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‘Illusion bakes’ are taking over the internet – here are the bakers to follow

Talented bakers have overrun the internet with incredible, hyperrealistic cakes

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

This mug: an optical illusion, and almost certainly cake. This phone: exceedingly thin, but still, almost certainly cake. And this desk I’m sat at: sure does look a lot like beech wood, but yet again, almost certainly cake.

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet over the past week, you’ll have experienced the same sense of paranoia. Onions. Shoes. Bars of soap. Everything, when it comes to down to it, has the potential to be cake.

It started as a handful of viral compilation videos of what appeared to be inanimate objects turning out to be simply well-disguised layers of sponge. Then in came the meme brigade, and the idea fast got out of hand.

It’s silly business. But can you imagine actually trying to make those things? Behind the memes are professional bakers who’ve turned ‘illusion bakes’, cakes that don’t look like cakes, into what some people might consider an actual art form. Here are three of the world’s best.

Sideserf Cake Studio, Austin, Texas, USA

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A former fine art student, Natalie Sideserf set up her own ‘cake art’ studio after she won ‘best in show’ at a cake competition in Austin, Texas. Her entry: a bust of country music singer Willie Nelson. Around a year later, she hit headlines with a sculpture of the decapitated heads of her and her fiancé. Now you too can learn how to make things like human brain and Egg McMuffin cakes on her YouTube channel.

Red Rose Cake, Istanbul, Turkey

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Many of the cakes that have gone viral over the past week were the work of Turkish food artist Tuba Geçkil. She runs Istanbul’s Red Rose Cake studio and is best known for her human sculptures. We particularly like her bust of German chancellor Angela Merkel and her take on Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’.

The BakeKing, Chester, UK

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Baked potatoes. Sunday roasts. Full English breakfasts. The BakeKing, aka Ben Cullen, takes British culinary staples and turns them into cake. But the former tattooist can, in fact, turn his hand to pretty much anything. His YouTube channel will teach you how to make Rick Grimes’s head, a Costa Coffee cup and even toilet roll. Which just goes to show: everything, quite probably, is cake.

More baking inspiration:

How to spice up your banana bread at home
The funniest lockdown-themed cakes on the internet
13 reasons why your sourdough is fucked, by bread nerd

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