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11 Cakes Based on Kids' Books, Movies and TV Shows

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We've looked at cakes inspired by movies and video games. Next up: kids' books and characters!

1 & 2. Alice In Wonderland

Adults and children alike have always been mystified by the world of Alice in Wonderland. This cake, by Karen Portaleo of Highland Bakery, stands out from the crowd by incorporating so many iconic characters from the story.

The Tim Burton version was a little more adult than the original Disney classic, but there are still plenty of kids who love his darker version of Wonderland as well, and this cake, by Fatma Ozmen Metinel, perfectly captures the spirit of Burton’s world.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Cat of Cakes by Cat perfectly captured Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She even posed the book with the cake so you can compare the two.

4. The Giving Tree

If The Giving Tree made you cry as a youngster, then cutting into this perfect tribute to the book just might get you teary eyed as well. Thanks a lot to Tiffany’s Baking Company for reminding us just how depressing the end of this classic Shel Silverstein book was.

5. Yo Gabba Gabba

As they say in Gabbaland, My name is Jill—and I like to dance. At least I want to dance like a little girl when I see this great Yo Gabba Gabba cake, which was photographed by Jaysin Trevino.

6. Olivia

It’s almost as if Brendy’s Cakes knows exactly what Olivia would look like if she jumped out of the book and into the real world.

7. Curious George

The best thing about this cake, by Bellaman Desserts, is that it perfectly captures just how much trouble little George always finds himself in. After all, before the party has even started, he’s already managed to spill paint all over the cake and then leave paint-covered paw prints all over its sides. Good thing The Man With The Yellow Hat is always so forgiving.

8. Cars

While Lightning McQueen may have been the main character, Mater might be the most lovable character in the Cars series. This cake version of the redneck tow truck by Sweetbakes is a fitting tribute.

9. Kung Fu Panda

Something tells me that Jack Black would be proud if he saw this amazing cake by BCakeNY that is based on his character from the wonderful Dream Works films.

10. Adventure Time

Any fan of the Cartoon Network series will immediately recognize just how amazing this cake, by Little Cherry Cake Company, truly is. After all, it not only features Finn and a giant Jake, but also Princess Bubblegum, Ice King, Marceline, Beemo and more favorites. I do hope the back features Lumpy Space Princess and Lady Rainicorn though because they’re my favorite characters.

11. Clifford the Big Red Dog

If you were one of the millions of kids who grew up reading this series and watching the animated version on television, then you know just how perfect this cake by Sweetbakes is.

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Food
Does More Fat Really Make Ice Cream Taste Better?
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iStock

Cholesterol. Sugar. Carbs. Fat. As diet-trend demons come and go, grocery store shelves fill with products catering to every type of restriction. But as any lifelong snacker knows, most of these low-sugar/carb/fat options can't hold a candle to the real thing when it comes to taste. Or can they? Scientists writing in the Journal of Dairy Science say fat may be less important to ice cream's deliciousness than we thought.

Food researchers at Penn State brought 292 ice cream fans into their Sensory Evaluation Center and served each person several small, identical, unlabeled bowls of vanilla ice cream made with a range of fat levels: 6 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent, or 14 percent. The participants were asked to taste and compare the samples.

The researchers had two questions: Could participants tell the difference between varying fat levels? And if so, did they care?

The answer to the first question is, "It depends." Taste-testers' tongues could spot the fat gap of 4 percent between dishes of 6 percent and 10 percent. But when that range moved to 8 percent and 12 percent, they no longer noticed. 

More interestingly, reducing fat levels didn't have much effect on their interest in eating that ice cream again. They were equally interested in having a bowl of ice cream that had 6 percent fat and one that had 14 percent.

It's a bit like plain and pink lemonade, co-author John Hayes said in a statement. "They can tell the difference when they taste the different lemonades, but still like them both. Differences in perception and differences in liking are not the same thing."

Co-author John Coupland notes that removing fat from ice cream doesn't necessarily make it better for you. For this study, the researchers used the common industry trick of replacing fat with a cheap, bulk-forming starch called maltodextrin.

"We don't want to give the impression that we were trying to create a healthier type of ice cream," Coupland said.

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CasusGrill
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Design
A Cardboard Grill You Don't Have to Feel Bad Throwing Away
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CasusGrill

Just because a product is built to last doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the environment. In the case of barbecuing, disposable can be a good thing—if it's designed right. The Danish CasusGrill is a cardboard grill made from ingredients that break down quickly without causing environmental damage, as opposed to the aluminum versions (both disposable and traditional) that take hundreds of years [PDF] to decompose, as Co.Design reports.

The exterior is fashioned out of recycled cardboard, with the bottom lined with lava rock to protect the box from burning—and to insulate your hands against the heat, should you want to pick up the grill. The gridiron is made of bamboo, which has a higher ignition point and thus is less likely to catch on fire while grilling than regular wood.

Steak, sausages, and bacon cook on top of the cardboard grill.
CasusGrill

The grill is fueled by bamboo charcoal that gets hot enough to use in five minutes. Traditional charcoal briquettes usually have additives like coal and borax that make grilling a smoggy affair, while bamboo charcoal is a little more human-friendly. (It's the same kind of charcoal that's used in beauty products and those striking black charcoal-flavored foods.)

Based on the instruction video, it seems like the grill is just about ready to use straight out of the box. If you've ever put together an IKEA coffee table, the CasusGrill will be a breeze. You just have to fit a few cardboard pieces together to make the base, attach it to the grill, and light it up. Give it a few minutes to heat up, put the grate on top, and it's ready to go, cooking for up to an hour. When you're done, you can toss it on your campfire, leaving no trace of your cooking process. (Except the full stomachs.)

It's not available on the market just yet, but should be out sometime in August 2017. Go ahead and add it to your summer camping must-have list. You can pre-order the CasusGrill for $8 from The Fowndry.

[h/t Co.Design]

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