by The Urban Grocer in Cool Travel on Monday 6 December 2010

If you thought it was impossible for something to be too pretty too eat, you may reconsider after taking a gander at the luxury line of cakes and cookies at Maggie Austin Cake in Washington, DC. Maggie LaBaugh, the veritable mastermind behind the whole operation, was a former classical ballet dancer who now runs a custom cake design shop that will literally make your jaw drop. Maggie draws on her earlier training to create exquisite confections using clean lines, classic simplicity, and sheer elegance. She employs a strong artistic structure taking inspiration from famous sculptures, painting movements and even the realm of haute couture.

Recently, this patissier extraordinaire debuted a range of fine art cookies in four collections: Impressionist, Bauhaus, Art Nouveau and Botanical that utilize edible markers and stunning food colouring to recreate unbelievably real, edible masterpieces. And if you thought that the flavours must be overlooked with so much focus on the design, then think again. These sugar and fondant trimmings are draped over layers of double chocolate espresso cake with Seville oranges and buttercream to name but one example. Welcome to the new age of pastry.