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Just let it be cake. Will the tyranny of sculpted, realistic cakes ever end?

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Have you recently been the victim of a cake fake-out on social media? You may have been innocently scrolling, and think you've seen a sweet pair of Air Jordan's only to watch in horror as someone tears through them with a knife revealing...cake.

Shoes, purses, jeans...nothing is safe from being a potentially sculpted, delicious, realistic-looking cake. And it's not only fashion that's under sugary assault. Animals, simple household objects, and even other food (!) are deceptive disguises that go under the knife, and before your very eyes, reveal confectionary layers instead.



Cake cutting reveals are not the wedding ritual you're thinking of, but are actually TikTok videos or Instagram Reels that show someone cutting into a cake that looks like something else. They're inescapable, and impossible not to watch. Is it really going to be cake? Spoiler alert: it's always cake. There seems to be no algorithmic combination that doesn't include a subject that couldn't be possibly become pastry. Now it seems almost disappointing when something isn't cake.

Recently, when some Russian fashion influencers began cutting up their Chanel bags on social media as a protest, some of us really thought it was going to be Chanel purse cakes. In our defense, some of these Birkin bag cakes are really convincing, like these from Tuba Geckil of Red Rose Cake, pastry chef of hyper realistic cakes.

As a format or (dare I say) art form, cake sculpting is an interesting technical skill and needless to say wildly popular. The ancient skill of sculpting has been applied by the great masters like Rodin, onto marble and stone, it has been used on clay, and on why not on cake? Whether or not this is what pastry was meant to do, or what fashion ever intended as a frosty tribute, one thing is for sure: it has definitely carved out its own category somewhere between both fashion and food.

Will this sweet tyranny ever end? Not likely and not if Netflix has anything to say about it. A new series literally called "Is it Cake" recently premiered on Netflix where pastry chefs compete for the ultimate "fake and bake". The premise of the entire show is basically in the name. If you find yourself death-scrolling, having fallen down the rabbit hole of fake-cake-dom, - "wait is it cake? Obviously it's cake, yeah but I'm gonna need to see the inside to be sure it's cake" - this is the show for you. It's unclear if the straightforward narrative will carry the show into another season, but in a world where anything can be cake, it seems anything is possible.


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