The Cake is Not a Lie!

What better way to kick off the blog than where it all started – The cake is not a lie, and I’ll prove it!

The actual expression is “The cake is a lie,” which came from the game Portal.  In the game you are a test subject, required to do a bunch of tasks in a research facility guided by a computer named GlaDOS.  GlaDOS repeatedly mentions that following the experiment, there will be cake for you.  There is never any cake.  Also, as the game progresses, you find messages written on the walls:  warnings from past test subjects. One message scribbled on the wall in a later level reads “the cake is a lie. the cake is a lie. the cake is a lie. the cake is a lie.”

Through a sort of Easter Egg in the game, you can find the cake. However, you still can’t eat it.

The lie.

The expression is now used in any context to “convey the message that a promised gift is being used to motivate without any intent of delivering.”  For example:

Dude1: ” Just went out on the tenth date today, but she still didn’t want to come back to my apartment!  I’m going to buy her some more stuff, I’m pretty sure she was hinting at that.  ”

Dude2: “…The cake is a lie, man.”

Other Video Game references:

  1. In MineCraft, if you make a cake with the crafting table with all the correct items in place, you’ll earn an achievement called “The Lie”.
  2. In World of Warcraft, after cooking a Delicious Chocolate Cake for the first time, you earn the achievement “The Cake is Not a Lie.”

And with that, let’s make this cake!

The Cake is Not a Lie Recipe


I like to make mini cakes, because it is much more manageable if i’m eating a cake by myself, or giving a cake to someone as a gift.  The recipe will make a regular cake, just use a regular pan.  Otherwise, it makes 2.5 mini cakes:  great for if you mess up, or if something doesn’t come out of the pan right, or if you end up eating too much batter.  Also, I’m pretty sure the cake in the game uses cherries, but cherries suck.  And raspberries are the most delicious things in the world.  So I used raspberries.

You will need:

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or better yet, Cake flour!)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Or, get a box of chocolate cake mix (you cheater).

For the frosting:

  • Powdered Sugar
  • More unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Butter
  • More milk
  • Vanilla

For filling / topping:

  • Frozen Raspberries
  • Vanilla
  • Cornstarch
  • A few fresh raspberries for the top
  • A big brick of chocolate to make chocolate shavings, or buy chocolate curls
  • A candle

Before I go on with the cake instructions, I’m going to say that I’m pretty laid back when it comes to combining ingredients.  No need to kill yourself over steps: if you’ve got all the stuff and mix it all together, you’ll have a cake.

    1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare your cake pans by spraying with baking spray, or buttering and lightly flouring.
    2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a Large bowl. Mix well.
    3. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.  If you are mixing by hand, just mix until your arm just about falls off.
    4. Fill your prepared pans. I like to overfill the pans slightly, so when the cake comes out of the oven you can cut the top off, making a nice flat bottom for your cake.  I don’t really time things when I bake, I just kinda go and use the toothpick test until done.  But it should be around 30 minutes for a regular size cake, and less (maybe 20) for mini cakes.
    5. Make frosting!  I never measure anything for frosting.  There is no right or wrong here, it’s all how it tastes.  Mix together a lot of powdered sugar, and about 1tbsp of butter.  Set aside some white frosting for the top, and add cocoa powder for the rest.
    6. The chocolate shavings.  The god damned chocolate shavings.  Using a vegetable peeler, start making chocolate curls from your brick of chocolate.  It will melt on your hands.   You will wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into.  You will be sad.
    7. Make filling!  In a pot on the stove, add your fresh or frozen raspberries.  Add sugar to taste (about 3tbsps, but I like it sweet).  Add cornstarch (1Tbsp or more) to thicken it a bit.  This is so you can cut your cake and the filling won’t just ooze out everywhere.
    8. Cake comes out of the oven! Cut the tops off to leave a flat bottom.
    9. Add filling to your cake, put halves together, and frost your cake with the chocolate Icing.  Take your chocolate curls and press gently into the frosting of the cake, they should stick.  This part is difficult, and I’m sorry.  After curls are on, add white swirls of icing to seat the raspberries on top.  I used an icing bag and decorating tip for this.  After, add the candle, and you’re done!


In its carrying case!

In its carrying case!

2 thoughts on “The Cake is Not a Lie!

  1. Anders Cooper

    We tasted the completed cake, and it came out great, thanks. It was a great conversation piece also!

  2. raspberrylover

    I hear the raspberry tarts are quite in demand around the holidays ! Can we all have the recipe for that?

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