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Annabel de Vetten, baker at Conjurer’s Kitchen in Birmingham, UK says she bakes cakes that look like rotting corpses and bloody, severed limbs, because that’s what her clients and friends prefer.
“My friends and family would probably be really worried if I started making cute, pink cakes — they’d probably think I’d lost my mind!” de Vetten said.
De Vetten developed an interest in anatomy as a child, but it wasn’t until after she made her own wedding cake that she discovered her love of creative baking and sugar sculpting. These days, de Vetten makes gory, often anatomically correct cakes for weddings, parties, and other special occasions.
De Vetten says she began baking when she was a child, and later studied sculpture and taxidermy at university. However, she said she hadn’t made a cake until she created a magic-themed one for her own wedding when she got married in 2010.
“Our wedding cake was magic-themed and fairly plain really,” she said. “I always say it’s the least impressive but the most important. Without that one, there would be no Conjurer’s Kitchen. But I’m seriously thinking of renewing our vows next year for our 10th anniversary and finally make us a proper kickass cake!”
This surgery cake, as with many of de Vetten’s other pastries, was born out of her love of anatomy and the human form.
In most cases, de Vetten starts with a sketch or mental image of what she wants the cake to look like before she starts sculpting, she told Insider. Then, she builds the base and interior structure of the cake, and adds gory-looking details with modeling chocolate. Finally, she paints the cakes with a cocoa butter-based edible paint.
De Vetten uses modeling chocolate to craft the intricate details in her cakes. The modeling chocolate she uses has a consistency and malleability similar to clay, she told Insider. She also uses marzipan and fondant for decoration, as you can see above in her cake, “Decomposing Dahlia,” which resembles a rotting corpse.