Earlier this summer the “everything is cake” trend took the internet by storm as users posted videos cutting open what appeared to be everyday objects, only for them to be cake.
Yes, cake. The fun and slightly unnerving trend has continued into the fall, but one popular Texas baker says she’s been doing making hyper-realistic baked goods for almost a decade…and decided recently to take things to the next level.
“People are still really into it,” Natalie Sideserf, 35, laughed in an interview with TODAY Food. “I was like, ‘what else can I do next?”
So she decided to make a cake of herself. Because why not.
“Selfie cake was something I thought no one had ever seen before,” she said.
The videos certainly were something! Sideserf stands next to the confectionary version of herself and then uses a giant knife to slide her own baked head open. Naturally, it went viral.
"Didn't you feel Awkward while doing this?😂😂 I can't even Hurt my Picture," one person posted on her Instagram.
"That's the Tastiness Brain Surgery I have ever seen lol 😂," another replied.
The unsettling and entertaining video is exactly what Sideserf says she’s going for.
“I love that some people love it and I love that some people hate it,” she chuckled. “I’m 100 percent cool if you’re like, ‘That’s grossing me out.' That’s what’s fun about it.”
Sideserf runs Sideserf Cake Studio with her husband, who handles the baking of the actual cakes while she does the elaborate decorations. She got into the business after majoring in art in college and a friend asked her to make a cake of a cows skull for an event.
“I realized that there was a lot more to it,” she explained. “I felt like people could get a lot more realistic with it.”
Around 2010, she started working at a local bakery in Austin to learn the ins and outs of the business and then two years later she started her own company.
“I really dove into cake and I kept with the realism but since then, I’ve been experimenting. How realistic can I get?” she said.
Lately, she’s been using wafer paper to make things like (fake) onion and garlic skins.
“Basically, you can get a hint of vanilla but it’s mostly tasteless,” she explained. “It was pretty cool to find an edible version of paper.”
She typically uses modeling chocolate for the icing, which is just chocolate mixed with corn syrup.
“People always assume that it’s fondant but it tastes like tootsie rolls,” she said. “Basically they’re just covered in that modeling chocolate but the inside is cake and buttercream.”
It’s the super-realistic exteriors though, that have made Sideserf somewhat of a viral sensation. She said during quarantine, she and her husband have been focusing on their social media accounts, posting how-to videos on YouTube.
The elaborate process can take up to 40 hours for Sideserf, though if you want to try it yourself, she recommends starting out with a simple fake mac and cheese recipe that has been a hit with her fans — especially those tricking their kids.
She said she looks at her craft as both an art form and also a fun mind distortion.
“I think it’s funny. But also these kinds of things they’re like still life paintings or still life sculptures,” she said. “So yeah, you’re not going to eat a clay apple but what’s cool is you can eat mine.”