HOUSTON - Is that real or is it cake? That’s what many Internet users are now wondering after a viral video showing what appears to be an inanimate object actually turns out to be cake!
A Croc shoe and a toilet paper roll aren’t the most appetizing-looking objects, but you gotta admit, how REALISTIC these cakes look.
The craze began with a compilation of realistic cake videos, then came the conspiracy theorists and parodists wondering if everything is actually just cake!
The brains behind it all is Austin-based baking artist, Natalie SideSerf, who began making realistic cakes almost a decade ago.
"I actually made a bust cake of Willie Nelson in 2011 and people really liked that. And it was number one on the front page of Reddit. It was all over the place so that’s when I really started dabbling in the realism in cakes and I’ve been doing it ever since."
Her cake resume now includes everything from Egg McMuffins to Miller Lite cans and sometimes totally creepy ones like Pennywise from the movie IT!
Natalie says she approaches her cakes like she would still-life art. As a trained artist from Ohio State, she says a lot of the skill sets and technique are interchangeable from sculpting and painting the cakes, and of course, some trial and error with ingredients along the way.
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"I'm always researching different artists, special effects artists and so I like to take some of their techniques and do edible versions of it.
"I actually very rarely use fondant. People assume that my cakes are covered in fondant because that’s kind of the norm but I use modeling chocolate. It's more of like a play-dough so it’s more of a softer texture, more like a Tootsie Roll," Natalie said.
Natalie said she frequently receives a lot of crazy orders but one, in particular, stands out.
"I had somebody reach out from San Antonio and they wanted me to make a cake of a deer mount, but the deer mount like of the head. Everything was literally going to be placed on the wall among a whole wall of deer," Natalie said.
But arguably, her biggest and perhaps most anticipated project is coming up just this week.
"When I post pictures of myself online, for years now, people always comment like, 'Are you a cake? Are you sure you’re not cake?' So I'm actually working on a cake of myself right now and it’s staring at me," Natalie said.
Sideserf Cake Studio takes custom-cake orders from people all over Texas, including Houston.
Depending on the size or the amount of intricate detail required, Natalie says she spends anywhere from 2 to 40+ hours creating each realistic cake.
If you're interested in baking a realistic cake yourself, Natalie has a YouTube channel with dozens of tutorials. She also travels all around the US hosting live, in-person classes. To sign up, click here.