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If Tesla Built A Time Machine

Steampunk Tesla Time Machine Cake

Steampunk Sugar Geeks is a collaboration between cake decorators which celebrates steampunk.  For the last few days, I’ve been featuring a bunch of these awesome steampunk cakes.  Today, I’m featuring this cool Steampunk Tesla Time Machine made by Shakar Bakery.

Shantal chose the time machine because as a scientist she was always fascinated with space-time continuum. She thought it would be cool to combine her three passions into one project – cakes, time, and Tesla. Tesla is Shantals favorite scientist and she wanted to create a mini-tribute for him. She built a Tesla lightning system to create the sparks on her fondant clock, and created a steampunk time machine to fit the theme.

Unfortunately the sparks couldn’t be captured with still photos, but Shantal did film them in this awesome video:



Shantal wrote an introduction for her cake that is a thousand times better than anything I could have written about it.  So without further ado, here is Shantal’s awesome intro:

If there is one thing you need to know about me, I am a huge fan of Nikola Tesla . I can’t remember how I first learned about him, it might have been during my Physics quarters at UCSB, or it might have even been earlier than that in some futuristic themed book I’ve read. Regardless of HOW I learned about him, once I knew of him, it was over for all scientists in history- past, present, future. Tesla is THE man. Aside from being an incredible genius, he had a heart of gold. If you read the Wikipedia link I hyperlinked above, you’d see why. He isn’t a perfect person, but it’s the flaws that make his life all the more fascinating!”

So why am I talking about Tesla?? I’ll tell you :) About a year ago I was invited to participate in a Steampunk collaboration with fellow cake artists from around the world.  We called ourselves the Steampunk Sugar Geeks and the creations for this collaboration are insanely talented!!! You can see them all here, on our website:


I’ll admit that even though I had a full year to create my piece, I didn’t get to put it all together until 3 days before deadline. Before you think I’m a procrastinator (I am, but that’s not the point here), I lagged because I needed to have the right vision for my piece. Originally I wanted to create the actual Tesla Coil, a musical one at that, but my schedule kept getting bombarded with life and the fun project kept getting swept aside. So I’ll be making that one for my birthday next year ;) I didn’t want to give up on Tesla…I wanted to combine my three passions in this project: Time travel, cakes, and Tesla. That’s when I decided to create a time machine using the Tesla lightning system. Since I was strapped on time, I bought a kit from http://www.amazing1.com/

Ok, not to put them down or anything, but the little lightning kit was disappointing. Maybe I was expecting too much since I wanted to originally build a large tesla coil, but the little sparks that jumped from one end to the other were so…boring. That’s when I decided to try to increase the sparkage going on in my piece by adding metal and wires to the clock. After a few hours of playing around to see what’s conductive and what isn’t (I had no idea if fondant would attract electricity or not, since it DOES contain moisture) by prodding the wires with a plastic rod, I finally got it to be interesting. It was still weak, and the system didn’t shoot out  continuous flow, so I was stuck with what you see in the video. I experimented with adding food coloring to the protective caps (that’s why one is black and one is yellow) because food coloring is water based. Doing that created the sparks to flow down to the base, which was cool!  I got shocked twice putting it together…oops :) kids, don’t try this at home, unless you have a little bit of mad scientist in you!

Here are two close-ups of Shantal’s cool time machine cake:


Steampunk Tesla Time Machine Cake

Steampunk Tesla Time Machine Cake