How to Make Chicken Wing Cakes | Realistic Illusion Cake Demo for Party or Prank

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April Julian—a self-described "hyper-realistic cake artist" and runner-up on season one of Netflix's hit show "Is It Cake?"—takes desserts to a whole new level. Her creations, which range from cheeseburgers to teddy bears, look so real, it's hard to believe they're actually entirely edible! 

April immigrated to Toronto, Canada from the Philippines as a child and started making run-of-the-mill cakes as a hobby when she got older. Then, in 2017, someone asked her to make a high-top Air Jordan sneaker. "Because my husband is a sneakerhead, I really dove into the challenge," she says. "I wanted to make it look as realistic as possible, and it turned out really well. I fooled a lot of people, and I just went on from there. I love seeing people's reactions when they're looking at ramen or a shoe and then realize it's not any of those things, it's cake. It just kind of messes with your mind a bit." 

Here's how to make one of her most popular offerings: chicken wings (both flats and drumettes)—except, of course, it's not chicken, it's cake! These make a great prank for April Fool’s Day, or anytime you want to play a joke on friends or family. 

Here are the instructions and supplies: 

1. Bake a layer of plain cake (homemade or using a store-bought mix) with sprinkles mixed in, if you like, in a quarter sheet pan lined with parchment paper. 

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2. Make a buttercream (April uses an Italian-meringue version, which is very "sturdy," but this Swiss one should be fine.) 

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3. Working in batches, use your hands to mush together pieces of cake with some of the buttercream, which will act as a glue, until it forms a paste. (If you like, do this wearing thin rubber gloves.) 

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4. Form flats and drumettes.  

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5. Place them on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan or tray and pop them in the freezer to firm up. 

6. Roll out as many thin layers (April tries to use as little as possible) of fondant as you have chicken pieces. 

7. Envelop each piece of chicken in one layer of fondant, trimming off any excess and smoothing out the edges. 

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8. Form indentations with a small stick, if you like, to mimic bones. 

9. Add texture by pressing the pieces in a texture mat with a goosebump-like pattern. 

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 10. Use brown, yellow and red edible acrylic paint to make some of the pieces look like cooked chicken. 

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11. Use brown, yellow, red, pink and orange petal dust to make some of the pieces look like raw chicken. 

12. For the raw chicken, add a little sugar glaze (equal parts light corn syrup and vodka cooked down until the liquid is no longer cloudy) in places to make the skin look wet. 

13. Arrange the cooked wings and raw wings on plates or a platter and serve!  

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Note from April: If you really want to make your friends and family go ballistic, take a bite of a raw wing in front of them without first revealing what it really is!  

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