Friday, March 12, 2010

My Cake Making Disaster

I've been wanting to make this cake for a couple months now. I first heard about it from Rick Bayless twitter page. The cake sounded amazing so amazing that I even went out and bought all the supplies. Well, the supplies have been sitting in my kitchen for over a month. I was really nervous about making this cake for a couple of reasons:

  • I've never made a cake.
  • Do I really want the first cake I make to be something Rick Bayless loves? He makes amazing things, noway I can compete.

  • The cake making process seemed daunting

  • Standing over the stove, stirring for 1 hour and 50 minutes does not sound like fun.

It may have took me awhile to actually make the cake but last Sunday was the day I decided to tackle the task.

Cake Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups Swans Down Cake Flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs or 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

As soon as I started working in the kitchen, this little guy was right under my feet. He knows when I cook/bake it gets a little messy so he has a good shot at some "human" food ending up on the floor.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add flour mixture alternatively with milk and vanilla, creaming until smooth after each addition.

Spread batter into three prepared 9-inch cake pans.

Look at the mess I made. I may not be good at baking cakes but I can make one heck of mess with the best of em'.

Bake until tester inserted into cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack. Let cool and frost with Caramel Icing.

Cake Verdict: This cake was pretty simple to make and tasted wonderful. It was so moist. I will definitely make this cake again! The frosting is another story:/

Caramel Icing Ingredients

  • 1 cup slated butter, softened
  • 3 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk

In an aluminum saucepan over high heat, melt butter and sugar and let cook until light brown, stirring constantly from the bottom.

Mix sugar and butter together for about 10 minutes.

Add evaporated milk and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir continuously and let cook - do not let it form bubbles or boil over - for and additional 1 hour and 50 minutes or until it gets gold brown in color and thick enough to spread. If you walk away, it will boil over.

The color is staring to get brown after about 45 minutes of stirring.

After an hour of stirring the icing was starting to look really good and my arm was about to fall off!

After 1 hour and 50 minutes of stirring I deemed the Caramel Icing done! WooHoo!!! Looks pretty, right?!?

Caramel Icing Verdict: This was a total pain in the ass to make. Stirring something continuously for 1 hour and 50 minutes is not fun, not fun at all. However, I was willing to give it a try because, in my eyes, this icing is what makes this cake.

I thought I did a good job with the frosting until I let it cool and tried to spread it on the cake. Turns out I should have removed it from the heat sooner. The icing turned out grainy and clumpy which made it impossible to spread to a moist cake.

Even though the cake looked bad I still had to try a piece. Way to much work went into making it for me to just not try it.

Final Verdict: I will make this cake again because it was really good and would work with any type of frosting that you put on it. The icing didn't taste good at all and I'm confident in saying that there will not be a repeat performance of this Caramel Icing in my kitchen!

I will add that my husband was very supportive in my baking endeavor. That is until it came time to try the cake, I believe his first words after the taste was, ick:(


  1. Awww sorry about the cake disaster! Next time will be better for sure :-)

  2. Sorry the icing was such a disaster! What a bummer! At least you liked the cake, though. It sounds really versatile.

  3. Congrats on making the cake! Don't worry about the frosting - the cake is most important anyway :)

    I had to laugh at the picture of your dog - my puppy does the same thing! She learns fast :P

  4. I never have good luck with icing!! Hey, at least the cake was tasty :) And yes, cake goes well with any icing. I prefer Pillsbury ;)

  5. At least that icing looks fantastic! Good luck next time :)

  6. I'm glad the cake turned out well!

  7. The cake is pretty... Ugly food is always good. Sorry to hear your cake did not turn out so great but you have to admit it's purely fun to create in the kitchen (whatever the outcome may be)! ;)