When an Asparagus Cake Just Makes Good Sense

*May 2011 update: I have just recently recreated this cake in an 8-layer version! You can view it here: For the Love of Fondant Asparagus (and 8-Layer Cakes).

NEW! How to Make a Fondant Asparagus Cake {a Tutorial}

Funny thing happened on the way to designing my sister-in-law, Mary’s cake for her post-figure-competition celebration: my pink and frilly cake idea got hijacked by this sudden idea that I had to create a hyperrealistic vegetable confection. It was an “Aha!” moment, and I knew right then and there that there was no turning back. Thing is, while training for the IDFA competition, she was so disciplined, so regimented, and so ridiculously sick of eating asparagus. The week before her show, during a text conversation we were having, in response to “How are you doing?” she replied, “I’m loathing asparagus!” So, like any self-respecting sister-in-law and friend would do, I decided to to torment her with a green and spear-filled asparagus cake. See, there’s something you should know: Mary is a foodie, and like me, lives for dessert. This makes her pre-show determination and diet that much more torturous remarkable.

Mary and I talked about the post-show celebration for the weeks leading up to it, and what she really wanted to eat–the girl deserved to eat whatever she wanted, and I was determined to make that happen for her. As for dessert, she knew she wanted rich chocolate cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and fondant, so that was the starting point. Once I had the cake baked, filled, and coated, I covered it in a nice bright leafy green fondant. I then started on the asparagus. Working from a real bundle of asparagus for reference, I rolled out about 150 full-size green fondant spears, a dozen at a time, snipped them to look as realistic as possible, and then let them dry. I also dyed, rolled out, trimmed, and snipped  about 400 asaparagus tips and set them aside to dry. Once they were dry, I dusted them with several shades of green edible dusting powder (that I typically use for dusting sugar flowers and leaves), and small touches of red. Once they were all dusted and looking particularly asparagus-ish, I started to assemble it all. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together, but I loved making this cake, and, in the end, I was kind of proud of it!

I’m not sure, but when Mary first saw her cake, I think she may have wondered if they were actually real asparagus. Sure, we were all eager to try (especially my little Reese) a big yummy piece of the cake, but I think, even more so, we were so excited to watch Mary eat hers!

Yay–cake consumption! Reese was so proud to be taking the first bites with Auntie Mary. And, yep, that is a trophy you see–turns out that all of that hard work and discipline pays off! I have to say, Mary’s victory just made the cake that much sweeter, for all of us. Now that she’s competing in the Canadian Natural Physique Championships in April, I think I better kick it up a notch for the next post-show confection…a 3-tier version, perhaps?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

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  1. 1

    Your cake is so unique and you did such a good job making the asparagus that I’m sure everyone who saw it did a double-take. A lot of work making all those spears but I’m sure it was deliciously appreciated. Your blog is beautiful and your Woodland theme birthday (earlier post) is absolutely amazing.

  2. 2

    You are so devilishly sweet and determined! I’d think the next version should feature another vegetable, just to wow us all a little more. Carrots? A mix of beets?

  3. 3
    Mary Lou Kinsella says:

    Terrific Rosie! I am one of your biggest fans. Am so proud of you- not an easy feat with two little ones to care for!
    Amazing photos. Look forward to a daily read! xox

  4. 4

    This is awesome!! I can’t get over how realistic that asparagus is….you did a great, GREAT job!

  5. 5

    Rosie, I LOVE IT!! Im so glad that you have this up. Now I can show everyone here out west how talented my friends from back east are!! WOW your amazing with what you can do with deserts. It makes eating them not feel so guilty!!! Now if only you could ship some out west!! Great job!

  6. 6

    Hi Rosie! SOOO happy to finally see your blog up! It’s beautiful, and I love the post about your stunning asparagus cake! Wow! So wonderful to connect with you, and I can’t wait to see what else you will be creating!

  7. 7
    Laura Lee says:

    Fabulous Rosie…and I expected nothing less :)

  8. 8

    This is truly amazing, Rosie, and shows a lot of talent and dedication. I love the story behind it, too. Great job! I’m thrilled to have found your blog; can’t wait to see what’s up next!

  9. 9

    This is INSANE! Just found this through TasteSpotting and am impressed beyond words. Great job!

  10. 10

    AMAZING! It looks so realistic…..and delicious on the inside as well. Congrats on a beautiful and creative cake!

  11. 11

    Your cake just blew my mind!
    What a great way to reward all of her hard work!
    Well done.

  12. 12

    amazing, incredible, awesome and fantastic!! love the website and blog (and all the sweet things that go with it!)

  13. 13

    Wow! What a gorgeous and creative cake.

  14. 14

    Coolest cake ever. I’ll never forget this one!


  15. 15

    This is an amazing cake. I am always amazed at how creative people are you and you took it up a notch with this!

  16. 16

    Hi Rosie! First and foremost I must tell you that Mary and I are good friends and I watched her eat asparagus after asparagus while training and this cake made total sense!!! It is hard to believe that it isn’t real asparagus! Wow!! – You have an extraordinary talent! Love the blog and can’t wait to see your next creation! :)

  17. 17

    What an amazing cake. I truly thought it was asparagus at first. You are very talented!!

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new food photo gallery showcasing beautiful baking and desserts.

  18. 18

    Outrageously cool!!!!

  19. 19

    Absolutely amazing! It really plays with your mind!? Looks incredibly delicious! :)

  20. 20

    Holy stinking amazing! This is so creative! So fun! Such a great idea and sense of humor! Love everything about it!

  21. 21

    Bravo!! Amazing and beautifully done.

  22. 22

    This is the most amazing cake I have ever seen. I can completely appreciate all the time and patience you put into this cake!

  23. 23

    What a fab cake! Beautiful!

  24. 24

    What a cool idea! I love the creativity, and it looks so realistic! Love.

  25. 25

    Love it!! What a great idea. One of my best friends does these competitions as well and we always throw her a ‘Yay! Food time!’ party after.

  26. 26

    This cake is unbelievably beautiful and inspiring! You have totally made my life and make me want to try more exciting ventures in the kitchen. Thank you so much!

  27. 27

    This is such a cute idea, I love it!!

  28. 28

    The colours on this cake! Absolutely beautiful! Although an odd choice, I think asparagus really works here, especially with the chocolate. Just such an awesome idea!

  29. 29

    So are you saying that if I eat asparagus I will look like your sister in-law? : )

    This is BEAUTIFUL!

  30. 30

    Wow! that is just incredible!!
    I’m sure everyone thought it was real at first! Congratulations on such a fine job.

  31. 31

    WOW, an awesome cake! Thinking this would make a great cake for April Fool’s Day as well.

  32. 32

    this is beautiful!! and it never crossed my mind about putting cake and asparagus together!

  33. 33

    And proud you should be!! This cake is awesome. Congratulations to you for creating such an incredible cake and to your sister-in-law for taking home the trophy.

  34. 34

    One of the most striking and beautiful cakes I’ve ever seen. Eating veggies has never been this awesome. Keep up the great posts! I have subscribed to your blog and eagerly await new posts…

  35. 35

    This is blowing my mind, it looks so lovely and realistic!

  36. 36
    Sweetapolia (Rosie) says:

    Thank you so much, everyone! So glad you all like it, and now, more than ever, I think there must be an Asparagus Cake Part II!

  37. 37

    No way! That is too cool! I saw it at first and thought “ew.” but when I read that the asparagus was fondant I was AMAZED!

  38. 38

    I actually thought it was real asparagus when I first saw it on tastespotting. It’s really amazing!

  39. 39

    Very impressive, those perfect asparagus must have taken you forever to make! It’s gorgeous!

  40. 40

    Found your cake on Tastespotting and I CANNOT stop looking at it. Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies so I’m just a little partial to this confection you made. Beautiful–and so is the rest of your blog. :-)

  41. 41

    This cake is amazing!!! I would love to know how you made the asparagus?! Seriously, this cake looks too beautiful to eat! Well done!

  42. 42

    Wow, you had me fooled. It seriously looks like real asparagus!

  43. 43

    Thanks, everyone!

  44. 44

    WOW… I can’t believe that is a cake!! AWESOME JOB!!!

  45. 45

    That is such an amazing cake! Before reading the post, I honestly thought you stuck real asparagus on the cake (which was pretty darn creative to begin with). Then I read your post and found out it’s fondant asparagus and now I’m just thinking…that is super duper creative!

  46. 46

    I’m speechless. The asparagus looks 110% real. At first I thought you use real asparagus but those are made out of fondant??!!
    Amazing, just amazing.

  47. 47

    unbelievably awesome!! edible petal dust is just sooo amazing for creating shading and beautiful colours. love this crazy cake, totally and completely.

    i had to google IDFA… that is some serious commitment your sis-in-law did and it paid off, hooray! (the trophy is so great too!)


  48. 48

    I love this so much! well done I say, well done!

  49. 49

    This is the most amazing cake I have ever seen. I just keep scrolling back and forth through the photos trying to convince my brain that this is icing and not asparagus!!

  50. 50

    SO my wifey shows me this then when I say WOW you have to make me that she says no… not that talented. I am settling for a cake with sprinkles now!!

    Anyways this was a cool cake and I liked it….and so did the wifey… you will have to teach her I guess. :)

  51. 51

    That cake is unreal! So funny, so impressive!

  52. 52

    OMG this is GREAT!!!!!

  53. 53

    OMG! I am in awe! I just discovered your blog, and CANNOT get over this! Amazing!

  54. 54

    This is an amazing cake. I would have dived into it head first after training for a competition like that!

  55. 55

    Thank you! xo

  56. 56

    This is phenomenal! I’ll be sharing it on my blog tomorrow. I hope you’ll come by and check out the post.

  57. 57

    This is incredible! I really thought it was asparagus!

  58. 58

    I just have to say – this cake is ridiculous. I gasped when I saw the end result and I KNEW IT WAS A CAKE

    nice work :P

  59. 59

    I´m in awe – that is one SPECTACULAR cake – wow!!!!!
    Just love it!!!

  60. 60

    I’m speechless(almost)! This cake is crazy-incredible!!!

  61. 61

    This is awesome!!! And another gorgeous gal! You ARE surrounded bu beauty….I’m in see of your asparagus sculpting :-)

  62. 62

    Hubs thought it is pretty awesome too!

  63. 63

    You knocked my socks off with this one. I thought it was the real asparagus. I could easily be your biggest fan. You just play with my mind with every post of yours.


  64. 64

    You completely had me fooled! I really thought it was asparagus!!! Very unique and creative!!
    Hats off to you!!

  65. 65

    Incredible. I swear I thought the first picture was for real asparagus!

  66. 66
    MelangellAK says:

    Absolutely STUNNING! I can’t believe how gorgeous that is! Congrats to both Mary AND YOU for your amazing work!!

  67. 67

    HOLY CRAP – that is amazing!

    xxx, from Beijing

  68. 68

    That cake is amazing! You are one heck of a Sister-in-Law!!

  69. 69

    This is the second best cake i’ve ever seen. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

  70. 70

    Creative genius!

  71. 71
    TREVOR says:

    this cake rocks! seriously rocks!

  72. 72

    just saw the one and only, Peewee Herman the Great, tweeted this!

  73. 73

    That is an awesome looking cake!!!

  74. 74

    This cake is pure amaze-balls! And the only way I could ever get my husband to eat asparagus! Another upside – no asparagus stinky-pee-pee-itis! Great work!

  75. 75

    You are so bookmarked. I love it.

  76. 76
    ladybug says:

    OMG…I want that

  77. 77

    How amazing! I love the creativity! The cake looks awesome!

  78. 78

    This looks amazing! I am going to make this for Memorial Day. I can’t wait to see what everyone says when they see it. I am not very good with fondant but I will take the time to make the asparagus just to see what everyone’s reaction is! Thanks for the very clear photos – they will serve as my guide as I try to replicate your masterpiece !

  79. 79

    Asparagus Cake ,what a amazing idea!
    Its look fabulous and hope yum too!

  80. 80

    I’ve been so enamored with this cake, that I had to try it myself! While my attempt didn’t quite capture the elegance of yours, it was a lot of fun. I wrote about it on my blog, Sweet Athena: http://sweetathena.blogspot.com/2011/06/asparagus-cake.html. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  81. 81

    WOW! That is an amazing cake! It looks like the real thing! Great job!

  82. 82

    Hahaha this is my life!!! I am two days away from my first fitness contest and HATING asparagus right now. My day has been made. I’m going to have to link this pic to my blog.

  83. 83

    Absolutely amazing.

  84. 84
    Kim Meier says:

    That’s amazing. You’re incredible!

  85. 85

    I can make a tasty cake, but even my best decorations do not look as awesome as this! Wonderful job!

  86. 86

    The asparagus is a lie!

    • 87

      It’s a take on a common meme/catchphrase from the Portal video games – “The cake is a lie.” Not an insult at all, but a joke and a compliment. Your cake actually showed up on a meme website recently, and I suspect that Noah came here because of it. :)

  87. 89

    I’m sure everyone who saw it did a double-take. A lot of work making all those spears but I’m sure it was deliciously appreciated. Your blog is beautiful and your Woodland theme birthday is absolutely amazing.

  88. 90

    How wonderful is this! It should be a wedding cake!! :)

  89. 91

    Hey Rosie! Love your blog and love this cake. I stumbled upon this online and thought I’d share in case you hadn’t seen it yet:

    I saw it and was like “I know that cake!”

  90. 92

    This cake has been such an inspiration for me! I saw this cake when you first posted it a couple years ago and have always wanted to work with fondant well enough to do something like this. I keep coming back to this page to look at the cake because I can’t believe how great it is!! While I still haven’t worked with fondant I do try to bake things that look special. Again, this cake is amazing!

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