Love playing pranks? Well, then we have a recipe for you that’ll be both a trick and a treat. This viral “dishwashing” sponge cake looks just like the real deal, and it’s actually pretty easy to make! Enjoy your family’s reactions as you sink your teeth into this delicious lemon sponge.
In June, a Facebook user named Herman Huang shared pictures of some edible “dishwashing” sponge cakes to little fanfare among his followers.
But it was only after he posted it on the Subtle Asian Traits Facebook group two months later that it went viral. His post about how you can successfully troll your mum or partner with the lookalike cake garnered with over 7,000 likes and reactions after just four days.
Huang even uploaded a video onto his YouTube channel so others could easily follow his instructions on how to make the sponge cakes.
In June, one grandma from Tasmania, Alice Munro, also shared her own version of the dishwashing sponge cakes.
“I like to make look-a-like [object] cakes and I love trying different things. I got the idea in a Facebook group so I googled “dishwashing sponge cake”, watched a few tutorials and decided I’d give it a go,” the 52-year-old told Daily Mail Australia.
Munro used a four-dollar vanilla cake mix, buttercream and green, yellow and black food colourings to recreate the everyday object. To really sell the idea, she also used oreos and chocolate to create an illusion of a “dirty plate”.
I thought it’d be a fun idea and wondered if a non-baker like myself would be able to successfully pull it off. Here’s my attempt at the viral sponge cake, following Huang’s recipe.
Verdict: Easy to make and perfect for pranking your family and friends
To be honest, I was quite surprised at how well the cake turned out. Although it didn’t look 100 per cent like an actual dishwashing sponge, it was still pretty close. The steps were easy to follow and you do not need an electronic mixer to combine the ingredients together.
But what’s the point of making a “sponge” cake without pranking your family or friends? Or at least try to.
However, fearing that the fruits of my labour would literally be washed down the sink, I instead presented the cake alongside an actual dishwashing sponge and asked my mother to guess which one was the real deal.
Unfortunately, my eagle-eyed mother got it right on the first guess, noticing that the yellow colouring was a little too dark on the “sponge” cake. She did tell me it was a good attempt though, so at least it wasn’t a total failure. While it was all good fun, cakes are still meant to be eaten and it was time to try my creation.
Surprisingly, it didn’t taste too bad, although the lemony flavour of the cake was a tad strong for me.
Considering that both the yellow and green cake layers contained lemon juice, as did the lemon meringue frosting on top which acted as the “soap foam”, the cake had an overall zesty tang to it.
Tips for pranksters
Even though my attempt failed to fool anyone, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. But to do it better, here are some tips that might help:
1. Make sure to add enough food colouring to ensure that the colour of the “sponge” cake is as close to a dishwashing sponge as possible.
2. When cutting the cake to sponge-size, use an actual sponge as reference.
3. When pranking your family or friends, place the cake at a distance so they won’t be able to tell from looking at the colour or texture carefully. Or go the whole hog (if you don’t mind wasting food) and place it in the kitchen and see what happens.
4. If you’re pranking someone online, make sure the resolution of the photo isn’t too high such that they can zoom in for close inspection. In the main photo above, the dishwashing sponge is on the left and the cake on the right, could you tell?
Good luck and have fun! If all else fails, at the very least, you can add this to your list of baking achievements!
Text: Trini Ng/AsiaOne