This is why I don’t bake…

Today is my hubby’s b-day. Feel free to wish him a great day in the comments below, although I will probably ask him to refrain from reading this, so he may never see your thoughts.

He wanted a carrot cake for his special day. No problem, I thought, since I’d made him one last year and it was amazing, if I do say so myself! As I was digging though my recipes, I found not just the recipe I used last year, but one from a friend that I’d asked for years ago. She obviously is a baker, since her recipe only consisted of amounts of ingredients, no directions. To my way  of thinking her cake had to be fabulous or I wouldn’t have asked for the recipe, so… I went for it.

I mixed up everything she had listed. There was a slight moment of drama when I thought I didn’t have enough flour, but hubby saved the day by telling me where the secret flour stash was (perhaps this flour is on hold for the zombie apocalypse, I’m not sure). More drama ensued when I looked at the amount it made and realized with a sinking heart it was only enough to fill one 9″ round. She obviously is a baker since she knew to double it.

So being lazy…rather than double hers, I took a look at the recipe I’d used last year. What the heck? I just threw in enough ingredients to get me up to the amounts listed on that page. There was a slight problem, which came to light when I was beating the new mix. Everything clumped up on the beaters and I was stuck with a big ball o’ dough. I went back to the friend’s recipe. Lo and behold, I was 1/3 of a cup over on flour. What to do? I paced a little. Weighed the options of more oil or another egg, then decided to whip in enough water to get the dough ball to fall off the beaters.

Voila! Dough ball freed! I threw in the carrots which, at that point in my frustration, I may have measured less than precisely (yes, I did grate them). Then I checked the fine print. One recipe said 300 for an hour, the other 375 for 45 minutes. I am the daughter and sister of math teachers. However, in the toss of the genetic dice, I didn’t roll math. But, even in my rudimentary knowledge, I could tell these things were not equal. I decided to go for the 375. Alas, it has only been 25 minutes and already cake smell fills the house (usually a sign for me it’s getting close to done), so I feel a slight thrill of fear.

There is still that issue with the baking powder that one recipe called for and one didn’t. Also my friend who is a baker apparently knew she was supposed to double the frosting recipe as well, so I’ll be heading out for more cream cheese soon.

Good thing hubby was both in the Army and very kind. He eats most everything I make.

Got any baking horror stories? I hate to feel alone.



10 thoughts on “This is why I don’t bake…

    1. Tess Grant says:

      I’ve given up on sugar cookies for Christmas unless they come out of a tube from Pillsbury. My home-made ones turn out perfect…if I want to hold a door open or weight down a stack of paper. 🙂

  1. Brenda Steeves says:

    Happy birthday to Bill! I loved your baking story. I hate baking and have a failure almost every time I try. Sunday I tried to make fruitcake and must have left out something vital as the cake is tough (whoever heard of tough fruitcake?!). It also weighs about 10 pounds. And don’t get me started on pies. Next time you’re in Maine we can discuss this further.

    Happy holidays to the four of you.


    1. Tess Grant says:

      I’m so happy to hear from you! And to know that we share a common feeling about baking. I have to leave the pies to Bill, I’m afraid.

      Happy holidays to you and we hope to see you this summer!

  2. Kris says:

    I forget what a hilarious story you tell. Forget the novel, go with an anecdotal book, or Erma Bombeck-type column!!! And on that temp, 350 is the default. If in doubt, 350 till done. Happy Birthday to Bill regardless of the cake’s outcome!!

    (and Brenda, I think fruitcake is supposed to weigh 10 pounds!!)

  3. Wendy says:

    Happy Birthday Bill! I’ve never been too bad at baking, but let me tell you I have some mystery casseroles that could have been stacked on top of each and made a nifty bomb shelter!

  4. Eileen Pruis says:

    Thanks for the laugh!!! And the only good fruitcake is one used for a door stop!!! (Good thing my son and hubby like the one that Grandma sends every year) Hubby took 3 tries to make me a lemon meringue pie one year. Reading and following recipe directions is NOT his forte.

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