Wanna-be Cake Boss

Hey guys! As I said in my last post, I started this blog for fun only, and I’m sticking to it! It’s been a little while since my last post, but life is busy and “writing for fun” shouldn’t be forced. So here we are, a couple weeks after my 1st post, with post #2… Wannabe Cake Boss!

Let me start by saying… I love love LOVE to bake.

Baking is one of those things I would say I’m better than okay at, but I’m definitely still considered to be a home-baker.  Although, I am a total Wannabe Baking Boss, which brings us to this week’s fail.

Before we get started, I would like to give a shout out to the OUTRAGEOUSLY OVER PRICED wedding market for making this fail a possibility. I could literally start an entire Blog on just that topic, but for now, I’ll spare you.

Being the OK baker, penny pincher, and total wannabe that I am, I thought, why in the world would I pay $300 for a wedding cake when I am perfectly capable of baking one myself? I mean, how hard could it be?

I can totally do this. Piece of cake. Pun intended.

Initiate Mission: Bake My Own Wedding Cake.


Cake pictures and recipes saved to my pins, Check. Greased and floured cake pans at the ready, Check. Self-assured wannabe attitude, Always. Let’s make a wedding cake!

Originally, I had a HUGE long rambling post about all the things I did wrong with my cake, but after editing I realized I ramble maybe too much… so, I’ll spare you from more grueling rambling and go straight to the picture of the cake and a list (of course), of what went wrong.

Here is my inspiration vs what my cake looked like. Yes, it only cost me about $23 and a chunk of my pride to create it, but… FullSizeRender

Go ahead. You’re allowed to laugh. Yeah, I don’t know why I tried to dress it up with flowers either. It was impossible to make this thing look (or taste) good.

If you’re attempting this, as promised, here’s a list of some things to avoid!

In a nutshell, What Went Wrong

1. My cake was NOT good.

I’m all about Go Big or Go Home, so making a cake from scratch was my game plan. I’m not sure if I messed up the recipe, or if the recipe was just bad. (Fun fact- I tried to add a link to the recipe so you could try it, and the page no longer exists. There’s your sign).

  • All six of my cakes turned out hard, dry, and flat. Flatter than Nebraska flat. Total bummer.
  • Usually if I make something that looks ugly, it at least tastes good. Except this. It tasted terrible. Ugh.

2. My frosting wasn’t fluffy enough.

I can never get that awesome fluffy buttercream, and because of that, it dries quickly and in chunks (see pic below). What’s the deal? Is it because I only have a hand mixer? Do I need to stand there and beat it for 30+ minutes? Where does one get the energy and stamina for that kind of a task?!

  • If you have any tips, please comment below!!
  • A positive though – Frosting tasted awesome.


    Chunky, hard frosting on a dry cake. Yum.

3. I totally underestimated the “Naked Cake.”

The first thing I ever learned about frosting a cake is, d
on’t let your spatula touch the cake/always leave frosting in between the spatula and cake. This has always worked well for me, until I decided to make a naked cake, with minimal frosting. There’s no way to not touch the cake, which means, expect crumbs galore from your dry rock cakes to get in your frosting.

  • I needed to invest in a cake smoother to smooth out the sides. My cake has chunks of frosting that won’t smooth with the spatula alone, get a plastic smoother to even out all the sides! Wannabe’s, totally get one!
  • I decided to try and hide the cakes behind the frosting and take a Pinterest Worthy Picture anyway. Fail.

4. I didn’t have a big enough size difference in my layers.

Not sure if you can tell, but there are supposed to be two different sizes… Ten inch and eight inch look a lot closer than you would think when you try to stack them!! Next time, I’m going to use sizes with more of a substantial difference.

Those are all the fails summed up quickly, I’m sure the list could go on and on. But I’m a wannabe, and a determined one at that, so here’s what I tweaked for my second go!

Attempt #2

First – I scratched the homemade cake (for this project), and decided to concentrate on just the frosting aspect instead. Yes yes, I know, can’t be a Cake Boss with box mixes. But give me a break, people. I’m planning a wedding here, who has time to make cake from scratch??

WARNING: Box mixes do not taste as good as homemade ones… Unless you fail miserably at homemade cakes (like myself), then a box is your best bet 🙂 Here’s a link to jazz up your box cake mix! Make A Box Mix Taste Homemade

IMG_6756Second – I whipped my frosting until my arm was ready to fall off. I also {unintentionally} made chocolate frosting! See below for short story.

My frosting turned out great. It was fluffy, creamy, and the perfect awesome texture I’d been striding for for my cake. All around, I think the extra whipping, a tad more butter than usual, and possibly using a higher % of milk than normal attributed to better frosting!

Side story – I went to make my frosting, and realized I was out of regular milk… But I had chocolate milk… So in goes the chocolate milk and healthy dose of cocoa powder. Wah-lah, chocolate frosting! 

Third – I stuck to what I knew with cakes and used way more frosting than I needed, so my spatula didn’t touch the cake. Extra frosting between cake and spatula = no crumbs in the cake!

While I was doing this, it dawned on me. OH MY GOSH. NAKED CAKES DON’T START AS NAKED CAKES! THAT’S HOW THEY DO IT WITH NO CRUMBS!! ( I confirmed with a baker friend after my success, and she looked at me like I asked her what color the sky was). Apparently this is something any novice baker should have known!

For those of you that aren’t following my random brain waves, what I mean is, to get the Naked Cake look, you first frost the cake normally, and then come back with your cake scraper (or spatula in my case… still haven’t purchased a scraper), and take off the excess frosting around the edge.

Here’s my finished product! it’s not perfect by any means, but it’s leaps and bounds better than my first attempt! And the chocolate milk frosting tastes awesome 🙂

So happy I went back and tried this again. I knew I could do it! Now, if only I wasn’t on a diet and my fiance liked cake… Next time I attempt this again, I’m going to have testers around to take the cake home with them!!

Not sure if I should chalk this up to a wannabe success quite yet, but it’s definitely encouraged me to keep trying! With a little more practice, I just might graduate from wannabe to actual cake boss 😉

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments section!

– Angela


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