March 2021


Cake Trends

Food Illusion Cakes

As we are celebrating National Pie Week we wanted to bring you some of our favourite ‘Is it really a cake?” moments. Food illusion cakes are HUGELY popular and they are such an incredible way to really wow your friends and family.

food illusion cakes

It is incredible how one edible item can resemble another edible item. And often it isn’t clear that it is cake until someone cuts into it.


A great way to create an illusion cake is to think about the whole set up. Quite often when recreating faux food (especially if you want to create it to scale), individual elements can be too small to constitute a whole cake. Whenever I hit this problem I try and think around how I can increase the cake capacity without compromising the design. The sushi tray is a good example of this. I wanted to create sweet sushi to scale but obviously there isn’t much cake in that! By incorporating all the elements on a large wooden serving tray I gave myself a decent cutting cake while managing to keep all the other illusion elements in scale.


set the scene

Taco Cake
Breakfast Cake

For me a good illusion tells a story and often it is a composition of elements or a well thought out board or setting that will really help sell the illusion. The taco cake is brought to life not only by the different elements of shredded cheese, lettuce, ground beef and peppers but also setting it against a suitable background helps make it pop and gives it context. Equally the English breakfast cake I made has a variety of elements. but importantly is presented in a way that makes sense. It really helps to tell the story.

embrace the imperfections

One of the best foods to use as inspiration for illusion cakes are fruit and vegetables. They are so distinctive and have amazing textures and colours. Best of all the irregular, imperfect shapes and sizes mean they don’t require you to reproduce them perfectly. Actually when I’m teaching illusion cake techniques you will often hear me say, “embrace the imperfections”. Nature is not perfect and therefore your sugar reproductions shouldn’t be either. After all illusion cakes are all about realism and tricking the eye. Wonky shapes, small blemishes and patchy colouring all help in creating hyper realistic looking items.

Cabbage Cake

form, texture and colour

Form, colour and texture are the holy trinity when trying to recreate illusion cakes. Understanding the basic shape and size of what you are creating, examining and recreating the texture to add movement and finally layering the colour as accurately as you can. These fish and seafood cakes are really good examples of how the trinity of techniques come together for really effective results. The trout cake below was filmed as a LIVE DEMO and you can watch the replay below. In this video you can see him carve the fish and sculpt with modelling chocolate to get the correct form. Next I show you how to texture the trout realistically and finally I show you my techniques for achieving that distinctive colouring.