WATCH | Can’t bake it? Fake it! Durban foodie’s cake hack goes viral on TikTok

Zaynab Paruk, aka TikTok Baker, stunned social media by turning store-bought sponge cakes into an edible masterpiece

24 March 2021 - 10:05
By Toni Jaye Singer
Zaynab Paruk turned two store-bought sponge cakes into a dream birthday cake for a little boy.
Image: @zaynab_paruk via Instagram Zaynab Paruk turned two store-bought sponge cakes into a dream birthday cake for a little boy.

Who says you need to turn the oven on to make a spectacular cake for a special occasion? If you don’t have time to bake it, fake it using this genius hack from Zaynab Paruk.

The Durban foodie, who goes by the name TikTok Baker on social media, shared a post showing how she turned a pair of ready-made caramel sponge cakes from Woolworths into a custom four-tier masterpiece for a child’s fifth birthday. The video has since gone viral, racking up 4.6 million views and counting.

To disguise her store-bought cakes, Paruk simply stacked one on top of another before scraping off the topmost layer of icing and mixing it with extra blue icing she’d made herself.

She used this mixture to crumb coat the “new” taller cake, before icing it and piping on melted white chocolate thinned down with milk to create a trendy “drip” effect.

Piped icing rosettes, suckers and sprinkles were the final decorative touches.

Paruk’s time-saving trick went down a treat with social media users, many of whom agreed no-one would ever know the resulting cake had originated in a supermarket.

Others shared an additional tip to help you fake a bake using this clever cheat. Place the top cake upside down, they suggested, explaining this would result in a more generous amount of filling and give the cake a flatter top and make it easier to decorate.

To the user who pointed out that Paruk’s hack was “cool until they asked you for the recipe”, she laughingly replied “luckily I don’t mind sharing my recipes”.

Paruk has been sharing her quick and easy recipes on TikTok for just over a year, amassing more than 137,000 followers in the process.

It was her “crazy obsession with chocolate brownies” that first inspired her to start baking as a teen, but as a mom of two children who works in the fashion world, she doesn’t always have time these days.

Paruk told TimesLIVE she had worked late on the day she made this birthday cake and had no time or energy to bake a cake and allow it to cool before decorating it.

“My sisters and I have used this hack for years so it’s always been my backup [plan],” she explained.

“It’s also nice when you are in the mood to decorate but not bake a cake.”