Nailed It!

by Jennifer Ryan

I took a cake decorating class about eight years ago, and I somehow think this qualifies me to bake cakes for my kid’s birthday party. I don’t know why. I think I must be a masochist. Don’t get me wrong. The one I made is cute, as long as you don’t see the model on the pan. I always start strong, but then things go horribly awry. Steps get changed…or skipped. Here are a few examples:

Mix black icing: Or, after adding three hefty spoonfuls of black food coloring, stop at charcoal gray.

Pipe eyes, pupils, muzzle and outlines using #5 tip and appropriate color. Pat flat with cornstarch: Pipe eye whites and muzzle in cream. Under-apply cornstarch to fingertips, and rip half the icing from the cake. Over-apply cornstarch to fingertips. Now, your cake appears to have been dusted lightly with cocaine. A perfect look for a child’s birthday party. To hell with the #5 tip. Switch to a star tip and screw the rest. 

Use a shell tip to add a scalloped edge to the base of cake. Use a #3 tip to pipe vines above the scalloped edge. Use a leaf tip to create leaves along the vines: Uh…nope. Nope to all of that. Forget the vines and leaves. Mix some green icing and use that to create the scalloped edge along the base of cake.

You’ve been working for five solid hours. Pour yourself a glass of wine, and vow to purchase a cake next year.

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