Much of the promotional material for Netflix’s latest baking show, Is It Cake? (available now) focuses on how the programme – which is inspired by a social media trend – was turned around so quickly.

And perhaps in TV terms this is the case. But the trend – for lifelike cakey recreations of everything from fruit to shoes – peaked in summer 2020, which feels like a lifetime ago. To TikTokers, it’s practically ancient history.

But just because it’s a little stale doesn’t mean it can’t be good. The concept sees nine “amazing cake artists” compete to fool a panel of judges into believing their hyper-realistic creations aren’t cake, with a prize of up to $10,000 per episode (and an overall pot of $50k).

Episode one, which takes fast food as its theme, sees three bakers given eight hours to come up with their recreations, while the remaining six look on awkwardly from the ‘gallery’.

Surprisingly, there are useful tips on offer. We’re shown the importance of stability, the use of moulds to recreate texture, and tricks like using sugar gel to give ‘tomatoes’ a slimy sheen. All the bakers emphasise that taste is key, too. “It’s really important that the cake is first and foremost delicious,” claims Jonny, fundamentally misunderstanding the show’s concept.

Three judges have only 20 seconds to guess the cake fake from a lineup of five, which ramps up the tension and fun. Though it feels less fun when Sam’s cheeseburger and Hemu’s croissant are easily identified by the judges, before Jonny wins, having nobbled one of the real tacos with some obviously fake tomatoes. This injustice is not dwelt upon, and Jonny ties up the full $10k by differentiating a cake sack of cash from a real one.

Still, the skill on show is undeniable, and the high stakes make the guessing game more fun. You’ll want to binge: both on the show and a big chunk of your favourite sponge.