Wednesday, May 20, 2015

lopsided layers

So. I recently read a blog post about successfully blogging. Apparently, one must pick a subject and blog about that thing. For example, there are health and fitness blogs, food blogs, book blogs, diy blogs, etc etc etc. 

But lets talk about Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, for a minute. I'm kind of a fan girl, to be honest, and I was following her blog before she got all super famous. But see...She doesn't blog about just one thing. She has food posts, and homeschooling post and gardening posts and ranch post and all kinds of posts! And she wrote an excellent book about the beginning of her life with Marlboro Man, and she has a cooking show, and cook books....

Not that I ever set out to have a "successful" blog. Or that I in any way compare to Ree Drummond. I mean...she is energetic and talented and funny, and she seems to be a genuinely nice person. Also, she has an interesting life on the ranch. Also maybe she has technological skills. 

I do, however, write about a variety of topics. This is a health and fitness food book random rant blog.  This is a blog for the untalented, uncrafty and undomestic but wish they were and keep trying.  Or, the untalented, uncrafty and undomestic who don't actually care, but want to make a layer cake on occasion.  For those who are on the ADD side of center instead of the OCD. Or, the talented and crafty and domestic who just want to laugh at somebody. Or whoever.

Today's post happens to be about food. So today it is a food blog. 
Actually, cake. This post is about cake. I saw a recipe on Facebook for an old fashioned butter cake. Now, I am 50 years old, raised 5 baby ducks, and have been feeding them for about 31 years. But I have never made a layer cake.  It just seemed so intimidating. My mom has made some beautiful ones over the years, and just watching her perfectly shave that dome off of the top...well, it just scares me. 

One time, I decided to trim Baby Duck 3's hair. It was about hip length when I started, and shoulder length when I was done. Because it was lopsided, and I kept trying to make it straight. Do you see where I am going with this? If I tried to shave a cake straight, I would end up with no cake, so I never even tried. 
Until yesterday. I just decided that I was by gum going to do it. 
So I did. Using the old fashioned butter cake recipe. 

Ha! There are crumbs on the table! I didn't even notice until right now! So that is the final result, and the thing got eaten. I must tell you, though, that the recipe did not meet my expectations. It is supposedly a one hundred year old recipe...when I told the Chief this, he said "It tastes a hundred years old." Bahahahahahahhaha! But seriously, the texture was weird and it wasn't really moist and delicious. The frosting was yummy, but it is pretty much the same chocolate butter cream that I have been making for years. Now, the reason the first photo is of a half eaten cake is because I am not technologically accomplished, and I was switching between my phone and laptop, and, well...that's just how it is. I also don't know why my text is not aligned on the left. 

The first problem I had in making this layer cake was pans. I don't actually have two round cake pans. Well, I do, but not the same size. I have three sizes of spring form pans that I have never used, a bunt pan, two angel food cake pans, about a dozen cookie sheets, a bunch of pie pans, and 4 13 by whatever cake pans, but the only round cake pans I have are the ones that I bought for baby duck 3's baby shower. There are about 5 of them, in graduating sizes, for a tiered cake. Baby duck 1 had left a round cake pan here, and so I picked the one from the tiered set that was closest to the same size, and ta da. There ya go. One was slightly bigger than the other. Both layers slope to the right. I don't know why. Probably the stove is not level??  I did not trim the tops. I did try to align the slopes. Anyway...I put a lot of frosting on and you couldn't even tell. 
OR maybe you can.  Also, I didn't have a cake plate to put it on, so that is a regular ole dinner plate and I kind of made a mess with the frosting. 

There you have it, my first attempt at a layer cake. I want to try again, but with a recipe that actually tastes good. I might even get a couple of same sized round cake pans. And maybe a cake 
plate. Except the budget is still squeaky tight, so maybe not. Maybe my next layer cake will still be odd sized, lopsided, and messily plopped on a dinner plate. But I hope that it tastes good!

The moral of this story is: make layer cakes even if they are imperfect and a little messy. 



  1. Hi Val! You make a great food blogger! :-) Your blogging falls into the Lifestyle category which basically means you can blog about... ANYTHING! :-)

    As for a great cake. Make my Red Velvet Cake. It's on my food blog. I mean my cow blog. No, I mean my house building blog. What is my blog anyway??? Oh yeah, it's a lifestyle blog! Ba Ha Ha! Here is the link:

    One trick that helps me tremendously when making a layer cake: FREEZE your layers before frosting. You cannot believe how much easier it makes the whole process. I just wrap them in foil or saran wrap and put them in the freezer for a few hours, or longer. And you don't have to have two cake pans. You can bake one and when it is finished and you remove your cake from the pan, then bake the other one. I've done that LOTS of times! :-)

    But you did awesome for your first layer cake. They are pretty intimidating. I've had them where I had them perfect, put it in the refrigerator to "set" - opened the refrigerator a few hours later to serve the cake, only to find the top layer completely slid off! :-) That is when you know you have failed at making a layer cake!

    Another really awesome layer cake is Ree's. (And yes, I'm a huge fan too. I think she's my best friend because I too have been reading her blog since before blogs were even a "thing".!) It is the strawberry shortcake cake and WOW is it amazingly yummy. Actually, don't make my Red Velvet Cake... make her strawberry cake. Here is the link:

    Anyway... as usual, love your lifestyle blog and love you!


  2. Great tips, Dori!
    Oooh! A lifestyle blog! Cool! LOL!
    So like me to not even think of baking a layer at a time! Or to decide to bake a cake far enough ahead of time to freeze it before frosting! Bahaha! This is why I will never be famous! (Not that I ever thought I would be.)
    I'm going to try both of those recioes, though, and thanks for the heads up!
    And for commenting! And for being my friend.
    And also my opinion is that your lifestyle blog is the bomb diggity and my favorite! And if I knew how, I would link it so that anyone who stumbles across my posts and wants to read a REAL lifestyle blog could go look!!
    LOVE YOU!!!