Maggie Austin’s Cake Dance

A former ballerina rediscovers artistic expression in confections
maggie austin cake
A towering Maggie Austin cake decorated with her signature, lifelike sugar flowers

When a foot injury ended Maggie Austin’s career as a professional ballerina, she found comfort in the kitchen, whipping up cakes with her father. Later, working with some of the finest pastry chefs in the country, she earned a reputation that landed her desserts on the Today show and in the White House. The ballet studio may seem like unorthodox training ground for a cake designer, yet Austin’s designs bear the hallmarks of a ballerina’s craft: artistry, precision, grace, and beauty.

maggie austin cakesIn her first book, Maggie Austin Cake: Artistry and Technique (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), Austin guides readers through her process, showcasing ethereal cakes cloaked in sugar flowers so detailed and delicate, only a Sugar Plum Fairy could create them.

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By Kirk Reed Forrester | Photography by Kate Headley

See more of Austin’s sugar work in A Bloomful of Sugar.