Thursday, October 9, 2008

Easy Bake

After last week's monumental cake effort, I wasn't really planning to make any more cakes anytime soon. But then my mom called. And no, she didn't ask me to make a cake. She'd never do such a thing, although asking me to pick her up at the airport any ol' time is fair game. But I asked her what we were going to do for my dad's birthday. She wasn't sure, but she told me she'd found a great deal on cake mix and was going to make him a carrot cake.


Carrot cake from cake mix? I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a serious cake snob and even I've been known to use cake mixes, especially for those hard-to-decorate cakes, but are there actually carrots in carrot cake mix? I'm not convinced. And she was going to use canned frosting. I'm kinda O.K. with canned frosting. I grew up with canned frosting. But canned cream cheese frosting??? It just couldn't be allowed to happen.

So yesterday, I greeted Smunch at school, telling him we were going home to peel and grate carrots. He was psyched. I whipped up a carrot cake recipe from Cooks. It was intended to be a 9x13 sheet cake without any layers to it. They sort of neglected to mention that it really wasn't suitable for a layer cake, especially not if you want to frost the sides. The frosting was delicious, but sorta, well, runnyish. It didn't want to stay on the sides. So this was more of a project than I expected, involving a lot of repeated refrigeration to make sure all the frosting didn't ooze down to the plate. Still, a whole lot easier than re-creating Space Mountain.

I finally got it all decorated this afternoon, making for a happy birthday evening for Grandpa...

1 comment:

mommieN. said...

Frosting good for decorating -- as a rank amateur, I'm finding that to be something of a problem! The best decorating frosting I've made uses shortening, but as of the last batch I made, shortening suddenly grosses me out. It's gooey and doesn't clean up easily -- imagine that sticking to your insides! Cream cheese frosting tastes great, but I have problems getting it to hold its shape and not break down when it warms up. Then I read in The Joy of Cooking recipe to make it with *cold* cream cheese, frost and serve it right away. Not practical!

But, somehow you managed to decorate beautifully anyway with cream cheese frosting, and what a fabulous job. The carrots are FABULOUS, how did you do that?.

And I'm with you on the mix snobbery, even for non-carrot-type cakes. I made cupcakes from a mix for the first time in months, and was surprised at how my standards have changed. Mixes have their uses, but overall, blah.

Grandpa's expression is SUCH a Gavin-face, it's amazing. They're both adorable!