Natasja Sadi’s Sugary Sleight of Hand

Charlotte Moss hosts a party in New York to celebrate Natasja Sadi of Cake Atelier Amsterdam and her magical creations
Natasja Sadi, cakeatelieramsterdam
Poppies, anemones, hydrangeas, and roses—all made from sugar and hand-painted—reference paintings by Henri Fantin-Latour, Jan van Huysum, Gerard van Spaendonck, and Édouard Manet. “Flowers are not just part of my life; they are my life,” says Natasja Sadi. Photo by Natasja Sadi

By her own admission, Natasja Sadi is a cake designer. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, not really. With more than 72,000 devotees and flower addicts as followers, her Instagram account, @cakeatelieramsterdam, has caused quite a sensation. The sugar flowers she sculpts, tints, and magically makes indistinguishable from the real thing give her designs their unique character.

In a previous life, Sadi was a couture wedding dress designer, but now she devotes her sensitive, elegant eye to the decoration of wedding cakes. From the tiered lace and satin trains of wedding dresses to the towering sugar flower–draped confections she makes for that important day in your life, Sadi now feels at home in her new métier. It is one thing to find that creative force within; it is another to tap it, explore it, experiment, and be determined to get better, and that is what she does each week.

As she explains, “Flowers have always triggered my senses like nothing else. I believe our senses help us build memories of the important moments in our lives.” Sadi also creates her “happy Sunday from my family to yours” floral arrangement every weekend, which she puts together on Sundays after a trip to the flower market in Amsterdam. Photographed against a dramatic dark background in a piece from her collection of Delft vases, this Vesuvian explosion of flowers bursts onto my Instagram feed each week. I always test myself to see if I can identify a hidden sugar flower in one of her Sunday floral arrangements.

Natasja Sadi, cakeatelieramsterdam
Natasja Sadi places her sugar flowers in pots filled with chocolate cake.
Natasja Sadi, cakeatelieramsterdam
Adding finishing touches

Recently, I gave a dinner for Sadi and some of my most discerning flower-loving and entertaining friends. She charmed everyone with her enthusiasm, her whispering voice, and her manner, as delicate as her floral confections. All the guests found it inconceivable that Sadi carried all the components for our dessert—individually painted flowerpots filled with chocolate cake topped with roses, poppies, and anemones made of sugar and a cookie fashioned like moss—all the way from Amsterdam.

When talking about her work, Sadi invokes Charles Eames: “It makes me feel guilty that anybody should have such a good time doing what they are supposed to do.” I second that, as I felt the same way planning my party for her. Months later, I marvel at the large floribunda rose that Sadi made for me when I hosted the dinner in New York. Pale shell pink and 6 inches across, my Cake Atelier rose, which sits on a silver plate in my pantry, will certainly be my memory of her delicious and joyous art.

Charlotte Moss Celebrates Natasja Sadi

Natasja Sadi, cakeatelieramsterdam
Sadi discusses her process for making sugar flowers, while guests marvel at the individual flowerpots and flowers in front of them. When they wonder aloud where and how to start, Sadi responds, “Wherever you wish—maybe the moss cookie, maybe the chocolate-filled pot—but save the flower for last.”
Natasja Sadi, cakeatelieramsterdam
The dinner table sparkles with silver, candlelight, and abundant flowers.
Natasja Sadi, cakeatelieramsterdam
Interior designer Charlotte Moss
Natasja Sadi, cakeatelieramsterdam
A welcoming tray of drinks at Charlotte Moss’s town house
Natasja Sadi, cakeatelieramsterdam
Charlotte Moss toasts Sadi.

By Charlotte Moss | Photography by Jean-Pierre Uys

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