Behold: The Cake

September 19th, 2011

Here’s my final cake. I put roaches on it. Not too weird, right? Let me explain.

When I got this project, I pictured a really simple, white wedding cake. I wanted to try and do something really elegant. I imagined super fine piping, minimalistic but nice. And then I pictured something on it NO ONE would want to see on any wedding cake. Ever. A roach! A roach would be funny on a wedding cake, especially a wedding cake made in NYC where roaches outnumber people by like a billion. That would be funny, right? I mean, who wants a roach on a white wedding cake? Not me!

This image was funny to me. But the roach would have to be as realistic as possible. The cake would have to be well done, too. It would have to look close to perfect, as close to perfect as a pastry student could get. It couldn’t look cartoony or cheap. If any of the things listed above didn’t work out, the cake would suck. I had my work cut out for me.

Given I hadn’t ever worked with gum paste prior this cake, nor had I rolled out fondant before this project, I am pretty damn pleased with it. And it tastes good too! Even the fondant is edible. The roaches are as well. But I won’t eat gum paste. Or roaches.

I don’t know. I kept thinking of the last scene from Secretary. Where Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character (Lee Holloway) is making James Spaders’ (Mr. Grey) bed and it’s a perfectly made bed. And then at the very last moment, she puts a giant bug in between the sheets. I kept thinking of that scene. I don’t know why; maybe I have a tumor. But I love that movie. I love what that bug represents. So, yeah. Bugs, dudes. Bugs.

Anyway… that’s my cake. But for those who don’t like the bug, I took one without it as well.

In about 15 minutes from now, I am heading to Em’s preschool where I will show the kids the bug cake and let them eat the shit out of it. I hope to have pictures of that as well. Getting there will be tricky. I plan to wear the baby and put the cake in the stroller. This is NYC. No one will care.

Hey! I wonder if I’ll see any roaches.

The cake isn’t too weird, right? I bet the kids won’t think so! I mean, have you ever seen Yo Gabba Gabba? Kids don’t find anything weird.

ETA: this is what’s left of the cake after Em’s preschool got a hold of it:


It was awesome. They loved it. I loved watching them eat it.

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31 Comments on “Behold: The Cake”

  1. Kelly said at 12:23 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    I love this! Gorgeous cake and then the roach is hysterical….

    what did school say?

  2. Kelly said at 12:26 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    Absolutely stunning, roach and all.

    You’re very talented.

  3. heather said at 12:27 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    Wow. Please save me a slice.


  4. kim said at 12:37 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    this is fucking amazing. and forget about anyone who doesn’t have the sense of humour to appreciate it. weird kids UNITE!

  5. kim said at 12:38 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    …and you’re bloodly talented to boot.

  6. Enia said at 12:38 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    Michele, those bugs look AMAZING! I love it!

  7. mihow said at 12:40 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    Kelly: Chef said they were the best gum paste roaches she’s ever seen. Ha!

    No, it went over pretty well considering how folks felt about it before it was made.

    Thanks, guys! I enjoyed making it.

  8. KG said at 1:02 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    Gah!!! The cake is gorgeous. The roach is freaking me the fuck out!

  9. sheryl said at 1:45 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    You are an artist. This is brilliant, ironic, funny, as well as beautiful and well crafted.

    I used to argue that people shouldn’t try so hard to look different and perfect on their wedding day because it’s not a reflection of the real “good, bad and ugly” of marriage. I would totally hire you to make my wedding cake. With a roach on it.

  10. Krissa said at 3:01 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    Okay, I think this is HILARIOUS. I mean, I am absolutely terrified of roaches so if I didn’t have any prior warning and I saw the cake I’d probably pull my skirt over my head and run out of the room screaming, but it’s still totally awesome and hilarious. Very surreal.

    You’re right, the whole thing is made perfect by how completely gorgeous the cake is on its own, AND how life-like the roach is! I think you had a vision, you executed it flawlessly, and you told a story. You should be proud! Plus, JESUS those flowers are meticulous and beautiful. Wow.

  11. mihow said at 3:14 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    Krissa: I HATE roaches. I am terrified of them. Staring at this thing was difficult. Maybe I am cured? Nope. Not a chance.

    This went over really well I believe because of where we life. Anywhere else? Not so much. You know?

    Thank you guys! You’ve NO idea how much your comments mean to me!

  12. Aisha said at 4:45 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    love this! I want one for my graduation!

  13. Leslie said at 5:09 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    I think the cake is lovely…and I don’t find the roach weird at all. Some people just have giant sticks shoved up their arses…

  14. insomniagirl said at 5:12 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    Those flowers are very well done. The whole cake is great, but it’s the roach takes it from pretty to Super Awesome.

    Also, I love the movie Secretary, and I really love that scene.

  15. vedjen said at 7:39 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    BRILLIANT! I absolutely love. it. and would hire you to make my wedding cake any day. The unexpected is always expected for my taste.

  16. Kim said at 7:43 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    the cake looks amazing! congrats!

  17. Michele Chaves said at 9:14 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    That is freaking awesome! Genius! I bet it made people uncomfortable, but I think it is fantastic. Great job!!!

  18. Hi, I'm Natalie. said at 9:15 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    That is the awesomest wedding cake EVER. IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. Equally awesome? That preschoolers are going to eat it.

  19. Sarah said at 7:02 am on September 20th, 2011:

    You. are. awesome.


    This cake has it all. As do you. Well done!!

  20. Pam from Ohio said at 7:27 am on September 20th, 2011:

    This is a beautiful cake (even with the roach…ick). You are one talented wedding cake maker!

  21. Gina aka Slappy said at 8:35 am on September 20th, 2011:

    Simply beautiful cake … and we want to see a pic of you biting into that edible roach!

  22. Checho said at 9:29 am on September 20th, 2011:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the cake!
    It’s stunning! will you be taking orders?

  23. thefirecat said at 10:02 am on September 20th, 2011:

    Oh. My. Freaking. God.

    That’s brilliant. And creepy. Dang, woman, nice work.

  24. Mikal said at 2:33 pm on September 20th, 2011:

    Ewww, there’s a wedding cake on your roach!

  25. Erica Lucci said at 7:53 am on September 22nd, 2011:

    Your cake is absolutely lovely. The roach makes it stand out. I love that you thought about doing something fun, interesting, funny along with a stunningly beautiful wedding cake. And I don’t think its weird at all – very creative!

  26. whitney said at 3:36 pm on September 22nd, 2011:

    Individually, both the cake and the (extremely detailed) roach are amazing. Together? Absolute perfection! I love it!

  27. Molly said at 6:34 pm on September 22nd, 2011:

    I agree–it’s amazing (and hilarious)! In Baltimore it would have had to be a rat.

  28. Suzanne said at 6:56 pm on September 23rd, 2011:

    I have never commented before but this cake is absolutely stunning. You are truly talented. Were the flowers edible?

  29. mihow said at 8:54 pm on September 23rd, 2011:

    Yup! The flowers were edible. Worked my tail off on those bitches!

    And: thank you!!!

  30. Mel in MO said at 5:53 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Halloween is coming up — I bet Jen at Cakewrecks has a Sunday Sweets category for this cake!

    Love it! Beautiful cake and a twisted sense of humor — two of my favorite things!

  31. Melhow said at 4:35 pm on September 27th, 2011:

    I was looking at the October Martha Stewart magazine (don’t judge, she does neat Halloween things). Anyway, she had a chocolate cake with roaches coming out. Her roaches were rubber and it wasn’t nearly as pretty, but it still cracked me up. Yours could be the Bride of Frankenstein cake;). She also has a broken glass cupcake. See, you aren’t weird; you’re the next Martha. Hee!

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