When you read headlines in the news about the COVID-19 pandemic, the news is often alarming or depressing. Rarely do you read a headline about how bakers are taking elements of the international crisis and incorporating them into tasty treats.
So, to brighten up your day, here’s a list of bakers who are whipping up some tasty COVID-inspired baked goods that are sure to make you smile, and maybe even make you laugh a little, too.
We had to start this list with the star of the show: the toilet paper cake. Denise Byrnes, owner of Caked Up Cafe in Rockland County, New York, came up with the idea in an attempt to bring some levity to the toilet paper crisis that so many people in various communities across the U.S. are experiencing. She wanted people who are stuck in quarantine during their birthdays to have a birthday cake that would make them chuckle.
“We had many customers that had to cancel custom cakes and instead wanted a cake that would help them celebrate their birthdays in a way they will certainly never forget,” Byrnes tells Eat This, Not That!
The preparation of the cake is relatively low-maintenance, too, and is similar to that of a normal fondant cake. The cakes are layered with buttercream and then covered by a blanket of fondant.
“Once the cake is covered in white fondant a sugar artist uses a sculpting tool to create concentric circles on top,” says Byrnes. “In the center we cut out a circle and replace it with a brown circle of fondant to look like the center of the roll. The last step is rolling out a strip of fondant long enough to wrap around the entire cake.”
From there, Byrnes and her team use a stitching tool to make perforations in the fondant, which make it look like the piece of toilet paper can be torn off just like a real roll. She sells the six-inch toilet paper cake for $29.95, and you can place orders (if you live in the tri-state area) by calling Caked Up Cafe.
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People can’t stay home if they’re scared of being evicted for not being able to pay rent without an income! People can’t stay home if they don’t have a home! @aoc said it best: “Payment suspensions keep people indoors. Bills bring them outside”. First: a shoutout to @gruneram, a tenants rights expert (and my friend) who wrote out and helped me understand a ton of this info. The first thing we need to understand is what we’re asking for when we say cancel rent. There have been a few terms going around including a rent freeze, a rent strike, and rent suspension. A rent freeze means a freeze on rent increases – rent can’t go up during the freeze, but it can still be collected. A rent strike is a coordinated, political effort among tenants to withhold rent (this option carries the most risk for tenants, including the risk of eviction, and tenants should have legal support lined up). A rent suspension/moratorium means a temporary ban on collecting/charging rent, or rent forgiveness for a set period of time. I am advocating for *rent suspension* (and also back rent forgiveness). We need a national suspension of evictions and rent and mortgage payments. If it doesn’t happen on the national level, it needs to happen on the state level. DC residents: the DC council has already passed legislation that prohibits evictions and utility shut offs during the COVID emergency. This is a good first step but it’s nowhere near enough because it still allows rent obligations to accumulate. The Tenant Union and mutual aid groups are working on demands around rent suspension in DC – I will update in my stories with more info on that when it’s available. Let’s get some things out of the way – 1: landlords needing to pay their mortgages is not a reason to not provide rent relief – I am not interested in hearing about the plight of landlords 2: people struggling to pay rent is not new, even if it’s new for you 3: also suspend student loan payments. Suspending rent is not a catch phrase, it’s a real tool that can be used to protect and uplift people. #thesweetfeminist #sweetfeminism
Becca Rea-Holloway of the @thesweetfeminist account on Instagram continues to advocate for change through her icing-penned messages, with this particular one pinpointing the issue of rent payments not being suspended despite the current economic climate.
Roughly 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, a record high in history, and this Washington D.C.-based baker wanted to make a statement on one of her delicious cakes.
“Suspending rent is not a catch phrase, it’s a real tool that can be used to protect and uplift people,” she wrote in her Instagram post.
RELATED: 5 Drool-Worthy Foodie Instagram Accounts to Help Get You Through Self-Quarantine.
We can only hope that you are texting this emoji to all of your loved ones, and frequently, because we could all use a little extra love and words of affirmation to help get us through this pandemic. Author of Colossal Cookies cookbook Wendy Kou, made this delicious and appropo dessert.
If you’re looking for a fun baking project to tackle during quarantine, you can purchase the emoji cookie kit for $26.99 and and make this hazelnut chocolate-stuffed sugar cookie for you and your quarantine mates.
Patti Page, the mastermind behind the Instagram account @bakedideas and royal icing queen, also used her crafty skills to make a cookies of hands scrubbing each other as a reminder to frequently wash your hands!
“I’ve been washing my hands… and eating them too! Hope everyone is following the guidelines and staying safe,” she wrote in her post.
Denise Byrnes didn’t just stop at making a toilet paper cake, she also made what she calls a Quarantini cupcake.
“We dipped the cupcake into liquid vitamin C then added the Cointreau liqueur to the pipette that comes with the cupcake, we also added a piece of tangerine to the cupcake,” she tells Eat This, Not That!
Any time of the day can be happy hour with this cupcake, which goes for $5.95 a pop at Caked Up Cafe.
Sometimes, you just need a warm, fluffy donut to sink your teeth into to feel better. Dessert baker Rosie Madaschi runs the Instagram account @sugarandsaltcookies, and recently posted quite possibly the most beautiful array of donuts we’ve ever seen.
She used decorative sprinkles from @fancysprinkles to really make these sweet treats pop. She’s even providing a 15 percent off code (ROSIE15) should you want to purchase some of these eccentric sprinkles to jazz up your homemade baked goods with!
Last but not least, feast your eyes on this gorgeous, unicorn of a cake. Behold, the Champagne and Funfetti cake from the talented Julián Ángel. You can make this cake right in the comforts of home with his special recipe from his website, Historias Del Ciervo.
We get it, the recipe seems a bit complex, but what better time than now to try your hand at something that’s not beginner level? All you have is time right now!