Japanese Baker Recreates the South Pole as Adorable Rice Cakes

South Pole Wagashi Cakes by Misaaki Miyake

If you visit Japanese bakeries, chances are you'll come across confectionaries that are as cute as they are tasty. Among the array of delicious treats are nerikiri wagashi, meaning Japanese sweets. This style of dessert was invented during the Edo period and encompasses items that are made using mochi (pounded rice), anko (azuki sweet red bean paste), and occasionally fruit. With these materials, food artists can create amazing designs. One such person is Masaaki Miyaki, who debuted an adorable collection of South Pole cakes.

At his bakery, Gogashi Beniya Miyake, he specializes in wagashi inspired by adorable animals. His arctic series features a group of white seals and a colony of baby penguins. To enhance the kawaii traits, or “cuteness,” of these characters, he makes their bodies spherical and their facial features minimalist. Then, Miyake displays his finished creations on an ocean-blue tray dotted with kohakuto, or ambered sugar pieces, which resemble pieces of ice.

In addition to baby seals and penguins, he also creates other visually satisfying confections. Some of his other treats look like sloths, foxes, ducks, chickens, and rabbits. Whatever he cooks up next, it's sure to be lovable.

Scroll down to see more adorable dessert items, and follow Miyake on Twitter and Instagram to see what he's cooking next.

Japanese baker Masaaki Miyake creates sweet treats that are as cute as a button.

South Pole Wagashi Cakes by Misaaki Miyake

His latest batch of wagashi (Japanese rice cake desserts) are inspired by the south pole.

South Pole Wagashi Cakes by Misaaki Miyake

Miyaki created adorable round seals and penguins.

South Pole Wagashi Cakes by Misaaki Miyake

He completed the effect with kohakuto, or ambered sugar pieces, that look like pieces of ice.

South Pole Wagashi Cakes by Misaaki MiyakeSouth Pole Wagashi Cakes by Misaaki MiyakeSouth Pole Wagashi Cakes by Misaaki Miyake

The South Pole isn't the only region that Miyake finds inspiration though.

The baker makes a range of adorable confectionery inspired by animals found in milder and tropical areas—including sloths, dogs, and rabbits.

Masaaki Miyake: Website | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [Grape]

All images via Masaaki Miyake.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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