Sunday, April 24, 2011

Adventures in Cake

Somehow or another, I ended up with the task of making my mother's birthday cake this year.  She requested a strawberry cake and I got all excited because I have a ton of fresh strawberries.  And instead of buying a strawberry cake mix and a tub of frosting.... I went in search of a recipe so I could use those fresh strawberries.

Had anyone else known this, I would like to think they would have stopped me there.  I am not very gifted in the kitchen.  There are only a handful of things that I can make without a recipe.  It's probably a miracle my kids get fed at all.  In fact, just the other day, as they were packing their little backpacks to run away from home, they told me my food was disgusting (my husband assures me it's not).  That's OK - I can't expect to be talented in all areas of life.  But I'm especially a menace when it comes to making cakes, especially if I decide to do more than just bake a mix and top it with a tub of frosting.  Let me show you....


This is my nephew's birthday cake from a few years ago.  The recipe was called "Marbled Love Cake" and had cream cheese marbled through it.  As you can tell, it didn't marble so much as it oozed.  Tasted like heaven though.  Caramelized cream cheese is the stuff, let me tell you.


This is Olivia's birthday cake from her last birthday.  It probably would have been OK had it not been about 100 degrees outside.  In October.  The icing melted, sending mini-cupcake balloons floating away off of the cake.  Everyone said it tasted fine, but I didn't eat it.  I'm not a big cake fan and have to be in the mood for it.  This did nothing to put me in the mood.

So, as you can see, I should not be allowed to get creative with cakes.

But I am.

I found a recipe that looked really yummy and baked the cakes, which turned out fine.  I mixed up the icing recipe... following it to the letter.... and after the cakes were cooled, I began icing the cake.  It was kind of runny, but at first it looked OK and I kind of liked the drippy effect that was going on at first.

But it didn't stop.

Cake wreck
Not so pretty anymore

Oh, wait.... it gets worse...

Cake wreck
It's like a cake sitting in a pool of Pepto

I kinda panicked at this point.  Not only did it look like puke, it was not going to hold up to being transported to my parents' house.  I posted a picture on facebook, and after being congratulated by a friend for having the ugliest cake ever, another friend suggested making cake balls out of it.  I happened to have two bags of chocolate chips in the pantry, so I thought... I can do this.
So I did.

Still not very pretty, but a vast improvement

I just smooshed up the cake and some of the icing, made 24 balls (which looked like raw meatballs) and after chilling them for a few hours, I dipped them in melted chocolate chips (which is not as easy to work with as chocolate bark, trust me).  They tasted like chocolate covered strawberries.  Yummy.


Happy Birthday, Momma!  

Oh... and on a side note semi-related...

I had to make one of these chicken egg cozies that were featured on tangled happy


My kids saw it this morning for the first time.  The first words I heard were "Look!  It's Gramma's birthday hat!"  I really wish I had taken it to get a picture of it on her head.  I think if I don't find the time to make Izzy a birthday hat that I should put a chin strap on the chicken and make her wear it to her party Saturday.  And she'd wear it too. 

This is what my kids were thinking of...  Pattern here


  1. I think I got most of the baking and cooking genes. I make up recipes all the time. Should I come over and make Izzy's cake for you?

  2. the Strawberry Pepto Puke Cake..I can relate. I've had many cakes melt or just not work at all even after following exact recipes!

  3. You are hilarious! I think the one with the candle looks perfect. I want one. I will be featuring you last minute basket tomorrow. Thanks so much for letting me share it! :)

  4. The joys of having birthdays in warm weather!!! lol

    We all have cake failures,,,,its great you will share it lol

  5. hahaha.. love the oozing cake! I know the feeling of trying hard to bake the perfect cake and not quite succeeding..! I tried to bake a lovely easter cake this weekend and it ended up being called the 'dinosaur cake' by everyone as the mini eggs resembled a dinosaurs spiky back..! oops!

    Ashley x



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