That's It: Part II

comments: 60


Well, okay. I feel so bad that I left you hanging. I don't know what was funnier, scrubbing cake off the baking sheet or reading the comments from everyone who thought these were Whoopie Pies (they did look like WPs, though those rings of what look like white filling are actually the little metal cake pans, or the parts of the pans that aren't covered with molten chocolate). I'm sad to say that looking at the finished cakes was just as funny, since they didn't really get any better looking, though I tried, oh I tried. I really did try. I laughed out loud, alone, so many times while doing this, so at least I amused myself.

So, I was just trying to bake little cakes like the ones I did for Valentine's Day last year and the dinner party ones with the pink flowers and the birthday one (now I'm just showing off, cause that one was beautiful, I'm sorry, but it was). So I mean, I had it. I did used to have it. I had to go back and look just to make sure. Was I [pause] too sexy for my shirt? I think so. Hubris. Got lazy. While you are all so nice to blame the oven temperature, the recipe, the humidity, the baking soda, or the [insert name of blameable cause other than myself here] for me, I'm chagrined to say this one was entirely Operator Error. I just filled the pans way too full; apparently, though I took the time to make cake batter entirely from scratch, I could not really be bothered to stop for 1/4 second and think about how much batter I should put in the pans.

Turns out, not too much. This batter, when finished, is totally liquid, the consistency of Swedish pancake batter. But it . . . rises. So the cakes totally blobbed out in the oven and gooed all over my nice beautiful baking sheet. I was standing and looking at them through the oven-door window with my mouth actually hanging open as they were bubbling over, oozing like lava. That was a sad moment. I decided to let it go, and hope the part in the pans still cooked. But thank goodness for the nice baking sheet, otherwise . . . well, at least I got that part right.


The finished stacks are these wobbly, pock-marked, frowsy little towers of sponge and cream. I think they are embarrassed for themselves, actually. They looked just like the ones I made in my Easy-Bake Oven when I was nine. But Andy was right: They are delicious. So it was all fine — just too much batter of a too-sticky cake in a 4" round tin. The recipe, Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake, is one I've used many times, and it is the best chocolate cake, if you like them dense and sticky, as I do. But it's so moist that it's not a great candidate for further lateral slicing, like I did with the Stacks of Hearts and Clouds (drier); this one's sticky even when it's coming out of the pan. It's insanely delicious, though, so don't let me stop you. Don't let my problems stop you. Just, put it in the right size pans. I see now that this — wrong pan-size — is a recurring theme in my baking badness. So, after I surgically removed these from their pans and cut off all their weird edges, I added a layer of raspberry jam. Frosted them with this (with a little jam added):

Cloudburst Frosting

4 T. flour
1 c. whole milk
1 c. butter
1 t. almond extract
2 c. sifted confectioners sugar

In small pan, whisk together flour and milk. Simmer until thick over low heat. Remove from heat and let cool completely but NOT in refrigerator. Cream together butter and almond; add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and beat until fluffy. The frosting will appear to separate, but just keep beating on high until it whips up into smooth, fluffy clouds.

Slapped a doily under them, sprinkled on some powdered sugar, and just dug in, quick. Not a problem. Nope [munch munch], no problems now. I wish you were here so you could have some and then maybe you'd forgive me for being such a doofus. Nevertheless, I'm sticking to smocking and savories for a while. Seriously. That's it.


Hey, you're no doofus! A doofus couldn't put up the great tutorials you do. Baking goofs just happen. Can totally relate. In my case, a gingerbread bundt cake that came out great the first time is not necessarily guaranteed to come out great the 2nd time. Especially when you forget to grease the cake pan. Talk about pock marks (hilarious by the way) - Mine were like chunks - pock marks on steroids. PLUS, the cake was tough & chewy because I overmixed. Phooey. Live n' Learn.

You go Girl!!! Whoever invented the baking sheet has saved us ALL many times from disaster! LOVE how you share your losses as well as victories with us! Keeps us keeping on... being perfect is kinda boring!

yummy! Can I have some? :) (I also once totally forgot to grease the pan... we ate the cake in it and bought a new pan. I now use the partially destroyed one to put my paint when I'm working!)

I love reading about your supposed baking misadventures, A ! I think we can all really identify with things not going right in the baking department :)

Every year I have a cookie exchange with my friends and part of the tradition is that we tell the backstory of how each batch of cookies came to be. ie: we tell what went wrong. There are always some hilarious accounts of what spilled all over the floor, how the oven behaved, what got burnt etc. I do believe this is everyone's favorite part of the cookie exchange!

Thanks for the recipe. Love that last photo :)

Have a super-delicious weekend!

I love that you persevere. And I love, that sometimes you even blog on a Saturday when blogland seems so quiet and I am looking for something good to read. And you share sooo much, I really love that.

I love that you persevere. And I love, that sometimes you even blog on a Saturday when blogland seems so quiet and I am looking for something good to read. And you share sooo much, I really love that.

These look AWESOME. I love their Easy-Bake-beauty and they are totally responsible for my breakfast of leftover chocolate birthday cake!
I say, keep on baking... :)

I my that looks soooo delicious. My diet and that picture are killing me.
I have heard that using fishing line is a great way to slice a cake, just hold both ends and pull it through.

I wish I had a special ocassion to make these today, because otherwise i would just gobble it don. Thank you for sharing the recipes! Yours look incredible, don't stop baking!! Can you share some really good sticky buns?? :)


I thought all was well, they were little sandwich cookies, and the tin was the filling oozing out.
You are just so... adept at everything... the thought that it was a flop didn't even enter my conciousness. Tx for letting me voyeurize your craftalicious life.

oh man, I am sorry to tell you those look great.... and you know the part of the batter spilling over onto a baking sheet, well that is not entirely bad news, as you get to eat all of that... or maybe I just do that. I am so bad, I even try to hide the fact that it is there to eat from Emma and until I am sure I have had some....afraid she has inherited this from me as well.... But when I did look at the pictures yesterday I thought, "now why in the world is Miss A. making moon pies?" so, glad I am not alone in that thinking.. the finished product just looks wonderful. But I decided today was a bread making kind of day.. cold, rainy, oh, pretty mush how it has been since Monday around here... ready for the sun, even though my jonquils are coming up already!

Yeah! I'm glad they tasted great...nothing more devastating than to cut into a beautiful cake are ready for a melt in your mouth moment to be interupted... I think you had one of those lately too. Thanks for being so tranparent. We all tend to have those moments...some of us just choose to hide them under an extra layer of icing! tee hee

Off for a cup of coffee...that or a glass of milk with one of those beauties!

Happy sewing, smocking, cooking, creating............Paula :)

nothing in the world would have stopped me from diving into one of these....looks ain't everything! and you know, in truth, they look perfectly delish to me- in all forms and stages! xoC

It's not showing off! I loved being reminded of those beautiful cakes-from-the-past! And see, if you hadn't said anything, and had only shown us pictures like that gorgeous one above with the lace doily underneath - we would never have known the difference! ( But then, it's funny when you do, and we appreciate your honesty!)

As far as I'm concerned, as long as it's yummy, it's a success! I've had plenty baking goofs in my time, but that's not stopping me either! :-)

HAHAHAHAHA!!! I think it's so funny, because everything you do is always so PRETTY! Every once in a while, it's nice to have a Whoopie Pie comment, isn't it?

That Hershey's cake recipe is one of my favorites!! I make it a lot (one-layer rectangular or round layer cakes)and get rave reviews about how moist and yummy it is! So easy, too. Sorry about the overloaded pans!

It's so reassuring to know everything doesn't always come out right, don't you think? It gives us all so much room for improvement to say nothing for opportunities for laughter, which is, after all, very healthful! I was one of the folks who thought the originals were whoopie pies so I even got to laugh again!

I have a top secret confession about your frosting. The first time I made it I didnt read your instructions, and didnt let it cool. At all.

Well, that way makes fabulous frosting as well. So good, that I've never actually tried the "right way". The "wrong" frosting is extra yummy when its chilled in the fridge for a little bit.

Funny, I thought they were whoopie pies, too.

At least you have some cakes under your belt that you can look back on as successes... I come from a long line(my mom) of failed cake bakers. One year for my dad's b-day, he requested my great grandmother's chocolate cake. What a disaster, it literally erupted in my oven... like a science fair volcano. It was everywhere... I just took the cake pans outside in the backyard and left them there for like a month in the snow because I was so ticked that I wasted all kinds of good ingredients (I was pregnant at the time so I had an excuse for being crabby). Finally my husband was like... do you want these pans or what? So, he cleaned them for me.

My grandmother used to make the same frosting that you made for the cake that exploded... I also have very little luck getting that icing to work it always curdles. So at least your icing didn't curdle!

Why don't my baking flops ever look that good? At least you could still eat the cake and it was good. I usually have to renovate my kitchen after I bake. Don't worry, your baking mojo will come back when you least expect it.

OMG I can't wait to make this cake, it sounds heavenly..Your photography is wonderful..Honestly you make the food look sooooo good I just wish I could reach through my screen for a big bite of your yummy concoctions...I love your site and your blog..:)

Hey, Ali, are you not familiar with 'trifle'? I think it's English. Line the outside of a deep glass bowl (preferably one with a pedestal) with lady fingers (optional). Then, throw in torn-up cake pieces, fruit chunks, pudding, chocolate chips, whipped cream, jams, pieces of candies or cookies -- whatever you happen to have on hand that is sweet. Chill it thorougly, and serve with a spoon.
So now you know what to do with anything you bake that comes out tasting great but looking less-than-lovely -- tear it into pieces and throw it into a trifle!!! It's great after the holidays when you have a little-of-this and a little-of-that left over.....

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at