No more tiers. We catch up with gaming wonder baker Frantz to discover more about his perfect, ultra-tasty creations
Uncharted doubloon cookies and Dragon Quest Slime gummies feature in our look at game-themed treats.
Missing the Great British Bake Off? All that bunting, the charm, the puns, and the wonderful excuse to shovel cheesecake into your face on a weekly basis? Well, Frantz, a software engineer from Toulouse in France, might just be able to at least make you as hungry for cake. His showstopping food designs are all inspired by his favourite games and the results look almost too good to eat. Well, in the case of an animatronic Five Nights At Freddy’s inspired design, maybe too scary to eat, but we’ll get onto that in a bit. “I’m 36, which means my two best Christmas gifts were my NES and my Gameboy. I’m a software engineer, but I’ve always been passionate about baking,” Frantz says. “I’ve always been known for baking or making unusual food. For a surprise party back in 2012, I decided to bring a Super Mario Star cake. I searched the internet and found a YouTube video from Rosanna Pansino and discovered about fondant and food colouring, which totally unlocked my creativity about making cakes.” Unlocked? More like unleashed.
Frantz’s Instagram, coderxbaker, is an incredible gallery of tasty designs, including a sweet alternative to the Pokémon Go Plus wrist accessory. When Frantz couldn’t find one for love nor money, he decided to make his own. They might not collect PokéStops or catch Pokémon, but that’s not really an issue when there’s carefully iced chocolate cream cookies held onto your wrist with sour gummy candy.
Despite baking almost every day and making his creations from scratch, as opposed to focusing on decoration alone, Frantz still thinks of himself as an amateur. And when it comes to home-made cakes, few can compare to his recreation of Five Nights At Freddy’s titular teddy, Freddy Fazbear. Complete with signature top hat and bow tie, this Halloween extravaganza also has moving animatronic eyes to fill you with chills before you even get to the cake.
Freddy or not
“It took me two months from the idea to the realization. The eyes are 3D printed and they move thanks to servomotors controlled by a microcontroller which I programmed,” Frantz explains. “This cake mixes lots of different skills, from design and electronics to crafting and programming, which definitely makes it my hardest creation.” Yep, those eyes don’t just blink – they also turn to look at you. “It was a chocolate cake with passion fruit buttercream and there was marshmallow puffed rice in there too,” Frantz reveals. “When I make a huge cake I try to make a basic recipe to please everyone. The biggest challenge was the 3D printed parts because I was totally new to this. I failed with at least four sets of eyes before making the one I wanted to.”
When it comes to other creations, Frantz has experimented with all kinds of flavours and sweet treats. His Portal cake is complete with the “lie” that the cube on top is actually a flat piece of icing that only looks 3D from
“I would love to bake a giant colossi cake for shadow of the colossus”
a certain angle, and a Dragon Quest slime is the biggest (and cutest) gummy candy he’d ever created. Frantz even made Uncharted gold cookies to celebrate the release of Nathan Drake’s most recent adventure. But which of his bakes is he most fond of? “I think my favourite is a Sonic cake I made a few years ago,” he ponders. “It was my second attempt at a game related cake and I brought it into work. The feedback was amazing and I loved how this cake brought back memories and nostalgia to my coworkers.”
And the secret to gaming cake success? Just like Dark Souls, it’s all about perseverance. “I’m a very patient and stubborn person, so I feel like saying there’s nothing in particular which has taken too long to make,” Frantz says. “Being well organised is the key… just learn how to do it. Nothing is hard if you find how to do it, and the only way to find it, is by trying.”
Simplicity is also important when it comes to flavour. It’s probably for the best, but Frantz has never been tempted to match the taste to the character or game. “I mainly try to match flavours with colours,” he says. “For example, when I need a brown or black fondant, I make a chocolate fondant recipe, that way I avoid using too much artificial black colourant. I think people prefer it when colour and flavour matches and it’s not weird.”
Looking to the future, he has plenty of tasty ideas. “I would love to bake a giant colossi cake for Shadow Of The Colossus,” Frantz enthuses. “I love that game so much. I often listen to the soundtrack when making cakes.” And what, in his opinion, is the ultimate gamer bake? “That’s a hard one, I think it’s very personal. I think it’s something that brings you all the great memories when you eat it which makes you want to play that game again.”
Even without seeing the working eyes in action, this chocolate cake version of Freddy Fazbear is pretty creepy. We’d still have a slice, mind. A nice set of chocolate flavoured Nintendo ’taches. Thankfully, the Wario one doesn’t taste of farts.
As an early gaming cake attempt, Frantz could do a lot worse than this impressive Green Hill Zone inspired Sonic The Hedgehog bake. As its creator and harshest critic, he thinks it’s flawed, but it’s still his favourite.
Drake’s fortune might not look edible, but that pirate sigil is hiding a crumbly chocolate cookie interior.
Just in case you didn’t believe the eyes could move, here’s a work-in-progress shot of the Freddy cake.