How to Bake Your Very Own Salvador Dalí ‘Persistence of Memory’ Cake
Surrealism meets sugar (and melting clocks) (and pliers)
There’s plenty of overlap between the worlds of art and food—hell, a 2012 New York Times piece even opined that food had replaced art as high culture. Now, thanks to baking enthusiast Katarina Eichlerova, you can take that metaphor literally by replicating surrealist icon Salvador Dalí’s famed “Persistence of Memory” in cake form.
Housed at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, the 1931 painting, which depicts watches melting on a Catalonian landscape, is one of the most iconic pieces of the surrealist movement, and arguably the most recognizable from Dalí. Eichlerova, a UK-based IT technician by day, posted instructions for the stunningly accurate edible interpretation on her Instructables account, where she goes by the alias NerdyKat.
“As I was searching for inspiration to base my next project upon, I found myself intrigued by the thought process of Salvador Dalí as he would have been constructing this painting.” Eichlerova told SAVEUR. “Because I enjoy making cakes, it was my desire to explore the thoughts and feeling the artist may have experienced as he painted The Persistence of Memory.”
The surreal sweet is based on a classic Victorian sponge cake, but the ingredients were modified for a more three-dimensional purpose. Like all cake recipes, it calls for eggs, butter, and flour—but also a few extra items, including a hammer and nails, combination and cutting pliers, picture frame hooks, and two cake boards.
While Eichlerova spells out every step in detail, the process is no simple feat; it takes at least 10 hours to complete. On a positive note, you’ll have a while to muse over the meaning of Dalí’s piece, which, fittingly, has been interpreted by some as a commentary on the passage of time.
Watch a time-lapse of the process below and click here for the recipe.