It may seem like the simplest trick to recreate a ghostly scene from a haunted house, but a new technique could allow anyone to recreate the ghostly effects on their own kitchen.
In a new study, researchers from Harvard University found that the combination of baking ingredients could produce a cake with a very similar result to a real ghost story.
The researchers used an old-fashioned recipe to recreate some of the best-known ghost stories in the English-speaking world, such as the story of a witch who was turned into a giant cake in 1882.
They found that baking ingredients such as sugar, butter and egg whites combined with vanilla extract and water could turn a cake into a ghost-like creature.
“When we mix these ingredients together, they produce the appearance of a ghost, which was the basis for the legend of the witch,” James C. Moore, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said in a statement.
“We call it the ‘cake effect.'”
The authors say their results could be used to “improve ghost-baking recipes and help make ghost-making fun again.”
The recipe that produced the cake was published in the journal Scientific Reports on December 18.
It was the same recipe that led the University of Michigan researchers to create a cake using a similar trick in 2012.
In that case, the researchers added a splash of egg whites to give the cake a more authentic ghostly texture.
The ghostly cake, or ghost cake, is also an iconic part of Halloween celebrations across the country.
Ghostbusters’ Patty Tolan was inspired to bake the cake in the 1980s by the story, which has been passed down for generations.
“I was inspired by this old-timey ghost story and that the cake is a recipe for ghosts,” Tolan told ABC News in 2016.
“I just wanted to bring it to life.”