Food How to

How not to make a cake

We’ve all seen them. Articles and posts about making a cake that comes out looking like heaven on a platter. It feels so good to picture ourselves creating such a masterpiece and enjoying it still warm from the oven. But how often do we commit to making them? Usually never, am I right?

Baking usually requires a reason. I like baking cookies because I’m craving something from home. I can’t buy sugar cookies here. I make them instead.


My Dutch tutor and I discussed this at one point and she said something I found enlightening. “You first have to put energy in making your food before you can take the energy out by eating it.”

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of red velvet cake. Wait, let me be honest. If I have to think of any baked goodie, all I can think of is Red Velvet. I previously couldn’t explain why I loved it so much. After putting this cake together I might have found the reason. I think it has to do with the slight sourness of the vinegar paired with sugar. I know that’s why I love our Sunday pancakes so much (they don’t look like much but it’s the taste that counts!).


I decided to look up Dutch recipes since I figured it would be easier to find ingredients by their Dutch names. That idea worked perfectly. Buttermilk is called Karnemelk! This entire time I was making pancakes through the vinegar and milk method when I could have just picked up a carton of karnemelk!

It snowed (very lightly) this past weekend and I decided it’s probably too cold to create an ice cream red velvet so instead I opted for a regular one. The recipe I used can be found here however I noticed that it calls for eggs so I compared it to this one and found two eggs should have been added to the list.

The mixing process went well up until the red food dye. Mixing the wet and dry ingredients eliminated all of the red. My tutor has given me a website to check out, Jouw Taart Shop (which translates to Your Cake Shop) and I’m going to peruse it for a while to see if I can find a good red.


While the original recipe calls for two 20cm pans, I only had one 24cm pan. All the mix went into one and then straight into the oven. Baking it took a little longer at a lower temperature. I think what I should have done, after it cooled, was to cut it in half. I really missed that middle layer of creamy goodness.

We also don’t have a large mixer so I did the best I could with the frosting. I couldn’t get all the butter down to a creamy consistency so I think the next time I should melt it slightly. That way it won’t look so chunky!


Other than being an ugly cake, the taste was pretty delicious! Since there was so much frosting, each slice gets an extra helping of it and makes up for that missing middle layer. The texture of the cake is moist and smooth. I found that putting the cake in the fridge between servings gives the frosting a very creamy consistency.


While I don’t exactly consider this a fail, there are a few things I would do differently. I hope that next time this cake will turn out even better. For now, Sander and I have an amature red velvet cake that we can sink our teeth into!

Have you ever make a cake fail? If so, how did you learn to improve for next time?

Also, have a Happy Valentine’s Day or Single’s Awareness Day!

Remember, that you don’t need someone to make you happy. You need to make YOU happy!

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