MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Jan 16, 2013

The Sewing Machine Cake (and other strange novelty desserts)



Friends, I generally don't rip ideas off other people's blog posts, but today I couldn't resist.

I was over at Jilly's this morning to wish her a happy blogiversary, when I saw posted there the most incredible sight: a sewing machine cake!

Now those who know me know that I'm not really a dessert person, subscribing as I do to the Kate Moss motto, "Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels."  I've reworked it, of course, to include the words, "except dark chocolate."  Still, I don't have a sweet tooth and approach my desserts like a French woman: I eat a forkful, and then slide the dessert plate back to the person who ordered it.

If I am going to eat anything other than three perfect chocolate squares (no broken pieces, please) after a meal, I'll go for half a cookie, or maybe brownie crumbs.  But these sewing machine cakes...this is something new.  I wonder how they taste.













I have noticed that most of these cakes are reserved for the senior set, perhaps because they're quite expensive to make and not to be blown on every nineteen year old with an entry-level Janome.

Now, I am wondering what role an iron played in the lives of the people presented with the cakes below.  My mother tells a story that back in the 1950's, my father bought her an iron for Mother's Day and she read him the riot act.  How would you feel about getting an iron cake, a vacuum cleaner cake, or -- why not? -- a washing machine cake?   (i.e., You are best-remembered for your housework.)  People love sewing, sure, but nobody loves ironing!





When it comes to novelty cakes, I have a soft spot for the decidedly homespun, or as I put it, Becky Home Icky.  (Actually, that looks like Chia Cake.)

 
Of course, sewing-related cakes come in many different shapes and sizes.

The body form!  (I think I know that woman.)



The display mannequin!



The pincushion (chew carefully)!



The sewing basket!



And my personal favorite, the four-thread serger!



Creative, right?

Readers, ask I must: Have you ever been presented with a sewing machine cake?   Does this sort of thing appeal to you?

Would you ever try to bake one of these? (Where do you start?)

Have a great day, everybody!

Cake/Not-a-Cake?

48 comments:

  1. I think that everyone's mother has been bought something stupid by their father. My dad once brought my mum back a teatowel from a work trip. She still mentions it (not with fondness, for the avoidance of doubt) more than 30 years later.

    But onto the cake, my mind boggles at how those things don't collapse on themselves. I'm not a big fan of that much icing on cakes, but they are definitely impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I once got a chain saw for Mother's Day. Really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it wasn't a bloody scene.

      Delete
    2. Wocka wocka!

      There's got to be an awesome story about that!

      Delete
  3. No, but as the original Becky Home Icky, I think I deserve one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know that novelty cakes and cupcakes and cake pops (?!) are popular right now, but they require a lot of *handling* to make and that's . . . gross, right? There's something so infantile to me about these confections and the connotation of fondling food stuff. I do wonder if anyone really eats these cakes. Do they? Or is it more like the end of a banquet prior to the French revolution when tiered confections were thrown by the be-wigged to be scavenged from the floor later by the waiting poor.

    Kinky.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My parents have been separated for a while, but recently my mother got my stepfather a set of pans for Christmas... Pans she wanted herself. Sort of the opposite of the 'he bought me a bowling ball'-scenario.

    As for the cakes, I can appreciate a good dessert, but sorry to say... I really don't like most of these cakes,even if they look super pretty. They are getting quite hip in Belgium as well, but I just don't like plain cake with a sheet of sugar on top! Especially because you can get amazing desserts here. I mean, look at this: http://www.bakkerijnolmans.be/fotos/pateekes2.gif

    Those are what could be considered our version of cupcakes, usually different sorts of cake with different creams or fruits or marzipan. Yum yum. Can't go wrong with crepes and brown sugar, or an apple cake with loads of apple in it, or even go international with tiramisun baklava or sachertorte.

    End rant. I want dessert now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. When my daughter was little she told everyone my hobby was laundry. I was unhappy that she thought that was how her mom wanted to spend her free time. Now it would be a fun little joke to get a washing machine cake.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have never understood art in fleeting mediums. This seems trite, but I am sure it is done with the very best of intentions, and it is sweet to be thought of in this way, I guess. By the way, I actually know a woman who loves to iron. And, I actually love to do laundry. But please, no washing machine cakes! As to gifts of a utilitarian nature, it is better than no gift at all.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My sweet friend made me a cake for my birthday two years ago. Take look at this: http://www.anya.dk/jeg-traenger-lige-til-at-genopfriske-et-godt-minde.html - we both have a Pfaff 332, I guess I am to blame that she ended up buying one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. These cakes are edible works of art aren't they? I love them and am awed at the skill that's gone into making them. Hey, if anyone suprised me with a cake in the form of an iron or any other household implement I'd be only too pleased to receive it (and slice it)!

    P.S. Husband brought me a glue gun as a present once and I was thrilled! Its made crafting a lot more easier.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our first Christmas together, not only did my husband buy me a vacuum cleaner, but he told several other family members that I needed a vacuum cleaner. After opening the 4th vacuum cleaner from my new in-laws on Christmas morning, I was in tears and he was pleading with me, saying "I didn't think EVERYONE would get you one!!"

    The sewing machine cakes are gorgeous to look at, but I couldn't bring myself to destroy it by cutting into it and eating it. I just like to look at them!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It will taste like fondant, I think. I would love one covered in marzipan, though.

    I know I should be a modern woman and all that jazz, but I'd be absolutely stoked to get an iron for my birthday. The writer Ayelet Waldman was once giving a reading and mentioned how upset her friend was at getting a Miele vacuum cleaner from her husband for her birthday. Again, I would vacuum until my wee heart exploded with a Miele Callisto.

    Now, an iron cake? Not so much. I'd prefer some sort of dorky, tacky, over-the-top ridiculous cake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually had to look up the word "fondant." I had no idea...

      Delete
    2. If you don't have a sugary sweet tooth, fondant is definitely NOT for you, Peter.

      Delete
  12. When we were first married,my husband gave me a bicycle pump for my birthday. I explained that I did not consider this appropriate gift material. He has not immortalized that occasion with a bicycle pump cake. He has also improved in the gift giving department. The sewing machine cakes are pretty, but I would not want one. All I would think of is how much that fondant was handled

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think they're amazing, though I'm a buttercream fan so I don't think I'd be too thrilled to eat through all that fondant to get to the cake. But I prefer my desserts for their taste, not their trimmings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...says the woman who makes her own "Buche de Noel"!

      Delete
  14. Love the sewing machine cakes, its a shame to break into them. I wouldn't thank you for an iron cake (and I love cake).I once got a mixing bowl for my birthday from my husband, he wasnt very popular that day!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can't stand fondant, which is what all of those cakes require to make the designs. I ruled that out for my wedding cake too -- we got chocolate, the only cake I ever want!

    But I do enjoy looking at pictures of those kind of cakes. Just nobody ever give me one :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love practical gifts and this year asked for and got a Nest thermostat for my birthday. I think it's more along the lines of only being seen as domestic help that rub people the wrong way with gifts of irons. Though my major adviser in college said she relaxed by ironing while watching Star Trek. Maybe she would appreciate an iron for a gift or as a cake.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My housecleaning-hating mom once received a floor polisher as a Christmas gift from my dad (and I have the 1955 photo to prove it, my tiny self is sitting right next to the beribboned thing!). I think that she never forgave him........

    My family would not dare give me one of those funny machine cakes, they know I dislike sugar icing...

    Thanks for the laugh, Peter !

    Eve

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love pretty cakes ~ they are fun but they are a lot of work to create. Csn't eat too much though - sugar overload!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Two of my passions, eating cake and sewing. Got to make this for my birthday

    ReplyDelete
  20. Way back, a toughtful ex, offered me an answering machine so he could leave messages. I think he was under the impression that I wasn't picking up the phone. Strangely enough, I did marry the guy who offered me a travel alarm clock, but now I just go buy what I want and wrap it up.
    I amost lost my cookies when I saw the serger! This is so funny!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've yet to witness or receive a sewing machine cake, but I have a friend who gives as birthday presents these types of cakes. I've gotten, teeth, boots and sheets of music in cake form (all significant to me). And her husband got a Hennessy bottle, and so on.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Those are way too much fun, thanks for sharing them! As others have noted, probably not so delicious, as they are made with yards of fondant. They are works of art.....
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I actually do love to iron and requested an iron for Christmas 2011. My mom bought it for me, I'm sure my husband was too afraid. Christmas 2012 I asked for a June Tailor board (after seeing yours, Peter, you are an inspiration). My mom bought it for me. I was thrilled with both.

    The cake is likely covered in fondant, and although they look perfect, I don't like the taste of it. I have to tip my proverbial hat to their creativity. My cakes look worse than homemade. They usually taste good, though.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I actually like ironing, and I would be thrilled with a gravity feed iron for a present. Yes, most people think I am nuts.

    Last year I got a piece of plywood for my birthday, it was exactly what I wanted, really. It is exactly the same width as my cutting mat and 6 inches longer. The best part was my husband telling everyone that he got me a piece of plywood for my birthday.

    The cakes are lovely to look at, but I am missing the gene that makes me appreciate them. I just don't get it, so much time for something that you eat.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Hello Kitty machine is actually a machine... and Gracie, who loves both sewing and Hello Kitty, would love that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you certain she knows it's not a dessert? ;)

      Delete
  26. I would LOVE to get one of these cakes. They are works of art. I agree, fondant isn't my favourite frosting, but you can easily pull it away from the cake and if a chocolate with a good crumb hides beneath, all the better.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm not really into the cakes covered with fondant at all and as much as I like to bake, I've consistently resisted the idea of taking cake decorating classes. I do love a good Swiss or Italian Meringue Buttercream, but that's more creamy than the standard American Buttercream.

    Overall I think these cakes are cool from a "look what I can make out of food!" aspect, but as someone else said, why go through all the trouble when it's going to get eaten in far less time than it took to make? They're fun to look at, though. When my husband graduated from med school they had a reception dinner the night before and held it at the National Zoo (he went to Uniformed Services University, so everyone was military); the cake was done by Charm City Cakes - they're super famous and the guy who owns it has a reality show, I think. Anyway, the cake was huge and designed to look like a stack of their medical textbooks, plus it had little army guys rappelling down them. It was cool but they didn't cut it until after we'd left so I have no idea how it tasted.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ah, this French women would eat the whole dessert and then some ... And my FIL makes a lemon pie which definitely tastes better than skinny feels (I should know, I've tried both).

    Anyway, they are ... interesting, but I prefer cake that looks like cake.

    ReplyDelete
  29. MMMMMMM I would like a sewing machine cake for sure!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I wasn't going to subscribe to the admission of liking these cakes, that is, until we got to the cupcake pincushions! WHAT!?! I'm going to have to file this idea away for a rainy day.

    ReplyDelete
  31. My son is allergic to dairy (and used to be eggs as well) so I actually had to figure out how to bake and make these sort of cakes, because he was ever so sad when he figured out that he couldn't have 'cool' looking cakes from a bakery due to his allergies. It's quite a lot of fun actually and the fondant can hide a multitude of imperfections.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is a true story and I can say that because the guy who committed this unforgivable sin told me himself: When he was engaged to his wife he gave her a gift that was in a large Tiffany box.

    And it was a hair dryer.

    She was not amused.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ultimate bait-and-switch!

      Delete
  33. I just sent a link to this post to my friend who makes all of us in our group incredible themed birthday cakes. I'm hoping she will bless me with a cake version of my new Bernina 780 in March.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Since my 30th birthday is on Monday I am going to pretend that you are posting this solely for my benefit! ;) I actually really want a sewing machine cake. I think it would be fun. I also have a major sweet tooth so really any excuse to have a cake is okay with me!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hee hee... I'm honored to have been ripped off by you! I'm sure I'll return the favor, one of these days.

    If I haven't already, that is.

    Which is possible..... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Half a cookie? Even though I've quietly been enjoying your blog I now officially hate you! Ok, just kidding......these cakes are amazing looking, but I'm with everyone else - fondant tastes nasty.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Those cakes are amazing, and what really comes through is the love of the maker for the recipient.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Good God that Hello Kitty Machine is terrifying! It looks like the terminator with that one pink eye!
    While I'm delighted by the novelty (especially as growing up in a thrifty home my mother always makes our cakes and while creative, she's never gotten into the insanity of fondant) I also know that fondant has a rather unappealing taste. So I'm going to guess that eating these wasn't quite as enjoyable as looking at them. I'm a pie girl anyways, I don't even like cake.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Ha, I agree with ElleC: I would be perfectly DELIGHTED to receive an iron for my birthday, as long as it was a high-end, fancy-schmancy Rowenta or even a Clover mini-iron with all the bells and whistles! I like the idea of getting a nice piece of useful custom-cut plywood for one's birthday gift, as well! I prefer a practical gift that I will use ( I would LOVE a stand mixer, f'r instance, or a Bernina 830) as opposed to a piece of fancy crap that sits around doing nothing but adding to household clutter!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm thinking that the Chia cake is an in-progress crinkle finish...

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails