Betty Hacker, aka Alicia, embeds open hardware electronics into cakes

Written by Alicia Gibb for


Image credits: Alicia Gibb. CC BY-SA 4.0

Food and electronics don’t usually mix well—unless you’re cake hacking. I’ve been embedding electronics into edible cakes since 2008. And, in 2009, my group won the New York City Yahoo! Hackathon with a cake that showed rudimentary emojis via LEDs with emotions based tags.

Most cakes I’ve put electronics in have been for friends’ birthdays. I’ve made cakes with LED candles, cakes with motorized candles (fun flame effects!), singing cakes, and even a Game Boy cake with Mario Bros sounds. I generally use open hardware Arduinos to run the cakes. Not wanting to poison friends on their birthdays, I’ve learned a few tricks along the way.


Photo by Alicia Gibb. CC BY-SA 4.0