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10 Bloody, Gory, and Delectably Evil Horror-Themed Cakes

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Between the scorching hot ovens and easy-to-mess-up chemical reactions, many people find baking to be simply horrifying. While experienced bakers may not be afraid of these challenges, they still understand that cakes can be the things of nightmares, particularly around Halloween. Here are some of the most wonderfully creepy Halloween cakes ever baked.

Thorax

This thorax cake by Barbara Jo of Do It Myself might just be the most labor intensive horror cake ever made, but that hard work was definitely worth it, given that it might also be the most delicious. Each organ has its own cake flavor and sauce. The heart is orange cake with raspberry sauce, the stomach is made from orange cake and mango sauce and the intestines are jelly rolls with red currant jelly. Lest you worry that the whole thing isn’t actually edible, relax — even the bones are made from delicious white chocolate.

Killer Rats

Barbara Jo is quite the horror cake master, as she also whipped up this delightfully gory treat. While it might not shoot out colored filling like the thorax cake, it is still a work of art. The details on this cake are simply amazing, from the spun sugar fur on the rats to the hard candy bones.

Heart

Here’s another shocking anatomic cake, this one created by The Fondant Fairy and photographed by Spud-ography. While it presumably contains a decent amount of fondant given the creator’s name, I can’t find out more information on the cake itself, like what flavor it is.

Oozing Brains

With chocolate candy melts, blood-red caramel sauce, and raspberry cake, these oozing brain cupcakes by Flickr user xsomnis not only look intimidating, they also sound delicious.

Zombie Hand

How do you turn a gourmet Grand Marnier flourless chocolate cake into something dark and scary? Just add some marzipan and almond hands like Desserts By Candy did.

Silent Hill

Fans of the Silent Hill video game series know just how creepy the bandaged nurse figures are, which is why they were so perfect as decoration for the Freak Show auditions for Alice Cooper's massive Halloween show last year. Mamma Jamma Cakes made the nurse from 6 stacked chocolate cakes surrounded by fondant that had been pressed with textured bandages, giving it the appearance of decaying medical bandages.

Walking Dead

Atlanta bakery Sweets to the Sweet made this Walking Dead cake adorned with the iconic scene from the series as a birthday cake for one of the show's cast members. While it’s hard to tell from the image here, the cake actually does bulge out towards the top thanks to the array of zombies pushing on it.

Nightmare On Elm Street

What better way to commemorate your big horror movie convention than with a giant scary cake? This Nightmare On Elm Street cake was created for the Spooky Empire Ultimate Horror Weekend held in Florida last year and was photographed by Flickr user insidethemagic.

Evil Dead

This year’s Spooky Empire Ultimate Horror Weekend had an equally epic cake, this time based around The Evil Dead trilogy, and also photographed by insidethemagic. While the cakes were comparable in their quality, this one had the distinct advantage of being cut by the chainsaw-wielding star of the movie series.

Ozzy Osbourne as Frankenstein

It might not be as creepy or bloody as many of the others here, but Frankenozzy most definitely fits in with the rest of these dark cakes. Made by the legendary Charm City Cakes team from the Ace of Cakes TV show, the merging of Ozzy with one of literature’s most classic monsters is simply brilliant and looks surprisingly realistic.
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I know some of you Flossers are probably going to host Halloween parties this year. Are any of you planning to include a scary cake on the menu? If so, what are your plans for the design?

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Big Questions
Why Can't Dogs Eat Chocolate?
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Even if you don’t have a dog, you probably know that they can’t eat chocolate; it’s one of the most well-known toxic substances for canines (and felines, for that matter). But just what is it about chocolate that is so toxic to dogs? Why can't dogs eat chocolate when we eat it all the time without incident?

It comes down to theobromine, a chemical in chocolate that humans can metabolize easily, but dogs cannot. “They just can’t break it down as fast as humans and so therefore, when they consume it, it can cause illness,” Mike Topper, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, tells Mental Floss.

The toxic effects of this slow metabolization can range from a mild upset stomach to seizures, heart failure, and even death. If your dog does eat chocolate, they may get thirsty, have diarrhea, and become hyperactive and shaky. If things get really bad, that hyperactivity could turn into seizures, and they could develop an arrhythmia and have a heart attack.

While cats are even more sensitive to theobromine, they’re less likely to eat chocolate in the first place. They’re much more picky eaters, and some research has found that they can’t taste sweetness. Dogs, on the other hand, are much more likely to sit at your feet with those big, mournful eyes begging for a taste of whatever you're eating, including chocolate. (They've also been known to just swipe it off the counter when you’re not looking.)

If your dog gets a hold of your favorite candy bar, it’s best to get them to the vet within two hours. The theobromine is metabolized slowly, “therefore, if we can get it out of the stomach there will be less there to metabolize,” Topper says. Your vet might be able to induce vomiting and give your dog activated charcoal to block the absorption of the theobromine. Intravenous fluids can also help flush it out of your dog’s system before it becomes lethal.

The toxicity varies based on what kind of chocolate it is (milk chocolate has a lower dose of theobromine than dark chocolate, and baking chocolate has an especially concentrated dose), the size of your dog, and whether or not the dog has preexisting health problems, like kidney or heart issues. While any dog is going to get sick, a small, old, or unhealthy dog won't be able to handle the toxic effects as well as a large, young, healthy dog could. “A Great Dane who eats two Hershey’s kisses may not have the same [reaction] that a miniature Chihuahua that eats four Hershey’s kisses has,” Topper explains. The former might only get diarrhea, while the latter probably needs veterinary attention.

Even if you have a big dog, you shouldn’t just play it by ear, though. PetMD has a handy calculator to see just what risk levels your dog faces if he or she eats chocolate, based on the dog’s size and the amount eaten. But if your dog has already ingested chocolate, petMD shouldn’t be your go-to source. Call your vet's office, where they are already familiar with your dog’s size, age, and condition. They can give you the best advice on how toxic the dose might be and how urgent the situation is.

So if your dog eats chocolate, you’re better off paying a few hundred dollars at the vet to make your dog puke than waiting until it’s too late.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Big Questions
What is Duck Sauce?
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A plate of Chinese takeout with egg rolls and duck sauce
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We know that our favorite Chinese takeout is not really authentically Chinese, but more of an Americanized series of menu options very loosely derived from overseas inspiration. (Chinese citizens probably wouldn’t recognize chop suey or orange-glazed chicken, and fortune cookies are of Japanese origin.) It would also be unusual for "real" Chinese meals to be accompanied by a generous amount of sauce packets.

Here in the U.S., these condiments are a staple of Chinese takeout. But one in particular—“duck sauce”—doesn’t really offer a lot of information about itself. What exactly is it that we’re pouring over our egg rolls?

Smithsonian.com conducted a sauce-related investigation and made an interesting discovery, particularly if you’re not prone to sampling Chinese takeout when traveling cross-country. On the East Coast, duck sauce is similar to sweet-and-sour sauce, only fruitier; in New England, it’s brown, chunky, and served on tables; and on the West Coast, it’s almost unheard of.

While the name can describe different sauces, associating it with duck probably stems from the fact that the popular Chinese dish Peking duck is typically served with a soybean-based sauce. When dishes began to be imported to the States, the Americanization of the food involved creating a sweeter alternative using apricots that was dubbed duck sauce. (In New England, using applesauce and molasses was more common.)

But why isn’t it easily found on the West Coast? Many sauce companies are based in New York and were in operation after Chinese food had already gained a foothold in California. Attempts to expand didn’t go well, and so Chinese food aficionados will experience slightly different tastes depending on their geography. But regardless of where they are, or whether they're using the condiment as a dipping sauce for their egg rolls or a dressing for their duck, diners can rest assured that no ducks were harmed in the making of their duck sauce.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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