Way back before I had children, I LOVED to help throw a party. I loved doing tablescapes, and decorations and centerpieces and menu planning. I was childless, so it wasn’t uncommon for me to be tying rafia on glass bottles at 1 in the morning, or driving to a WalMart at midnight to pick up supplies. One time I drove to Macon at 11:00 pm to pick up turkey breasts. It was all part of the adventure, and when things turned out well, I always forgot the late night shopping runs, and instead remembered the pretty party.
Well, as you can imagine, I haven’t hosted an event in several years but when my friend Danielle got pregnant I just so desperately wanted to be a part of her baby shower. I didn’t volunteer to do the whole event. I didn’t offer to make individualized corsages or hand painted linens. I said I’d do the games and, because Tera, our cake queen, moved to Wisconsin, I said I’d do the cake.
Now I didn’t volunteer an extreme “ace of cakes” or “food network challenge” cake. The cake was supposed to be an umbrella, baked in a round mixing bowl with a hook coming from the center. Simple, easy, cute. I even bought some little toys with which to decorate – I wasn’t about to venture into fondant sculpting or anything crazy. I thought I was being realistic.
Friday afternoon I mixed up the white cake mix – easy peasie – and died it pink with food coloring (baby girl needs a pink cake) and then thought “Oh. How cute would a pink and chocolate marble cake be?” So I mixed up a batch of chocolate cake, and poured the two batters into the mixing bowl.
I baked it
I let it cool completely.
I inverted the bowl over a cooling rack.
The cake came out in pieces, split along the marbling. AAAAAH.
After examining the cake, I cut it into four slightly lopsided blocks, hoping to make them look like building blocks, but to make a hemisphere into cubes removes a lot of rounded cake. It wasn’t going to be enough. So at 11 that night, when Jonathan got home from work, I was mixing up another pink cake to have enough cake.
Saturday morning I awoke to find my second cake had collapsed in the center while cooling, leaving a crater in the center of it. Jonathan asked what I was going to do. I answered, “Stick this baby doll in the center, cover it in fondant and call it a bassinet. It’s all I can do.”
He gave me “the look” and said, “Go buy a cake.”
Cake choices are limited five hours before an event, so I went with the only cakes I could find that had pink icing on them. I had the lady at Publix pipe “Welcome” on one and “Baby Catudal” on the other. My brief cake making foray was over. I had admitted defeat. But the experience was to deal one final blow.
Loading the van for the shower, I made the ridiculous decision to stack the cakes (in their plastic domes) on top of one another. Turning the final corner of the trip to the shower, the “Baby Catudal” cake slid into the door and tipped on its side. We had two cakes that read, “Welcome Bahv squish”. I must admit, I responded in thinly veiled rage at my own stupidity.
In the end, I scraped the worst off, and threw the toys I bought to decorate the first umbrella cake onto the store bought wreck. I put the nicely preserved “Welcome” cake up on a cake stand and nestled the smushed cake in its shadow. Everyone, including Danielle, said the cake was cute, and everyone who heard the story said, “Oh, I hear a blog post!”
So, if you want a cake I’m not your gal, but if you want a spectacular failure documented in an entertaining way by all means give me a call.