Watch how this dedicated friend managed to create a beautiful dessert with minutes to spare and no baking experience
Julie Zhang only needed a few minutes, some flowers and a cake topper to turn a simple grocery store buy into an elegant dessert fit for a friend’s baby shower.
The Dallas-based content creator and former travel nurse demonstrated her last-minute creative skills in a now-viral TikTok video with over 466,000 likes.
In the clip, Zhang — who tells PEOPLE she has “never baked a cake in my life” — used a spatula to precariously stack two Berry Chantilly cakes from Whole Foods on top of each other.
“POV you have 10 minutes to make a cake for your besties baby shower,” Zhang wrote on the video in overlaying text. In the caption, she added, “Master of manipulation.”
Despite her initially wobbly construction and mid-video realization that “it looks worse than I thought,” she prevailed under pressure. After ensuring the tall cake wouldn’t collapse, Zhang used decorations purchased from Amazon to conceal any blemishes on the pre-frosted layers.
After topping her makeshift masterpiece with an “Oh Baby” topper, she revealed a final look at her expecting friend, Jean, posing with the cake. “She loved it,” Zhang wrote with a heart emoji.
The quick-thinking TikToker opened up to PEOPLE about how she found herself with so little time to pull off her impressive feat. Even though the baby shower was planned months ahead of time, Zhang – who shared party planning duties with Jean’s sister-in-law — says she never intended to cook up something from scratch.
“I’ve burnt waffles and pancakes, so I have a lot of respect for bakers. I know that if I would’ve tried to bake a cake of any sort it would’ve been a disaster,” Zhang tells PEOPLE. “I wanted to get her the Berry Chantilly cake from Whole Foods because that is our favorite cake that we would give each other on our birthdays in the past.”
To make sure they were fresh, Zhang bought the cakes just one day in advance, but she couldn’t assemble the centerpiece dessert until they got to the church where the baby shower was held.
“I knew I had to make the cake at the venue because it would have toppled over if I transported it in my car and would be hard to cover,” she explains.
The clock really started ticking when she realized they couldn't access the church until an hour and a half before the party kicked off. Plus, there was a balloon arch to build and a charcuterie board to set up.
While most commenters admired Zhang’s innovative execution in a pinch, she says she was met with some harsh criticism as well.
“People had a lot of negative comments saying I was a terrible best friend and that I should’ve baked the cake myself or ordered one,” she notes, though she emphasizes that Jean was more than satisfied, “which is all that matters!”
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Read the original article on People.