Sometimes when I create a post about something I baked I try to smooth things over so they look perfect. You know- I don’t photograph the cupcake that looks weird or the crusty brownie that isn’t nearly as pretty as the middle gooier piece. I don’t do this because I want to seem like I don’t make mistakes in the kitchen (because I really do,) but because I value aesthetics too much to not pick the prettiest and best looking baked goods to be front and center. (Don’t worry, the ugly ones always get eaten first!)
When it comes to this cake though….I had two solid options: a- only show the outside of the cake that looks pretty good, or b- show the inside of the cake, highlight it’s flaws, and hope people still like me. And I chose option b, because I’m not a professional baker and this was only my 2nd layer cake I’ve ever made. And I know it’s not perfect- even from the outside I think it just looks alright- but it tasted SO good, and my sister Nadia (the birthday girl,) loved it. All of that being said- I decided the best thing to do was to share this.
As I said, this is only the 2nd layer cake I ever have made and the first was a couple years ago and also a visual disaster. It tasted amazing, but I had no idea about “leveling” the layers or “crumb coating” so it was domed and awkward. This time, I thought I had it all figured out. I spend a solid 3 hours on this blog reading tips and going gaga over her perfect looking cakes. After assessing a few recipes, I merged 2 together to make this cake. I chose a Vanilla Bean Cake, filled with Lemon Curd and frosted with Lemon Buttercream. I thought about just making cupcakes (Nadia requested lemon but left the rest to me,) but thought I’d never get better at cakes if I didn’t just give it a try. So I did.
I’m not sure exactly what went wrong but here is my guess: I chose a very dense cake recipe paired with a very light filling. It makes total sense how once I placed the layers atop each other all the filling got pushed out. It was just too heavy. But what I don’t understand is how other people make this work. My cake tasted perfect and looked exactly like the pictures of the recipe….but the buttercream in the original was thick and present in between the layers. My Lemon Curd, however was squished out onto the plate leaving me with a minor panic attack. (I hate when things go wrong!!)
|At one point there was Lemon Curd on this layer….|
So next time, do I just pick a lighter fluffier cake recipe? Or do I make a thick frosting to put in the middle. Or- do I simple cut thinner layers so they aren’t so heavy. Any layer-cake experts out there want to help a sister out? I also realized that I don’t have any of the right tools for smoothing frosting on a cake. I only had a small off-set spatula and you can bet I’m gonna hit the baking store before I attempt another cake.
I am going to send you in the direction of where I found these recipes, but I don’t want to post a recipe that didn’t work quite right. The individual aspects of this cake were delicious, but the assembly wasn’t perfect. You can expect another layer cake attempt from me very soon. I’ll get the hang of this! And please feel free to give me any tips if you are a layer-cake-baking master!