One thing that I learned over the years about New Years Resolutions is that once they are set, you have to actually work towards them. If not, they won't get done. One of the #momgoals I set for this year is to bake a birthday cake for Grace. I have ZERO baking skills. Figured this is the perfect time to learn and try because quite frankly, she doesn't have an exceptional palette yet. She won't know if I "really" screwed it up bad.
I told my professional baker friend I am going to bake a birthday cake for Grace. I even showed her an inspiration picture of a cake I want to make. (It is a tall cake that looks like a unicorn.) My friend nodded and smiled and asked if I have baked a cake before? Done any baking before? I replied No and I started to bake mini muffins last year, but they are a bit dry and Grace doesn't eat them. She responded that I should start with a boxed cake. I scoffed at her. I said it can't be that hard. Baking is just following instructions. . She said: It is hard and you don't follow instructions well.
Whatever. I went to buy a boxed cake to show her that I can follow (her) instructions. I had no idea where the baking section is in the grocery store so I had to read the signs. Totally weird for me. I picked out a box cake and some frosting and some sprinkles. (Because everything is better with sprinkles.) I left the grocery store and realized I didn't have any cake pans. Went to a different store to buy pans. Had no idea which aisle these were located either but found it much later. This is a freaking whole new world for me.
I read the instructions on the box and scoffed again because it was so easy. Add water, oil, and eggs to the package. Good grief. Confidence totally up and know I am going to nail this. Then....I had to pour the batter into the pans. I wondered:
1) How the heck am I supposed to know I put in even amounts into the pans?
2) This doesn't look like a lot of batter in each pan. Maybe I should pour them all into one pan. No wait. Must follow instructions.
3) Why is there a range for baking time? WTF?
As I was muttering to myself, my partner told me to test the cake with a toothpick to see if it is cooked, but only do that towards the end because I shouldn't open and close the oven door too much. Once again, I followed instructions and pulled out a cooked cake in 25 minutes. The box said to let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. I figured I was done so I went for a nap. When I woke up, my partner had taken the cakes out and had them cooling on drying racks. I didn't know we had drying racks and the box didn't say to do that. Whatever. That part is done.
The cakes were domed on top so I stared at that for a while. Logically, I thought, I just need to shave the top off and stack them. I didn't know what to do with the shaved tops so I just put them on a plate on the table. (My partner and Grace saw and just ate them. Problem solved.)
Next up was adding the frosting. There was a lot of f bombs dropped. (Grace was in another room.) The frosting was so hard to move and the cake kept crumbling. WTF?!! I took a deep breath and had to analyze the situation. I realized the frosting was lifting up the cake because I was trying to move it around too much and I had frosting on my knife. I cleaned off my knife and vowed to only move the frosting twice. It helped but a huge indent was already made on the cake. I went through Grace's playdoh tools and found a star cutter. I washed it and used it as a stencil to fill in the hole. Voila! First cake done. Not pretty but mission accomplished.