This is a bit of a strange question, but I thought someone here might be able to help.

I am trying to make some cupcakes, scones or similar to display on a home-made cake stand in a shop window. I think the cake stand really needs to have something on it as part of the display, but obviously I don't want to just put normal food on it as it will gradually go off (and mouldy cakes won't look nice!).

Does anyone have any ideas for recipes for cupcakes, scones or something similar that are unlikely to go off for a couple of months, or at least, if they go off, won't smell or look bad? I don't care about whether they will taste nice or not, as they won't be eaten!

Part of me is wondering whether I can modify a recipe to add extra dry ingredients (flour?) and remove some of the perishable ingredients (butter, eggs?) to help this?

Does anyone have any ideas?

  • When I was a kid I made a bread once for display purposes. It was heavy on the salt. So, maybe you could mix instant yeast and double or triple the normal salt content of your cupcakes. Also, after getting it to the correct color and hight, lower the oven temp and bake them dry. Oct 27, 2012 at 13:48

4 Answers 4


We used to make "display bread" using salt dough. Basically you add as much salt as flour (eg. 3 cups) to make it uninteresting for bacteria. To make the end result hard enough to last, you can add either hot water and a little oil or cold water and a spoon of wallpaper glue. Add as much water as necessary to form a bread like dough. Add anything (eg curry, blueberry sirup, ink instead of water - anything goes since you are not going to eat the result!) to color (parts of) your dough. Wholemeal instead of white flour will give you a stone or concrete like color. Do not use yeast or anything else that will change the shape of your dough. Yeast probably will not work in all that salt anyway.

Then shape your cakes and let the result dry for a day before baking it. Not in direct sunlight (it might dry too fast and crack).

To see some results, search for "Salzteig" on German Google Image search. :-)

  • 1
    i've used that dough too for beads and Christmas Ornaments shaped like cookies. I would definitely use it for fake cookies and breads. Oct 28, 2012 at 19:08

Bakeries often create fake cakes for display purposes that are non-edible structures decorated with royal icing and such that will last for long periods of time without going bad.

I found this website with step-by-step instructions on making a fake cake:


  • 1
    Many cake supply stores will sell styrofoam 'cake forms' in various sizes and shapes ... so you can get perfectly round fake cakes. (or perfectly square ones)
    – Joe
    Nov 13, 2012 at 3:08

eHow has a few pages with instructions on fake or display food. A strong creative side may be necessary for some of them.

Using shellac, felt, upholstery foam, and joint compound: http://www.ehow.com/how_4877356_make-fake-food-displays.html

Using glue: http://www.ehow.com/how_6397785_make-fake-food-elmers-glue.html

using clay: http://www.ehow.com/how_6768696_make-fake-food-out-clay.html

using Amazing Mold Putty: http://www.ehow.com/how_4868327_make-fake-food-art.html


Cake supply stores will typically sell 'cake forms'. They're made of styrofoam in typical cake-tier shapes (round, square, etc.)

You can then put icing or fondant over the form and decorate it as if it were a real cake.

They're also useful if you need to hide something inside a cake.

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