The final product — adding sprinkles makes it look less ugly... I think.

By Monica Garcia

Welcome back Taste of Home fans, and Happy New Year!

Although we have started a new year, seems we are off to a bit of a rocky start. While I was on Instagram last week, I saw the perfect saying. It said 2020 went home, put on a wig and came back as 2021. Talk about true.

The past month or so has been stress-city for me. Although I have been able to get back to running and clock in some time in the kitchen, I have been struggling to get back in the groove of things. So this week I figured, go big or go home when it comes to recipes which lead me to this simple yet delicious looking cake.

If you are anything like me, you watch baking shows. While watching I always think, yeah — I can totally do that. And of course, what are you thinking Susan (or whatever contestant is on)?! That’s the easiest thing to make. Judge. Judge. Judge. I’m an expert from my couch. Until recently. And let me start by saying sorry, Susan — it isn’t as easy as it looks.

This recipe started with something I had no knowledge of — cake flour. This type of flour — if you are not familiar — is a very fine-textured flour with a low protein content. This is supposed to give the cake a fluffier, more tender texture. Because I had no clue about this, I went ahead and bought it at the store, but it is (apparently) pretty simple to make at home. You can find how-tos online.

The ingredients came together pretty well. I had no problems. When I put the batter in my pans, it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked it leading to a ugly looking base to start with (look at the photo — it didn’t get any better from there).

After allowing my cakes to cool, I started on my frosting. For some reason, whenever I work with confectioners sugar, it never goes smoothly. It took me some time to get it smooth. The taste was fine but I’m more of a cream cheese frosting- kind-of- gal.

I started frosting and my cake started crumbling. I tried a few hacks — using water on my spatula, putting more than needed and spreading, and of course sending up a little prayer to help it along.

Because this was my first time making a cake from start to finish, I wasn’t sure what my problem here was. I know the cake wasn’t too hot… Yeah, I don’t have anything else. Perhaps it was just user error and I just need some practice.

After finishing the frosting, I decided to put as many sprinkles as possible. It has to make it look better, right?

I brought it into the DCI office and was told… It was yummy. They even said it looked OK (aren’t they nice?). The frosting was tasty and the cake was just right. Other comments included, it has good flavor and they could tell I used cake flour (so it wasn’t a waste of time!).

I will try this recipe again and perhaps this time, it will look a little better.

Until next time — cook on, Delta County.

Monica Garcia is managing editor for the Delta County Independent. She can be reached by email at monicag@deltacoun

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