AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 1:10am
post #1 of

So do you ever have a cake that makes you think twice about picking up a piping bag again? One that makes you want to start drinking before noon? One that makes you drop so many f bombs you could become a sailor? I had one of those yesterday. Thank God it's done.

It all started with my friend's wedding cake. Three tiered Swiss dot pattern with a ribbon at the base. No problem. So I go out and buy all my ingredients. Since it's on the house I pick up a few DH cake mixes, and some other stuff since one of the tiers was scratch.

The following events occurred between 7/17 and 7/30:

1. 6" spice cake checked out ok...top was cracked but no big deal since it was going to be leveled
2. Baked the first 10" lemon layer. I only have one 10" Magic Line pan which makes life difficult. It was a DH white WASC with lemon extract and lemon zest added in. The zester I bought sucked. It wasn't really meant for citrus fruits so I had to stand there prying zest out of the dang thing.
3. I turned the lemon layer out of the pan. It looked like Swiss cheese. No joke it was so full of holes it could have doubled as a giant sponge. So I decide I need to re-bake.
4. The following day I re-do the first lemon layer. I was lazy and did not add parchment to the bottom. I paid for this dearly when I turned the cake out of the pan only to have a huge chunk come out of it. Which means I need to go buy two more cake mixes and make them again.
5. Onto the vanilla layer, to be kept in the back of the venue. I run out of Bakers' Joy and see a can of Pam for Baking. Hmm I wonder why this is still in the pantry, I thought. Well it was still in the pantry at the time because it sucked. My cake got a dark HARD crust on the outside. I always bake at 325 so I know it wasn't the oven. So I had to go buy more vanilla cake supplies and make it again. By the way, I am officially switching to Betty Crocker mixes when I do WASC because they turned out perfect and WAY better than DH.
6. Onto the 14" red velvet. I have never made red velvet in my life. I decide to try Martha Stewart's red velvet in her Wedding Cakes book. It came out brown. No joke. I even cut a core out of the middle and it was chocolate brown. Great flavor but brown. Really? So I had to go buy more red velvet cake supplies and make it again.
7. Both red velvet layers baked up great. I doubled the food coloring which did the trick. Finally something turned out right.
8. Went to Wal Mart to buy butter. All out of Land O Lakes unsalted. I say a few f words and then another box of LOL butter catches my eye. It had a blue label and said it was individually wrapped quarters. I thought ok no problem and picked up a few boxes. Got the rest of the crap I needed and headed home. Let the butter come to room temperature.
9. Start making the buttercream. It was a butter/shortening recipe that Jeff shared with me. The taste was phenomenal. The texture, however, was like melted ice cream. I know it was my fault for trying a new recipe on a wedding cake, but I was unsatisfied with the other crusting recipe I was using. At this point I panic because the BC tastes unusually salty, and I hadn't added any salt to the recipe. Upon closer inspection, I realized the LOL butter I purchased was indeed salted, despite the little blue tag on the box (which means unsalted on the regularly wrapped sticks).
10. I start icing the 10" and it was a complete disaster. The icing did nothing but smush everywhere, and I found myself adding icing to the same bald spot every time. Before I knew it, there were crumbs in the icing.
11. I tried to ice the 6" with the same buttercream. Even worse and even more crumbs. By this point, I am looking in the fridge at the decent supply of Sam Adams my husband keeps, disregarding the fact that it is 10:30 in the morning. I talk myself out of the booze and get on to making a new batch of BC, this time swapping the ratio of shortening to butter, hoping that will firm the BC up a bit. It works and I get on to making more BC. I got everything iced but for some reason I couldn't get it smooth. It wasn't awful but it wasn't perfect either. At this point I'm not that worried about the spatula marks because I would just come over it with a Viva. Oh, that's right numbnuts, the Vivas that you didn't buy! So I get in the car and go to the grocery store for Vivas. OMG I don't know how you guys use Viva. Those are the lintiest paper towels I have ever seen. I had a small heart attack and just moved on.
12. I get to marking out the Swiss dots which actually went better than planned. I forgot to mention that I had a major dumba$$ moment when I asked my friend for enough ribbon to go around the three cakes, and she gave me enough for the diameter only. So I had to run out in the middle of making up more buttercream and get more red ribbon at Michaels.
12a. I go to stack the 10" on top of the 14". I thought I would use my handy scraper to help me with the lifting, which it did. But at the same time it also scraped like half the side of the 10" icing off. All I did was laugh, and open the fridge again to look at the beer. I patched up the side with some buttercream, but it was a different color than what was already on there because it had already crusted the day before. So it looked really crappy on that side. I decided that would be the back of the cake.
13. I had a small piece of ribbon I was using to mark out the dots, and when I peeled the ribbon off of course there would have to be a red halo on the buttercream. A few more f bombs were dropped and then I decided to pre-soak the ribbon in shortening to keep it from bleeding (which worked, by the way). I get everything iced and bordered up as much as I can, then I decide to put a ribbon around the cake drum. I put my finger through the cake twice while doing this. The whole time I'm attaching the ribbon I can't help but feel like I'm polishing a turd.
14. DH and I transport the cake to the venue much later than we wanted, because no one was there yet to let us in. We get there and literally nothing has been done. I had to search for almost an hour for the white linen that was supposed to go on the cake table, not even sure if that table was indeed the cake table. At this point I see a huge box of red potatoes that are just sitting there, not even cooked. It was like two hours before the ceremony so I realized I had walked into a cluster.
15. Finally I got the 6" stacked and everything squared away. Someone makes a crappy comment that I should have centered the table in the corner. Looked centered to me but she had a crazy blue eye (one blue this way, one blue that way). At this point I am rummaging in my emergency cake kit to see if I had anything sharp so I could fix her eye, but then I realize that it is almost 5 and we need to get home so I can clean up, because the ceremony was at 6.

The fun didn't stop there. I was asked to cut and serve the cake with a damn 8" plastic knife. Really?

So I thought about sharing that with those who feel like giving up. I've been at this for about 12 years now and I've turned out some really crappy stuff. I don't do cakes full time so it's whenever someone asks me which is usually once or twice a month. I thought the cake I did really turned out great, with the exception of the bobble head topper she made me put on there (ugh).

I hope you guys will share some of your cake drama here as well. I think it will help all of us to vent our Cakes Gone Wild stories.

Thanks for reading and keep caking!

25 replies
etr2002 Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 1:19am
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I was exhausted just reading your post! When I got to the part about the plastic 8" knife, I had to laugh out loud! Glad you survived!

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 1:21am
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Yeah, even the end couldn't be easy. LOL. I'm uploading the pic right now. Damn bobble heads.

southerngal Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 1:22am
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Omg this is the best thing i have ever read. this sounds my life in the cake world all the time.. I absolutely love this keep up the awesoe work icon_lol.gif

vgray Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 1:29am
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I must say this definitely makes me feel better. lol I have been decorating regularly for only a few months. Of course I decide to go full force in the hottest summer I have ever seen. I told my husband I cannot wait for winter so my buttercream will stop thinning out before I get a chance to get it on the cake. I hope you finally sat down with that beer after it was all over!

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 1:34am
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Yeah caking in the summer blows. I'm sorry. That is one of many reasons why I decided to get married in December. I'm not into caking when the humidity equals the temperature!

Addendum to my OP...my 6" developed an air amoeba on the side, prior to being scraped off and re-iced! I hate those things and I only get them in the summer! The cake was refrigerated so I'm convinced it has something to do with the condensation when those things form.

Thanks for reading my novel!

Kimmaf Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 3:03am
post #7 of

<<Looked centered to me but she had a crazy blue eye (one blue this way, one blue that way). At this point I am rummaging in my emergency cake kit to see if I had anything sharp so I could fix her eye>>

OK...this had me roflmao!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

scp1127 Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 5:26am
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I hate it when my experimental recipes, regular sold cakes, and my personal cakes go together perfectly and then something happens to the big ones. So it never gets better huh?

MrsBowtiy Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 6:33am
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Love your post and it makes me feel much better about the giant cupcake I just did for my BIL. I always make the chocolate liner for my giant cupcakes and I swear I had to do the one for his like five times it just wouldn't work and then I go to but the buttercream on the top and it just kept sliding off at one point I almost threw the whole thing away I just was done but I knew that it was his favortie kind of cake and even if it looked like doodoo he'd eat it so yeah that's what he got. I am sure most of my issues came from it being like 80* in my kitchen that day but it still didn't make me very happy I told him next year I am making his cake in his kitchen he has central air.

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:08am

Yeah, the air in my house was at 67!!!!! DH is a polar bear (even though he looks like a string bean). I couldn't believe what was going on that day.

rosa369 Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:46am

The good thing is that you can breath again!!! One question. How do you soak or "cure" the ribbons in shortening?

mimi4bye Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:58am

Awesome read! God girl you don't even know how many times I have gone through the same thing. Some cakes go so smooth, others fight you and you feel like Snoopy doing a dance with the folding chair. I think we all agree there are just days like that. Keep on caking...and keep the funny stories coming. icon_smile.gif

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 1:12pm

Rosa, all I did was dip my fingers in the shortening and run them up and down the ribbon. Then I let them sit for about five minutes and then run a paper towel over them to get off the excess grease.

I know, it's funny how that happens with FUBAR cakes. And for me anyway, I can feel when it's going to be a bad cake. I could only tell you guys, because you all are the only ones who could appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears.

Oh, I yelled at about five people at the wedding who kept tapping the bride and groom bobble heads, and other bratty kids with no parents to tell them to not jab their fingers into the icing. One was digging in her nose at the ceremony and looked at me like a deer in headlights when I yelled at her as her chubby little digit was closing in on the cake. Oh wellz!!!

katboss Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 1:46pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmaf

<<Looked centered to me but she had a crazy blue eye (one blue this way, one blue that way). At this point I am rummaging in my emergency cake kit to see if I had anything sharp so I could fix her eye>>

OK...this had me roflmao!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif






This is the funniest thing I have read on here!!! Thanks for making me laugh on a day when I really need it.
by the way your cake is very pretty thumbs_up.gif but I do agree about the topper icon_confused.gif What was she thinking?? thumbsdown.gif

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 2:01pm

Glad you liked the story. I can't help but laugh now that it's over. I appreciate your compliment on the cake. Yeah the toppers were ugly as sin haha!

bakingpw Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 3:21pm

Well, I needed a laugh this a.m. and I got it reading your post!! You crack me up!

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 3:52pm

Oh I forgot to say, that the woman with the pretty blue eye (who talked very gruff like she just rolled off a Mack/Peterbilt/18 wheeler of choice) WAS, INDEED, an actual trucker (seriously)! She was the bride's sister!

To top it off, later in the evening I grabbed a soda out of the cooler and noticed that she was sitting with her legs spread apart smoking a cigarette (with a dress on-ACK!). I couldn't help but tell DH who had several drinks at that point. I thought he was going to hurl all over the inside out tablecloth!

luddroth Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 4:19pm

Annie, you should be a writer rather than a baker. No, I amend that to say that you ARE a writer as well as a baker. That is one of the funniest pieces I've read in a long time. Start a blog -- I'd follow you anywhere! (I think the bobbleheads show that the bride has a sense of humor, too -- she's no perfectionist princess.)

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 4:29pm

LOL! Sometimes I have unbelievable stories. I just think some people in the world attract strange stories. I'm one of those.

The bride does have a great sense of humor. She and her DH collect bobble heads so that's why they wanted them for the topper. They bought them from a trophy shop instead of the cake shop here in town.

Even though their wedding was a bit of a cluster I am very happy for them and wish them all the best.

Glad you guys are having fun laughing at and with me. icon_smile.gif

rosa369 Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 4:47pm

Thank you Annie for the informatin on the ribbon.

enchantedcreations Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 5:13pm

Good story for newbies.....it's not always easy nor what it's crack up to be. Thanks for sharing.

luddroth Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 11:41am

Annie -- tell us more stories!!

AnnieCahill Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 12:23pm

I have a lot. Strange things happen to me. I have two really funny stories involving my pants spitting (and I walked around half the day like that) and um, well, hmm...how do I put this on a food forum...I was in college and I was having some stomach issues, so I had to give some samples and submit them to the hospital during Thanksgiving break. That's quite a hilarious story.

I could go on forever, but then I would probably get banned. Haha!

cakesbyRaewyn Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 2:11am

Oh Annie that was hilarious! Thanks for sharing. I looked at the cake and i have to say that you "polished that turd" into a beautiful cake - well done! icon_smile.gif

lissyUK Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 5:43pm

Please write a book of cake tales! I'd buy one. Seriously have tears in my eye from laughing. Even my 7 month old is laughing at mummy laughing.

AnnieCahill Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 5:52pm

Glad you liked my story. I'm sure I will have one in the next two weeks as I have a wedding cake due for the 29th. I am almost scared to start baking.

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