Terrarium cakes – cakes covered in butter frosting that resembles the plants found in a terrarium – are most famously the work of Jakarta-based pastry chef Iven Kawi, known on Instagram as IvenOven. She began her pastry business in her home in January 2014 and according to her blog post, she now has 14 trained bakers who have come from multiple countries. Together they bake just 15 butter cream decorated cakes a day that they deliver to the wider Jakarta area. Orders generally need to be placed a month in advance. For those of us who are well beyond her delivery area, we will have to take Ms. Kawi’s word that she uses only the finest ingredients and the cakes are delicious. Half a world away we are in awe of the idea that anyone would have the audacity to eat such a work of art.
Somewhat related to the idea of Terrarium cakes are the 3D Jelly (gelatin) cakes that are popular in Vietnam and Mexico. You can see examples and how they are made here. And this video provides an explanation of how this upside down process is done: Imagine painting each layer of detail first and the background last. Google “gelatin cake flowers” for many more samples. Fabulous.