The cake is a lie

Oct 15, 2007

We’ve all become rather enamored by Portal, which has been untangling the folds of our frontal lobes since its release last week with Valve’s Orange Box. While it may appear simple at first glance, Portal is jammed full of subtleties, Easter eggs, and easily repeatable tag lines that have been rapidly absorbed by the Internet’s collective cultural consciousness.

If you’ve been on the wrong side of the space-time continuum for the last week and have no clue what we’re talking about, scroll down to consume our collection of Portal lore, and hit the tabs to the left to see spoiler-laden video walkthroughs of every level. If you want to avoid experiencing the game through YouTube, distract yourself immediately with sexy booth babes.

Above: We’ll miss you

Aperture Laboratories Terminal

In Test Chamber 17 (the “companion cube” level), there is an area behind one of the walls which contains semi-coherent scribbles and photos of the beloved cube. Scribbled on part of the wall are a username and password:

User: cjohnson
Pass: tier3

Go to and type "login." Enter the username and password, and any of the following commands:

THECAKEISALIE – Produces a message from one of your fellow test subjects.
NOTES – Runs NOTES.EXE, a history of Aperture Labs.
IP  - Displays your UID.
HELP – Displays a list of commands.
DIR – Displays available files.

The Recipe

The cake may be a lie, but the recipe is very real. Found on a monitor in the final level, the ingredients are:

1 (18.25 oz) package chocolate cake mix
1 can prepared coconut frosting
3/4 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cups water
1 to 2 (6 oz each) vanilla frosting

The Song

If you’re avoiding spoilers, don’t listen to Portal’s hilarious ending song:

The Cake Itself

Was it a lie? Here’s the cake, in actuality.


  • katwood92 - June 20, 2009 8:20 p.m.

    Is it physically possible to get past the question that asks for the UID? If it is, PLEASE tell me how. I'm getting sick of trying only to get stuck.
  • JohnnyMaverik - June 16, 2009 10:24 p.m.

    "the apply thing was weird I knew I should'a written down that code ^^" I second that.
  • McSpermie - January 7, 2009 11:24 a.m.

    Wow not a single comment? A lot of work for no pay.
  • yoreAtowel - June 16, 2009 11:17 p.m.

    the code changes every 20 or so seconds.
  • Mirako - June 16, 2009 1:16 p.m.

    Too right Good job getting all this info together, the aperture science website was... interesting the apply thing was weird I knew I should'a written down that code ^^

Showing 1-5 of 5 comments

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