I'm home for the summer now, which means I have an oven that's 34985 times better than the one in my dorm room. It also means that I don't have to pay for all my groceries anymore. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) :D
My dad's birthday was about a week ago, and I made him a cake! I had planned on making a checkerboard cake. I saw a checkerboard cake kit in a Ross for $6 and had to have it. I made one once before just to try it out and I thought it turned out pretty well for the first time. It probably gets easier with pactice.
Unfortunately, when I tried to make a checkerboard cake for my dad's birthday, I failed miserably. I think it was because I used two different brands of cake mix and one was much thicker than the other.
The yellow cake mix on the left was much thicker than the chocolate cake mix. But the checkerboard pan thing is pretty cool. I put yellow cake mix in the outer and center circles and chocolate cake mix in the one between them. Then for the next layer, I switched them.
Here you can see what I mean. The pan in the back right is the one I put in first. You can see the yellow cake mix puffed up a lot and the chocolate one didn't, so it looks like it's sinking. Also, the yellow cake mix sort of squished the chocolate cake in the middle and made much smaller chocolate rings. The pan in the back left is what it's supposed to look like. The rings are closer to the same size. Anyway, when you take them out and start icing, you stack the chocolate one in the middle and the yellow cake ones on the top and bottom.
Things went from bad to worse when I started icing it. I covered it in chocolate frosting and did white decorations. I guess the white icing got too warm and basically wouldn't stick to the cake. We went to my grandmother's house to eat it and visit with some family, and of course, they all told me it was beautiful anyway and still tasted really good.
Apparently, the car ride home had been a little too much for this poor cake. The layers had slid off each other and the top layer somehow got a lot smaller than the other two. We're still not sure how that happened.
I tried to put it back together. In this picture you can also see how the checkerboard thing didn't go very well. My aunt actually asked me if it was supposed to be a marble cake. I probably should have said yes, but I didn't. :P
But I did learn a few things from this experience.
1. When making a checkerboard cake, use the same brand of cake mixes.
2. Make sure the icing is cold or cool before piping.
3. Sometimes things don't work out, but most of the time, cake still tastes good anyway.