Contrary to popular belief, I do still enjoy baking. So much so that when the call went out last fall that the Cake Slice Bakers would be starting a new baking book, I enthusiastically threw my sugar-covered hat into the ring and was all, “LET’S BAKE SOME THINGS, YO!” I hurriedly ordered the book—Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson—and thumbed through it excitedly upon receipt.
And then, THEN!, the first recipe was voted on for November, and I got all pumped to make it, because it sounded tasty. A shoo-fly cake! Amirite? Delicious.
It was a disaster. A tasteless, dry, disaster that got pitched in the garbage. It’s entirely possible that it’s all because I didn’t have ginger. Yeah, that’s it. It was a disaster cake because I didn’t have the ginger. Ginger is my new vanilla. Kind of. Maybe.
You know what? I don’t want to even talk about the November cake, which I didn’t even make until December anyway. And then there was the December cake, which was supposed to be some sort of Mississippi Mud concoction with homemade marshmallow fluff or some stuff and nonsense. I shall spare you the suspense: I didn’t make the cake. I didn’t even attempt to make it.
There. I said it.
And I don’t regret it.
(Lie. I totally do. I’ll have to make it latertimes. I hear it’s full of deliciousness.)
But when January rolled around, I girded my loins and declared that BY GEORGE* I AM GOING TO MAKE THIS MONTH’S CAKE.
And you guys.
I totally did.
And I don’t regret it.
(Totally not a lie.)
But of course I had to do it my way. See, the original recipe, Banana Cake with Coffee Walnut Buttercream, called for two round layers.
Can I be honest with you?…Yes? Thanks, much appreciated. A big cake like that, where you slice it off piece by piece, while lovely and wonderful, is not really my bag. Big cakes like that, in my world, tend to sit around for a week or more, I assume because people are way too lazy to take out a knife and a plate and slice off a hunk.
And by people I mean me.
And by assume I mean I’m correct. I am lazy.
So big cakes like that? Go stale in my world.
Which is why cupcakes, in all their over-exposed glory, are still wonderful. People are more apt to grab a cupcake to snarfle down and not think twice.
And by people, I yes, again, mean me.
Though I did share the deliciousness with my coworkers. (You’re welcome, Corporate America! Who loves ya, baby!)
Second, as mentioned, this recipe called for a banana cake (yum) with a coffee walnut buttercream (ew). Not being a coffee drinker, and for the love of all that is holy I don’t even like tiramisu all that much because of the espresso, I did what any good banana-lover would do and paired the cupcakes with chocolate buttercream instead. And instead of frosting the cupcakes like one normally would, I went instead with my more favored stuffedcake technique.
It’s how I do.
The result was terrific, simply terrific, and I, who am a salty-potato-chip-loving freak, had to stop myself from eating more than two of these sweet treats in one go. The flavor wasn’t overly banana-y, and the cake itself was soft and a little spongy, with just that hint of…stickiness? Is that the word I’m looking for? Sure, let’s go with stickiness. You know what I’m talking about—where the cake gets almost a little caramelized around the edges. It’s my favorite part. And the chocolate buttercream was a wise decision, if I do say so myself. And I do.
It’s good to be back on the baking train, good to not have a disaster in the kitchen. (Though there was almost a powdered sugar incident when making the frosting, but whatever you do, guys, DON’T FREAK OUT. EVERYTHING IS OKAY. THE FROSTING IS OKAY. IT IS UNHARMED.) (Also? Almost a cupcake liner incident.) (I don’t want to talk about it.)
Bake on, people.
*Can someone explain me: WHO THE F IS GEORGE? I don’t know anyone named George, nor do I generally do things by him. But maybe I should?