Monday, May 21, 2007

Something New From Scratch.....

As you know, I like to make things from scratch. I, however, do not like to bake, so it has been a real challenge for me to BAKE things from scratch. I am not very accurate when it comes to measuring and following a recipe. When cooking other types of food I almost always alter the recipe to make it my own and to suit my taste preference. You can't really do that with baking. At least I am not good enough to do that yet....I haven't reached the baking "virtuoso" level.

Friday was Elise's 2nd Birthday. I was very busy so I didn't have time to write a nice little birthday blog for her. So....Happy Birthday Elise. I did make her a cake on Friday, from a boxed mix. I made my own icing...which was less than desirable. I should have spent the $1 or so to buy the ready made type. I think two small pieces of cake were eaten on Friday. I threw that cake away yesterday. But we were planning to have a birthday party for Elise on Sunday. I wanted to make her a "special" cake. Last year, on her first birthday, I was away taking those silly insurance classes and I missed her big day. When we did celebrate, I bought a cheap ACME cake. My favorite type of cake has always been strawberry (from a box) or cherry chip with cream cheese frosting. I thought I would make Elise a strawberry cake from scratch. I spent some time on-line researching strawberry cakes and found a recipe I was happy with. I wasn't sure about the frosting yet because I hadn't quite decided what I was going for. I decided to start the cake on Saturday evening. Before I started I realized I did not have a cake carrier thingy. Why would I???? I don't bake and I don't take baked goods places. Simple. Instead of going to buy something I decided to call my good friend, Sherry and see if she had one. I knew she would because she is Ms. Betty Crocker. She did. Yeah. I sent Jake right over to get it. On with the cake making. I wanted the cake to be good so I did everything exactly the way the recipe said. I used real "cake flour" and even sifted it. I measure and mixed and folded and poured. The cake was looking yummy. When it came out of the oven it smelled absolutely delish. The next morning after church, I decided on a whipped cream/ pudding type frosting. I didn't have the pudding mix so I sent my DH, Jake to the store to get some for me. I gave him very specific directions (2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding). He came home with one box of instant sugar free/fat free vanilla pudding and one box of instant banana cream pudding. Yikes. I was racing against the clock so I sent him right back to exchange the puddings. He did and I had just enough time to mix it up (sooooo easy, BTW) and it tasted soooooo good. It was the perfect marriage of strawberry and a light whipped frosting. I added strawberries along the sides. YUM. I was imagining rave reviews from all of the party attenders.

So, we started loading up the car and Jake takes the cake. I give him the "don't you dare drop that cake" look. He laughed. Seriously. He laughed. Then he took about 4 steps and I heard this SPLAT. Yes....he dropped the cake. It was one step from the door, frosting side down. I screamed. Then I panicked. I think I said something like "don't even clean it up....we need to go get another cake." Jake said, "what? we have to clean it up, it is right by the door". I came to my senses and realized he was right so I jumped in the car and ran to Giant Eagle for a cake. Believe it or not....I was laughing about it on the way to the store. Looking back, I was probably laughing because the perfect cake smashing to the floor before anyone even got to taste it, most likely just sent me over the edge - so I laughed because I was just a little koo-koo for a minute. I did get a lovely cake and it tasted okay. Elise didn't know the difference and she ended up having a fun party. Sorry I don't have any pics of the cake. I should have taken some smashed cake pics but I wasn't thinking clearly at the time. There is a moral to this story though...Men, just because it has a handle doesn't mean you can safely carry it from the handle. You should ALWAYS keep a hand on the bottom as well!!!!!



  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.



  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain. Spread evenly over cake.


Anonymous said...

We are sorry we had to miss Elise's big day. I am sure she had a wonderful day and party.

I must say...your cake sounded delicious. I might have to make one. Thanks for posting the recipe. are lucky she didn't kick your booty. I don't think my husband would have walked away without a few words of...intense fellowship. Good work Delilah! It is a VERY funny story though.

Love to you!

Jake said...

It was a great cake she made. I felt so bad that it dropped from the faulty cake holder. If you are not suppose to use the handle to carry it, why in the world would they put a handle on it? It does not make sense to me. I thought she was going to burst out in tears for a sec and then let me have it. But she actually started to laugh. Maybe I'll have better luck next time.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

gotta side with the man here. You can't blame the bad design..

Stephanie said...

Oh man! I wouldn't have been able to laugh I don't think! You could make another one for this weekend! ;)

Thanks for the Make It From Scratch entry!

Becca said...

Oh, that stinks, Delilah! Strawberry cake is my favorite, too.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Sounds Yummy! I'll have to try the cool whip topping. I usually just use my icing recipe (basically shortening, powdered sugar, extract and a little milk) which works well but has a kazillion calories. If you use light cool whip and the SF pudding this would be MUCH more calorie friendly. (actually I just posted the icing recipe yesterday-blogosphere psychic connection maybe?)

Lisa Knight said...

The recipe sounds delish! And I think they put the handles there to stabilize, not to be the only thing... I think it's happened to us all. My worst was I put the cake on wax paper so it wouldn't stick to the carrier, it did, just the sides of it. It slid around the container all the way to the party!