Have you ever made a cake that you just want to forget about? This happened to me yesterday. We are celebrating my husband’s birthday today and I wanted to make him a nice masculine cake. That plan went out the window when the cake did not bake like I thought it would and I had to come up with plan B.
Normally, I’m a box mix or an altered box mix cake gal. These are the types of cakes that I’m comfortable making since making cakes is just a hobby. This time I wanted to try a scratch recipe and I chose a lemon cake recipe from my Magnolia Bakery cookbook. I thought one batch of this recipe would make a nice fat 9×13 cake. Sadly, I was wrong. The cake was dense and did not rise very much. I don’t think it was due to over mixing because I was very careful when alternating dry and wet ingredients to not over mix. Also, in my opinion the cake was not lemony at all and seemed bland.
Anyway, I came up with a plan to cut the 9×13 layer in half and torte each half. The layers were stacked and filled with lemon curd and the cake was iced with lemon buttercream. The lemon curd was a success. It was my first time making it and it’s very yummy. The lemon buttercream is just a variation of my buttercream recipe. I omitted the vanilla and almond and used 1 tablespoon of LorAnn lemon emulsion.
The frustration came when I was icing the cake. With the cutting in half and torting I had a lot of crumbs. I suppose I could have done a crumb coat and then come back with a final coat of icing but I’m impatient and lazy. After all the frustrations I had run into already I just wanted the nightmare over. When I’m having trouble icing a cake I usually put a basket weave, rose swirls or ruffles on it. I decided to go with ruffles but instead of the traditional vertical ruffles I thought I’d try something new and do horizontal ruffles. Big mistake.
I know some of you will look at this cake and say it’s not bad but in my mind it is horrible because it is nothing that I wanted it to be. Well there’s always next year. The great thing about my husband is that he doesn’t care what his cake looks like. He loves me no matter what.
I wasn’t going to take pictures of the cake and share it because I just wanted it to go away but I decided that if I share things with you that don’t go right that you will see that it happens to everyone. The big lesson I learned was not to try out new recipes on important cakes. Also, I learned that you have to be adaptable when making cakes and never give up. I really hated this cake last night but this morning it’s growing on me. There can be beauty in imperfection.