Sunday, September 14, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake!!!

Now, I'm no ace of cakes.....but, I can make a pretty pastry if I do say so myself.

I've been making cakes for about 15 years now. It started with a class at an arts and crafts supply store and has become a long lasting hobby. Since my first cake ( a dalmatian cake for my daughter's third birthday) I've crated a litany of cakes. Wedding cakes, birthday cakes, shower cakes, baptism cakes....cakes with flowers, cakes with motorcycles, cakes with cartoon characters, cakes with airplanes, even a cake with a live fish on top.

Most of the time, the cake makes it to party time intact. The center hasn't collapsed, the icing hasn't melted, and the general look of the cake is as I planned. Sometimes there are "ooohs" and "ahhhs" or and occasional "you did that?"

I must also admit, there have been a few disasters, too. When my sister and I joined forces to create the perfect floral wedding cake for our other sister, half of one of the tiers fell off. The Hulk cake that I tried to make for my nephew ended up looking like a big green man in calypso pants. When I made the doll cake that my 5 year old daughter requested, I was horrified when she broke down in tears at the sight of it....o.k. that one wasn't iced yet and all she saw was the bare doll sticking out of a pile of yellow cake.

I have learned something from each of the cakes I have made. Especially the ones I have struggled with. Each one brought its own problems that I have needed to solve. I have been frustrated that my icing is lumpy, irritated that my tools are missing, and just plain fustered enough that I want to toss it out and go store bought!

But in the end, if I have stuck to it, I have something to show for it. Even though the process hasn't gone exactly the way I intended, I usually end up with close to the same results. I find new ways to tackle obstacles and new ways to be resourceful. Each experience is a tool to add to my tool belt for the next cake.

No experience and especially, no failure is ever a wasted effort. Each thing we are challenged by in life is in some way an educational experience. Instead of focusing on where we have messed up, lets focus on the things we have learned through the process.

PS. We saved my sister's cake with the help of my brother-in-law. We didn't tell her till after the ceremony. Had we told her before, well that would have been the topic of a whole other blog!


  1. How well I remember that cake...the horror when the 18 inch round collapsed under the weight of the icing...the obsessive way we called all over town to find an un-iced round, our joy when we found a guy whose dad was a baker and happened to have an 18 inch round in his freezer...thank goodness we were able to keep a straight face through it all. Talk about pulling things together against the clock....I remember how much fun it was for the people that got to eat the leftover that had fallen apart. There were actually a lot of compliments on the fallen cake! I have to say that I am much more insistent on having a backup plan these days....but also much more confident that things will work out in spite of the snafus!

  2. What a fantastic hobby! And I think it's great to find inspiration and challenge in those every day things. It's easy to just ignore sometimes. Add some pics of your cakes to the post - they'd be great!

  3. Thanks, Elizabeth. I need to look through my pic files and post some. It really is a fun hobby. Thanks for the interest!

  4. Hi Amy! For those of you who are reading this, Amy is my sister and my partner in the wedding cake incident. That sure was an adventure. The fear wasn't in how the cake looked, it was about how we would have looked had our sister found out about it before the ceremony!

  5. I will never forget the doll cake incident or the wedding cake caper...but at the same time I remember that they both turned out fine. Amazing how people can work together...amazing how the wedding cake incident included people who did not even know you working to help find a solution. Great memory to laugh about after it was over. I love to watch as a blob of icing turns into a magnificent piece of art . (ok I'm your mom and just the fact that you made it means it is beautiful)...but really, they all are magnificent when done. What is special about your cakes is the love that goes into them. That love ingredient cannot be purchased from a bakery and is priceless.


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