Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How to Make a Cake, Stimey Style

Alternatively titled: "You Know Those Recipe Posts With Pretty Photos of Food Being Prepared Interspersed Throughout the Post? This Isn't That Post."

It was my friend ALW's birthday last week and she and her kids were coming over for a playdate so I decided to throw her a mini-birthday party. Naturally that means I had to bake her a cake.

Oh, wait. That's not the right picture. Yeah. Here's the picture of the cake *I* made.

Don't judge me yet. (Yet.) There are reasons for why it looks that way. Of course, the biggest reason is that I fucking suck as a cook, but there are other very real reasons.

For instance, it turns out that I only have one layer cake pan, which means that I had a couple of options. I could have made one layer, then made the other, but that seemed like a whole lot of extra work and, if you know me, you may guess that this is not the route I took. Instead I baked one layer in a cake pan and the other layer in a pie pan. What could go wrong with that plan, I asked myself.

I reiterate:


Actually, the pie plate layer didn't turn out too badly. It didn't come out of the plate too well, but it was mostly okay. Definitely salvageable.

The real problem was with the cake that came out of the cake pan. It looked kind of like the picture above, except it came out of the pan in about three pieces. I put them all together and placed it on a wire rack to cool. When I came back later, this is what I found:

I was pretty sure who the culprit was, so I found Alex and asked him exactly what the hell he was thinking. So he said, "Well, it already looked sort of nibbled at and weird, so I thought it was okay to eat it."

My response, of course, was, "So, not only did you eat a big ol' chunk of my cake, but you told me it looked like crap as well?

Later, ALW told me she thought this was hysterical. I was all, "Who does that? Who sees an obviously in-progress cake and assumes it's okay to just eat it?" And she responded with, "Every single man I know."

But since I still had to make this cake and there was no way I was going to make another cake, with potentially more disastrous results, I forged ahead with the frosting. Layer one went well. But then when I put the second layer on it, there was something left to be desired.

Whatever. I can disguise that, right?


Okay then. So how about if I put a little more frosting on it and then let Quinn put some green sprinkles on it?

Hmmmm. Okay, well, now we're done with the chocolate frosting. Mostly because then Quinn did this:

And then he did this:

At this point, there was no point in holding Quinn back, so I let him go crazy with sprinkles and then let him put the candles where ever he wanted to.

You've seen the final result, so I won't torture you with any more closeups of the cake. Instead I'll give you a wide view.

Quinn also picked out the Christmas wrapping paper for the gift.

I'm not generally a person who gives my friends gifts for their birthdays because then there's the whole thing about they feel obligated to reciprocate with gifts for my birthday (which is in June by the way... oh, I kid) and I don't want that. But every once in a while, I happen across something that is SO perfect for someone that I just can't help myself.

ALW is a knitter, and she occasionally sends me to knitting blogs for me to look at cool things. Recently she sent me to French Press Knits for me to look at some slippers (you can see them in the FPK header), which she later made and gave to me, and they are AWESOME! (Thanks, ALW!!!!!) But while I was there, I saw a knitter's rule that caught my eye.

I immediately contacted the maker of said knitter's rule, KaratStix, and within two days, she had custom decorated ALW a rule of her very own and sent it to me.

Adorable, huh?

ALW loved it. AND the cake was delicious too. Sam snuck into the kitchen after ALW and her kids left and ate all the extra crumbs off the plates.

That pretty much encapsulates "Stimey Style." It may not always go as planned, and it often doesn't look good, but it usually turns out okay. And sometimes even great.


  1. I think it looks great! Well, at least "digested".

  2. Wait just a minute. Slippers can be knitted that don't look like ridiculous misshapen socks with large yarn balls covering the toes?? I need to get my MIL to that website immediately.

    And I totally would have eaten that cake, and not just because I'm seven months pregnant.

  3. You are a divine friend, and I bet the cake was delicious. (Buy a second cake pan. They're cheap and useful.)

  4. The style to which we have become accustomed...

    You're a great friend to bake a cake like that!

  5. Two things:

    1. I cannot make a boxed cake to save my life. It has become a family joke.
    2. I would have gotten out my 13x9 sheet pan. Because I'm like that.

  6. That is an awesome cake. I need to post the pictures of the lightsaber cupcakes. Which were mostly eaten, since five year olds are not very picky, but I must admit that I smuggled the last 17 of them into the breakroom at work so that we wouldn't be stuck eating them forever at home.

  7. Do you have any idea how much Kleenex I went through while reading this and looking at the pics?! First I snorted, then laughed so hard my mascara streamed and now I need to go get my inhaler! I've never had blog induced asthma until tonight. Perhaps you can count that as a first.

  8. I love that you made your friend a cake, and love even more that Alex nibbled on it because my boys have been known to do the exact same thing. My two worst experiences making birthday cakes were both for my husband. My mother dropped one, which we patched together and served anyway, and the second had so many mishaps during production that it took my 15 hours to make the bloody thing. Thankfully he loved it anyway. :-)

    Let me know if you want some cake pan recommendations... :-)

  9. OMG, that knitter's rule is AWESOME. Waaaannnntttt.....
    The cake made me laugh out loud. Not the cake itself so much as the story. And you know ALW will never forget the time you made her a cake now. The story will be told over and over and get better every time. What better gift could she have? (Oh yeah, the knitter's rule).

  10. Not everybody can pull off a cake like that.

  11. You can say it was made with love. Or something.

  12. I hate cake, but I would totally scarf down that one cause it is AWESOME.

  13. You, my dear, are on awesome friend. The love (and probably healthy dollop of pig-headed determination, no?) which went into making that cake? Seriously,you rock.

    I love that Quinn was so, um, exhuberant in the decorating!

    Guarantee that neither you nor ALW will forget this cake or this birthday!

  14. It was the best birthday party EVER. The cake was great, and I love my Knitter's Rule. I'm still laughing about the whole thing.

  15. I have to say that your cake did give me a chuckle! Usually the funny looking ones taste the best! Should we send it in to Cake Wrecks??

    Those slippers look amazing and cozy!

  16. But the important thing is: How did it taste?

  17. You are such an awesome friend! I am sure AWL was very touched!

  18. Omg I loved this! Your cake was a one of a kind, right? And yes, made with love. But I probably would have smacked the snot out of Alex for touching any of it! :)
    And Quinn and the heavy green concentration of sugar in the middle - ya can't beat that!!

    And I love the little sheep too, adorable!

    You know you could be a sitcom, right?

  19. Note to Stimey: Next time call me and I will bake you a really nice cream cheese pound cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and no one will be the wiser

    Well, I guess now they will.

    Oh well.


  20. That made me REALLY laugh, and I so needed that today. I also think that baking is not cooking, it is a whole other "art", and I am not a great baker. The gift totally made up for the cake though!

  21. I am laughing my ass off at your post and the cake - because it is all so familiar!!

  22. OH.MY.GOSH! Thanks for the giggles.
    That is one "awesome" looking cake. LOL

  23. Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Good thing cake tastes the same regardless of what it looks like and was decorated with tons o' love!

  24. I'm going to have to wear Depends to BlogHer, aren't I?

  25. This would be a festive cake for Christmas, too!

  26. Love your definition of Stimey style. Or, the way I say it: It's about getting most of the body pieces into the trunk. The rest will wash off the driveway with the hose ;)

    Fourth Breakfast

  27. LOVE that you let Quinn decorate the cake and then served it to your friend in all its glory!


Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.