Do you ever get one of those ideas that are going to be t-totally awesome? Like, change the course of history, better than sliced bread, this changes everything type of idea? Yes? Then you probably know as well as I do that those types of ideas usually end in disaster.
If you Pinterest cakes at all recently, you’ve probably seen a “Surprise Cake.” Basically, when you cut into a cake, you see a shape.
I got the bright idea to make a cake for Easter dinner. Before I settled on a Surprise Cake, I mentioned to my mother that I was thinking about making a carrot cake. She in turn mentioned this to my father who was very excited about having carrot cake since it’s one dessert that my mother doesn’t make. I hated to disappoint him so I thought, well, I can just make a Surprise Carrot Cake…
I was soon to find out that this idea was a huge mistake.
When making a Surprise Cake, you need to have cakes of two different colors. I figured that a cheesecake would work. I was very wrong.
The cookie cutter that I had gotten was too tall to use in one of my regular 9 or 6 inch cake pans, so I figured I could bake the whole cake in one layer in a coffee can. Fun fact – coffee cans aren’t metal anymore. Realizing this, I went and got a giant gallon can of green beans I would then have for dinner. You can’t have green beans by themselves so I also ended up buying a ham (In case you hadn’t realized it yet, this story is quickly turning into If You Give a Mouse a Cookie meets A Series of Unfortunate Events).
Once I got the green beans home, I learned that my can opener wouldn’t handle the industrial walls of the giant green bean can… I had the fellow open it with his multi-use tool, but the edge was ruined. Luckily, he had gallon cans he had saved from work for use in some crafts (so I didn’t need to buy the green beans after all…).
I made a cheesecake from scratch and made up the carrot cake batter (which was an entire situation to itself; my tiny food processor raged a fierce war on my kitchen with all of the carrot mess). With the cheesecake out of the oven and cooling, and the carrot cake batter mixed and sitting on the counter, I realized I’d neglected to account for the cooling period of the cheesecake.
Panicked, I threw the cheesecake in the freezer and ran to the store to grab a pre-made cheesecake since it was eight at night and I needed to go to bed. Second mistake: I grabbed a frozen cheesecake and didn’t think about the time needed to thaw it.
Thankfully, by the time I got home and finished fooling with the frozen cheesecake (which is still in my freezer….) the homemade cheesecake was set up enough to hold.
I cut out my bunny and put it in the can. Enter problem number three: Somehow I had decided that I should start to make a layer of the cake first so the cheesecake wouldn’t sink to the bottom. This was a terrible, terrible life choice.
The cake did actually bake very nicely in the can, and I turned it upside down as the recipe recommended. This was something else I hadn’t accounted for – how much water the carrots would add as the top of the cake was very, very moist. I’d never made a carrot cake before and didn’t realize quite how crumbly this would be.
The next day I got up at four to go work out and figured I’d get the cake out of the pan and all ready, so I could ice it right when I got home from the gym. Thank goodness I was up early. When I got it out of the pan, the layer I had baked before adding the cheesecake split causing the top two thirds of the cake to shift – which then put stress on the cheesecake center and the whole thing fell to pieces.
(Excuse the quality of the photo; I snapped it to send to the fellow as I was freaking out at 4 am.)
So there I am, Easter Morning, 4 am with our dessert in pieces on the counter.
Frantic, I threw on my shoes and ran to Wal-Mart for a box of carrot cake mix. I hurried back; mixed it up and got the cake in the oven, and then went to clean up the mess of my homemade disaster.
I threw out one of the sections, but then started to feel badly about just throwing out all of the ingredients/time/effort. A quick Pinterest and Google search offered plenty of suggestions to reuse birthday cake, but a carrot cake trifle just didn’t seem appealing.
Then I got an idea… I would take half of the cake and some of the smaller sections and turn it into a rabbit-shaped cake.
See how cute?!
I had already baked the other cake, so I ended up with two Easter carrot cakes. I took the larger box mix cake to my family’s dinner and the smaller rabbit cake to the fellow’s.
(My family wasn’t a fan of the edible Easter basket grass, but I thought it was adorable.)
Looking back, I should’ve timed it better, and started much smaller. I just took on way too much without enough background experience. Fortunately, it all turned out delicious in the end.
My family still has an Easter Egg hunt even though it’s just my Grandmother, 26-year-old brother and myself (and our significant others when they’re with us for Easter). Look at how adorable my grandmother is – she’s such a good sport.