Let's Bake a Cake

Pink cake with meringue kisses on top, flowers in background



Let’s bake a cake. What kind? Do we think chocolate? Vanilla? Lemon? Ooh, lemon. Now it’s time to consult several cookbooks from the library; options are important. This recipe looks amazing: lemon cake with buttered rum syrup and honey frosting. But how about this one: lemon and blueberry cake with lemon curd filling and white chocolate cream cheese frosting. What do we already have in the fridge? Looks like the latter is better covered by our supplies. Done! It’ll have to be a quick trip at the grocery store; our one-year-old still prefers Mom’s arms to sitting in the cart. Okay, everything is ready. We’ll go into the kitchen tonight, wash all the dishes, prepare all our ingredients and wipe down all the surfaces. After all, the kiddo is probably not going to nap for long enough tomorrow to get things gathered and bake the cake. Everything looks sparkling, ready for cake.


It’s an early morning, the kind of morning that makes a kid want to take out every toy in the house to briefly examine then toss away. After lots of giggling and playing (and a few tears), it’s nap time. Cake time. Now we get to absorb the peace of mind that comes from butter and sugar creaming together, the whir of the mixer a soothing soundtrack. The perfectly combined eggs, flour, lemon and vanilla flow into the cake pans, with the blueberries tumbling along. Those rise nicely in the oven while we wash the dishes to make the rest. Lemon curd cooks on the stove, and we mix more delicious things to make the frosting. It’s very important to taste the frosting to make sure it’s okay. Then keep tasting to make sure nothing has changed since last time.


Our cakes have cooled; they’re stacked and filled. Now for the best part: decorating! It might work like a dream, with artful swirls of frosting; maybe it’s not exactly how we imagined, but it still looks lovely; or it could be an absolute disaster that will make us doubt our every ability. But regardless of look, we know that it will taste amazing. For our lemon cake today, let’s do some rosettes, half tinted blue and the rest yellow. Some large nonpareils that drape like pearls, and we’re done. It’s a delectable masterpiece. What should we make next?  


"Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection": I love "Cake Perfection." It feels both aspirational but achievable. I’m most excited to make the s’mores cake that looks absolutely spectacular.

"Cake Magic": The idea behind this one is phenomenal. With a few basic cake recipes, some easy syrups and quick frostings, you can make some delicious cakes. My mother-in-law gushed over the chocolate gingerbread cake with ginger syrup and honey frosting.

"The Cake Book": Oh, how I drool over so many in this book! Chocolate Horchata Meringue Cake, Una Leche Lemon-Coconut Cake, Alfajores Cake... Don’t mind me, I’ll be over here swooning.

"Cake!": Here you can find some brilliant updates to boxed mixes, like adding ganache and mousse to angel food and devil’s food cakes. I’m all about it. These are the kinds of corners we should be cutting!

"Sheet Cake": Oh, the majesty of the seemingly humble sheet cake. Stacked, towering cakes are absolutely wonderful, but give the chai mango sheet cake or the tiramisu rolled cake a try and you’ll see the beauty of a simple sheet.

Now it's your turn! Time to create something wonderful. Share it with friends and family and coworkers - I'm a firm believer in the power of sugar to make everything better. Do you have a favorite cake to make? Please comment below; I'm always looking for new recipes!