Most streaming services are vying for your attention with prestige television featuring big-name actors and blockbuster budgets. Watch Disney Starring Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hunt in New MCU Spinoff Series Moon Knight or the unforgettable sci-fi mystery of Apple TV Breakup with Adam Scott and Christopher Walken. Meanwhile, Netflix, the original king of prestige TV, has taken a different approach when it comes to this month’s must-watch show. Instead of employing actors to play different characters, they used cakes to play everyday objects.
East It’s a piece of cake ? has been one of Netflix’s top 10 most-watched shows since its debut in March, with nearly 50 million hours of shows watched globally in the past week. Australians have a particular taste for it, with the show now sitting in the top three. Inspired by a viral video showing someone cut into a Crocs sandal that was actually food, Is it cake? features a collection of boutique bakers doing their best to fool a panel of judges by baking a cake that looks like a shoe, a burger, or any number of different objects created across the eight episodes of the first season of the episode.
I first heard about this show when my kids asked if they could watch another episode after watching the first one the night before. At the top of the Netflix children’s charts, Is it cake? is a huge hit at my son’s school, and some of his friends have already binged (and spoiled) the whole season. Baffled that my son still wanted to watch another episode when he knew how this insane premise ended I knew I had to give Is it cake? a shot, so I launched the first episode.
The first five minutes of Is it cake? are fast and frenetic, a total fever dream. “It’s a bowling ball,” announces knife host Mikey Day. “And this is a cake.” He slices into the ball to his left, revealing his pasty innards to a shocked audience. We’re introduced to “nine amazing cake makers” who are asked to identify a cake from a range of six fast food dishes. Once all votes are locked, the host draws a samurai sword and begins slicing each dish, shouting the name of the show until the cake is finally revealed.
How to trick the Is It Cake? judges
- Use a dense, solid cake, such as a mud cake, which is easier to sculpt and can hold more weight than a sponge.
- Using an airbrush for painting will give you a more realistic look because you can control the shadow and tone of your sculpted cake. Texture is important to make the cake look more realistic, and while there are several print texture mats, molds and stencils available at bakeries, you may be able to use things you have at home, including fruit nets or sieves.
- You will need to use non-cake items for structure and support. Some cakes may require a center wooden dowel to prevent the cake from tipping. Heavy limbs and appendages would be structurally safer made from rice krispy treats or polystyrene, while small details are best made from fondant, modeling chocolate, or gum paste.
From professional pastry chef Dell Khalil of Cake Salon.
The rhythm and the ridiculousness of this opening conquered me immediately, and if Is it cake? was only 20 minutes away from Mikey Day cutting things with a sword, I’d love to. But unfortunately everything slows down when we meet the three contestants who will be baking today’s cakes that look like things that aren’t cakes, and the show becomes a pretty standard baking contest, except here the contestants try to trick the judges instead of cooking them something delicious.
My overly critical analysis of the baking show is met with a roll of eyes from my eight-year-old son, who gobbles up each of Netflix’s baking shows with delight. There are over 10 now, including three cake-focused seasons sugar rushsix seasons of amateur baking competitions Nailed it! and a season of Only dessertshosted by Australian Adriano Zumbo.
It’s by far his favorite kind of TV, and he doesn’t even like cake that much.