I have Ugly Cake Syndrome. (I made that name up.) All the personal and online cake decorating classes I have taken have not helped me one bit.
Let me explain. I bake delicious cakes but don’t dare ruin them with my decorating skills. It’s depressing to look at them, so I don’t bother to fancy them up anymore.
I’ve written before about my lack of skills when it comes to making cakes and cookies beautiful. However, talking about it and then doing nothing is not going to help me get better at it, so I’ve decided to start a cake-decorating challenge for myself.
Let’s call this challenge a “dress rehearsal.” Here’s how it works.
Every other month I will try to bake a cake. (My waistline will thank me if I skip every other month!) No matter how the cake looks, I will post a picture of it here, along with a narrative of what I learned in the process.
With so much practice, I hope I will one day make beautiful cakes just like the ones I constantly drool over.
I plan to stay away from cupcakes because I want to make big cakes.
Here are some of the cakes I baked in the last twelve months:
- Wacky Cake
- Sponge Layer Cake
- Olive Oil Mini Brownie Cakes
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- French Apple Cake
- Midnight Cake
- Tres Leches Cake
And of course, here’s the recipe for this scrumptious Blueberry Tea Cake. Enjoy!
Blueberry Tea Cake
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 Tbs. dark brandy
- 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries + 1 cup dried blueberries
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking dish
In a bowl, mix the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Using a wooden spoon, add in the 8 Tbs. melted butter, the brandy and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the yogurt and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and stir just until smooth.
With a rubber spatula, slowly fold in the blueberries.
Spread the mixture in the baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until firm and lightly browned.
Cool cake in the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Makes one 8-inch square cake.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch