Dinara Kasko: sweet masterpieces between fine pastry and architecture

Her cakes are true works of art, geometrically impeccable and rigorous sculptures that are a feast for the eyes before you can even have a bite. Young Russian chef Dinara Kasko has a degree in Architecture from the University of Karkhov, in the Ukraine, and spent three years studying 3D design in the Netherlands. Her true calling stemmed from a combination of 3D modeling and a passion for fine pastry. Now Kasko designs silicon cake molds on the computer, creating silhouettes that emerge from her imagination with flair and a unique look, often thanks to graphic algorithm software. Inspired by painting, sculpture, and her collaboration with José Margulis, Kasko has created cakes based on kinetic art and geometric abstraction. Her masterpieces are so irresistible they have become an Internet success, with half a million users religiously following every culinary experiment she posts on Instagram.

We asked her a few questions to get to know her better, and here is what she told us...

When was your passion for pastry making born?

I have always been fond of sweet things. I started practicing baking after work at home (I worked as a visualizer for a long time). Then I realized that baking was far more interesting to me than architecture. So, I started attending different baking classes, devoting more and more time to making pastry and so on. After my daughter was born, instead of going back to my previous job I started creating my own molds and my own recipes.


How do you develop your ideas?

First I come up with some ideas, then I think about how I can realize them and I imagine what my cake will look like at the very end. After that, I create a 3D model on my computer, print it using a 3D printer, and fill a plastic master model with silicon. Then I get my silicon mold. I can fill it with any ingredients I want. At the very end, it’s very important to freeze the filling very well. Afterwards, I can take the silicon mold off and decorate the cake or tart with glaze or airbrush color.


Where do you take inspiration from?

I am inspired by different kinds of art. I attend different events and exhibitions where I can get my dose of inspiration and learn something new.

Also, modern modeling programs and different software influence my work a lot, allowing me to create something great from scratch. Sometimes I model fantastic molds just by using different modeling programs.

Is there an ingredient that you often add to your cakes?

Basic ingredients like pastry cream, butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. Also, I often use almond flour, fruit purees (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.), passion fruit, mango, and caramel.


What would you like people to say when they taste your cakes?

I would like people to say what they really think about my cakes, as tastes differ. Of course, I would like people to like my cakes, but I always want to hear their honest opinion.


Which one of your cakes do you consider your masterpiece?

I think my masterpieces are still to come. I am working on some projects. And I am very happy that my molds are popular and people can recognize me from my work.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I am working on multiple projects. Next week, I am going to start a new project with a Spanish chef. And new molds will be released next year – we are currently printing them and doing some testing.


Is there an “ideal cake” that you have dreamt about for years, but have not been able to make yet?

Actually, I have a lot of ideas, and it takes some time to work on them. In some cases, there are various reasons why I cannot get them realized. Sometimes I might be thinking about the ways to create something and then I see something similar already out. There are some ideas that have been in my mind for a long time and have not come to life yet. It’s not about an “ideal cake”, it’s about my creative ideas in general.


What is your dream, in your professional life?

I have a lot of dreams. I would like to intern at a Michelin-star restaurant, to work with talented and ambitious chefs, to get a professional education, to launch my molds under my own label, to open an online school and a studio.

Is there a pastry chef that you admire?

There are many. I always try to attend their classes and meet them in real life. I have attended Jordi Bordas’s class, and this year one of my dreams came true when I went to Las Vegas to meet Melissa Coppel.


What is your advice for young people wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Keep working hard, self-develop, study, pay attention to the tiniest details, and never give up. If you know for sure that pastry is your vocation, then keep working; if not, then you’d better quit and do what you really like to do.


Interview by Barbara Palladino

© Dinara Kasko


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