You can now bite into a Louis Vuitton handbag or a pair of Air Jordans, thanks to some clever dessert trickery.
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Cincinnati is serving up elaborate cakes in the form of your favorite luxury goods. Inevitably, the food illusions have become great social-media fodder, as the over-the-top presentation is made for Instagram and TikTok.
The “Ruby Reserve” cakes have been on the menu since the restaurant moved to its current home in October, pastry chef Eric Clark told Robb Report. But Clark never expected them to be such a huge hit; he thought they’d sell maybe two or three a night. Instead, they’re averaging 10 to 15 every day and generating quite a pretty penny. (The cakes cost $75 each.)
“It was just kind of something that developed into something different for Cincinnati,” Clark said. “It’s like bringing what you would see in Vegas or L.A. or a big city to—I’m not going to call Cincinnati a small city, but it’s nowhere near the size of any of those other ones.”
The idea for the cakes came from Clark’s own personal interests: He and executive chef Dylan Jones are both big sneakerheads who have been collecting kicks for a while. The duo started with the Air Jordan IV, making sure they had permission from Nike to sell a cake version of the shoe. Designer bags followed shortly thereafter as the restaurant was trying to figure out a more feminine approach to the decadent desserts. (The “Ruby Vuitton” is currently on the menu, but the kitchen has also served up edible replicas of bags by Hermès, Chanel, Gucci, and others.)
Such precise reproductions require a good deal of time to create, Clark said. From start to finish, the process takes about nine hours for just one cake. That includes filling the mold, freezing the cake so it doesn’t lose any of its detail, and then hand-painting each one. The team uses pulverized dust and a spray gun to create realistic texture. Plus, there’s all the work that went into developing the recipes: The Air Ruby features chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, salted caramel crispy pearls, Chambord cream, and Cognac-caramel sauce, while the Ruby Vuitton combines strawberry mousse, French vanilla cake, shortbread crunch, St. Germain-strawberry coulis, and milk chocolate-passionfruit ganache.
All of that hard work has paid off, though, with the cakes gaining a cadre of celeb fans. Clark said that Robert De Niro came in multiple times while filming in the area, and Mark Wahlberg got a green Jordan IV. Jack Harlow was one of the first to receive a custom shoe: He wouldn’t have been able to post about a Nike sneaker because of his deal with New Balance, so Clark and his crew whipped up a special NB for the rapper.
While the cakes are currently only available at Jeff Ruby’s Cincinnati location, Clark said they’ll eventually be served in all outposts. Given that the restaurant is getting ready to roll out a Rolex replica, it might be time to head to the Ohio city.