Not Exactly Apple Cake

I don’t even know what to call this cake.  It all started when I FORGOT TO ADD BUTTER to the eggs and sugar.  There’s no excuse and I know how a small collection of distractions and habits derailed me.  But, I’m the chef and this product is on me.

I was following a recipe that listed butter first, then all the dry ingredients, and finally all the wet components.  I sifted together the dry items together and set aside, then placed the butter in the microwave to melt; I checked it once, stirred, and gave it 20 more seconds.  Somewhere in that 20 seconds, I got distracted and forgot it.  Two layers were baking when I found the bowl of melted butter … my level of sad was through the basement.  I know it’s just cake.  But it is something I’m passionate about and I’d spent an amazing amount of time peeling the apples…coring the apples…shredding the apples… The cake, following the recipe, is delicious and very labor intensive.

I had wasted time and ingredients.  #nothappy

I decided to continue baking to try and turn this into a learning opportunity.  Right away, I discovered the cake didn’t need the full 35-40 minutes to bake.  Approximately 2/3 of the time was enough.  I had enough batter left over (after portioning out three 6″ round layers) for 10 cupcakes.  This should have been a clue for me since the last time I made this cake I had enough batter for a full dozen cupcakes.

Anyway, my people started the tasting process by tiptoeing into the cupcake pool.  “These are good!”  Me?  I’m thinking they’re being polite considering how I moped around the house.  Where were my skills in ‘acceptance’ and ‘let go and let God.’?  I tasted part of a cupcake.. it was good (I had added chopped pecans to the batter this time).  It reminded me more a muffin than a cake.  The product was dense, but had a nice flavor.

I stacked and filled the cake with Vanilla Buttercream, crumb-coated it, and finally popped this unintended experiment into the cake fridge to set up.

This was a good time to practice skills development – I’m always after a super smooth finish and I like the portion of buttercream on the left.  Now if only I could do that all the time over all the cake.
Several weeks ago I put together a few Hershey Kiss/Mini-Nilla Wafer acorns to put on top of a cupcake.  Today I explored using them on a whole cake.  I like the look.  Perhaps next time I’ll add a bit of a goldenrod color to the frosting to give the whole cake more of an autumn vibe.


Slicing through this density was not for the weak.  It held together nicely and was yummy.  It still isn’t what I set out to bake, but it worked.  I’m still not great at focusing on the positive, but I’m working on that.

This wasn’t the result I was looking for when I started the morning engaged in baking an apple cake.  But once again, cake baking has taught me that control is an illusion and I’m fortunate when anything in my life turns out great.  For example, I’m crazy about my life partner and I know there are people in committed relationships that don’t have a similar experience.  Any day that I’m connecting with a Power greater than myself – it’s a good day.  The list could go on. 

Why did I continue to stay with this cake?  Why not trash it right away?  Somewhere inside me lived a little bit of hope for this cake.  Lately, I’ve discovered I carry more hope than I acknowledge.  It has carried me through much joy and sadness and certainly love. 

This is what I know, cake baking is seldom about the cake.


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2 Responses

  1. Naomi Clegg says:

    I love looking at your cakes when you share them on fMh every week, so thank you! They’re always so beautiful. And I wanted to tell you that I love that you call your husband your life partner. I haven’t really heard anyone else use that but I think it’s inclusive and beautiful and expresses a lot about a relationship and friendship and it makes me feel happy every time you say it!

    • Julia Murphy says:

      Naomi, I love your comment so much. You nailed it! My husband is MUCH more than what I think “husband” means…he journeys beside me in all things. It’s great having a friend, partner, lover, and husband all rolled into one really great person. AND, there’s cake! What’s not to love about buttercream?!

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