What is ‘Is It Cake?’ Here’s everything you need to know about the Netflix show and its Des Moines ties

Currently sitting at the No. 1 spot on Netflix’s “Top 10 in the U.S. Today” queue, new baking competition series “Is It Cake?” is a recipe for fun.

Viewers are tuning in to watch nine bakers, including Andrew Fuller from Des Moines, create eerily realistic cakes that resemble everything from bowling pins to bowls of chips.

Here is everything you need to know about the new series and the colorful Des Moines cake artist who appears on the show.

What is ‘Is It Cake?’

New Netflix series “Is It Cake?” follows nine skilled pastry chefs as they compete to create cakes in eight hours that realistically mimic other objects. The concept is based off a popular meme that started in July 2020 after a Tasty video of seemingly everyday objects went viral on Twitter.

The goal of each episode is for the bakers to fool three rotating celebrity judges. The judges get 20 seconds to observe each cake among decoy objects. If they correctly pick the baker’s cake from the mix, the baker is eliminated from that round. If they don’t guess the cake, the baker has a chance to win up to $10,000. If more than one cake per round is incorrectly guessed, the judges pick the winner based on the cake’s flavor and up-close appearance. The winning baker gets $5,000 and a chance to earn another $5,000 if they are able to identify which container full of money is actually cake.

The cast of "Is It Cake?" from left: Dessiree Salaverria, Andrew Fuller, Sam Cade, Hemu Basu, Justin Ellen, Nina Maria Charles, Jonny Manganello, April Julian and Steve Weiss

More:A peek behind the scenes as Des Moines baker sculpts freakishly real creations on ‘Is It Cake?’

Each episode showcases three competing bakers, and the show’s format shifts over the course of the eight-episode run. In most cases, the winning baker from the previous round gets to select who they will bake against in the next round.

Who hosts ‘Is It Cake?’

“Saturday Night Live” star Mikey Day hosts the show.

Who are the bakers who appear on ‘Is It Cake?’

The series stars bakers Andrew Fuller (Des Moines), April Julian (Toronto), Dessiree Salaverria (Orlando), Hemu Basu (Houston), Jonny Manganello (Los Angeles), Justin Rasmussen-Ellen (North New Jersey), Nina Charles (Carencro, Louisiana), Sam Cade (Dallas) and Steve Weiss (Ashburn, Virginia). It was released globally on March 18, 2022.

Andrew Fuller competes in Netflix baking series "Is It Cake?"

More:Des Moines baker Andrew Fuller, of Sugar Freakshow, will star in a new Netflix show ‘Is It Cake?’

Who are the judges on ‘Is It Cake?’

Each “Is It Cake?” episode has a new set of celebrity judges who are tasked with picking out the cake from the real objects. The judges for each episode are:

  • Episode 1: Food critic and rapper Daym Drops, comedian Fortune Feimster and chef Ronnie Woo
  • Episode 2: Fashion designer Hester Sunshine, actor and comedian Michael Yo and stylist Jason Bolden
  • Episode 3: Model Camille Kostek, actor Chris Witaske and travel journalist Kellee Edwards
  • Episode 4: Average Fashion Blogger persona Courtney Parchman, actor Finesse Mitchell and Eater LA’s senior editor Farley Elliot
  • Episode 5: Actor Arturo Castro, actor Jon Gabrus and singer Rebecca Black
  • Episode 6: Comedian Tony Rock, actor Lyric Lewis and singer King Princess
  • Episode 7: TikTok creator Brittany Broski, “SNL” star Heidi Gardner and actor Dan Ahdoot
  • Episode 8: Comedian Loni Love, actor Bobby Moynihan and “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown
From left, Loni Love, Bobby Moynihan and Karamo Brown discuss Andrew Fuller

Spoilers: How did Des Moines baker Andrew Fuller do on Netflix show ‘Is It Cake?’

In the new Netflix baking series, Fuller takes the cake. Fuller first competes in beach-themed Episode Three with a conch shell cake. In Episode Four, he creates a convincing challah bread, and in Episode Five he steals the show with a stack of red Solo cups. Every episode that Fuller appears in, he fools the judges and beats out the other bakers for $5,000.

In the finale, Fuller chooses to create a suitcase overflowing with clothes in his eccentric style to pay homage to the first cake he ever made in 2018: a suitcase for his travel-loving husband, Cole Fuller. Since 2015, the couple has traveled to nearly 20 countries together. The judges are stunned by the realistic leathery look of the cake and the multiple flavors that Fuller incorporated, and he wins the show.

Andrew Fuller reveals his cake alongside host Mikey Day in episode 5 of "Is It Cake?"

How much money did Andrew Fuller win on ‘Is It Cake?’

Over three baking challenges, three rounds of guessing the money bag and the finale baking challenge, Fuller left the show with $80,000 in winnings. He plans to use the money to work on his Des Moines-based cake studio Sugar Freakshow and to travel with his husband.

More:Maggie’s Rumble Room opens in the former Sambetti’s with vintage vibes and specialty pizzas

Does Andrew Fuller have a bakery in Des Moines?

Fuller has been working as a licensed home baker in Des Moines since 2018, but his cake studio is in the works.

Andrew Fuller works on a cake at his baking studio, Sugar Freakshow, at 3023 S.W. Ninth St. in Des Moines, Friday, March 11, 2022.

Sugar Freakshow, 3023 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines, will open this spring. Unlike a typical bakery, Sugar Freakshow will not be open to public on regular hours. Fuller will use the space to bake and decorate his commissioned cakes and to take appointments with new clients.

Fuller is attaching 15-foot blow-up tentacles to the roof of the studio. When they are blown up, it will mean Fuller is in the studio working and the public is free to visit and watch him live sculpt on a stage he built. He may occasionally supply pre-made cake pops in the shape of severed toes and gimmicky coffee beverages during live sculpting hours.

Andrew Fuller poses for a photo at his baking studio, Sugar Freakshow, at 3023 S.W. Ninth St. in Des Moines.

The small space has three distinct sections: in the entryway, Fuller’s wacky glasses collection are on display along with the cardboard coffin he uses to deliver commissioned cakes in his personal hearse. The south end of the studio is where the behind-the-scenes sculpting happens, and the live sculpting stage is on the north end. The meeting space for new clients is near the stage and set up to resemble a tarot card reading. Fuller’s business cards are also tarot-themed.

What other baking shows has Andrew Fuller appeared on?

“Is It Cake?” is Fuller’s third appearance as a competitor on a baking series.

In 2018, he participated in Season Four of Food Network’s “Halloween Baking Championship,” and he made it to the semifinals of the network’s “Candy Land.” In 2021, he was a guest judge on “Buddy vs. Duff” featuring bakers Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman.

Des Moines baker Andrew Fuller rolls fondant on to his dish on Food Network

Is Andrew Fuller on Instagram?

Fuller’s spooky desserts first became popular on his Instagram page, @sugarfreakshow. Here he shares behind the scenes shots and videos from his baking process. In 2021, Fuller’s “person pie” was featured in a story about the macabre art of “people pot pies” by Atlas Obscura.

More:Aaron Hall’s bakery is in a former classroom in Iowa. The James Beard Foundation took notice.

Elle Wignall covers dining for the Register. Reach her at ewignall@registermedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @ElleWignallDMR.

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