January 26, 2022

Spot the Cake in These Hyperreal Food Recreations from Cincinnati's Fat Ben's Bakery

As Surrealist René Magritte would say: This is not a pipe. And these food items aren't what they look like. Instead, they are hyperreal cake creations from Ben Arington, the pastry artist behind Cincinnati's Fat Ben's Bakery.

Arington, known for his over-the-top, imaginative baked goods, has been in the pastry and food field for more than 15 years. He creates aesthetically pleasing treats, all while keeping it “weird” and pushing the boundaries of what conventional baked goods should look like. Recently, he's decorated cakes to look like everything from fried chicken and a stack of pancakes to a 3-Way and a bottle of vodka.

“You go to your more traditional bakeries for your glazed donuts or whatever but you come to Fat Ben's Bakery for the WOW factor,” he said in an interview with CityBeat.

He's actively been pursuing hyperreal cake creations lately, and posting the results to Instagram — with very satisfying videos of him cutting into the baked goods, which look exactly like an avocado, pack of butter or a jug of milk. These amazing cakes are edible, and Arington says he uses everything from scissors and cake molds to even (clean) loofah sponges to get the textures he wants, with an artist's eye for food coloring to apply the most realistic light, shadow and finishes.

Read a full interview with Arington and learn his techniques for making hyperreal cakes at citybeat.com. We have photos from Arington below, plus screengrabs from his Instagram videos of him cutting into the cakes for some real ASMR.

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Cake that looks like a jug of milk
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
Cake that looks like a jug of milk
After the cake has been cut
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
After the cake has been cut
Cake that looks like a bowl of chicken noodle soup
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
Cake that looks like a bowl of chicken noodle soup
One of these oranges is a cake
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
One of these oranges is a cake
This entire steak dinner is all made of cake
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
This entire steak dinner is all made of cake
Cake chicken nugget and fries
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
Cake chicken nugget and fries
A coney cake
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
A coney cake
Two of these sticks of butter are cake
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
Two of these sticks of butter are cake
Can you spot the cake avocado?
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
Can you spot the cake avocado?
A cake made to look like take-out from Panda Express
Photo: Provided by Ben Arington/@fatbensbakery
A cake made to look like take-out from Panda Express