Any Cake Worth Baking…

Gently, I tip-toed into the waters of cupcakery by baking and constructing a two-tier cake for a church event.  I don’t think ‘gentle’ and ‘two-tiers’ go together – but, that’s how it felt.  Anyway, the reason for attending?  We were invited.  Since, we’re rarely invited to anything, this was as good opportunity to bake for someone else.  With cake it’s more than go big or go home – there is the occassional or fall down trying.

I had spent a couple days studying You Tube videos of cake decorating tutorials.  Some are just goofy and others teach to my style of learning.  Bottom line: I needed some cake decorating basics, e.g. a turntable, an off-set spatula, cake boards, piping bags, and tips.  [Full disclosure:  I snicker every time I say “piping bag” since “pipe” and “bag” mean altogether something different for an addictions counselor.  Aaaaand I’m still gigglin’ on the inside].

Life Partners, March 2013

Courtesy of Amazon and my Life Partner, the much-needed stuff arrived in our mailbox.  And because it seemed like a good idea, I made a practice cake before the actual cake event.  I love when I’m in the Test Kitchen…I’m free to make mistakes without fear of judgment.  Here’s where baking-as-therapy started switching on some of my light bulbs of understanding.  I still learn everyday when I’m baking.  Still.  Whew.

The test cake was a Duncan Hines Devil’s Food box mix 8” two-layer base with a Red Velvet 6” two-layer top tier.  I gave the test cake to my husband for Valentine’s Day (I’m just good like that).  Because it had gone so well, I was ready for the event cake.  This is when I decided to try cake from scratch ingredients (hot tip: when trying a new cake recipe for an event, I tend to hold back enough batter for a cupcake or two in order to taste the cake prior to cutting and serving).  Our youngest daughter took one bite and said, “Never make another box mix again!”  Ok, gotcha.
The turntable hadn’t arrived yet so I repurposed upside down pans.  Kinda jankie, yes?

Laptop on the table providing decorating how-to tips… 

 I liked the lattice work and this was a first attempt at piping. hehehe

Bless’r heart.  That’s all I want to say to myself. 

I’m not convinced three flavors of frosting go together on one cake. 

The test kitchen was successful!  With the chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting base and red velvet and cream cheese frosting top, I got busy decorating the event cake.  I had some help with deciding on the cake topper and I think it turned out great. 
As big as my kitchen is, by German standards, it gets crazy-crowded in the middle of a project.  And please notice the store-bought frosting on the counter…I hadn’t yet learned I could make my own icing!  Literally, I started at the very beginning of cupcake discovery.  

The last name of the family being celebrated begins with the letter “S.”  The colors made me think of a baby shower cake.  Noone said anything but kind words to me.  I wonder if I’m too hard on myself…probably.

What a lovely table!

Looking at these photos today, I can see so many things that needed improvement.  What I remember is the feeling of great accomplishment and how the guests at the event responded to its look and taste.  The cake disappeared in 12 minutes flat!  People stood in line to be served a piece of the “American” cake.  That was sweet.  I felt encouraged to keep at it.

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