Friday, March 2, 2012

Birthday Fail

When J's birthday came around I had the best of intentions as far as the cake goes*.  I'm usually one who orders our cakes from our favorite bakery. But I saw a picture of a cake and I thought, "easy cheesy lemon squeezy". Ya. Not so much.

How hard could this be? It's four layers and sprinkles. To me, a cake makes the party. I loooooovvvve cake!

So I set out for my cake mixes and sprinkles. I wanted to do two layers of chocolate and two layers of yellow cake mix**.  I had recently come across a cream cheese frosting recipe that I used for the cupcakes that went to school and so I decided to use that for the cake as well.

It didn't help that I waited until the Friday night before the party. The party was Sunday afternoon. The cake layers were baked and cooled***.  So I started with setting up the bottom layer and frosting. The steps that you learn from cake decorating class.
  • level cake
  • make a frosting "damm"
  • fill in frosting 
  • level second layer and repeat

Doesn't quite look like the picture does it? Then either my frustration was heating up the kitchen or it was an unusually warm day in February****.  Plus, I had gotten some different sprinkles than were shown in the picture.                                                                                                                                          

With icing running down the sides and nothing being stable I gave in to the defeatist attitude. I just put it in my cake carrier and shoved it in the fridge. At this point panic is setting in and I'm thinking, "What on earth am I going to do for a cake?" 

The next morning J was all excited to see the cake. I warned her that I wasn't happy with it and we could try and do something else. Or buy something else. When J saw the cake, I knew she was sincere. She said she thought it was very pretty and she liked how I did one layer chocolate and one layer vanilla. My seven year old was truly helping me feel better. But I still felt horrible for not being able to provide a cake that I wanted to make for her.  

Then she added, "We can still eat it, right?" Honey, we sure can! It's all about priorities, isn't it? When Hubby went to pick up a cake that he had ordered for my birthday, I asked him to see if they had some spare cakes in the fridge that would be suitable for J's birthday. He (and DC) came through! They had a strawberry cake with strawberry puree on the top. 

After the girls had spent the entire hour painting their pottery pieces they gobbled up cake like it was candy! Everyone enjoyed it. 

I may just have to resolve to order each and every birthday cake from now on. I think I may be okay with that to make sure I get what I want. Or resolve to do this:
  • stick to buttercream
  • bake cakes one day, frost on another
  • take a refresher course at Cake Carousel 
Was it a birthday fail, necessarily? Maybe not. A personal fail in my mind. But, all in all it was a great birthday for J! I couldn't ask for better, sweeter, cuter kids than mine!

*How does the saying go about the road of good intentions?
**Never forget the sour cream in cake mixes! YUM
***I'm not sure if I let them cool enough
****Or a combination of both


1 comment:

  1. My biggest cake failure was not letting the layers cool enough--was in a hurry to get to the birthday boy a few hours away. Frankly, right after I frosted it, it looked beautiful. By the time I got to Austin? It looked like a landslide cake. Thankfully it tasted good....

    So, the major takeaway for me: screw how the cake looks if it is edible and tastes great because it is the thought that ultimately counts....