What On Earth?…


Or I guess I should say—what in the sea?

I recently came across this cake pan online, a unique piece of baking equipment that effectively combines my most favorite thing in the world (cake) with my least favorite thing: heinous beasts from the deep with tentacles.

Look. I can understand making a cake that looks like a castle, a clown, or a toy car. Barbie is cool, and so is Winnie the Pooh. Or even a turkey with red lipstick. (Er, sorry Noodlr, I take it back about the turkey with lipstick.) But I don’t understand what kind of event where a cake in the shape of an octopus would be appropriate.

Sure, if you were celebrating someone’s graduation from marine biology school or to fête some dude who at-long-last, conquers his fear of evil tentacled creatures from the deep. But I don’t think there are that many of those kinds of celebrations to warrant a company going through the trouble to fabricate, produce, and market an octopus cake pan. I could never imagine owning one. Ever.

Except today, I woke up thinking about it.

And did I say that I went to bed thinking about it, too?

I mean, who on earth, or in the sea, would want a pan like that? And where would I store it? My kitchen is about the size of a changing room at Ross Dress for Less (although with a bit more charm, no pins on the floor, and more flattering lighting) and I have no where to put this monstrosity. I could have one shipped, but for $30 for the pan, plus $50 for the shipping—plus $65 in customs fees. And how would I explain what it was to the customs officials anyways?

“Mais oui monsieur. C’est un moule à poulpe…pour un gâteau, bien sûr.”

Somehow, I don’t think so.

So I’m going without. But if I’m still thinking about it morning, noon, and night a few weeks from now, when I make a quick trip to the US, I may just pick one up. I’m afraid I’m becoming obsessed with it. I don’t know how they managed to reel me in with this kooky cake pan, but I think they’ve got me—hook, line & sinker.

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  • February 13, 2009 1:36pm

    I don’t know if my perspective would bring anything to this boiling pot, but as a French, I’d say “moule poulpe” although I would try to refrain from saying it since it is quite frightening. “poulpe”…think “pool” with a p at the end. I am still thinking of one for “pulpe”…Oh wait, “pull” with a p at the end. I guess that works.
    Your French is “delicious”…if such a word applies to language :)

  • February 13, 2009 3:19pm

    Longtime reader, first time commenting. David remarked: But I don’t understand what kind of event where a cake in the shape of an octopus would be appropriate.

    We lived on a beach in Mexico when our son was young … and had an amusing adventure involving a small octopus. He (and our daughter, who wasn’t born at the time of the adventure) both adore the story, and beg us to tell it to them on almost every road trip. It’s become something of a family legend … and thus, their grandmother bought us the cake pan for Christmas. When I do make our first cake with it, we’ll probably all join in the fun of decorating it, and I’m sure our octopus story will be told and retold. Judging by the heft of the pan, the octopus story—now improved! With Cake!—may last to my great-grandchildren’s generation!

  • Frank
    February 13, 2009 5:39pm

    When my flatmate dragged one of those babies to Scotland, all I could ask was “WHAT?!?”

    I’m planning to use it for a Irish stout chocolate cake for St Patrick’s Day. IT will be a Shamrocktopus Cake.

  • February 13, 2009 9:59pm

    Oh, geez!

    Krysalia and rouquinricain: I finally read all the comments before my first one. I don’t always have time to do that. Doh! Now I get it. Of all times to say what I said, no wonder you guys thought I was talking to you.

    I guess I should read all the comments before I post. Apologies, again.

    ~ Paula

  • February 14, 2009 11:29am

    That is the strangest pan I’ve seen. It doesn’t even work as a Jello mold.

  • February 14, 2009 12:17pm

    I realize now that I meant “pull” as in “sweater” when we try to say “pullover”…

  • Marina
    February 14, 2009 9:14pm

    My friend’s nickname is a combination of her name and the word octopus in Russian. “Octopus” as a word does sound cuter in Russian. So far I’ve given her a birthday card with an octopus on it and an octopus plush toy for her baby boy. I’ll possibly get the pan and make a cake for her, so thanks for posting it :)!

  • February 15, 2009 6:24am

    These molds are absolutely wonderful, I recently gave one with little roses to my baking-crazed sister and will give her a few more very soon. Hopefully she’ll bake one of her wonderful cakes for me next time I’m back in Italy. :)

  • February 15, 2009 6:27am

    By the way, I can buy the molds here in Holland so I guess they should be available in France too. Ciao!

  • Eliane
    February 15, 2009 8:41am

    Oh please buy it! We NEED to know what an octopus cake would look like!

  • February 15, 2009 12:28pm

    What an excellent Cake tin! Suitable for so many themes:

    1. Underwater parties!
    2. The gaining of a scuba diving certificate
    3. Celebrating the octopus’ ability for multitasking
    4. … ran out of ideas at 1, if I am truly honest! That doesn’t mean, of course, that I can’t see the delightful attraction of the tin! Its too darn tempting! Until now, I never knew I wanted an undersea themed party…

  • HB
    February 15, 2009 1:09pm

    I have one of these. My dissertation was on octopuses, and I still work with them. I make octo cakes for my lab sometimes–it’s super fun to decorate them. I use candy buttons, lifesavers, etc. I’ve even made a “fancy” one with those Godiva seashell candies as decoration. It’s kind of a tradition in the lab now, for my students who get into grad school or who get great jobs to get an octo cake.

    And it does work for Jello if you spray it with neutral cooking oil spray. It takes a bunch of packets of it to fill the thing, though.

  • Stephanie
    February 16, 2009 4:21am

    Ahhhhh…I had this pan and sold it at a garage sale last year before moving to Paris. I thought that my kitchen here would be hopelessly too small to have things like Octopus pans and right I was. I wish I had saved it now and would have offered it to you in exchange for a meeting in person (you say you are not that interesting and don’t know why strangers want to meet you, but I am pretty sure you are interesting and someone I would enjoy very much). I do have the matching octopus apron from Williams Sonoma…..and would be willing to part with it….even though it belongs to my 3 year old son who would cry if it went missing. Oh, and did I mention the apron is a child’s size but you are thin and it is adjustable.

    Funny story….during my apartment hunt in Paris, I mentioned that a spare closet would be perfect for my husband’s many sweaters (speaking in French)….but I pronounced ‘pull’ as ‘poule’ and the real estate agent quickly ushered me out and said that he could not rent us an apartment if I planned to raise chickens! This [u] sound is a plague upon all anglophones!

  • Abbey
    February 18, 2009 4:36pm

    I own this pan. I got it (along with a finished cake from this pan) for my 21st birthday. It’s quirky, cute, and I love it!

  • Susanna
    February 18, 2009 7:05pm

    It is oddly appealing. I can only imagine the look on my guests’ face when I set down an octopus for dessert. (We keep kosher, and seafood is forbidden).

  • February 19, 2009 6:44am

    I love it! It would be great to make panna cotta in a dish like this…

  • emily
    February 19, 2009 12:55pm

    actually, david! i’m a senior in college and i live with 7 other girls…making 8 of us… and well, we call ourselves (appropriately and crudely) the octopussies! we would buy this cake pan in a heartbeat…if we weren’t broke college students.

  • February 19, 2009 12:58pm

    emily: well, some of the other readers said that they saw this pan at discount outlets. I’d imagine it’s not exactly a super-popular design for cakes, so you might want to check around. And you girls sound like fun! Maybe you could make a 8-legged jello shot cake!

  • Jo
    February 19, 2009 1:49pm

    Looks like it’s available in France at Artgato.com

  • cab
    February 22, 2009 10:49am

    I love nerds and am experienced in shopping for quirky, nerdy gifts for my fiance.

    I think he would love an octopus cake for sure, especially if it weren’t just an octopus but a monster – think cthulhu.

    I’m not sure he would be jazzed about bringing in a special kitchen item to take up room in our scarce storage space. I love him, but how many times a year can I bake him an octopus cake? I think he would rather that I figure out a way to make the cake happen without the pan.

    Nerds are so cool.