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Frosting a Cake

05/03/2011

I am a cake connoisseur. I am not, however, a cake decorator. In face, I made my first ever layer cake the other day for my mom’s birthday. Frosting it was no piece of cake. Later that day, I came across this video from The Kitchn: The Easiest Way to Frost a Cake. I think part of my problem is that the tops of the cakes were a bit sticky. Maybe I should have left them uncovered overnight rather than covered. I wish I had thought to flip the cakes over. That’s just plain old smart.

Oh, and icing the cake? I need a tutorial on that! I have some ancient (I mean “vintage”) cake decorating tools. I bought a new tube of red icing from the grocery store. I envisioned some lovely red tulips (mom’s favorite flower) with green stems. The red icing + the born-before-my-mother tools worked OK. I had a tube of leftover green icing that was too thick. I tried to water it down and well… not a great idea. The top of the “B” almost ran right off the top of the cake. Help me, Rhonda.

Next time I think I’ll make my own icing so I can get the consistency and color however I like. Do you have any suggestions for cake decorating? A favorite icing recipe?

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Guitar-Shaped Cake

03/10/2010

A rockin’ baby party needs a rockin’ guitar cake, right? I drove home from Michaels with this guitar shaped cake pan wondering how in the world I was going to do this – bake the cake, get it out of the pan and onto a plate in one piece, and decorate it. I was afraid it would stick in the pan and be a crumbly mess. I wished I could have called Granny. She used to make all sorts of fancy cakes after taking cake decorating classes back in the 70’s.

Thankfully it came with detailed instructions to grease the pan with shortening and sprinkle with flour to make sure no shiny spots show through. It took some retouching on the tuning pegs but I eventually had it thoroughly greased and floured.

Granny used to always gently drop the cake pan onto the oven rack a few times. I’m not sure why … maybe to get rid of air pockets? I do it sometimes just because she did.

One regular cake mix completely filled the pan. I made funfetti cake.

After it cooled a few minutes, I cut off the rounded top … and ate most of it. Because why waste perfectly good cake?

The instructions said to flip the cake onto a wire rack, then, once cooled, flip it onto the serving plate. I had no interest in flipping the cake twice so it went straight onto the serving plate. It didn’t come right out. I ended up sliding a knife along the edges to make sure everything was loose and then tried again.

Success!!! Thank you Jesus! Look at that bridge and sound hole and those frets. How funny! Do you really think they’ll be visible after I frost it?

Nope. But I suppose maybe the purpose is just a template for decorating. Considering I’m an ill-equiped*, inexperienced cake decorator, I think it turned out OK. Colored sugars certainly help.

*I used a butter knife and a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off.

I used Martha Stewart’s vanilla frosting recipe. (By the way, I recently discovered the wonder of homemade frosting. Why have I been buying it out of a can all these years?!) It was very sugary sweet but thankfully the cake was not so it was a nice balance.

I’m looking forward to many more guitar cakes in the future!