From left: Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey; Dowager Countess cake by Karen Portaleo
Masterpiece/PBS; Karen Portaleo
January 6, 2015 2:17 PM EST

She’s like a mini Madame Tussauds figure made with cake batter!

The Dowager Countess, the acerbic grand dame played by Maggie Smith on Masterpiece Theater’s Downton Abbey, was recently reborn as a life-like dessert for a season five premiere event at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

The so-real-it’s-spooky bust, which featured the character in a purple coat, elaborate hat and elegant jewels, was made by a local baker and chocolate artist, Karen Portaleo, who spent 18 hours fashioning vanilla cake and buttercream, with an Earl Grey tea soak, into the over-the-top confection.

In a two-minute video made by the event’s host, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Portaleo can be seen creating her work of art while actual scenes from the period drama are spliced in to make it seem like the characters are commenting on the cake.

No word on what Smith thinks of her sugary likeness but the show’s consultant, Alastair Bruce, attended the Atlanta premiere and made an observant comment. “He said the cake is so very American, which I thought was hysterical,” Portaleo told “It is very American to create a human out of cake.”

Consider it the sweetest tribute of all.

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