Illusion Cakes and How They Fooled Us | Exhibit Tech Entertainment

Illusion Cakes and How They Fooled Us

Have you come across reels on Instagram where there’s an innocent object and someone suddenly cuts into it and reveals it’s actually cake? That’s right. This pandemic trend is still going strong. Talented bakers who dabble in arts began making Illusion Cakes – essentially edible cakes that are shaped and decorated to look like something entirely different, for example, a famous book or even a glass of water. 


How did this trend start? 

Illusion cakes in popularity, as many strange things did, during the pandemic when everyone had a lot more free time on their hands. Tuba Geçkil, a Turkish baker, is thought to have popularised it on social media with her hyper-realistic cakes that made everyone question their reality and trend #EverythingIsCake. Our feeds were filled with objects being cut into and turning out to be cake. The level of precision and accuracy wowed and fooled us all. Illusion cakes require time and effort, with a minimum of 4 hours for good results, and these bakers had social media questioning what they were seeing. 

Watermelon Cake by How To Cake It

The trend is still thriving, with Netflix introducing a show titled, ‘Is It Cake?’ in March 2022 and it was renewed for a third season, premiering on 29th March 2024. The season will be cleverly titled, ‘Is It Cak3?’, only on Netflix. A few famous illusion cake bakers to follow are – Jonny Manganello (@thejonnycakes on Instagram), Ben Cullen (@the_bakeking on Instagram), Natalie Sideserf (@nataliesideserf on Instagram) and the trendsetter herself, Tuba Geçkil (@redrosecake_tubageckil on Instagram). 


Best of Tuba Geçkil

The original trendsetter and creator, Tuba Geçkil, is a hidden gem within the food industry. The Turkish baker and owner of Red Rose Cake in Istanbul creates the most artsy pieces that could belong in a museum. With precise designs and beautiful visuals, it’s almost sad that her creations have to be eaten. She has recreated Johannes Vermeer’s painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and her canvas is her cake. 

Girl with the Pearl Earring recreated into cake by Geçkil

Best of Jonny Manganello 

Jonny Manganello (also known as Jonny Cakes) is a Lebanese-American baker who was a contestant on Season 1 of Netflix’s ‘Is It Cake’ and now creates content around his baking. He’s also a popular guest on The Try Guys’ YouTube Channel as a judge for their food-related content. Jonny dabbles in optical illusions and brings fiction to life. He also sells simpler baking kits for illusion cakes. 

Lucky charms bowl by Jonny Manganello

Cartoon Illusion Cake by Jonny Manganello

Best of Ben Cullen

Ben Cullen (known as The Bakeking) is a British baker whose bold creations keep the audience on their toes. His creations in particular are more grotesque. They challenge reality, showing that illusion cakes can dare to cross the line. 

A pint of beer is actually cake by Ben Cullen

Best of Natalie Sideserf 

Natalie Sideserf is the latest baker in the game. She has an uncanny ability to recreate her face as well as other fun creations. She keeps the trend alive to this day and understands anatomy very well. 

Uncanny mirror of herself by Natalie Sideserf

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