April 16, 2012

How not to bake a cake...

We had a busy weekend. Saturday morning, I got busy and made a couple of casseroles, one for dinner and one for the freezer. Finished up a bit of laundry and picking up around the house, then my daughter took me to October Baby. Stopped by The Friendliest Grocery Store On The Face of the Earth (Publix in Warner Robins, if you must know), then home to pop dinner in the oven and have some family time.

Yesterday, we drove down to Colquitt, Georgia, for a family reunion. Left at 9:00 a.m., got back at 8:00 p.m., with some interesting pit stops along the way. (I hope to post some pictures later, including one of the five foot tall pink pig we encountered on a potty break.)

Today we're having another reunion of sorts, as most of Jeff's family will be over to visit with his two West Coast aunts. Meats will be grilled and stories will be told.

I thought it would be nice to have some semi-homemade desserts, so I decided to whip up a couple of cakes. Wouldn't you know it, only enough eggs for one cake. Okay, so maybe I'll make it to the store to get more eggs later, maybe not. But I can at least make my family's all-time favorite chocolate cake

This is the cake that my family requests for every special event, my ace-in-the-hole to take to church potlucks. My recipe is packed up in a 10x20 storage unit with most of our earthly possessions, but recipes are for wimps. I've made this so many times, it should be a, well, a piece of cake. Or so I thought.

I already had the eggs out, so I pulled out some of the other ingredients while my English muffins were toasting. Then I ran around and did a bunch of other things that needed doing. I came back, mixed the cake batter, and put the cake in the oven.

About a minute later, I looked over and saw the eggs still sitting on the counter. Sigh.

I took the cake out of the oven, dumped the batter back into the mixing bowl (at least I hadn't even had a chance to run water in it yet), and mixed in the eggs. The batter was a bit thinner than usual, but maybe that was due to being in the oven for a minute. I dumped the batter back into the bundt pan and popped the cake back into the oven.

About ten minutes later, I realized that I had forgotten another key ingredient: pudding mix. Sigh.

My daughter suggested that I just go to the store and get what I needed to start over. Unfortunately, The Friendliest Grocery Store On The Face of the Earth is about 30 minutes from my house. Yes, there are closer stores, but at this point I was in no mood to deal with them.

So I pulled the cake BACK out of the oven and just sprinkled the pudding mix around the top, mixing it in with a little spatula as I went. My children are very concerned by this point; my daughter is certain that this is not going to turn out well, and my son is worried that we might all get salmonella (confession: science is not a strong point in our homeschooling experience).

I put the cake into the oven again, thankful that my oven does not have a snarky little voice asking me if I'd like to just install a revolving door.

My daughter peeked in about 20 minutes later and informed me that, "The cake looks interesting. I'm just sayin'." Her spiritual gift is encouragement. At least she didn't bring up the chicken pot pie incident.

After adding a few extra minutes of cook time to account for the cake's ingredient interventions, I removed it from the oven. It looked... remarkably normal. When I popped it out of the bundt pan -- well, all of the extracurricular activity kept it from actually popping out of the bundt pan, but you know what I mean -- it was still looking good. And powdered sugar covers a multitude of sins.

My daughter also encouraged me to serve the cake sliced (so that we could check it out before the rest of the family ate it). But I'm a risk taker, and this is family.

Besides, it's triple chocolate. How bad can it be?

{I must give credit to Lisa Pennington for reminding me via blogpost today to be willing to laugh at myself. I hope I'll one day be as good at this as my mother was. I sure have many opportunities for practice!}


  1. /me heads to the kitchen to see if she's got a chocolate cake mix in the pantry.

  2. Well, no one but my hubby noticed anything out of the ordinary about the cake. Not sure if that's good or bad...

  3. This is so funny! It is exactly what I would do except I am a terrible cook so I wouldn't try it without a recipe...but I would still make all of the mistakes. Hooray for no salmonella (that was the best part of the story!). Thanks for the laugh! Lisa~


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