The Cake Lessons Continue


Thanks for your patience while I still mix some old posts with new. I made this cake in early 2010. Oh was it good. Prepare to drool.

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The first lesson I learned from this cake was to specify the date needed rather than talk in terms of “upcoming,” or “next.”

When asked on a Friday, about one [1] month ago, for a cake “this Sunday” my brain somehow flipped to Sunday 9 days from then, not less-than-48-hours-from-now-Sunday. Thankfully, I reread the emails on Saturday morning, giving myself plenty of time to panic. I had a long day ahead of teaching and planned activities, but it was too late to back out.

I scrambled around and got as many ingredients measured and mixed before I shot out the door to teach a few lessons, grocery shop, then observe one of my voice students at her regional solo and small ensemble festival. Gold medal ratings in all events! I felt like a bona fide voice teacher now that my students were garnishing achievements!

Meanwhile, back at the bachelorette pad, I mixed up several batches of Hazel Shank’s Chocolate Cake. I like Hazel. In fact, my first daughter, Lord willing I have children some day, just might be named “Hazel.” Then again, I should probably work on other details of my future before I start naming my children after cake.

If I made Hazel’s recipe in true fashion, it would have both espresso and rum present. I have yet to include the rum, and the cake still gets rave reviews. I might not know what to do with myself if I ever taste the proper recipe. It might be my end.

Hellllllloooooooo, Cake!

I also was reminded that I need to work out if I’m going to keep up this baking business. Half-sheet sized cakes (12×18 inches, FYI) already need extra attention while in transport. I did not expect for the cake to bend the board in half underneath its weight. This is not a light-and-fluffy, out-of-the-box, stale, you-might-be eating-a-second-cousin-to-cardboard-cake.

About as dense as a steak. I don’t think I could choose between a good steak and this cake. I would need both. Hear that? NEED!
Give a good “heave-ho” when lifting and moving.

I decided of my own accord to make chocolate butter cream. Isn’t it delightfully silky and delicious?

Frosting…icing….whatever, it’s good.

Forget the beaters, I want the bowl. As is, please.

Notice that it is a bit darker than some other chocolate icings. I use awesome chocolate. End of story.

As for the décor, though I had just learned how to make roses, I wasn’t feeling confident enough nor was there enough time with my time crunch. I was assured that Terra would be happy with a flavorful cake as long as it was chocolate. Second valuable lesson learned that weekend was in smoothing the chocolate icing…do it fast! Chocolate shows its flaws more readily than white icing. Any crack or surface blemish pulls all focus to itself, so good luck! Not an easy feat. I decided to go for the “Jif peanut butter” look.


Yes, my cursive still needs work. It needed work in the 4th grade. This isn’t pre-lined paper, folks. And icing in a piping bag is way different than a pen or pencil.

At the end of the day, the cake went fast among the crowd. Poor Terra barely got some pieces for herself! I’m still refining my sheet cakes, but I enjoy the chance to practice and bring others joy in the process.

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