blowing and truly one of a kind.

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Thanks to her recently released book, Maggie Austin Cake: Artistry and Technique, admirers can now learn Austin's tips for constructing their own sugar flowers and decorations at home. The book provides step-by-step instructions and photos, so you can easily follow along. However, if you find yourself in Alexandria, Virginia, sign up for one of her workshops and get a glimpse of her skills firsthand.

Scroll through to see some of her most surreal creations and what she has to say about them.

  • Dahlia Frill

    "Dahlias, particularly the large Café au Lait variety, have become an increasingly popular choice for wedding flowers, and one I love to feature on a cake."

    Dahlia Frill from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Butterfly Garden

    "Taking inspiration from the way a butterfly flutters, this cake is brimming with movement and texture."

    Butterfly Garden from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Emerald Tiles

    "The intricacy of the textures and the architecture of the tiers take what is essentially a green, white and yellow animal-print cake to regal ground."

    Emerald Tiles from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Gold Leaf with Lace Overlay

    "Gold leaf is almost always the star of a cake—usually presented as a smooth tier meticulously covered in sheets of gold, left unadorned to shine in all its light-catching glory."

    Gold Leaf with Lace Overlay from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Icelandic Poppies & Falling Petals

    "The flowers are inspired by Icelandic poppies and have a lot in common technique-wise with the open peony."

    Icelandic Poppies & Falling Petals from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Mottled Frills

    "Bold and painterly frills with dramatic, mottled hues are a fantastic exercise in creativity."

    Mottled Frills from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Ombré Frills

    "Paper-thin frills are the perfect medium for a soft ombré effect."

    Ombré Frills from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Painted Petals

    "These playful flourishes are relatively simple to make—just cut shapes freehand and arrange them in irregular clusters—but have a big visual impact."

    Painted Petals from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Pearls & Ribbons

    "I'm a big Jane Austen fan, and this design looks like it walked straight out of the latest film adaption."

    Pearls & Ribbons from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • Yellow Rosettes

    "Here, a honeycomb pattern, made by pressing an impression mat onto the freshly covered fondant tiers, complements rosettes in ombré shades of yellow."

    Yellow Rosettes from MAGGIE AUSTIN CAKE by Kate Headley. Copyright © 2017 by Kate Headley. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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