Marie Curie and Mariah Carey cake mix-up 'was a joke'
A Mariah Carey fan whose birthday cake bearing the face of X-ray pioneer Marie Curie went viral on social media has said the incident was the result of an ongoing-joke and not a mistake.
Colleagues at Essex charity Hope for Chronic Conditions gave the cake to Siobhan Casey after she told them about a Mariah Carey cake she once baked.
The cake theme was misheard as "Marie Curie" and became a "standing joke".
A photo of the "gaffe" was even seen by Carey, who tweeted "happy birthday".
Miss Casey's Canadian cousin, Harriet Lye, posted a picture of the apparently erroneous cake on Twitter, saying her relative's colleagues had misunderstood her request for a Mariah Carey-themed birthday cake and instead iced the face of "a very festive looking" Marie Curie on the sweet treat.
It was widely reported in the international press on Sunday and Monday, shared by thousands, and even came to the attention of the American songstress, who responded on social media, saying: "This could've been me if only I hadn't failed remedial math - happy birthday Siobhan."
Thousands of others commented, including one who said it was the "best misunderstanding over cake EVER", and another who quipped: "This cake is so tasty, its half-life is only 1.5 seconds."
Birthday girl Miss Casey said the Mariah Carey/Marie Curie mix-up became a joke after she spoke about a Carey cake she had made for her brother Sean's birthday - who is "obsessed" with the singer.
"The charity's treasurer has hearing issues and has trouble with my Canadian accent, so he kept asking why I'd make a 'Marie Curie cake'."
Elizabeth Kaye, who founded the Southend-based charity, said she found "the most sombre picture I could of Marie Curie" and sent it off to be made into icing.
"It was hilarious, but a little embarrassing how far this has gone," said Miss Casey.
She said it was particularly surprising as her birthday was in March - although her cousin only shared the photograph on Friday night.
"I can't believe the worst, burnt cake I've ever baked has been seen by so many people - including Mariah Carey," Miss Kaye added.