Crumble Cake

       Wow. . . I took a little longer than planned, huh. Just a bit. Well I’m sorry. Life has been hectic. I haven’t been able to bake for months! Not to mention, I’ve been sick. And sick bakers are generally frowned upon. .
       But this post isn’t just so you know I’m still live.
       Oh no.
       See, just ’cause I’m sick, doesn’t mean there isn’t any baking going on at my house. Or baking failures, that is.
       My Mom’s birthday came around. . *dramatic gasp* This is almost an anniversary. Remember last year, I made that smelly mug cake! Wow! Remember that? Oops sorry, being sick makes me easily distracted. *sniffs then stiffens* I’m focused now. Back to my post . .
[For the record, I did ask him if I could write this story on my blog.]
       My older brother took charge of making Mom’s birthday cake this year. I think his plan was to bake two rectangles of yellow cake, fill the center with chocolate frosting, and frost the rest of it with white frosting. Simple enough, right?

       I was studying at the breakfast table while he baked. When I finally turned to look into the kitchen, I saw him in there all right. But it was the strangest form of cake decorating I’ve ever seen. Since he had already baked both layers of cake and filled the inside with chocolate, all he had to do now was frost the entire thing white. But what I saw was my brother with an expression of determination and concentration, hovering over a half frosted cake. He had a messy decorating knife in one hand and was kind of pinching a bare side of the cake with the other. His attempt seemed to be to gently squish a broken section of cake into place, while using icing as glue. Honestly, I thought he was on the right track. Seemed logical to me.
       What came next was somewhat humorous in my eyes. (Okay, I thought it was the stinkin’ funniest thing in the world, at the time.) But I can only imagine that if I were the baker, I’d be one angry puppy.

It looks better in the picture

       While he was patching up that one corner of cake, an opposite corner fell off. Then another. Eventually, the entire left side fell off. He fixed this problem by cutting off the right side to make it even, and then it seemed good.
       Have you ever used one of those push-down apple cutters? You shove it through the apple, then the little sections pop out in different directions like flower petals? Does that make sense? Well, that was how his cake looked in the morning, the day of my Mom’s birthday. Despite the inch of frosting, the cake still fell apart. There’s no better way of saying it. It fell apart. Crumbled. Disassembled. The sides tumbled. The center separated. This thing hated itself. It was almost depressing.

Thinking back, I guess we should’ve
turned the cake around so the birthday girl
saw the nice side, instead of the
photographer.

       But by golly, he made that cake, we were still using it and eating it. So we put the candles in and sang happy birthday. And you know something? That cake was delish! It was moist and spongy. It didn’t even need the frosting to taste great. Mmmm, I want some right now.
       The next day, we figured out what went wrong with his cake. He never leveled it. So since the tops of both layers were rounded, it collapsed on the sides. Then I guess the cake concluded that it was already ugly so it decided to die and separate in the middle too. But hey, it was still bomb.
       Here’s a little extract of that night that he was baking. It was too good to not record.

       Dad came in the kitchen to wash the dishes just as my brother finished putting the cake in the oven. He looked around the cluttered sink. “Oh, did you wash the little whisks for the electric mixer?”
       “Huh? What mixer?”
       Dad turned to look at him. “You have to use the mixer for the cake batter. . You didn’t use a mixer?”
       “No, I used a spatula.”
       “Didn’t you read the directions?”
       “Well . . .  I thought I did.”
       Ha, brothers; ya gotta love ’em.

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