Family Fun in the Kitchen: Fake Out Food


child laughing while holding spatula, baking brownies; kid cooking in kitchenThere's something mischievously fun about tricking a friend with a silly prank, and April Fool's Day is the time when everyone has permission to get creative with the trickery. Play a joke on the taste buds this year by cooking up some real giggles with a food prank.

What's a food prank? It's a deliciously deceptive cooking adventure that even young kids can pull off with a little help from adults. Creating "counterfeit foods" that look like one thing but taste entirely different will happily amuse (and confuse) your guests.

Take fish sticks and French fries, for example. Typically, we expect salty, savory flavors when we bite into them. But when the fish sticks are actually made out of wafer cookies and the French fries are really fresh apples, our taste buds experience a shockingly sweet surprise instead. (Try the recipe below!)

From candy masquerading as cheese, crackers, or vegetables, to meatloaf and mashed potatoes disguised as a frosted cake or ice cream sundae, food pranks are the perfect way to make tasty memories for any fun-loving group.

Follow these helpful tips to create utterly delicious, totally deceptive foods that will tickle the funny bone and make everyone laugh out loud:

  • Pay attention to details so friends will believe the illusions you've created. Try to duplicate the same shapes and details of real foods in your fake ones.
  • After presenting the faux food and getting some laughs, divide any large foods into smaller
    serving portions for everyone
    to enjoy.
  • Add paper décor such as snack packages and fast-food wrappers that look like the real thing.
  • Recruit an accomplice to carry out the undercover operation. Your most important mission? To have fun!

Fake Out Recipe


fake fish sticks, tartar sauce, and french fries recipe"Fish Sticks and Tartar Sauce"


8 sugar wafer cookie sticks, any flavor

½ C. creamy peanut butter

1 C. crushed cornflakes cereal

4 (1 oz.) squares white baking chocolate, chopped

1 tsp. chopped pistachio nuts


To make: Spread about 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a thin layer over all sides of each cookie stick. Roll in crushed cereal until well coated. Place two fish sticks on each serving plate. [Combine chocolate and pistachios for "tartar sauce."]

"French Fries"


2 large apples

2 T. lemon juice

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ C. sugar


To make: Peel, core, and quarter each apple. Use a crinkle cutter to cut apple pieces into sticks that look like French fries. Toss gently with lemon juice; drain on paper towels. In a medium bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar. Add apple slices to bowl, a few at a time, and toss to coat apples well. Arrange some fries on each serving plate. Serve promptly - and let the giggles begin!

Recipes and photo courtesy of CQ Products

Fake Out Food: Wacky Treats to Fool Your Friends





Fake Out Food (or its companion book, Disgustingly Delicious) is available for $12 at The website even includes downloadable templates for making your faux food convincing, including a popcorn bag label and a corn dog tray design for recipes included in the book.