In the summer of 2020, the world faced many challenging questions, but the Internet chose to fixate on just one: Is it cake?
It all began with a viral video in which a person sliced through various objects, ranging from Crocs to rolls of toilet paper. But instead of plastic or paper, their cross-sections revealed that these “objects” were actually incredible cake creations. On social media, reactions ranged from awe to mock-angst. No longer able discern the difference between cake and inedible object, some questioned their very reality.
While some may think the trick-cake trend has gone on for too long (there’s even an Is It Cake? show on Netflix now), deceptive desserts actually stretch back centuries before the Internet ever obsessed over an edible Croc. In the Middle Ages, Sicilian nuns created incredibly detailed marzipan “fruits,” while the Renaissance saw the rise of ornate sugar sculptures that depicted everything from plants to sea creatures to castles.
Even today, our obsession with trickster treats goes well beyond cake. Here are seven extraordinary edible imposters, from ice cream disguised as spaghetti to snacks that mimic a museum’s priceless artifacts.