Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A little story

Let me tell you a little tale. A tale of two couches, two cakes and a whole lot in between.

Back in Spring my friend Melisa saved me from my ugly couches. She had a lovely couch set she was looking to get rid of and I happened to really want some new furniture for my family room. So I offered her a trade. Her girls have summer birthdays so I offered two custom made cakes in exchange for her couches. A deal was struck and the couches were moved to my living room (and they look and feel fabulous. I'm sitting on one as I type this all out.)

So the first cake order was for a Toy Story cake. It came together easily and Melisa, and more importantly the birthday girl, absolutely loved it.

So, yeah, ignore the stuff on the counter. When cakes are being made, all else falls apart.

The second birthday girl requested a chocolate cake with pink frosting and Disney Princesses. Easy enough, right?


And here is where the story really begins.

I headed out the Friday before the party to scout out Princess stuff and try to figure out exactly how I was going to do this cake. Stop number one, The Dollar Tree, yielded no real results. Usually full of Disney Princess items, they had nothing I could use. Undaunted, I headed to Michael's, stop number 2. And at Michael's I also found nothing but a sense of panic and a kind clerk who suggested Party City.

Party City, stop number 3 had a few options but nothing I loved. My stress level was starting to hit the roof when another kind clerk saved the day with an idea: "I wonder if a store bakery would sell you their cake toppers?"

Ding, ding, ding! Knowing the regular grocery store bakeries would be closed I headed to Walmart, stop number 4.

It was 9:05pm. Apparently the bakery closes at 9:00 because the gal behind the counter would not acknowledge my existence. Then she finally relented and informed me that yes, they would sell me the cake toppers, but I would have to come back in the morning because they were closed. Nothing I said would convince her. It was a bakery item and the bakery was closed.

So I went back the next morning, stop number 5, where a very sweet little old man handed me a pack of Disney Princess cake toppers and told me I could pay for them in the front after I did the rest of my shopping.

"I don't have to buy them here?"

"No ma'am. They have a barcode, so they'll scan at any register."

I officially now hate the bakery clerk from the night before.

Angry yet happy, I headed home, cake toppers in hand, and began to design the cake by stacking the pans when I realize the toppers won't fit on the cake layers as they are. They are too wide.

Plan B. A bigger cake pan on the bottom would solve that problem.

I start to mix up the batter for the first layer when I realize I am out of the stuff to spray in the pans to help the cakes come out of the pans.

No worries. I called Husband, who was out, and he said he would pick some up for me. No stop for me, but all in all, stop number 6.


Except he was gone a REALLY long time and I was SUPER behind schedule by the time he got home. And when I poured the first pan full of batter I realized that I didn't have enough batter and I didn't have the ingredients to make more.

Husband went back out for stop number 7. I decided to make the little icing flowers I was planning to put all over the cake.

I threw them in the freezer so they would harden in a few hours and be easy to apply to the cake.

Husband arrived with ingredients and I continued making batter. The baking proceeded well for a bit and I started to think I was in the clear.

You should never, ever think you are in the clear. Ever.

Because I ran out of frosting.

And those flowers? Yeah, they didn't freeze. I was going to have to do them all again directly onto the cake.

At this point I was on the edge of losing it. I took a walk around the block and pondered what would happen if I showed up at the party with a sheet cake from Walmart.

When I came home, my wonderful husband had frosted a good portion of the cake for me (he's the best, though at the time I was too distraught to properly appreciate him) and he happily went out to grab us both dinner and some more frosting stuff (stop number 8) while I stuck the kids in bed and finished up frosting and began piping.

I finished after midnight. There were moments, lots of moments, where I wondered if it would come together like I wanted. I think that, for the most part, it did.

The birthday girl and her mama were happy. And I love my couches.

But I never, ever want see pink frosting, Disney Princess cake toppers or that mean Walmart bakery employee ever again.


  1. Boo! This is where it would have been handy to live near me. I found at Target a set of the princesses that were on clearance from $12.99 to $1.98. I was tempted to buy all the sets they had but I only bought 2. They probably would have been perfect for what you had originally planned. But the cake still turned out beautiful!!

  2. I want a Pink Princess Cake!
    They both look great! Good job!

  3. My gosh....all I could think of was that you totally earned your new couches and what were your kids doing all this time??? Mine would have had the house in a shambles and then after I was done with the cake, I would have had to reassemble my house! Beautiful cake though. :O)