I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have some sort of cake frozen in my freezer. It works wonders for those times when I want to put something together, but don’t have the time for the whole “bake-cool (completely!)-ice-decorate” process. Frozen cake lets me skip right to the icing and decorating bit - I love that!
But as luck would have it, for Easter I wanted to bake a very specific layer cake for my guests, and I had none in my freezer. Plus, I had these great new cake pans I wanted to try! So, I prepared the batter and put the cake in the oven… all of a sudden I could smell the cake all through the house, a good sign that it should have come out earlier. When I pulled the pans from the oven and released the cakes, they were far too done on the outside.
I would have had to cut way too much off to make these presentable under the pink strawberry buttercream I made. Lesson learned: Never try brand new pans with a new recipe for the first time for company! As my poor layers cooled, I quickly prepared some more batter, and then watched them like a hawk while they were baking – success all around this time.
The good news is that once those original layers cooled, I checked out the inside. The cake looked and tasted delicious, with the nice, dense crumb I was hoping for! So, I froze my delicious-but-not-so-pretty “cake mistake.”
Fast forward a month later, and it's this cutie-pie’s second birthday.
Since I was going to be working on Ava’s big day, I wanted to be sure she knew that Auntie Karen was thinking of her. I remembered I had that “cake mistake” in the freezer - and for a little girl, maybe I could make a “little cake”! So I grabbed my 4-inch round cutter (I could just as easily have used a glass to cut through the cake) and cut out two small rounds for two layers.
Now the edges were nice and clean, ready for some vanilla buttercream! I rounded up some sprinkles to finish it off. We both loved the result!
All this thanks to not throwing away my cake mistake! And yes, I also saved the leftover scraps in my “scrap cake bag”. Trust me, those are good with just about anything – but I’ll save that for another time.
If you love baking, or think you might and want to start learning, The Chopping Block has some wonderful hands-on baking classes in June to check out: