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Why Was This Cake Decorated With a Zombie Ben Franklin Left on a Hyde Park Porch Overnight?

Jackie Burniske

File under: keeping Austin weird.

Jackie Burniske lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood north of the UT campus. When she awoke this morning, her partner Rob Wood found something out of the ordinary on their porch: a strangely frosted cake featuring the green visage of American founding father Ben Franklin.

Burniske and Wood woke up this morning like any other day. That was until Wood stepped outside to pick up the paper, and noticed something on their porch and called Burniske over.

“On the floor of our front porch was sitting this object,” Burniske tells KUT News. "Half-awake, I’m looking at this. And he says, 'I think it’s a cake.'”

“Then Rob’s like, 'I think that’s Ben Franklin.'” 

The cake had sat there exposed to the elements overnight, sitting on a piece of cardboard topped with aluminum foil. “There’s no cover, there’s no note,” Burniske says.

Burniske posted a picture of the cake to Facebook, then headed out the house. And that’s when the plot thickened.

“I went to work, and I said, ‘well I’ll google Ben Franklin,’” she says. “And then I saw that his birthday was yesterday, January 17.”

“That’s the mystery, and it is unsolved up to this point.”

The conversation on Burniske’s Facebook page hasn’t run down any leads yet, but she tells KUT News she’ll be speaking with neighbors tonight to see if they have any idea who put the cake on her porch.

“No, we’re not going to eat it,” she adds.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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