Friday, September 14, 2012

Almost Foiled by Spiderman

Eli's school's Fall Festival is this weekend, and I was excited to see baking on the list of volunteer opportunities.  So I quickly checked the box to donate a cake for the cake walk and set about planning what to bake.

I distinctly remember winning a coconut cake at my school's cake walk when I was in second or third grade.  I'd never had a coconut cake before, and it was the most beautiful, tall, fluffy cake.  I delighted in bringing home my cake that I won.  And I probably ate most of it myself.

Brad suggested I make a German Double-Chocolate cake, which is a pretty spectacular cake.  Maybe the best I've ever made.  But I was thinking along the lines of what would appeal to a kid?  (Not that a coconut cake is really a kid's cake, but, whatever.)

I'll bake a novelty cake!  Of course!!  And I'll let Eli pick it.

So we went to Michael's and Eli picked the Spiderman cake.  I read the instructions, purchased all the necessary items, and began a practice cake.  Both to make sure I could make a passable Spiderman cake, and so we'd have some cake to enjoy ourselves.

Classic yellow butter cake, since Eli doesn't like chocolate. (I still can't totally wrap my brain around that.  But he's rejected chocolate in various forms at this point, so I feel pretty confident he just doesn't like it. As alien as that is to us, his chocolate-loving parents.)

I assume he'd never before licked the beater and bowl, since he at first eyed them both suspiciously.  After only slight coaxing he dug in.

I pulled the cake from the oven after the recommended baking time (AND a toothpick test), let it cool for ten minutes in the pan, and then turned it over. 

Anxiously.  Expectantly.

The cake was stuck to the pan.  Aarrgh.

And it was a little bit raw in the middle.  Sheesh.

Ok, no biggie.  That's why I'm making a practice cake.  Right?

My second attempt was only a little better; it was fully baked, but still did not completely release from the pan.

What the what?!?!?

As I was staring in anguish and disbelief at the second ruined cake, Brad suggested the Wilton cake release spray could be the culprit.  He reminded me of the time when I tried an organic alternative from Whole Foods, also with disastrous results.

But that's what the directions for this pan said to use!  I bought it specifically for this stupid cake.  This stupid pan.  Stupid, stupid, stupid. . . . 

*Brad backs away, slowly*

A few days later I tried again.  Everything the same, except I used my trusty Pam for Baking.  And the cake released perfectly.

Bless you, Pam.  I shall never again be lured into a substitution.

My practice cake was now my real cake, since I didn't plan on having to bake three cakes before I could begin decorating.  So I just had to forge ahead.

Eli helped me make the frosting.

He's fascinated with, and a little scared of, the Kitchen Aid mixer.  I told him to be careful not to turn it on too quickly, or powdered sugar would "explode" all over.  After that, he wouldn't get very close to it, fearing the explosion.  I have to remember that everything is very literal to him.

The cake turned out fine.  Not great, and certainly not my best cake.

But, you get that's Spiderman.  Right?

At least it's clearly homemade; nobody will mistake this for a professional's work.  And the cake itself tastes great.  We learned that from those two practice cakes, which we've nibbled on all week.

Still, next year I think I'll just make that German Double-Chocolate cake.


  1. Looks GREAT! Better than anything I could ever attempt! lol

  2. Aw, the kids will love it! You're a baking pro!

  3. LOL! Kathleen you crack me up! Many, many moons ago I used those Wilson pans. I used to make a 3D teddy bear cake. Too fun! Maybe it is Spiderman that eludes you. ;)