A Baking Secret…

June 27th, 2011

I made a cake for book club…
Or rather I attempted to make a cake for book club.

It was a lemon blueberry cake.  Recipe here.  I did not have enough blueberries, so I also added some raspberries too.  I had to grate a lemon rind for this cake which almost made me faint from exhaustion.  Then there were the three yes THREE layers!  What kind of a sociopath invents a cake with three layers?!?  ! Let’s not even discuss the frosting which required yet another grated lemon peel, cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar.  I always try to make junky food healthier by reducing the sugar and using low fat products and whole grain flours and adding extra fruit.  I think this might be why my baked goods always turn out crappy.

But I followed the freakin’ recipe on this one and it still turned out poorly.

And yet – somewhat charming now that I see it from this angle.

Just don’t look at it from the top down!


Here’s a baking secret.

When you serve your guests a crappy cake – double the amount of alcohol that goes with.

I served them ice-cold champagne in Uncle Chuck’s stemware.

And as the evening toggled along, that cake just got better and better!


  • Kathy from NJ:

    Did you use real cake flour? It’s a special (expensive) flour usually sold in 1 or 2 lb boxes. And NOT the self rising one.
    Personally, I think your cake looks great.

  • You might want to try some recipes from Pioneer Woman. I hear they are delicious — even without alcohol. [ducks and runs for cover]

    • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:


  • You know, part of server food is in the presentation. I couldn’t tell you without actually sampling a piece, but it’s beautifully presented. I love the cake stand. And it looks yummy. Makes me want to try a slice. Where’s the champagne?

    P.S. I make all my cakes with three layers. If I make two layers for some reason it always cracks right down the middle. I’m not much of a baker. :)

    • That should say *serving* food. Ugh!

  • Anna:

    There is no cake crime that a ton of icing cannot fix. That’s my secret.

  • Erin:

    If it looks perfect, people start to doubt that it was homemade!! (at least that’s always my excuse for my less than perfect creations!!)

  • susan:

    I can tell it looks MOIST if nothing else..better moist than dry. Raspberries are inherantly more watery than blueberries which is why I think the cake didnt turn out as you anticipated. Also, rasps are a snap to use when grating citrus rinds or nutmeg – also wonderful for grating fresh ginger and garlic .

  • B:

    But….did it taste good? If it did, who cares what it looked like…right?

    • Rechelle:

      It tasted like a fried, wet donut.

      • The editor:

        MMMmmmm, fried wet donuts…..

  • poppy:

    Were you reviewing In Cold Blood? Any of the Books of Blood? You’re gonna hafta whip that one back out at Halloween!

  • kimj:

    The cake looked fine, and tasted great…I’m not saying that the champagne and white wine didn’t help sway my critique, but really Rechelle, it was all good!!

  • NC Gal:

    I think it’s a beautiful cake!

  • Maybe you should have made the recipe in to muffins. Lemon-berry muffins are mighty tasty! And really, as a cake it doesn’t look that bad. If you’re passing out wine with it, I’d take 2 slices!

  • LucyJoy:

    Hahahahaha! I’ll remember the alcohol tip next time I host book club! Just think of the discussion!

    What book did you review?

  • This reminds me of my (in)famous Cat Spit Cake. I had 10 minutes to get ready for a neighborhood block party after putting finishing touches on a 3-layer, raspberry filled, white buttercream confection. When I returned to the kitchen after dressing, I discovered my cat had licked one half of the cake completely bare of frosting.

    Out of buttercream and time, I cut the cake in half and counted on my neighbors not to care after drinking to excess. There was going to be a margarita machine, after all.

    And no, they didn’t care and yes, they ate it. All of it.

  • My first reaction to the picture was WTF?

    And here all along I thought I was the only one who could not bake a delightful confection.

    I am sorry but I do not think there is enough alcohol to drink her pretty, but I would have joined in with the attempt.

    Ordering from Amazon today and checking out some of your suggestions.

  • Catherine:

    This is why I make cakes in rectangular pans. I hate having to worry about layers not rising, splitting or sticking. Zucchini is always popular at this time of the year! Simply Recipes has some good ones to try.

  • Catherine:

    Me again. I have an idea. Maybe your baking powder was old and that is why the cake didn’t rise. Good idea to throw out opened BP after six months.