Thank god for apartment insurance, now how do I light this cake on fire?
January 15, 2011 2:13 PM   Subscribe

How can I make an easy, tasty, and safe cake on fire?

My best friend's 16 year old brother has said that for his birthday, he would really really like to have a cake on fire. We would like to make this happen, but are unsure how to go about it. The only recipe I know of that does anything like this is the Bombe Alaska, which while tasty sounding, also looks like it requires a lot of work, and a lot of freezer space that we probably don't have. We have been considering pouring some kind of flambee onto a cake, but I don't know if that could be easily blown out, or would just turn the whole thing into a gross charred mess, or what. Any suggestions?
posted by rosken to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's not quite a cake on fire as such, but if you don't find something better, maybe get a pile of ice fountains? They're sparkler-like things made to go in cakes, and they're a bit more spectacular than that picture indicates - the packets tend to say only to put one in a cake, but I have never had any problem using more (see eg this cake with four).
posted by severalbees at 2:27 PM on January 15, 2011


Maybe a flaming plum pudding? Despite the "pudding" appelation, it's actualy kind of
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:30 PM on January 15, 2011

Best answer: Ooh, yes, good point about pudding. If he doesn't like normal fruitcakey pudding, there's no reason you couldn't use a pile of dried cranberries instead of raisins, substitute cocoa for some of the flour, etc. And there's a lot of advice around about how to manage the actual-setting-fire-to process.

That sort of pudding is a bit of a pain to make, though, and needs to be done a fair while in advance; and it's not quite a cake. I don't know what happens if you set fire to a non-pudding Christmas cake that's sufficiently dense and fruity. It seems like it should work and it would be a lot easier to make than a pudding. I have a spare from an overenthusiastic baking spree last year, and it's just taking up space in the kitchen and annoying me slightly whenever I remember it's there - if you don't come up with a better plan and want to find out what happens when you set fire to a big dense fruit cake, let me know and I'll give it a go tomorrow morning.
posted by severalbees at 2:47 PM on January 15, 2011

You can always cut a hole in the cake, put in a shotglass, fill it with 151 and a pinch of salt (to make the flame show up better), and set the 151 on fire. . .
posted by KathrynT at 3:05 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

My extended family sets on fire and then eats a plum pudding every year for x-mas. Once you douse the whole thing with brandy, I think it's mostly the brandy in the plate the cake sits on that burns, the cake certainly doesn't taste burnt (although it does taste of booze, so that may be an issue for the young-uns, in my family we happily feed it to children though). So basically I think any fairly normal un-iced, cake-like confection, on a deep plate, doused with high-proof booze then lit, would work well.
posted by genmonster at 3:06 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hollow out strawberries, fill with booze, light.
posted by clockwork at 3:39 PM on January 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Embed some half eggshells, cracked-side up, here and there on top of the cake, fill with vodka, light and serve. The vodka will burn completely but not affect the taste of the cake, or cause much scorching of the icing. Just pick off the eggshells before slicing the cake, after the fire goes out.
posted by beagle at 4:03 PM on January 15, 2011

You can gellify booze at home - we tried making Peep-flavored vodka once, and after a few days, we had sugary purple napalm on our hands. What I'd probably do would be this:

- Make cake.
- Frost cake.
- Enrobe cake with either fondant or marzipan (to protect it from the inferno it is about to experience).
- Make a batch of SUPER-strong Jell-O shot mix, let it congeal until it's nice and gooey, but NOT stiff.
- Use a spatula to coat the outside of your fondant-protected cake with Jell-O goo.
- Ignite when ready!

(You may want to test setting the Jell-O goo on fire beforehand, just to see how it'll perform).
posted by julthumbscrew at 4:04 PM on January 15, 2011

Best answer: Use sugar cubes soaked in 151 rum, on top, ignited just before presentation.
There's not enough water in 151 to allow the cubes to dissolve immediately,
and they contain the rum long enough for a nice show in a darkened room
(the pantry girl set this up, the cook ignited it, and the waiter took it out into
the dining room. The dishwashers just watched).
posted by the Real Dan at 8:19 PM on January 15, 2011

Watch out for any icing - my friends and I accidentally set a cake on fire with one of those joke 'can't be blown out' candles; the fondant icing caught fire quite easily.
posted by Coobeastie at 2:40 AM on January 16, 2011

How about bananas foster served over an ice cream cake, or a vanilla sponge frosted with vanilla ice cream?
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:22 PM on January 16, 2011

« Older Scratched by a nail. Red circle appears. Emergency...   |   I need to decorate my apartment. How do I begin? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.