One day I decided to bake a cake.
So I pulled my bright new Betty Crocker cookbook off of its shelf and began to leaf through it…
Chapter 1: Getting started
Chapter 2: Appetizers & Beverages
Chapter 3: Breakfast & Brunch
Chapter 4: Breads
“Ah ha!” I had said, as next up was:
Chapter 5: Cakes, Pies & Tarts
The chapter started with a “cake basics” section, but I only glanced at it.
(I had seen my mom and dad, my grandparents and a variety of other people bake cakes before and it didn’t look that tough… )
I started flipping through the types of cakes:
Red Velvet (“smooth-as-silk and buttery rich frosting” said Betty, and I thought: hmm sounds yummy…)
Chocolate Layer Cake (“impressive, but certainly not hard to achieve”)
Chocolate Snack Cake
German Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Hazelnut Torte
Molten Chocolate Cake
(yeesh there were a lot of chocolate recipes – usually too rich for me – and each cake looked more complicated and tricky than the last… I was just looking for a simple, easy, moist and tasty cake… )
Caramel Snicker Doodle Cake
Sour Crème Spice Cake
No, no, no aaaand no!
(Carrots in a cake… come on!)
Suddenly there it was!
One that actually looked tasty, simple, easy, good… like cake!
A Starlight Yellow Cake
Prep time 10 minutes, Total time 2 hours, Serves 12
Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt, Softened Butter, Milk, Vanilla and Eggs
(all in specific measurements)
Quickly I checked the cabinets and refrigerator for ingredients and verified that everything was there and just waiting to be transformed into cake…
Yummy delicious cake…
and I grabbed my baking supplies, greased the pans, preheated the oven, tossed everything into a big bowl as directed and beat it all together on low speed (scraping the bowl occasionally) until the resulting mixture was a smooth even yellow puddle of tantalizing tastiness.
350° in the oven and about 30 minutes later my Starlight Yellow Cake was ready:
filling the pan evenly
an impeccable golden brown
slightly rounded top
soft, velvety, tender and hot!
Oh so hot!!
Next it was time to make the frosting!
However, somewhere along the way I must have misplaced my Betty Crocker…
But I thought it would be ok
it was just frosting…
how hard could it be…
Sugar, Butter, Milk maybe…
a few other things…
I’d just make it up!
A few cups of sugar (as I wanted it to be sweet)
The milk for some creaminess
when, oops: I accidentally knocked some red pepper sauce into the bowl…
“oh well it’ll spice things up” I thought…
“wait, that could be fun!”
I added some salsa too
(I like cheese! That would make it interesting)
then I thought:
“how about some herbs!”
I love herbs!
the frosting had started to emit a pretty pungent aroma… and seemed a bit chunky to apply…
So I tossed in some peppermint and nutmeg and put the whole gloppy mess into a blender and confidently pressed: puree!
The whirling blades whipped the mix into a fine yummy smelling goop
My cake had cooled by this point and so I began to gently smear the brownish glaze over its surface: coating it with care.
I quickly lost myself to the anticipation of carefully slicing my creation and lifting a small delicious bite to my lips…
In no time at all the perfectly round, perfectly baked, perfectly frosted cake sat on its perfect little cake plate.
The perfect little wedge I carefully removed looked…
Mmmmm yummy delicious cake!
With my shiny stainless-steel-made-in-China fork I raised a morsel to my mouth…
I did finish the piece…
And still have the rest of the cake…
(it’s in the freezer now)
I mean, I did make it all by myself…
I wouldn’t recommend trying it though…
The frosting is just a little….
[some simple advice from Betty: “To make great cakes, just remember that baking is more precise than cooking. You need to use the right pans, measure ingredients accurately and follow directions carefully.”]
Avery is a voracious cogitator and loquacious elocutor learned in the art of philosophizing at Siena College and imbued with the mysteries of educating America’s youth through two additional post collegiate degrees from The Sage Colleges. He currently works as house manager at RPI’s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center where he engages in curious experiences brought to fruition by creative minds the world over. Residing in the Albany hamlet of Latham with his two astounding children, who occasionally acquiesce to his desire to sneak out and perform in the secret back rooms of the Albany poetry scene, he occupies his time with extra curricular meetings, wargaming, hardcore metal shows, and painting. Oh, and sometimes he writes words and stuff on napkins that makes him giggle.