- A New Jersey baker creates incredible optical illusion cakes, from a White Claw can to a carton of eggs.
- Luke Vincentini, 23, began baking when he was a child and fell in love with it. After a stint at the famous Carlo’s Bakery, he’s now churning out viral, hyperrealistic cakes as an independent cake artist.
- Insider spoke with Vincentini about all things confectionery, and how he makes his incredible culinary creations.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
But take a knife and cut down the middle, and you’ll discover a treasure of chocolate and cream.
The 23-year-old New Jersey native began baking when he was a child, and instantly fell in love with it. After a two-and-a-half-year stint at the famous Carlo’s Bakery, Vincentini is now churning out viral, hyperrealistic cakes as an independent cake artist.
Insider spoke with Vincentini about all things confectionery, and how he makes his incredible culinary creations.
Vincentini started baking when he was just 12 years old.
“My dad was always in the kitchen, so I started baking small cupcakes for a weekly dinner thing we used to do,” Vincentini told Insider. “After that, I just fell in love with it.”
Vincentini first taught himself how to bake by watching cake shows and YouTube videos.
Once he had the fundamentals down, Vincentini took two master classes at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. Almost 10 years later, he ended up getting a job there. He left on good terms after two-and-a-half years.
Vincentini got the idea for his hyperrealistic cakes while looking at a bag of Doritos.
“I was at Carlo’s when I got the idea for my own social series,” Vincentini told Insider. “Cakes and bakeries can be such fads, and I wanted to make something that people would see and just be like ‘What the hell?'”
“One day I was looking at a bag of Doritos and was like, ‘I can probably do that.’ And I did, and that’s how it all started.”
He draws inspiration from everyday life, and keeps track of his ideas on his phone.
“I have a page in the Notes app on my phone where I just pop ideas as I go through my day,” Vincentini said. “I could be driving and see something I like and go ‘That looks cool,’ and it becomes a cake.”
Vincentini explained that he likes choosing “random and obscure” objects as models for his cakes. However, with all the recent social media attention, he said he plans to start choosing more familiar, pop culture-based objects in order to make it more fun for his audience.
Vincentini primarily uses buttercream, modelling chocolate, and fondant to make his cakes.
Vincentini first “dirty ices” the cake – the term for a thin layer of icing that catches crumbs and acts as an adhesive – with buttercream, then layers fondant and modelling chocolate on top.
“For the trickier inscriptions, like the White Claw can, those were modelling chocolate,” Vincentini explained. He noted that modelling chocolate is firm and doesn’t pull when you cut it, unlike fondant.
To achieve the vibrant colours, Vincentini uses a special kind of edible paint.
Vincentini uses what’s called “gel colour,” which he said is a little thicker than food dye.
“Typically we’ll thin it out with Everclear or any other grain alcohol because of its quick-drying properties,” he said. “If you used water it would never dry and you’d be left with a giant mess.”
On average, it takes Vincentini around three to four hours to make a standard tiered cake.
“I definitely spend more time on the cakes that go on my social series,” he told Insider. “The Doritos bag probably took 14 hours, but then the latte took less than an hour. It depends on the size and the detail.”
Vincentini said the White Claw cake took about six hours total to make.
“I thought it would be smart to do because there are shortages of White Claw in the US,” he said. “It’s insane. I thought that it would get the usual response from my followers, but it ended up blowing up.”
Vincentini said his recent spike in followers is due to his cakes being reposted on popular Instagram pages.
Vincentini said he noticed the uptick in followers after the latte cake, which he found surprising.
“I didn’t realise how large the coffee community was,” he said with a laugh. “ASMR and ‘satisfying’ pages, food blogs with millions of followers. Those are the big artsy pages on Instagram that reposted my stuff.”
Despite his large social media following, Vincentini said he remains humble.
“If a professional cake decorator were to see the latte cake, they’d be like ‘Oh, that’s no big deal, I could do that,'” he explained. “Like I said, it took me less than an hour. But its fun and fascinating to see non-cake people and their reactions.”
This egg carton cake is Vincentini’s favourite.
While the White Claw cake was his biggest hit, this egg carton cake is Vincentini’s favourite from his Instagram series.
“I love those obscure and random objects,” he added.
Now that he has amassed a large following, Vincentini is more selective about the cakes he posts online.
Vincentini created an optical illusion cake of the core of a green apple, but ultimately decided not to post it on his Instagram.
“It wasn’t up to par with the rest of my work,” he said. “You see comments critiquing the cake and it puts it into your head. Not in a bad way, just to be the best of the best and really wowing people. That’s what its all about.”
Vincentini plans on expanding his social media presence in the future.
Vincentini is currently waiting for his kitchen to become certified so that he can start talking orders. He also told Insider that he plans on making a Facebook page in the near future to reach a larger audience.
“Everything has been blowing up so quickly,” he said. “I wish I had my s— together a little more before everything took off!”
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