This past week, photos and videos on social media proved that just about anything can be a cake, whether it’s a roll of toilet paper, a pair of Crocs, or an aloe vera plant. Even Austin’s Natalie and Dave Sideserf of Sideserf Cake Studio got in on the action. The pair dumbfounded the internet with a video of a knife cutting into an eggplant, Legos, and a breakfast sandwich to reveal what they truly are: cake.

But Sideserf, along with other cake decorators across the state, have been making illusion cakes long before the trend exploded. Here are 13 eerily realistic cakes from Texas small-town bakeries that are sure to make you wonder, “Is it cake?”

The Best Little Cake Shop in Texas
La Grange, Texas

Mini-Whataburger model cake

Photo by Melissa Harris

This miniature Whataburger is no toy. Melissa Harris created this cake back in 2017 for a groom with a big love of Texas. It took eight hours to decorate, which includes the time spent assembling a roof out of foam.

Yeti ice chest cake with beer bottles and a fish

Photo by Melissa Harris

Harris has made about 20 Yeti Cooler cakes in her day, each one customized for the recipient. Several have wound up with fish bait and beer. While the open lid is made of cardboard and the bottles are real glass, everything else you see is made of sugar. 

Armadillo cake on its back with a beer bottle on its stomach

Photo by Melissa Harris

For anyone who has seen the southern classic Steel Magnolias, it’s hard to forget the red velvet Armadillo groom’s cake and watching its tail get chopped off and served on a plate. Harris decorated her own version of the iconic cake over 12 hours. Of course, it’s red velvet. 

Barbecue grill cake

Photo by Melissa Harris

What’s a smoker without a little smoke? This cake customer wanted his cake to be as realistic as possible, so he suggested using dry ice. Harris placed an aluminum can inside of the cake to hold the dry ice. She says the end result was better than she ever imagined. 

Kool Kakes by Dylan
Tyler, Texas

Star Wars AT-AT walker cake

Photo courtesy of Kool Kakes by Dylan

When at a Star Wars-themed wedding, let them eat intergalactic cake. Back in 2019, Dylan Humphrey modeled this cake after the AT-AT walker, which made its debut in The Empire Strikes Back. Luckily, this Imperial combat vehicle wasn’t out to take down the Rebel Alliance.

Boxed wine cake pouring wine into a glass

Photo courtesy of Kool Kakes by Dylan

If you’re not a fan of sweet wine, this box isn’t for you, seeing as how it’s filled with cake. Humphrey designed this boxed wine cake for a birthday last July to help the client celebrate with their favorite wine.

Crabby Cakes Custom Cakes & More
Portland, Texas

Baby Yoda cake

Photo courtesy of Crabby Cakes Custom Cakes & More

Since the real Baby Yoda is off in a galaxy far, far away, the only plausible way to bring him to Earth for a client’s birthday party was via cake. Jessica Wolfe sculpted the young Jedi master over the course of 10 hours, and the final product was out of this world.

Heart organ cake

Photo courtesy of Crabby Cakes Custom Cakes & More

Rather than take the traditional route for Valentine’s Day sweets, Wolfe decided to switch things up with this realistic heart cake, veins and all. The cake only took a few hours to make, and it went viral shortly after.

Steak cake

Photo courtesy of Crabby Cakes Custom Cakes & More

You might not want to serve up this steak for the main course. Crafted by Wolfe as an auction cake, this steak would be better off eaten for dessert.

MarQuette’s Cake Studio
Odessa, Texas

Operation board game cake

Photo by Susan Harvell

This working Operation game was made specially for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce’s welcome event for Texas Tech medical students. Harvell worked with her husband to wire the bottom of the cake so the nose would light up whenever someone attempted to remove a bone.

Pizza cake

Photo by Susan Harvell

This pepperoni pizza is actually vegetarian friendly because it’s one giant sugar cookie in disguise. Harvell sauced up the base with a buttercream meant to mimic tomato sauce, and topped the pie with fondant pieces.

First aid kit cake

Photo by Susan Harvell

Here’s another treat Harvell whipped up for the Texas Tech medical student welcome event. Everything you see is edible. The box is made of cake, the gloves are made of wafer paper, and the rest of the supplies are fondant. This cake’s precise detailing took roughly 15 hours to complete.

Chick-fil-a meal that is actually a cake

Photo by Susan Harvell

This Chick-Fil-A meal serves up cake instead of chicken. Harvell prepared this fast food masterpiece over the course of 20 hours for her niece’s daughter’s birthday.

The January 2021 cover of Texas Highways Magazine: The Joy of Travel


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The January 2021 cover of Texas Highways Magazine: The Joy of Travel


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The January 2021 cover of Texas Highways Magazine: The Joy of Travel


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Save up to 62% off the cover price

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