Hold on to your seats. This is going to be a mess.
My son turned seven last Friday so I decided to take the day off from blogging to focus on him and the behemoth cake I had planned.
The ORIGINAL plan was to make three separate layers that were all the same size, but different colors, stacked together, secured with toothpicks, and frosted like a champ. Ahh!
But alas, this is not how it turned out….at all.
In order to mix colors into the layers, I needed white cake. Not yellow mix and definitely not chocolate. My brain was obviously not working while I was at the store so I figured I would just go with a marble cake. (I don’t know why the cake mix is pictured with icing ingredients. Please just ignore my absent mindedness!)
Actually, since I’m on the subject, let me start by addressing the cake mix.
Yes, I used a cake mix.
No, I’m not the least bit sorry.
I stay so busy with my three exhausting lovely children that making a cake from scratch was just not on my agenda! I did, however, make homemade icing so that stands for something…right?
I got started on the boxed mixes and it was a miracle that I didn’t mix up the batters since they were sitting right next to each other.
Next, it was time to put the batters into pans. First, I went to get the pans out of the cabinet. I reached down and didn’t feel anything (my cabinet is basically on the floor). I thought that was a little odd as they are usually stacked near the door and easy to grab. I crouched and still didn’t feel anything. I finally had to get down onto my knees and look into the cabinet to realize my six round pans had dwindled to three mismatched round pans of different sizes. I was already using a different batter than I planned so I decided to roll with it. I would make it work. The toothpicks would hold it together.
I knew that the pans should be greased and floured, but wondered if I could skip Crisco and flour and only use cooking spray. I called my sister to ask her ( by the way, she went to culinary school-obviously she got ALL the cooking genes) . She paused slightly and said, “You can use cooking spray, but you still have to use flour unless you want the layers to stick.” She was likely thinking “Bless her heart”.
As I sprayed and floured the pans, I was as pouty as a two year old that was given the wrong color sippy cup. I finished quickly and moved on to putting the batters into the pans.
Let me clarify I didn’t know what in the world I was doing. I was just winging it (I swear that’s my motto). I grabbed a ladle out of my Lazy Susan thingy and started alternately scooping the batters into the pans. I knew I wanted the base layer marbled, but the other two layers were toss-ups. I used the middle layer to test my theory that you can have two separate colors in one pan without them mixing and then I used the smallest layer to try to alternate each color back and forth to make rings. It doesn’t work in case you were wondering. I used a butter knife to swirl it around a little and make a cool looking design. I had so much batter left over I was able to make 11 cupcakes as well.
Once I got the batter all divided out, I got the pans into the oven and breathed a sigh of relief. The first part was done!
The cakes came out of the oven and I let them cool for a bit. I decided to make a video of the cakes coming out of the pans.
The video can be seen here:
Spoiler alert: They came out! I’m still shocked!
Once the cakes were out and cooled, I rummaged around for toothpicks to hold it all together. And, as per usual, we were out. How in the world was I going to keep this thing from sliding into the leaning tower of cake?! Whatever. It just wasn’t my day.
I started mixing the ingredients together for the icing. My son requested a Baymax cake. Baymax is from the children’s movie, Big Hero 6. Here are two pictures I found of him:
The one on the left is Baymax normally and the one on the right is him in a super hero costume or something. It’s not really important. What is important is that my son wanted a cake of him. I found a cake that resembled the helmet with his weird, connect the dot eyes. Perfect. I would ice the cake and draw his face on top with black icing I had on hand.
Did you know red frosting is impossible to achieve? Not just hard to do…no, no, no. Literally I’m pretty sure it’s IMPOSSIBLE. I put a ton of red gel into the icing mix and then I poured in HALF OF A CONTAINER of black as I was trying to achieve the red I was hoping for.
No such luck.
My son got pepto-colored icing. It looked like the cure for upset stomach was on his cake.
I shrugged off the icing. I mean…what can you do? It was close to dinner time so I needed to have the monstrosity done!
I slowly stacked the layers. I put down the bottom layer, iced it, and pushed the next layer on very firmly. Then I chanted “please don’t slide” while dancing around like an idiot. I repeated with the top layer and surprisingly, the layers stayed put. I iced the cake somewhat horribly and proceeded to make a face on top that slightly resembled Baymax, but basically it looked like I had an icing mishap.
I called my son in to look at the cake. He had no clue what it was until I told him. I apologized for the pink cake. His sweet response?
“Oh it’s okay, Mommy. I never told you what color I wanted it to be anyway.”
I could squeeze him sometimes.
The cake was actually pretty great tasting and he seemed to have a great birthday even though the cake wasn’t what I envisioned for him. I forgot to ice the cupcakes, but I’m so over the whole cake debacle that I don’t even care.
My daughter asked if I was going to make the cake for his party with his friends. I’ll let you know when I quit laughing long enough to give her a response.
- 1 lb confectioners sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-5 Tbsp milk
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- food coloring (optional)
- In a medium-large bowl, pour melted butter over confectioners sugar and mix slightly.
- Add vanilla extract and stir.
- Add milk one tablespoon at a time until it is creamy and spreadable.
- Mix in food coloring if desired and mix well.
- Spread over cake or cupcakes and enjoy!