The Hypnotic Beauty of Indonesian Terrarium Cakes

April 11, 2017

Last week, I came across the creations of Jakarta-based pastry chef Iven Kawi, perhaps better known by her Instagram nom de plume IvenOven. Kawi is in charge of her own pastry business of the same name, along with its subsidiary Zoezo Bakes (named after her two children), operating out of her home in the Lippo Karawaci neighborhood of Jakarta. Sheโ€™s a home baker who preps cakes that look like edible terrariums, working with a pretty gobsmacking level of detail.

Thank you for ordering 2-4 weeks in advance. My apologize if some slots in March are already fully booked. ๐Ÿ˜Š

A post shared by ivenoven ์‚ฌ๋ž‘์œผ๋กœ ๋ฒ ์ดํ‚น (@ivenoven) on

Kawi, a mother of two, began her pastry business in early 2014. Sheโ€™s since grown it considerably, now employing 12 female bakers from cities across the world, from Sydney to Seattle. With their help, Kawi assembles 20 cakes per day, piping buttercream frosting atop them.

As someone who can barely keep his hands still, I canโ€™t process the alchemy of precision and patience Kawi's line of work takes. I'm far outside the delivery zones of Jakarta and Tangerand in Indonesia, so I'll have to settle for looking at the images she's populated her Instagram account with. Long live the terrarium cake.

A moment to remember ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

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Terrarium buttercream cupcakes ๐Ÿ’•

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It's a good day to have a good day. Have a good weekend everyone. ๐Ÿ’•

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The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy. ๐Ÿ˜Š HWB

A post shared by ivenoven ์‚ฌ๋ž‘์œผ๋กœ ๋ฒ ์ดํ‚น (@ivenoven) on

Full vines buttercream terrarium cake. Thank you so much for your nice comments and messages. I'm so blessed! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

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Yes, you may start to put your order for March and April. Please contact us via whatsapp ๐Ÿ˜Š

A post shared by ivenoven ์‚ฌ๋ž‘์œผ๋กœ ๋ฒ ์ดํ‚น (@ivenoven) on

Double 3D flower buttercream cake. Thank you for order - enjoy - repeat ๐Ÿ’•

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Because of you, i laugh a little harder, cry a little less and smile a lot more. On your special birthday, you deserve the best cake, because you are very special!

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See more of Iven Kawi's creations here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • SAM
  • sheila mahon
    sheila mahon
  • Karen
  • Maggie Crisler
    Maggie Crisler
  • Rhonda35
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


SAM May 29, 2017
TO TO NICE TO EAT! WOW X99999999999999999999999
sheila M. April 17, 2017
Do they sip to the USA?
Karen April 17, 2017
Gorgeous!!! Those are just beautiful and so lifelike.
Maggie C. April 17, 2017
A friend of mine in Nashville makes vegan terrarium and succulent cakes! @leeuwbakeshop on Instagram.
Rhonda35 April 15, 2017
These are so beautiful!
Heather D. April 15, 2017
Absolutely fabulous! Glad they don't deliver to the US. I'd undoubtedly gain 20 pounds. Really though...amazing!
wmpottsjr April 15, 2017
You should do coral and little gobie like fishes
petalpusher April 15, 2017
Omg, her designs are so intriguing. They're leapin' off my screen. I can feel a lot of cake envy out there. And she seems as lovely as her art. Hail Kawi!
Darlene R. April 15, 2017
Just buy Russian piping tips and you can do the same at home. Amazon sells tons of kits.
Layne G. April 15, 2017
How do I order one?
Saffron3 April 13, 2017
Let me eat cake! Wow.
Bevi April 12, 2017
So stunning. If you ever hear of a decorating workshop in the US, please let us know. Kawi is amazing.
Panfusine April 11, 2017
Stunning, leaves you speechless.. , but how do you gather the heart to bite into one of these beauties.. I wish the 'have my cake & eat it too' rule would have an exception for these creations!
Valerie April 14, 2017
my thoughts exactly!
Whiteantlers April 11, 2017
Oh-how could anyone have the heart to eat these beauties?!
Shem A. April 11, 2017
Any idea what these flower are made out of?
foofaraw April 11, 2017
buttercream, though I don't what type. See

Also Mayukh, they ship internationally too.
Nikkitha B. April 11, 2017
Hi foofaraw - it says on the FAQ that they only deliver to Jakarta and Tangerang, but it's slightly confusing because they say people in the US can order them. I think what they meant was that people who live in the US can order them for people in Jakarta and Tangerang, and they would ship it there. (A pretty cool surprise, if you know any Jakarta-ites!) I hope that helps.
foofaraw April 11, 2017
Oh, thanks for the correction Nikkitha!