English etiquette teaches us that at dinner parties and social gatherings, you never mix good food with talk of religion or politics.
Cake is universal, everybody loves cake, there is a special cake out there for everyone, (whether you’re gluten free, fat free or sugar-free), there is equality with cake. Cake and politics are rarely bedfellows. However in the last week, with all the pomp of the American presidential Inauguration, cake made centre stage. It seems that the cake made for the Salute to the Armed Forces Ball, attended by the newly sworn –in President Trump, was the exact replica of the cake made four years ago for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
The original cake (the cake on the left) was made by Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes. Both cakes have nine tiers, with stripes on the bottom, a presidential banner and seal motif, shiny emblems in the middle section, and the cakes are both topped with stars.
The second cake (the cake on the right) was made by Terry McIsaac of the Buttercream Bakeshop in Washington D.C. We understand that an unnamed member of Team Trump contacted the cake shop several weeks ago on short notice with a request to copy the original. Terry initially offered to use the original cake as inspiration, but it was insisted that the cake should be a replica.
Whenever someone comes to me requesting a replica of a cake, I always give them this reply:
“I cannot copy someone else’s work, but if there are elements from the cake you like, we can take this as inspiration to create a personalised cake for you.”
In the cake world, we have to acknowledge and respect the great work of other cake makers. There is enough sky for all of us, and we must learn to cultivate and develop our own cake style. The Internet has gone wild over this story and has brought it back to politics.
Duff Goldman graciously took the copy-cake as a compliment. He congratulated the Buttercream Bakeshop on doing a fantastic job. There’s a lot of love in the cake world (this is not always the case in the political arena).
According to the Buttercream Bakeshop’s Instagram post, profits from the cake will be donated to the The Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organisation in America working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality.