hyperrealistic cake

These Illusion Cakes Are Giving the Internet an Existential Crisis

If everything is cake...then NOTHING is cake!

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Let’s talk about cake. We celebrate with it, we snack on it, we love it. Every culture across the world has their own versions of the dessert, but one truth remains: Cake is a Lawful Good.

Until. UNTIL.

Baking wizardry (or more accurately, fondant wizardry) has created the mind-blowing trend that is the hyper realistic illusion cake. These are masterpieces sculpted to look like ordinary items, but are in fact cake. And if you’ve been on social media recently, you’ve no doubt seen one of the many cake cutting compilation videos, like this one:

It’s hypnotic and vaguely ASMR-like to watch these cake cutting videos. There’s the technical skill to marvel at, and the shock that yes, those Crocs, that roll of toilet paper, and that steak dinner are all cakes. The “everything is cake” meme quickly took off, with hilarious results, as people starting cutting into everyday objects in the hope of cake:

The meme spun off into more existential cake drama:

Is fake cake discourse my new favorite meme? Obviously. But I think it hints at something deeper. These cakes, while stunning, are not the tastiest. They are finely crated globs of fondant and sculpting chocolate, that focus more on illusion than flavor. Unless you’re REALLY into fondant in which case, you do you.

Is it any surprise then, that cakes that are all about appearance are dominating social media? Are we not all illusion cakes online, flaunting our Insta-ready lives and accomplishments while keeping our dry, over-baked insides under wraps? Should we not cast aside our cloaks of brightly colored fondant and reveal our true selves, and in doing so forge an authentic connection with one another?

If EVERYTHING is cake, then NOTHING IS CAKE. Thus, are we ourselves everything and nothing? Do we contain multitudes, or are those multitudes merely endless layers of cake?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to cut into my keyboard to see what’s inside.

(image: YouTube/Amazing Cakes)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.