Burn-Away Cakes Aren't Just a Magical TikTok Trend—Here's How to Make Your Own

First they're here, then they're gone.

Cake and flames

juliannafunk / Getty Images

Cakes have officially evolved past candles. There’s a dramatic baking method social media users and creators are devouring right now—not for a particularly delicious flavor or an impressive icing technique, but for the way it makes a cake burn. Literally.

A burn-away cake is defined by the image on the top of it—a photo or meme or some kind of text. When the creator takes a lighter to the cake, it catches fire, somehow stays contained to the top, and leaves a different image underneath on display.

“There’s only one Kelce I’m watching the Super Bowl for,” this cake made for a recent football event reads. Posted by @kay__kays and now at over 40,000 likes, the video shows it burning away to reveal a photo of Kylie Kelce, athlete and wife of football player Jason Kelce. You can also find cakes related to personal life events, like this TikTok that features one saying, “Coming July 2024,” burned away to reveal “it’s a boy.” This heart-shaped birthday cake creatively depicts a calendar for the month of February that changes to show “twenty-one" in a cute script type after catching fire.

It appears that the trend was started (and has been led by) TikTok creator and baker Namaya Navaratnaranjah, or @cakesbynams, whose burn-away cake videos caught the attention of millions. Her most viral posts are pop-culture related, like a Spongebob meme-themed cake, a Katniss Everdeen dress change, a Reputation (Taylor's Version) announcement that's received nearly 21 million views, and so many more.

While a cake this striking might seem like something you could only get from a bakery, you can totally create your own at home. However, you need some edible sheets and an edible printer.

Make a burn-away cake by first completing the design you want displayed post burning directly on top of your cake, whether that’s with traditional icing or a frosting sheet. Then pipe a layer of frosting, usually buttercream, around the edge to create an air gap so you don’t light the entire cake on fire when you burn the top layer off.

Next, stack a printed edible sheet made of wafer paper on top of that frosting border. For the final touch, pipe some more frosting around the edge, so it looks like a typical, unsuspecting cake. Now when you burn the top sheet, the bottom is left to show through—and your masterpiece is complete. Be ready for everyone to ask you how you did it (whether or not you give away the secret is up to you).

Was this page helpful?

Related Articles