Vera’s Birthday Cake


Today is my friend Vera’s birthday, and naturally, I saw this as a fine reason to inflict some cake on her.

Honestly, a lot went wrong along the way. I share this primarily to show how serious I am when I say that making a cake look pretty isn’t as hard as one might expect.

Mistake #1: I used a cake mix, purchased by my husband in an attempt to save my cake fail-ed Tetris cake project. I decided I might as well use it, rather than throw it out, and rationalized the decision by focusing on all the extra decorating time I’d have.

Just a bit battered.

Problem is, it yields a really domed cake, and had I really leveled it, the sponge layers would have been too small. So, I just leveled it a bit and went ahead. This is the critical stage where I should have stopped.

Mistake #2: Chock full of denial, I went ahead and iced it, but because the layers were so uneven, there was a pretty big gap between the two sponges. Despite my husband’s assurances that everyone loves icing, I have doubts here. Thing is, I couldn’t pick it apart without just ruining all progress to date.

So after a bit of refrigeration, it was sugarpaste time. After coloring it yellow, I rolled it out, and I tried to apply it. The paste broke in two spots, right near the big gap that I had tried to fill with icing.

I managed to patch that up well enough that my cake looked like it actually survived a tumble down the stairs.

That’s when I remembered something very important- flowers fix everything!

Now to serve it and see how much people do like icing. Surely one can’t do better than chocolate butter cream, though!


13 thoughts on “Vera’s Birthday Cake

  1. I’ll second Darren’s sentiments – the cake is merely the vehicle to deliver the icing. And by the way, the pictures look great!

    • Thanks!!
      I’m an icing person too, but I think watching too many women cut the icing off of office leaving do cakes while complaining that it’s “too sweet” scarred me. Fortunately, there was not at one at Vera’s birthday.

  2. I had similar cake/frosting/fondant problems when making our engagement cake. You know what else solves oozing frosting and sagging problems? A fondant “ribbon” around it!

  3. Uh, for the uninitiated, that looked beautiful. In my house, mommy carves pumpkins and daddy makes cakes. Daddy only cooks with apple sauce, so you can only imagine how damaged my kids are when it comes to sweets. đŸ™‚

    • Did I ever tell you about my youth on the Feingold diet? ( I think your kids eat quite similarly. I used to get really psyched for special occasion carob and those sesame sticks from the health food store.

  4. The cake was absolutely delicious. When you brought cake in, the beautiful yellow cake with cute flowers immediately brighten the room. Emma even asked where to “buy” such a good one after her first bite. Thank you, Francoise!!

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