Burn-away Valentine's Day cake© Cakes by Nerwan

‘Burn-Away Cakes’ Are The Hottest Food Trend Right Now

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

If candles on a cake weren’t enough to suit your dramatic flair, then say hello to one of the most popular food trends on the Internet right now. The ‘burn-away cakes’ have set the food side of social media ablaze with possibilities. These cakes feature printed images that are lit on fire and burned away to reveal another image underneath.

The tag #burnawaycake has been racking millions of views online and has inspired bakers from around the world to come up with innovative ideas for their versions of burn-away cakes. The trend is perfect for gender reveals or pop-culture-themed cakes, like the ones going viral in the Mean Girls and Taylor Swift fan communities. It can also make for a romantic Valentine’s Day surprise dessert.

How Is A Burn-Away Cake Made?

The effect is so dramatic and cool that you might be forgiven for thinking for a minute that there must be some kind of sorcery involved. But it’s all thanks to food technology. The design that is placed on top of the burn-away cakes is created using edible ink and sugar paper.

While the origins of the trend are not clear, Illinois-based baker Denise Steward can be credited for popularising using edible paper to create the magical effect.

To create a burn-away cake, decorators place flammable edible paper over the frosting-based design. The two layers are separated by a frosting border which creates a gap and protects the bottom design from the flames.

Bakers also advise the burn-away cakes to be as fresh as possible because storing them in the fridge for more than a day can allow the sugar paper to absorb moisture and not catch fire.

Are Burn-Away Cakes Safe?

Bakers who have tried and tested the trend, and have been getting orders by the dozen for it, claim that it’s not dangerous at all. While the effect might be dramatic, the flames are pretty weak. The danger level, therefore, is equal to that of a candle or a sparkler that is used on the cake. But it does involve fire and that could pose a safety risk if not handled correctly, so caution is advised.