I still remember in high school the time my best friend & I decided that we were going to make a carrot cake.... from scratch. We grated the carrots by hand, spent so much time mixing the batter. After baking our cakes, making the cream cheese frosting, and letting the cakes cool, we started to frost our cake. And then the disaster began. The cake started to crack. Chunks started to fall off as we spread on the frosting. We would quickly try to "glue" the fallen chunks back on using even more frosting. It was by far the ugliest cake in my baking history. In our defense, the cake tasted amazing. It just looked far from amazing. ;)
This past March I decided to do what I swore I would never attempt again. Yep, I had convinced myself that I could make my husband an amazing tasting and beautiful looking cake for his 35th birthday. I wanted to make him a red velvet cheesecake cake with cream cheese frosting. This cake was literally a 4 layer lake- a layer of red velvet cake, a layer of real cheesecake, another layer of red velvet cake topped with another layer of cheesecake. Perhaps I had chosen a bit of an overambitious cake to make. I baked the cheesecake myself from scratch. I have to admit the red velvet cake layers came from a cake mix. The trouble started when I tried to slice the cheesecake in half lengthwise. It looked SO easy pictured in the recipe. Quite a different story in my less than experienced hands. The cheesecake cracked in multiple places. I tried to slide over the first half onto the cake layer and it started to sink off to the side. Somehow I got all the layers stacked, but it was not pretty. I slathered on the cream cheese frosting hoping to camouflage my very unattractive cake layers. The photo below doesn't look too bad. My high school carrot cake was MUCH uglier But it was a real mess when I started to cut pieces from the cake. I think maybe 2 slices came out looking somewhat pretty. The rest were just globs of red velvet, cheesecake, and frosting. Once again, I made an amazingly delicious cake that looked like crap.
From now on, I have resolved to either order my cakes from a bakery (you know, with trained bakers & pastry chefs and all) or to just stick with bundt cakes or cupcakes. ;)