A TV baker who broke the internet with his life-size hospital patient cake has had to stop posting images on his Instagram because fans simply don't know what's real anymore.
And Bake King Ben Cullen's breathtaking optical illusion cakes are so realistic that fans even thought his newborn daughter was edible when he shared a snap of her to celebrate the birth.
The ex-tattoo artist, who lives in Chester, has had a number of A-list requests from the likes of Rita Ora, Meghan McKenna and Jonathan Cheban – since appearing on Channel 4's Extreme Cake Makers.
He often leaves people speechless with his life-like designs and previously sent the internet into a complete frenzy after his human-sized hospital patient turned out to be a cake.
Ben, 30, created the masterpiece for Slowthai's music video Feel Away.
But the dad says his creations have become so realistic, he is unable to post pictures of his day-to-day life as people don't believe anything is real anymore.
He told the Daily Star: "This is the problem isn't it?
"I've made a bed for myself now because I can't post anything.
"My Instagram for example…It was my Instagram but now it has been taken over by cakes.
"I used to post pictures of just me with my friends going out on a Friday night and that can't happen anymore because people are staring at it like hang on a minute.
"So apart from cakes, I only post things that are really important to me, like Willow, but loads of people still thought she was a cake!"
The dad showed off his beautiful daughter – Willow Grace Cullen – to the world with an Instagram post earlier this year and revealed her staggering size – making it even harder to believe that she wasn't a cake.
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He wrote: "She is just the most incredible thing I have ever seen in my life, I’m the luckiest man in the world! Willow was born 31/05/21 weighing 9.1 what a chunk!"
In response, one user said: "Cake or baby?"
Another person commented: "For a second I thought this was a cake."
While someone else replied: "Oh, I thought this was another cake."
While other fans praised Ben for his "best creation yet" and said Willow would be getting the "most amazing birthday cakes ever".
Speaking about how the cake success has allowed him to support his family, he said: "When I first started, I was a bit carefree and I was younger, it was a risk worth taking.
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"It's a very difficult industry to create a business out of compared to the hours that you put in – there are way more well paid more secure industries that you can get into.
"Before I was a graphic designer, for example, it's a well-paid career and you sit at a desk and it's good fun and you'll get good money to do that and there's security there.
"Whereas cake decorating can be a very harsh industry because of the levels of competition but luckily for me I have managed to find a bit of a niche.
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"But it's definitely not an easy job for the money you get paid because to be able to support your family you have to give up everything, all of your hours, to make sure it's perfect."
Some of Ben's pieces such as his hospital patient can cost thousands of pounds in ingredients and take around an entire week to make.
He says he's found it "very hard" to juggle spending time with Willow and balancing his ever-growing workload and unusual requests from clients.
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"Everyone knows how hard I work and how little I see them [ family and friends ] because of the hours," he said.
"I'm on my own – in a world of my own, getting on with the cakes."
He added: "Willow is only just coming up to six months old now but as she's getting older she's getting more responsive – such as her face when I walk in the room.
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"It's going to be very difficult to concentrate and work when I know I can just pop back in."
The former tattooist, who bakes his cakes from a private studio near to his home, said that he was first introduced to cake art while tattooing a client.
He said: "Whilst I was tattooing someone her mum who was a cake decorator was there holding her hand and she started showing me bits on a phone, like little fondant figures that were cake toppers. They just looked like little toys and again it was an art form that I hadn't really tried.
"I had never really put that together, that cake decorating could be an art form, but when I saw those little figures I thought wow that's so cool and I didn't realise it could be like that. I just had to have a go at it and I haven't looked back. I became absolutely obsessed with it."
And Ben said his old job definitely helped him perfect his baking skills.
"That steady hand that you perfect for tattooing – it has come in massively helpful for me with the cakes because I'm able to execute smaller," he added.
But despite his incredible eye for detail Ben's happy to admit that he's got his mum to thank for helping him start his baking journey.
"It's phenomenal what has happened to me because it was a bit of a joke at first.
"I just wanted to try it. I had my dad and my girlfriend's birthday coming up and because I hadn't had anything to do with baking before I thought if I could do it well, they wouldn't believe I had done it.
"But I didn't know how to bake a cake so I had to ring my mum!"
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Since then Ben hasn't looked back and despite the hours and hours it takes to create each cake, the father said his favourite moment of the process is knowing that his client has eaten it.
He added: "Especially with the illusion cakes – which look the least like cakes, they are the best ones to cut because it's like a shocking reveal when it doesn't look like a cake.
"It's like a magic trick."
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