An Interview, Some Cake Stuff, and a Dancing Toddler

It’s Monday and I hate Mondays.  So, how about a little fun and some cake?

First, I did an interview for Stewie over at This Little Thing Called Life.  For those of you who don’t know Stewie, doing this interview was a risk.  He’s…satirical, to put it nicely.  He absolutely demolished Apostle Jack who, admittedly, deserved it.  What made it worse (or better) is that Apostle Jack was clueless. (See here and here.)  I didn’t want that happening to me.  But he was kind.  He only called me a racist arsonist.  I suggest you check it out.

Second, cake.  People love cake.  I get a lot of questions about my cakes.  (For cake photos, see here and here.)  The number one question is, “How do you get the icing so smooth?”

It’s not that hard.  The secret is “crumb-coating” or “dirty icing.”  Basically, you get the smallest amount of icing possible and spread it really thin all over the cake, not caring whether there’s crumbs or not.  Be sure to fill in all the holes and cracks with icing.  It’ll look like this when you’re done.

You let the icing “crust.”  That can take up to an hour, but when the icing is hard, the crumbs will be sealed in.  You’re now ready to ice the cake for real.

This time, put a butt-load (technical term) of icing on top of the cake and start spreading it with a spatula, pushing the icing down the sides.  Then ice the sides, making sure not to dig into the crumb coat.  Add extra icing as necessary.  Then use the flat side of a plastic or silicone bowl scraper to smooth the icing, beginning with the top and ending with the sides.

A turntable makes this easier, but it’s not necessary.  Again, let the icing crust.  If there are still some cracks, place a piece of paper or a paper towel on the icing and smooth over it gently with your hand.  And voilà, a smoothly iced cake.

The next question I get is, “Do you use cake mixes?”  The answer is yes, but with modifications.  Here’s the recipe.

Doctored Cake Mix

Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines Cake Mix (they taste better)
Oil and Water called for on the cake box
4 Eggs
1 cup cake flour or 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1/2 tsp. baking powder + dash of salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cocoa (If making a chocolate cake)

Directions:

1.  Mix cake mix, flour (or flour mixture),  sugar, and cocoa (if applicable) in large bowl.
2.  Add water, eggs, and oil.
3.  Mix on low-speed until all ingredients are incorporated.
4.  Beat on med-high for 2 minutes.
5.  Add sour cream and mix on low until blended.
6.  Bake according to package directions.

Yield:  Makes (3) 9-inch layers.

Tip:  Grease cake pans with shortening and flour or use baking spray with flour to ensure easy release.  Let cake sit in pans for 10 minutes before releasing.

There are some cakes I would never use mixes for.  Carrot cake, Red Velvet, and Sour Cream Pound Cake should always be made from scratch.  I do have the recipes for these but they are closely guarded family secrets.  If I told you what they were, I’d have to kill you.  Or marry you or force you to marry someone in the family.  Trust me, you don’t want the recipes that bad.  (Kidding, for any family that might be reading this.)  No, I’m not.

The last thing I want to leave you with is a cute little video of a dancing baby.  In case you haven’t seen enough of those in your lifetime.  I know I have, but this one is different because it’s MY dancing baby.  And like the excellent mother that I am, I happen to think she’s the cutest baby in the world.  And you will, too, even if you won’t admit it.

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24 thoughts on “An Interview, Some Cake Stuff, and a Dancing Toddler

  1. Such a wonderful post. Love the dancing toddler – she is so precious. The cake recipe (and tips) are much appreciated. And you are very deserving of the awards. I’ve checked out some of your recommendations.
    The interview was hilarious and you were, indeed, very brave.

    • Dirty icing is a neat little trick. I’ve heard some cake decorators don’t have to do it, but they are more talented than I. I thought the interview went pretty well. Be sure to tell Stewie you liked it. It was his idea.

  2. 1. That crumb frosting thing may have just improved my overall level of Life Happiness a cool 16%.
    2. Thanks for the shout-out in your interview. That was so kind of you, really. I’ve been too busy to write much the past couple weeks, so it’s nice to see someone is still out there thinking of me.

  3. Wow! I NEVER understood how cake makers iced their cakes without pulling the cake part apart! Thank you so much for sharing… I predict much better looking cakes in my future! :o)

    Thanks so much for joining in with the Make Yourself Monday Blog Hop! And thanks for grabbing the button! :o)

    Jamie
    For Love of Cupcakes

  4. Your dancing toddler is such a cute little scream! Fun for the whole family!

    As for Stewie, well, he sounded rather sophisticated and urbane but I only told him how much I enjoyed it and what a great double act you two are.

    What is not to love about cake? I honestly can’t imagine life without it and yours always look so good.

  5. That was the perfect amount of cuteness to start off my morning. Thanks for the cake tips! I’m going to share them with #2, our resident baker. She’s going to be thrilled at getting cake secrets!

    • Glad I could help with the cuteness and the cake. Normally, I’m not one to share videos and pics of my super-adorable kids because I don’t especially like to see other people’s super-adorable-but-nowhere-near-as-adorable-as-my-kids videos. But hey, it’s my blog. 🙂

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