11 Game-Inspired Cakes

We’ve featured cakes based on video games before, but for those who prefer to play their games in the real world against non-virtual friends, here are 11 great tribute desserts.

1. Dungeons & Dragons

Adorned with gold coins and two twenty-sided dice, this dragon would be the perfect complement to any epic D&D session. The gorgeous birthday cake was made by Mike’s Amazing Cakes for Gizmopolis writer DougO’s friend’s 30th birthday.

2. Settlers of Catan

This great Settlers of Catan cake was made by Kalli Cakes for When Geeks Wed readers Carol and Kyle. Not only does the cake look perfect, it even pulls apart in little hexagonal sections just like the real game board.

3. Billiards

This billiards cake by Cake Central user littleshamrock21 is a perfect way to celebrate any pool shark’s birthday.

4. Monopoly

While there are plenty of Monopoly-themed cakes out there, this design by Michelle Cakes is certainly top-tier material. That’s not only because the paint on the box looks so convincing, but also because it comes with so many delightful recreations of the game’s famous accessories, and a few of the couple's personal additions. My only critique? What’s Monopoly without a Scotty dog?

5. Chess

Like Monopoly, there is no short supply of chess cakes. What makes this great creation by Elana’s Cakes and More stand out is the fact that it looks like the board and pieces are made of well-polished marble. I’d be worried it would crack my teeth if I took a bite.

6. Game of Life

The Game of Life is all too fitting for a birthday celebration. Including photos from the person’s life and a few real game pieces on the cake, Johnson’s Custom Cakes made this one a perfect walk down memory lane.

7. Operation

When Anne Heap of Pink Cake Box’s brother graduated from his cardiology fellowship, Anne baked up this delightful take on the classic game of Operation. The best part? Cavity Sam's nose actually lights up – just like in the real game.

8. Scrabble

CakeCentral user ToniRod made this for her mother’s birthday: a fully recreated Scrabble board, including the score pad, a pencil and tile holders and a game in play with a message for the birthday gal.

9. Hungry Hungry Hippos

Here is a great game that most adults have fond memories of.  This cake by Dolce Designs allows you to remember those good times while giving you an all-new fun memory with the game.

10. Candy Land

Back in 2009, Debbie Does Cakes made this great Candy Land creation for HASBRO to help the company celebrate the 60th anniversary of this classic children’s board game.

11. The Variety Pack

This creation by Cake Central user Jewelld Cakes features elements from The Game of Life, Monopoly, Scrabble, Taboo and Twister – now that’s how to celebrate game night in style!

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iStock
An Eco-Friendly Startup Is Converting Banana Peels Into Fabric for Clothes
iStock
iStock

A new startup has found a unique way to tackle pollution while simultaneously supporting sustainable fashion. Circular Systems, a “clean-tech new materials company,” is transforming banana byproducts, pineapple leaves, sugarcane bark, and flax and hemp stalk into natural fabrics, according to Fast Company.

These five crops alone meet more than twice the global demand for fibers, and the conversion process provides farmers with an additional revenue stream, according to the company’s website. Fashion brands like H&M and Levi’s are already in talks with Circular Systems to incorporate some of these sustainable fibers into their clothes.

Additionally, Circular Systems recycles used clothing to make new fibers, and another technology called Orbital spins those textile scraps and crop byproducts together to create a durable type of yarn.

People eat about 100 billion bananas per year globally, resulting in 270 million tons of discarded peels. (Americans alone consume 3.2 billion pounds of bananas annually.) Although peels are biodegradable, they emit methane—a greenhouse gas—during decomposition. Crop burning, on the other hand, is even worse because it causes significant air pollution.

As Fast Company points out, using leaves and bark to create clothing may seem pretty groundbreaking, but 97 percent of the fibers used in clothes in 1960 were natural. Today, that figure is only 35 percent.

However, Circular Systems has joined a growing number of fashion brands and textile companies that are seeking out sustainable alternatives. Gucci has started incorporating a biodegradable material into some of its sunglasses, Bolt Threads invented a material made from mushroom filaments, and pineapple “leather” has been around for a couple of years now.

[h/t Fast Company]

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Apeel
New Plant-Based Coating Can Keep Your Avocados Fresh for Twice as Long
Apeel
Apeel

Thanks to a food technology startup called Apeel Sciences, eating fresh avocados will soon be a lot easier. The Bill Gates–backed company has developed a coating designed to keep avocados fresh for up to twice as long as traditional fruit, Bloomberg reports, and these long-lasting avocados will soon be available at 100 grocery stores across the Midwestern U.S. Thirty or so of the grocery stores involved in the limited rollout of the Apeel avocado will be Costcos, so feel free to buy in bulk.

Getting an avocado to a U.S. grocery store is more complicated than it sounds; the majority of avocados sold in the U.S. come from California or Mexico, making it tricky to get fruit to the Midwest or New England at just the right moment in an avocado’s life cycle.

Apeel’s coating is made of plant material—lipids and glycerolipids derived from peels, seeds, and pulp—that acts as an extra layer of protective peel on the fruit, keeping water in and oxygen out, and thus reducing spoilage. (Oxidation is the reason that your sliced avocados and apples brown after they’ve been exposed to the air for a while.) The tasteless coating comes in a powder that fruit producers mix with water and then dip their fruit into.

A side-by-side comparison of a coated and uncoated avocado after 30 days, with the uncoated avocado looking spoiled and the coated one looking fresh
Apeel

According to Apeel, coating a piece of produce in this way can keep it fresh for two to three times longer than normal without any sort of refrigeration or preservatives. This not only allows consumers a few more days to make use of their produce before it goes bad, reducing food waste, but can allow producers to ship their goods to farther-away markets without refrigeration.

Avocados are the first of Apeel's fruits to make it to market, but there are plans to debut other Apeel-coated produce varieties in the future. The company has tested its technology on apples, artichokes, mangoes, and several other fruits and vegetables.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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