Monday, August 9, 2010

The Birthday Cake Debacle of 2010

Every year for Daniel's birthday, I make a from scratch cake in whatever cake flavor Daniel desires. The first year, it was a lemon cake. It did not turn out so great, but okay for a first attempt. I am a baker, but NOT a cake decorator, so it was not pretty. The following years I've made a tunnel of fudge cake, a chocolate cake, a banana cake with chocolate frosting (not a birthday cake), cupcakes of various flavors (some times I actually used a mix for these), and this year, the requested flavor was left up to me. I called out different flavors as I looked at recipes and Daniel responded to coconut, so coconut is what I tried today. I used Paula Deen's recipe off of the food network, but after two attempts, my cake did not look like Paula's, and I followed the recipe to a T both times. Regardless the cake fell in the middle both times and if the oven was bumped, it was not by me because I was nursing the baby during the cooking process both times.  I only opened the oven after the alloted time for baking was completed., so I just don't know what I did wrong!

Here's what the cake looked like after the first attempt.  If I were to trim the cake down to the flat level, well, pancake is about all that would be left.  I attempted to layer it with the "filling" on each layer.  With this attempt, I used all purpose flour and added the appropriate amount of baking powder and salt to make self rising flour as called for in the recipe.

First attempt at coconut cake (with Paula's filling on it)

Speed Racer liking the way it tastes even if it looks funny

For the second attempt I used smaller cake pans and self rising flour, just in case I had old baking powder or took the wrong measurements.  But again, the cake did not rise appropriately in the middle.  However, I think I have salvaged it by using some Jamie methods that I am sure would not be acceptable in any other bakery or by a professional.  I am letting it sit with the filling on it overnight and will frost it tomorrow.  Look for a picture of the completed cake tomorrow or later in the week if it turns out okay.

What my kitchen sink looked like after attempting to bake 2 from scratch cakes.
The other half was already washing in the dishwasher.

1 comment:

  1. Check the temp of your oven to make sure it is getting hot enough. I think I have a coconut cake recipe that is a sheet cake. I made it just one time and my mother-in-law loved it (high praise). If you would like to try it I will look for it. Martha


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