Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ecstasy, Despair and Ecstasy: The Story of a Cake

Nathaniel's baptism was today and it was absolutely lovely! When Lucas was baptized we spent a decent chunk of change on a cake by the same bakery that did our wedding cake. It was delicious! (And actually in the same flavors of our wedding cake, we had one delicious wedding cake!) But this time around, I was determined to make a lovely and delicious cake myself.

I have no idea why baptism = nice cake in my mind, but it does.

So, my plan was a yellow layer cake. I would bake two 9" round cakes (the size I happen to own and lest you think I've turned Martha on you, please note that the mix was from a box and the icing from a can!) and slice them each in half to have four layers.

It's strawberry time and also Saturday happened to be the first day of our amazing Community Market. So, I planned to buy lots of fresh strawberries and some strawberry jam at the market.

The plan was executed flawlessly. I bought perfectly amazing strawberries, had the jam-maker select the perfect jar for me to use on the cake and baked the cake to lovely golden perfection. The, I sliced it. Not perfectly but fine enough.

I let it cool. For a long time.

Then, the creation began!

I arranged strips of wax paper on the cake stand so that I wouldn't get a messy ring of icing. I moved the bottom layer. I spread strawberry jam on it and then I began to move the second layer.

It broke.

No worries! Icing can fix that. I spread a nice, thick layer of icing on the second layer. Perfect.

Hmmm... it is lopsided.

No worries! The third layer was a bit crooked as well. If I placed it strategically, it would certainly all balance out.

I moved the third layer, placed it on and stood back: the cake was pretty much evened out. I spread a nice layer of strawberry jam. Oh my! It smelled delicious!

I began to move the top layer. It broke! In half! No worries. Plenty of icing left. I gently mushed it together and began to ice. Lots of icing. I was doing just fine.

I used all the icing. The top crack was slightly visible. Hmmm...

But! I'm wasn't finished! I had strawberries!

I decorated with some strategically placed berries and ended up with this divine creation:


The glory! The pride! Ha! I didn't need an expensive bakery cake! I created perfection!

I placed the cake in the dining room, returned to the kitchen to wash the dishes and began to compose sonnets to the cake in my head. I awaited the compliments Abel and my in-laws would surely heap upon me when they returned!

Abel arrived home and said, "Great. You made the cake."

"Yes," I replied, "isn't it amazing!"



"Isn't it?????????????"

"Well, the berries are sliding a bit."


And again:

The heat! The humidity!

My! Cake! Is! Ruined!

And so I despaired for about an hour. Then, I moved the cake into the fridge. And brooded for another hour. Then I pulled the cake back out, removed the strawberries, redistributed the icing and put just a few berries on top where they couldn't slide. It was somewhat salvaged.

But today, after lunch, when I took my first bite of cake, the ecstasy returned. It may not have been the most beautiful cake ever but oh man oh man, it was DELICIOUS!

(And I enjoyed the ecstasy again with my second piece, too!)

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh my- I giggled, gasped and cheered for you as I read through this post!! Good for you for persevering! :)

  2. What a fun story! It was so funny, then sad...then I realized.....
    Your cake turned out like us! Not always beautiful on appearance alone.....but we are deliciously beautiful if you can see what's inside :-)
    Great post!

  3. Good work! I'm glad you persevered and enjoyed a delicious cake...the taste is so much more important than the looks!

  4. That's pretty much the bottom line, right? How it tastes? I wish I had a slice right now.

  5. Too cute. I love the cake and seasonal flavoring!

  6. don't you think every occasion is an occasion for cake? :)

  7. OMG - sorry, but also hilarious! We bought a tiny wedding cake from a local grocery store bakery for my parents 40th anniversary and brought it out to brunch with us. Same deal... August in DC, outdoor brunch, the lovely flowers around the edges of the cake all melted off. The waitress kept coming over with strawberries to stick on the bare spots! It was delicious though.

    If you've never read this Shallow Gal post, it's one of my favorites:


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