Cake Disasters!

Lately, I seem to have set a baking pattern for myself: 1 great cake, 3 awful cakes. You can imagine what a high I’m on when a cake goes well. I start going through my recipe books at high speed wondering which cake I’m going to attempt next. And then comes an epic fail. And then another. And another.

A few days ago, one of my closest friends had invited me and our other friends over for dinner, so I decided to take along a cake. Not just any cake. A three-tiered, malt-flavoured, extravagantly decorated with Maltesers cake! (Is your mouth watering yet?)

And so into the oven went the first layer and out it came, looking (and smelling) divine. I was engrossed in a conversation with my mum about how easy baking really can be if you just keep practicing, and was taking the cake out onto a rack to cool when it literally BROKE into three pieces :-(

Not one to be put off so easily, I quickly made some more batter and tried the first layer again. This time, it over-baked. I hadn’t touched the temperature dial. I’d baked it for the exact same time as the first cake yet there it was, crispy as nacho!

Pic courtesy of Cakeboi

Still feeling determined, I made another layer and this time (drumroll please…) it didn’t rise. Same batter. Same ingredients. Yet the cake just shrunk inwards as if it was saying out loud “give up and leave me alone!”

Moral of the story?

Baking is complex. If you already knew this, well done. You’re obviously way ahead of me and I’m just getting my head around this. Everything from the type of oven you have, to the bakeware you use, to the ingredients of the cake play some sort of role. Get one thing wrong and there goes hours of hard work!

On the occasions that I do get a cake right (it happens, I promise!), I’ve found its when I’ve really concentrated on the whole process, read over the recipe a good couple of times and laid out all the ingredients before starting. Also, I’ve been extra careful with timing how long the cake is in the oven for (making sure to adjust when the size of the pan has been changed).

Here is one such example I like to look at to give myself hope when I feel like screaming “oh my gaaad I’m never going to be able to bake a cake properly!!!”

When cake goes right, it really is one of the best feelings :-)

When cake goes right, it really is one of the best feelings :-)

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9 responses to “Cake Disasters!

  1. I totally understand what you mean by cake disasters! I was making a cake a few weeks back and wanted to make strawberry buttercream, I remade the frosting 3 times and made 2 trips to the grocery store and every time the frosting split! I gave up and spread nutella on the cake in anger. :P

    Your strawberry cake looks beautiful! :)

  2. If it’s any consolation, 99% of what I make is a disaster. I wish I was kidding!

  3. Been there done that…. Sigh. Well done you!

  4. I totally get you. I have to be in the mood to bake and if I force it, it always turns out a flop! That cake is very tempting :-)

  5. Is that a Victoria sponge? It looks amazing.
    You know when I started baking I had huge failures for a year. There was nobody to guide me in the house so it was all trial and error. But I didn’t give uo which was unlikely of me. I read articles and watched videos. All I can say is you’ll need some time to get the hang of it fully :)

  6. Pingback: Pastel de Tres Leches (Daring Bakers September Challenge) | Cooking Projects

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