The Fifty Fifty Cake

Pleasurable Troublemaker by Matthias Laschke & Marc Hassenzahl | 2013


As its name implies, Fifty-Fifty-Cake is about two halves. It is a baking dish which enables its user to bake a light, calorie-reduced and a heavy, high-calorie cake combined in one cake. The dish has a crosspiece to divide and separate diagonally both kinds of cake dough. The baked cake has a gradient of both dough – a light, calorie-reduced and a heavy, high-calorie cake. A recipe for a regular mixture for this size of pan would be: 6 eggs, 300g butter, 250g sugar, 250g flour and teaspoon of backing powder. This would result in a cake with 4250 calories, about 350 calories per piece. A calorie-reduced mixture just replaces the best part of the butter with low-fat yoghurt (50g butter and 450g low-fat yoghurt). This results in 2800 calories, about 230 per piece. This is a reduction by a third. 


 A large portion of calories and a small healthy part

A large portion of calories and a small healthy part

 In the middle you get fifty fifty of both dough

In the middle you get fifty fifty of both dough


And here comes the twist. Imagine you want to lose weight. What a difficult task. But the cake embodies a simple plan (i.e. implementation intention): “Whenever there is tempting food served, take it, but eat only half of it”. The underlying rational is to reduce the general food intake and not particular food ingredients trough a diet. This plan could be taken as a general rule for your everyday life. Moreover it is easier to implement, because your abandonment is based on the amount of food and not of special kinds of food.

Imagine your self in front of the coffee table with the Fifty Fifty Cake, neatly cut into pieces. In this situation you are confronted with a choice. You can have the left piece, that is rather healthy or the right peace that is rather unhealthy. Also the piece in the middle is an option, although it is unusual to start from the middle. This creates friction. But the diagonal design also adds irony. Whatever you chose, each and especially every second piece taken inevitably gets healthier or heavier. The cake addresses conscious eating with a twinkle in one's eye.