A new show on Netflix asks a simple question: Is It Cake? hosted by Saturday night Live star Mikey Day, the program—which premieres on March 18—invites bakers to create hyper-realistic illusion cakes that look eerily like everyday objects. Think hats, shoes, hamburgers, toys, and more—all made out of cake, but so convincingly rendered that it’s hard to tell what’s actually dessert. Until you slice them open, that is. Oh, and there’s cash on the line.
If competitors fool a panel of celebrity judges (including “Friday” singer Rebecca Black, SNL cast member Heidi Gardner, food critic Daym Drops, and TikTok creator Brittany Broski), they have the chance to win a boatload of cash: Up to $10,000 per episode, plus a staggering $50,000 grand prize.
delicious chatted with Mikey Day to find out which ones looked the best, Day’s favorite cake flavors, and what he learned about cutting into soooo many cakes.
Delish: Baking a cake, but making it not look like cake is such a specific talent. What made you want to get involved with this project?
Mikey Day: I mean, everyone likes cake! I was alerted to this internet fad when I saw some video of someone cutting into a “puppy.” [Delish note: It was, in fact, a cake].
It was unnerving, but weirdly fascinating. and when [Netflix] explained the premise of the show, it sounded really fun because there’s that baking show element, but there’s also this play-along-at-home portion that I found super compelling. I was definitely introduced to the artistry that goes into baking hyper-realistic cakes through this show.
What did you learn by being around these super talented bakers?
I definitely gained a new found respect for what the bakers with this skill do. But also baking in general, because I’m not the best. Within this hyper-realistic cake world, there are some objects and things that everyone makes. Like everyone starts with a book.
I learned what fondant was, which is a huge tool in their tool bags. Modeling chocolate is something I learned about, which is basically baker’s clay. And it gets super thick and a little hard to cut.
Bakers could spend up to eight hours for each challenge—and yYou were responsible for cutting into all of those cakes. Did you feel the pressure?
I feel like I became an expert on cutting cakes! A large portion of the show is the reveal. In the beginning, I was a little nervous. And there were all these terms like a “wedge cut.” [You’re] going down the middle and kind of flip it or wedge it open. And you only have one shot, because you’re cutting into this cake that took however many long hours to make. It wasn’t like there was a take two.
At some points, you don’t use a regular knife—you’ve got a giant sword. Did you ever mess up?
You think it would be super easy to cut cake with a sword but, you know, it’s a sword. That wasn’t the best implement to use, but I got more used to it. Sometimes they gave me a little torch to heat up the knife.
Did you get to eat any cake?
Yeah, I did have a lot of cake. And they were all delicious. It’s beyond impressive to me that it can also taste good. That’s a question I get a lot from friends. They say, “But does it taste like glue?” I’m like, “No, it’s real cake and it tastes good.” If there were any ties [in the challenges, taste] would be part of the deciding factor for the judges.
Speaking of oddly specific talents, do you have any?
I had older sisters growing up, and they were away at college when I was coming into first grade, so I kind of grew up like an only child. I played with action figures a lot and would provide my own sound effects to their adventures. So I think I’m decent at mouth sound effects like lasers and explosions.
Last question! Got a favorite cake flavour?
I’m classic. I just like a good old like white cake with chocolate frosting. Or yellow cake. As you can see. I’m so knowledgeable on flavors and names. oh and funfetti cake!
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