After consulting with my professional baker friend, Marie, she gently suggested that I try yet another boxed cake first. This time I should be more confident, calmer and I should swear a little less. WTF?! Not going to argue with her, because she (for sure) knew a lot more about baking than me. I did make the following decisions for my next cake:
1) Buy some stuff to make my baking experience easier. I hopped onto Amazon and bought myself a cake turn table, a cake leveler, and an icing spreader. I have no idea what else I might need but these things will definitely help me out to start and solve the problems I had with my first cake.
2) Try some cake hacks as suggested by my sister in law to keep it interesting for me. I like a challenge if you haven't already guessed this.
3) Bake another boxed cake. Argh.
I have been told repeatedly that "Baking is a science, not an art." So, I decided to approach it exactly that way. I went out to buy two more pans and was going to try two different cake hacks. I wanted to bake all at the same time so that I can compare them side by side. Also, because I have a horrible memory.
The cake hacks I tried were (1) Substituting water for milk, and (2) Substituting butter for oil. Easy right? Then I decided to try to add food coloring to the cakes. I wanted to know how many drops is needed to get the color intensity I wanted. You got it, each cake was a different color with different amount of drops of food coloring. (Yellow - 5 drops, red - 7 drops, green - 8 drops, blue - 10 drops.)
Unlike the first cake, this time, I measured the amount of batter going into each pan. I know, duh. After that, I decided to add the food coloring. I started mixing it and then realized that I might be mixing in the oil spray and my cakes might stick when I take them out. So I stopped mixing and popped them into the oven.
After I took them out, my first reaction was: The colors are not even. They are going to look like crap. Swearing started.
But then, I cut them with my cool new cake leveler and I was pleasantly surprised. I was also able to instantly compare the cakes. The yellow one had the milk substitute. The blue one had the butter substitute. The blue one had large holes which I later learned from Marie are chunks of butter that had melted in oven. Not cool. not cool.
Unlike the first cake, this time I popped the cakes out on a cooling rack before I went for a nap. After my nap, I started icing my cakes with frosting leftover from my last cake. When they were all stacked, I realized this is a HUGE cake. Nonetheless, I kept going and frosting the outside was surprisingly easier too with my icing spatula. Either that, or my skills have greatly improved since the last time. (Likely, because of the icing spatula.)
I added the star sprinkles on the top and this time it is actually for decor and not for hiding bumps or holes in my cake! (Refer to my first cake post.) At this point, I thought it looked pretty darn good. Then,
I cut the cake and was really proud of myself! Woo hoo!!!
Next up: I am determined to bake a cake from scratch and make my own frosting next month! Fingers crossed.