Deconstructing a Past Project

Deconstructing a Past Project: Fake Cakes

For my Integrative Studio: Fake class, one of the projects was based on art multiples and we were prompted to create our own set of multiples. To prepare for the project, my class learned about other artists whose work include the creation of multiples, such as Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, and Marcel Duchamp. In addition, we learned about the Flexus movement in art history. My class was given the option to work with casting to produce multiples, however, I wanted to take a more personal, individual approach to my project. Due to the theme of my studio class as fake, we were encouraged to explore the relationship between real and fake concepts, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I decided that I wanted to create a series of “fake cakes,” realistic looking cakes created out of paper boxes and spackle. Though cakes are typically given and eaten on celebratory events such as birthdays and anniversaries,  I wanted the writing on my cakes to be provocative and provoking as commentaries on stereotypes and the negative beliefs of modern society. The idea of my project was based on the idiom, “Let them eat cake.”

To prepare for work on my project, I gathered ideas and inspiration online through tutorials on how to make realistic edible food. I learned that tile sealant and spackle when colored with acrylic paint, is a realistic imitation of frosting. Though bakers who create fake cakes for displays use styrofoam rounds for the base of their cakes, I found that styrofoam rounds were relatively an expensive material if not brought wholesale. Instead, I brought a set of brown paper boxes to become the shape of my cakes.  To apply the spackle on the cake, I used actual icing tips as well as cake edge decorating combs. The consistency of the “frosting” depended on the amount of acrylic paint mixed in. I also used tubes of fabric paint to mimic the frosting writing on the cakes. The process of creating these fake cakes was time-consuming as I had to wait for each layer of spackle to dry before adding another, but the result was well worth it.

Process Map:

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Fake Cake Recipe

(How to make a fake cake)


Paper boxes in the size and shape you want your fake cakes to be

1 Gallon Tub of White Spackle

Acrylic Paint in Various Colors


Cake Icing Tips

Cake Edge Combs

Piping Bags

Glossy Fabric Paint(s) (with a fine tip bottle)

Fake Sprinkles made out of polymer clay (optional)

  1. Liberally apply spackle to all sides of the paper box with a spatula and then smooth out the sides.
  2. Use cake combs to decorate the side of the “cake.”
  3. Use the appropriate amount of acrylic paint (pea sized) to dye spackle to create “frosting.”
  4. Put frosting into a piping bag with icing tip to decorate the cake.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with different color icing to decorate the cake even further.
  6. If desired, apply fake sprinkles on top of frosting when still wet.
  7. When the cake is all dry, use fabric paint to pipe a message on the surface.


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