The Big Flop

No, I didn't make this. But I wish I did.
Ever get really excited about an idea, to the point where you can't wait to try it and have all kinds of grand expectations? That's how I felt about Thane's Father's Day cake.

A combination of The Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars, and the Cheesecake Factory's chocolate tower cake got me thinking about creating my own masterpiece.

The Cake Boss

The Cheesecake Factory's Chocolate Tower Cake

So for weeks I looked forward to Father's Day, which seemed like the perfect opportunity to give my own grand four-layer cake a try. The day came. I'd bought the ingredients ahead of time, two boxes of yellow butter cake mix, the items for chocolate buttercream frosting, and some special chocolate mousse topping so I could maybe do something like you see on this cake below. Actually, this is pretty much the look I was going for....

And this is what I got....

Reality check: I am not the cake boss.


And to make matters worse, I didn't realize that I forgot to add the butter to the cake mix until it was too late. (Well, margarine, technically, since I can't have butter). Yep, it was a very sad realization when I opened up the microwave to see my two sticks still sitting there softening after the cakes had already gone in the oven.

But there's some good news! The chocolate buttercream frosting recipe turned out to be delicious, the only redeeming factor about the whole debacle! And it was so simple and easy to make. Here's the recipe, just in case any of you other sweet hounds have a hankorin'.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


1/2 cup butter (or margarine)                   
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk (I used soy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Cream together the butter or margarine with the shortening.               
  2. Sift the cocoa with the confectioners' sugar and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together adding 1 tablespoon at a time of milk to keep mixture smooth. Don't add more than 1/4 cup of milk.               
  3. Add the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy.               
You can't tell it's leaning from this angle! :)
Fear not, this isn't over! Now I'm determined to make a cake that's as beautiful as it is yummy. And with the butter margarine. My mom is an excellent cake decorator, by the way. She took classes and everything! So, maybe a few more attempts, experiments, and a lesson or two from her will get me there. I'll keep you updated!

Anybody else have a failed first attempt lately? Or are there any master bakers out there that can tell me how to keep a four layer cake from leaning?


clark said...

Did you cut the tops off of the layers of cake to make em flat?

Modern Ranch said...

Sure didn't, Clark! But I will next time, that's for sure. Is this the Clark I know???

Rebecca Zwerneman said...

Cutting the tops of the layers off will help keep your layers flat. Also, if you stack all your layers (with the frosting in between) then stick the whole cake in the refrigerator to let the frosting set up, then when you go to frost the outside the layers will stay put and wont slide around on each other. Just make sure that your cake is straight before putting in the refrigerator otherwise it will stay slanted. :) The frosting did look like chocolatey goodness! :)

Sarah said...

Thanks Becca, I was hoping you'd have some advice! I hadn't heard the tip about refridgerating before icing the sides, that sounds like it would really make a big difference. Okay, as soon as Thane asks for another cake, (he's imposing a diet on us for the time being, haha), I'm going to try leveling & refridgerating... I'll let you know how it goes, thanks again!

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