Recently I was introduced to the world of “Faux Cakes”!
This made me really sad.
Why in the world would someone “Fake a Cake”?
Apparently there are a number of reasons why a person would invest in a Cake Fake or Cake illusion! In fact, there is an entire industry for fake cakes! For the most part I get it; but I will say this: “I don’t like it” :(
You might be wondering “What is she talking about?”, so let me give you a quick briefing on what exactly a “Fake Cake” is. Sometimes referred to as “Display Cakes”, “Foam Cakes”, or simply a “Faux” or “Fake Cake”. These cakes are made of Styrofoam bases (in whatever shape desired) and covered and decorated with several possible icing options such as fondant, perma ice, and even home renovation supplies like spackle!
So why in the world would there be such a booming market in fake cakes? Well, let’s think about some of the biggest shows on the tube these days:
With the size of the cakes these cake shops are putting out, and the cost of these cakes (yikes!), it has simply become out of reach for many people. But out of reach does not mean out of sight! People have seen these absolutely amazing cakes, and like a kid in a candy store, they want want want!
Which brings me back to the point of why would you ever want to buy (or rent) a foam cake from a bakery?
Well first of all, as you can imagine, a cake like the one pictured above is the size of a full grown man. That bottom round tier in and of itself would feed a party 100+! Start doing the math on servings, if you add the second tier and then the pyramid of cake, why would anyone need that much cake? And that is coming from a cake lover!
Another “pro” for a faux cake is that the cost is much much lower. With a foam cake, the bakery only does one tier (if at all) which is usually the top tier in real cake! Then the cake is whisked away into the kitchen/prep area to be cut up and plated for guests. Little do the guests know there is actually a stash of sheet cakes already iced and ready for served awaiting in the kitchen. With fondant cakes ranging from $5-$12 per slice (and higher!), just paying for one single tier starts to sound pretty good!
The last and final “pro” to the faux cake, in my opinion, is freshness and taste! Some cake designs need to be sculpted, which usually forces a heavier/ tougher cake to withstand the weight of the fondant and other decorations; this can limit you choice of cake flavors and fillings. Also, you didn’t just ask for a giant cake, you asked for a personalized and uniquely decorated cake. Decorations and fondant covering take time and sometimes multiple stints in the refrigerator all of which start to effect the taste and texture of the cake. By having a cake like a sheet cake on deck in the back creates a much much fresher cake; one that very possibly could have been baked that day (most professional cakes are baked at least 2 days in advance)! You take your beautifully desired pictures cutting the cake (that one single tier), take pictures of the cake itself and with you standing next to it, and then you either box it up and use it again for your sisters big day in the future or simply return it to bakery for your deposit back! (Remember I didn’t say that I liked this idea… I just said “I get it”).
Well anyways, I was shocked when I was searching for “foam cakes” to see just how many vendors out there are cashing in on this gig! Imagine creating a $500-$1,000 wedding cake in foam, and then actually getting to wipe it off and use it multiple times! I think for the cake artists this must be nice not having to see art piece after art piece getting cut up and destroyed each weekend!
More importantly, “WHY was I searching ‘Foam Cakes’ on the internet”????
Well, I may have entered myself in the National Capital Area Cake Show. It’s a big cake show/ expo that is happening at the end of March and consists of demonstrations, classes, and yes cake competitions! Upon reading through the rules it stated that in the section that I’m competing in, foam cake forms are permitted! For me this makes sense. This way I can actually take my time on the characters and decorations and not have to worry about the cake cracking or starting to stick!
I won’t say much more about the competition as that would clearly be giving my secret design plans away, but I will say this. Leave it up to me to try to find a better, more cost efficient way of creating a display cake. Picture explanations are to come later, for now, just enjoy in wonderment!
I suggest you come back soon to catch the latest with my cake competition!