Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Oops Cake....

Thought I would share this funny story....

So a couple of weeks ago, it was my husband's 30th birthday and I was throwing him a surprise party. So the night before, I was going to make the cake. I saw blogs that had this pretty cool looking cake, called a Rainbow cake, that I thought would be fun to do. And just like, the night before I am up late preparing for it. I thought I was doing well by getting the ingredients the day before but, when I actually was ready to do the cake, which was about midnight, I realized that I didn't have enough baking pans for all the individual layers. Blessings, there is a 24 hour grocery store in the neighborhood.

There I am, following the directions and it's going well. You know the feeling --- when the item in front of you is looking like the item in the picture. I had the instructions printed out and was referring to them often. Mind you, I am a crafter, a dancer, a decorator and a cook -- but a baker, well, I seemed to have dozed off in the class. So now it's about 3am in the morning --- a smaller stove with only one baking rack and 4 layers to cook (25 mins each, maybe I added a bit much icing color dye....) and they have cooled and I am ready for the fun part -- layering and icing.

I'm doing my thing, feeling like baking isn't too bad and wouldn't it be awesome to do this wonderfully colorful rainbow cake for all my children's birthdays....(yeah yeah, I know, right now, I just have one...but I can hear the wonderful praises and accolades: "mom makes the best rainbow cakes, I love the birthday parties she throws, we love mom, she's the best..."). I'm feeling good. I think I may even be doing a small jig while icing away. I don't even worry when little specks of cake come off in my icing. I feel like I am in the know, I am one of the elite, for bashaw, doesn't everyone know that it's a baker's technique to ice lightly the first time, put it in the fridge to harden and then ice again a second time. It's not like I read that or anything in the blog all is well and I stand back to admire my cake. Actually it looks like chia pet, the clown version. And as I am standing there, staring at the cake, I zone in on something. No, can't be. K, stare harder. If my husband came downstairs, it would have been an odd site for my face was a few inches from the cake and I am glaring at the thing. And I would have said, "your cake is moving". Why is it moving? How is it moving? How do I get it to stop moving? I grabbed a spatula (happen to be the closest thing) and tried to just push the reverse way. But that wasn't working....

And in an instant emergency decision, I decided to perform surgery on my cake. I slid my fingers under the sliding layer and tried to lift and replace it back to its starting position....but instead, the procedure resulted in 10 fingers lifting up individual finger-slices, which after getting ticked off about what.just.happened I thought, ooh, yummy, I have to eat these.

So after downing 10 fingers of cake and washing my hands (I know you all were wondering), I had to remove all traces of that rebellious layer. I looked at the instructions again and saw (highlighted, in fact) the idea that you are to cut the tops of the cake to even them out. I read that. I had acknowledged that. But when I took the cakes out of their baking pans, I thought, looked even enough to me and those parts that are not so even, I will just even them out with the icing. Yeah, not such a smart idea. So now my original 4 layer rainbow cake is a boring three layer cake with little peaks here and there from cake parts that didn't separate properly when I lifted it. I even it out as much as possible and do a job on trying to cover up all the hills and valleys. Well, in one spot, where my right hand was a bit too enthusiastic, it wasn't a peaceful valley. There was a crater about the size of an egg. So I did what I thought was a good idea. Just put extra icing to fill the hole. Don't tell me you wouldn't have done that. I put the cake in the fridge, consoled myself with eating bits of the fallout piece and went to relax for a couple of hours so my cake can harden a bit.

I check back in a few hours, open the fridge door and see that the crater has collapsed even more -- with the weight of the icing. So now, I have to put more icing in that spot and go around the cake with the remaining icing. Um, and just for you to know, I am on my second container of icing --- it was initially a 4 layer cake with icing in between, on top and on the sides and then my coverups.

I decide that this cake should be fine, go to bed about 5am and wake up at 8am. I check the fridge and see that the cake has collapsed again, pulling layers out and down from the cake. And of course, it's the green side, so it looks like a mold is growing on this cake. Yeah, what a way to say happy birthday honey I love you. So I tell my husband I have to go to the grocery store again. There, I must have looked ridiculous, I still had pajama pants on, it was obvious I just woke up on very little sleep and I was buying icing. I felt obligated to tell the counter lady and the man behind me why I was buying a load of sugar at this time of morning.

So anyhow, I rush home, slather on even more icing and just say whatever. Hopefully, he will enjoy the day I have planned for him and won't even notice his lopsided cake. I'd call this a volcano cake....

Once cut, the cake looked nice -- blue, red and green layer. And lots and lots and LOTS of icing...

I've learned my lesson: flatten out the layers because it's in the instructions to do so, for a reason.

And the reason why I am telling you this story....I read some other funny mishaps and follies at Frugal Follies and My Blessed Life.


  1. Hi Ellen, This was quite the story. Well, the important question is, was Damion happy with the cake? I bet he thought it was the best cake ever. I love the rainbow colors you chose, kinda like deciding on your kitchen wall colors. :)

  2. Ellen,
    I have to tell you that I am laughing so hard that I am crying! I could just picture you going through all of these steps and be frustrated but determined. When you got the grocery store PJ part, I just lost it! Thank you for sharing your story. It made my day! Oh, I have had plenty of fails I am not laughing at you, just with you!

  3. Love this post! Funny stuff!

  4. hilarious
    and exactly why I don't ever bake anything but frozen pizzas

  5. that is still an awesome cake!
    my daughters banana cream pie last week...for her 15th bday....flopped.
    i covered the top with fancy whipped cream patterns like they do at bakeries. then we went to a ball game. came home and opened the frig and there was the pie in puddle of cream...all over the frig.
    i guess the whipped cream just melted. it was crazy.
    we put a bunch MORE whipped cream on for the pictures at least.
    but in the is the thought that counts!


Thank you so much for sharing your heart!