Fake or cake? Figment popcorn bucket craze sparks incredible work by Orlando baker

Jillian Hopke says it took about 7 hours to make cake

Jillian Hopke posing with Figment popcorn bucket cake at EPCOT (Jillian Hopke)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Last week, Walt Disney World began its EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.

The festival brings in beautiful works of art, delicious foods and some merchandise that usually spins around one special character, Figment.

On Friday, Disney fans went wild for an all-new Figment popcorn bucket that went on sale. The bucket was priced at $25, and hundreds of fans lined up, waiting more than five hours in lines that snaked around the park.

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Due to the popularity of the popcorn bucket, Jillian Hopke of Jillycakes Orlando, saw a spark of imagination come to life through a beautiful cake that almost looked identical to the real bucket.

Figment popcorn bucket cake at EPCOT (Jillian Hopke)

“It was Friday at midnight, I just turned to my husband and was like, ‘I need to make this right now’,” Hopke described. “If you’re any sort of crafter, painter, artist, when that happens, you have to, like, immediately do it.”

Hopke, originally from Massachusetts, said her baking history goes back to her mother making sculpted cakes of Kermit the Frog, My Little Pony and even NASA rockets for some of her family members.

“I sort of grew up with that with those ‘big moment, big event’ cakes,” she described.

Furthering her baking experience, she was the “Cupcake Wars” season six champion on the Food Network and was recently a competitor on season three of “Holiday Wars.”

With an idea and her expertise in mind, the former Disney cast member began to work on the Figment popcorn bucket cake, documenting the journey on social media.

She said she made the cake while also working to fulfill a number of orders coming into her business.

“I had a friend of mine that had gotten the popcorn bucket on Friday. She waited for like five and a half hours and was sending me close-up photos so that I could like translate that to the cake,” Hopke mentioned.

Early work on Figment popcorn bucket cake (Jillian Hopke)

The head was made of foam, the body was made of six layers of vanilla rainbow cake and the body was covered in modelling chocolate and fondant.

“So, after the pieces were baked, the assembly, the chilling and the decorating -- it took about seven or eight hours,” she explained. “The time that I could have waited for a bucket, I’ve made one myself.”

Following its creation, the Figment bucket cake made its way to EPCOT for a big debut.

Hopke, alongside some of her friends, carried the cake inside the park in a box where it was unveiled near the front entrance.

The cake was an immediate hit among people walking in and around the theme park.

“When we brought him to the park we knew he would have a wild but short journey, and he ended up bringing joy and smiles to hundreds of people in his nearly two-hour long tour and photo shoot,” Hopke explained in a post on social media.

One woman who provided a real Figment popcorn bucket during the photo shoot said she was so inspired by the cake that she gave Hopke the real Figment bucket to keep.

“We went to hand it back and she was like ‘No, I’m just inspired by this whole moment, this is yours.’ So, I ended up getting one,” Hopke laughed.

Figment popcorn bucket cake at EPCOT (Jillian Hopke)

Following the cake’s long journey and photo spots, the small group cut into the cake to enjoy some of it before holding a goodbye ceremony and throwing it away. Due to liability reasons, Hopke said the cake could only be served and eaten by the group that brought the cake in and nobody else.

Since posting the photos of the Figment cake online, photos and videos of it have gained the attention of Disney fans and liked by hundreds of people.

Jillian Hopke posing with Figment popcorn bucket cake at EPCOT (Jillian Hopke)

“This creation truly healed my soul after a very hard week. We all have a figment in our own imagination, look within yourself and set it free,” she concluded in a post on Facebook.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.