Not Too Proud For Messed Up Cake

by Katy on October 24, 2010 · 10 comments

Today’s post will be pretty short. I’m actually stealing a moment during my 15-year-old son’s birthday party. It’s a casual party, with just a handful of friends, a lot of snacks and an excursion over to an old-timey arcade. (They have Skee-Ball!)

As easy as this sounds, I ended up making the cake not one, not two, but three times! The first batch of homemade chocolate cupcakes turned out all collapsed in the center, which I attributed to undercooking them. (I was preparing a meal for nine people at the time, so my mind was elsewhere.) The second batch was a cake, not cupcakes as I no longer had enough paper liners. This cake also collapsed and refused to budge from the pan, and then came out in pieces. At this point I realized that my oh so brag worth organic, fair trade unbleached sugar was not to be used for baking! So this morning I went out into the rain and bought a can’t screw it up cake mix.

Luckily, the assembled masses devoured last night’s mess up cupcakes, and I’m saving the ugly but still tasty cake for the party guests. (seriously, they are 15 and 14-year-old boys not Martha Stewart!)

Anyway, gotta go!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Ecobabe October 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Hmm…I’m not too sure the sugar is the problem. I usually use FTO, unbleached sugar in my baking and have never had this sticking issue. And it seems unlikely that you’ve never baked with it before, either. Sounds like maybe your mind is just on too many other things, or maybe you need to check your oven temperature, or use a bit of (or more) baking spray in your pans!


Katy October 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I have made this recipe at least a dozen times before and have never had a problem before. The schmancy sugar does seem to have larger granules.



ellie October 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Years ago a Georgia friend of mine solved the messed-up cake problem — just tear it into pieces into a pretty bowl, stir in either frosting or whipped cream, and call it “Southern Spoon Cake”. Keep a straight face and accept the kudos!


Karen October 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm

What a hilarious solution, ellie!

I wonder if the weather had any influence on the cake that flopped? Humidity can do strange things to cake batter, Katy.

If the granules are the issue, maybe you could throw the fancy organic sugar in the blender, bust up those oversized granules and store it until next baking project.


WilliamB October 25, 2010 at 5:47 am

My idea isn’t as clever as ellie’s, but along the same lines: icing hides a lot of mistakes.


Lisa October 25, 2010 at 9:26 am

I’m with Ellie and William B…smother that baby with some fluffy topping and give it a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Those boys will think it’s the coolest cake they’ve ever had.


Carla October 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm

LOL, in a similar vein with Ellie’s friend: I had a fabulous fresh apple cake to fall into bits when removed from the pan. It was too delicious to toss and so I did toss it. With Cool Whip. Lots of it. And served it in a 9X13 pan. Got amazing compliments and women nearly old enough to be my grandmother requested my “recipe”. I’m not claiming too much for its nutrition. Shoot, it was a sugary sweet cake to start with. Lemme tell ‘ya, it ain’t bad mixed in a pan of gooey white stuff!


Practical Parsimony October 26, 2010 at 7:57 am

I love the Southern Spoon Cake idea! I was going to suggest the ruined cake as an ingredient for tiramisu. Quite frankly, chocolate in any form=edible. Next time the cupcakes fall, just make them look even with LOTS of frosting. Boys will like them anyway. Maybe a dab of peanut butter in the hole where they fell would work and ice over that. Put the pb in the hot cupcakes and ice as usual when cool. I am a big believer in clever saves. Apple cake and cool whip sounds like I could just chop up a good apple cake for that goody.

Lots of Crisco and flour in my Bundt pan never fails. That is the only time I ever use Crisco–for Chocolate Pound Cake.


Lilypad November 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm

The last time I made brownies, they turned out inexplicably dry and weird in consistency. We got out the whipped cream in a can and sprayed the heck out of them and ate them anyway ’cause I couldn’t bear to throw them out precisely because of the expensive ingredients like Fair Trade sugar and cocoa powder!


CNM November 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm

For messed up cakes, try making cake pops which seem to be the same thing as Southern Spoon Cake. There’s a great blog ( with ideas and she also came out with a book. It would even be a fun project for kids to make and decorate themselves!

Also, I got a silicone bundt pan. It’s completely flexible and I’ve never had a broken cake using it.


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