Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cake Wreck

I'm generally a "can do" person.  I see things others do an I think "hmmmm I bet I could do that!"  I credit my Mom with this positive attitude and outlook on life.  It has come to my aid many times over the years and helped me to excel at things (with the necessary dosage of elbow grease, of course).  However, in one area I think I may need to admit defeat.  Here is my confession:

I can not for the life of me make a cake.  Believe me, I've tried!  I love to bake and to work around the kitchen, and generally I am a pretty good cook.  When it comes to cakes, I don't know what happens.  They almost always stick to my nonstick pans, despite me greasing them up an/or using parchment paper.  After that they begin a slow crumble while I feverishly work to get them assembled.  Then they further crumble while I try to frost them, little bits of crumbs mixing with the frosting to decorate the cake.  UGH.  I had such a horrific cake wreck last year on my husbands birthday that I called my cousin in tears, telling her I wasn't sure what message my dilapidated mess would convey to my dear husband ("you WRECKED my life"? "I think you are a disaster"?  Too horrible to think!).  I jokingly told her I wasn't sure my marriage would survive such a disaster of a cake.  She came to my rescue with strawberries and whipped cream to hide what was now 2 halves of a cake.  I should have taken a picture.  If my skills weren't so pathetic and sad, it would almost be funny.  So now, of course, it is Valentines Day, and its been just long enough since my last cake wreck that I was feeling stupidly confident.  "Lets make a cake and surprise Daddy!"  I wish I could surprise him with a beautiful Valentines cake.  As it is, we may have just enough time to cut out paper hearts to stick all over it to disguise the monstrosity that lies underneath.  I will continue to live in fear of baking cakes, asking my relatives to bake birthday cakes for my kids, or even ordering them from a bakery!  Admitting defeat.  One thing I simply cannot do: Bake a cake.

Happy Valentine's Day!


We've had a few wild and crazy days (emphasis on the crazy!).  February is indeed here, with all of its lovely cabin-fever charm.  It has definitely been a challenge to keep the kids directed towards meaningful pursuits and away from using one another as entertainment.  I have to say I am incredibly thankful for the SNOW we had this week - it has proved to be a hot commodity with my children, a happy diversion.  Today alone they have been out at least 5 times each, coming in to warm up for a bit before heading out again.   I know I say this a lot, but my heart longs for Spring!


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  1. For what it's worth, I've had lots of success with baking by using the non-stick spray with flour (the name brand is Bake-Ease, I think). I have no idea what's in the stuff, so it kinda weirds me out, but for the few times I bake and use it, I figure it can't be too bad. See if that helps with the sticking part. Other than that, I don't have any more great tips though!

  2. Queen of Hearts is an awesome place to get a cake in Ypsi, if you can't manage to bake a beautiful one yourself. Is there any chance your oven is heating lopsided? There's a possibility that it's not you, but that your oven isn't heating the sides evenly and as a result, your cakes don't quite come together. Take all of your ingredients over to your mom's house or Mel's or somewhere and see if the cake is a disaster over there too - then you'll know if it's you or if it's the oven. Perhaps this is a good excuse to save up for a new oven - So you can bake beautiful cakes for the beautiful people in your life. :)

    I second Cristen - I use that flour pam stuff and it's great!

  3. Queen of Hearts made my wedding cake!

    That's a good point about the oven...I've actually noticed that one side bakes quicker than the other when baking cookies. Hmmm...maybe I'm not a total failure after all!

  4. ok I can never make good old fashioned iced cakes anymore due ot allergies... but back in my day I could decorate a pretty mean cake for an amateur.

    I'll give you a couple quick tips i figured out after ruining one too many cakes! hah

    use cake flour in the cake... not regular flour. it's lighter and easier to work with.

    only make it from scratch - boxed cakes rip, tear, shred and crumble.

    freeze the cake after cooling completely. overnight freezing makes the cake less crumbly. it's easier to ice.

    after you pull it from the freezer, ice is with one thin sloppy layer of icing (doesn't need to be perfect) to seal in the crumbs and freeze (or atleast refrigerate til the icing is hard) for a couple of hours. then, and ONLY then can you add decorative icing to it.

    this method works! it makes cakes look like professional wonders! If I had known this to begin with, it would have saved me a lot of "ruined" cakes.... which I also topped wiht loads if whipped scream to hide the horror underneath.

  5. Well your cake saving cousin had a bit of a cake melt down herself yesterday. Though it truned out to be more of a me not liking what was happening and thinking that it was going to not turn out. I hope you had a great rest of the weekend!


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