Cake Repair 101

Lemon Cake Dessert

Lemon Cake Dessert

So, it is Father’s Day, Grandpa’s Day and our Grandma’s birthday all in one and we are on deck to bake the cake; we being my brother Mac and I (and for those that don’t know me, I am Victoria). As you can see from the site, we come from a family that loves to cook…and I mean really loves to cook, and we are no different.

Anyways, wow, baking cake is no easy task. Well, it is easy, we’ve done it before but nothing like this has ever happened and I thought it was worth sharing how a disaster can turn into a wonderful dessert. My brother and I were in the kitchen facing the challenge to wow our Dad and Grandparents with a great dessert, no easy task, let me tell you!
To begin, my brother and I start our journey in the world of baking by heading to the tried and true “Betty Crocker super moist cake mix” ( My grandma had asked for lemon (what’s with that!)…Anyway, we decided not to test our core skills by going from scratch and decided to talk our Nana’s advise that “a little help with the basics never hurts”.
Ok, back to the adventure…we followed the instructions…½ c of water, ½ c of orange juice, 3 eggs, 1/3 c of vegetable oil and the cake mix into a bowl..We then beat the mixture with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. We ran and got two 9” round cake pans, poured the mix into the pans and pop those suckers into a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 35 minutes.
As we wait for the cakes, we break out the icing. Yes, we again used the pre-made vanilla icing that you can buy in most groceries stores. (Hey, don’t judge we are teenagers…we need to start somewhere!) But because we come from the family that we do, even we can’t leave well enough alone. We grab the two tubs of icing, spoon them into a bowl and then add the zest of one lemon to the icing for that added “umph”.

Ok, back to the cake. The timer goes off and my brother and I fight the fires of the oven to remove the cakes. We pull them out and pop them immediately from the pan to cool (yes…we now know to let them cool first…but who knew!). Anyway, as I was saying, we pop them from the pan and one is a little misshaped with a little crack through the centre of the cake. No big deal, right?! Well, we decided to let them cool, figuring we could simply cover the crack with the icing. After about 15 mins, we returned, touching the cake to see if it was cool. Again, cool to the touch and cool inside the cake is two very different things…again, who knew?! We looked at each other, shrug and figured we are good to go…icing time!
We grab the knives, grab the bowl of icing and begin to create the master dessert! Well…that little natural crack in the cake soon started to get bigger…and I mean BIGGER. As my brother and I applied more and more icing, the heat of the cake and the moisture of the icing simply made the crack become a crevice and finally a canyon. With giggles galore, we attempted to hold the cake together, again using the icing like mortar in a desperate attempt to save the dessert.

Finally, my brother and I stand back, looking at our “creation”, then back at each other…then back at the “cake”…giggles overcame us as we realized that this is no longer a cake…but the grand canyon! What to do?…Well, find your mom, of course. With some trepidation we call for help. Walking into the kitchen, our mom takes one look at the “masterpiece” we have created for the big day and breaks out in the deepest belly laugh.

With our help, my mom grabs a few margarita glasses…fills the bottom of the glass with a few tablespoons of lemon pie filling, she cuts up our “cake” into pieces and places them into each glass. She tops each with a little more pie filling, some whipped cream and finally a candle. WHAT A SAVE…our cake that my brother and I nicknamed the “grand canyon” was now a wonderful dessert.

So, what did my brother and I learn? First and foremost is…cooking is fun and never let a little mistake in the kitchen ruin the experience. Second, let the cake cool in the pan until set. Three…let the cake cool completely before icing and…fourth and finally…always have moms within ear shot!

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Comments (6)

  1. posted by Kelly on June 22, 2010

    Hahahahahaha great story Victoria! sounds like it turned out still yummy though 🙂 wish i could have been there!

  2. posted by admin on June 22, 2010

    Vic and Mac,

    Sounds like a great baking adventure. Did you think about using duct tape 🙂 I must say I have had my fair share of cake troubles but I have yet to have one that looked like the grand canyon.


  3. posted by Elaine on June 24, 2010

    I can totally relate to your cake baking experience. You made a great recovery with the delicious looking margarita glass presentation. One time I attempted to bake a birthday cake for my daughter when we lived in Colorado Springs. I ignored the fact that it was a high-altitude location which required special baking adjustments. The result was a layer cake that collapsed into a pile of crumbly rubble. I sort of dribbled icing over the mound, stuck a few candles in where I could and presented it anyway. We were amused, and I learned my lesson about baking at high altitude. It still tasted okay, although a strange consistency that required a spoon to eat . I’m sure your next cake baking attempt will go much better. Reading your blog was very entertaining. Good job!

  4. posted by Victoria on June 25, 2010

    You guys should have seen my grandma’s face when we told her what happened and showed her the picture of our cake. She’s really good at baking, so she laughed so hard!!

    All my other cakes have been great, but this one is a disaster, I will do better next time!!

  5. posted by Heather Lee on June 30, 2010

    Too funny Vic! Lets bake something together this weekend!

  6. posted by Doug on July 1, 2010

    What a great adventure. I can just see you two munchkins giggling up a storm. Great save!


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