Are we all cake?

Our very existence is a lie and a viral cake video proves it.

by Douglas Greenwood
13 July 2020, 6:31pm

What if baked, eggy batter is all that’s binding us together? Would the realisation that our insides consist not of muscle, blood and capillaries but of a light victoria sponge layered with cream and raspberry jam, be the news that pushes us over the edge, or help us feel human again? This is the discourse in 2020. Cut into everything and you’ll find cake.

If you spent any time on the internet over the weekend, chances are you will have stumbled across a viral video of someone planting a knife into an array of objects -- toilet paper, a Croc, a rat, a stack of fluffy towels -- revealing cake underneath. The four-minute video, plainly titled “These Are All Cakes” unveiled a strange alternate reality none of us had quite considered before. If these hugely true-to-life objects were, in fact, sponge covered in fondant, how are we to know what’s cake and what’s not?

The video has since racked up nearly 30 million views in just five days, with other interpretations of this baked good charlatanism going viral too. Snake? No, that’s cake. Dog? You mean cake, right? Dish sponge? No, that's a sponge. Sponge cake.

We live in a world where the truth seems harder to grasp on to; every morsel of information is both fed right to us and buried beneath layers of hearsay. How do we know what to believe in 2020? What if everything we’ve been told about the world around us is a lie?

Perhaps it is this overwhelming sense of anxiety and imposter syndrome that means cake discourse feels so intuitive to us. How often do we actively peel back the surface on things that we interact with on a daily basis, be it people or animals or an inanimate object? How do we know, without cutting a big chunk out of ourselves, that we’re not just five-foot-something-tall structures of cream and flour and fondant? In movies and novels throughout history, we have always questioned reality and just how much of a Matrix-style world we’re living in. Maybe this is the moment the planet finally turns in on itself? The pièce de résistance in a hellfire of a year. Surprise! You’re cake. Would it be all that surprising?

Considering the dire state of the world, maybe life as cake would make us all feel better than we do right now? Nothing but soft sponge sandwiched together with a layer of cream and jam; mallowy to the touch. Decadent and flavourful. To be cake could be a statement on how we are being hoodwinked on a daily basis; being told something is something that it isn’t deep down.

But it could equally be a statement on how to live care-free. To simplify the vast complexities of human existence, our eco-systems and the very world we spin on into one sweet thing: cake.