Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Complicated Cake Concoction

For some reason when we're asked to bring dessert to someone's house for dinner or for a party, I feel the need to try and make it absolutely delicious AND gorgeous. Needless to say the gorgeous part usually doesn't happen...and sometimes the delicious part either. Why do we feel the need to make our food gifts gorgeous? I don't know, but it is fun. Well, presenting a gorgeous food item is fun. Often the making of the gorgeous food item is a frustrating adventure all on its own and you end up with some interesting tales. Today we have just such a tale for you, and this one is fantastic. I'll let Kathryn take it away: 

"I like to consider myself an informed pinner. I pin things that I'm thinking of investing in, paint colour ideas for the house we're building and foodstuffs that I fully intend on cooking. I don't pin things that don't link to anywhere except.... DUN DUN DUN"
The Original Pin

Anyone know the original site for this? I'm finding this picture all over Pinterest and re-posted on blogs, but I can't find the original source. I even tried by searching for the separate pictures and not the collage, and no luck. But this cake is amazing and I'd love to give credit to the creator. Kathryn also tried finding the original source, but had no luck either. She said, "So, given that the link to the cake takes me to a media cache picture of the cake and googling the image took me to more pinterest pins, all I had to go on were the pictorial instructions. I watched a couple of youtube vids on constructing a roll cake. I chose a cake flavouring I thought would look impressive and OFF I WENT!!".

I love her adventurous attitude! I don't know that I would have been that dedicated, even though that is a GORGEOUS cake in that pin. It looks almost too pretty to eat. But at the same time, it looks so pretty that it makes you think it HAS to be absolutely delectable. Kathryn was equally impressed: "When I saw this pin, I was amazed! It looked so cool and effective! Check out those vertical layers!! It should also be noted at this point that I make cakes for the taste. Not for the presentation. EVER! My carrot cake is super crumbly and held together by the cream cheese icing. But by golly it's delicious! But these days I have TIME! Impressive!cake is impressive!! Must attempt!! I knew when I pinned it that I'd probably end up submitting it as a post".

And now I could tell you what she did in her attempt to recreate the cake above...but she tells it much better than I ever could. So here is what she did:

"I bought a new, larger flat pan for cooking the roll cake in. I spread it all out evenly on the baking paper, pre heated the oven, went to put it in but... MY OVEN WAS TOO SMALL FOR THE PAN!!! *cue enraged rage built up over the last 18 months of living with my tiny, tiny kitchen, plus pregnancy hormones* A medium sized, empty, innocent cardboard box was sacrificed to the RAGE and is now thoroughly kicked into uselessness."

"Oh well! I shifted the mix onto a small pan which fit. AS SOON as it came out of the oven, I was rolling up that mother of a cake in a warm towel and baking paper. Half an hour later when I unrolled it, it broke apart into many tiny pieces and was was promptly given over to our chickens. There was much rejoicing in our backyard over cake! Not to be discouraged, I whipped up another batch of cake mix, poured it thicker into a third tray with higher sides and banged it in the oven. It was much more successful. I was worried about the cake crumbling when I rolled and unrolled it, so I decided to go right in with the icing and rolling it up. But going a bit slower than before because the 1st cake was HOT when I rolled it up. I cut the cake longways into 3rds and rolled up the first third. Strangely, a bunch of cake and icing slowly squirted from the sides. When I rolled the second third into the roll, more came out. I made the decision then to roll it up vertically like in the picture, not horizontally like in the youtube tutorials. Then I used the baking paper, some ribbon and my husband to tie it all up and put it in the fridge to cool/set."

"The two small round cakes were fine. Except I ended up making 3 because one of them decided it loved it's pan too much and didn't want to part with it. CHICKENS!!"

"After the roll had cooled for an hour, and after I had made MORE cream cheese filling, I icing'd up the cakes all together, put a crumb layer of icing around the cake and put it in the freezer to set. 10mins later it came out again, I put MORE icing around the sides and decided to top it off with raspberries because I had no more icing for the top of the cake. All out of cream cheese!"

Finally the cake was done, and she took it over to her friends house. The outside looks absolutely amazing!

But what about the inside? 

The Pinstrosity

"Needless to say, red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and raspberries is DELICIOUS!! But I could have just made THAT instead of trying to be fancy and impressive. As I said earlier, I make cakes for the taste, NOT for the presentation. My friends enjoyed it. They also enjoyed my flail-y flails when I brought it over and regaled them with tales of hilarity and failure. I'm sure my chickens are SICK of red velvet cake (I can tell because the usually-gluttonous beasts left over half of the many, many crumbs I put out for them). I'm hoping for red-tint, sweet eggs for lunch today."

No, not as pretty as the original. But it looks absolutely delectable. My mouth is watering, and I just ate. Oh I love raspberries. And cream cheese. And dessert. Craving this yet? I am! Kathryn, you can come hang out at my house and bring dessert any time you want. 


  1. Jelly roll cakes are meant to be made with sponge cake, which is lighter with a tighter crumb, and filled with something light, like whipped cream or jelly (jelly roll..... get it?). So I can definitely see where she went wrong. Looks like vanilla sponge filled with jelly, whipped cream between the chocolate sponge and jelly roll, and then iced with buttercream on the outside. It's a very cool looking cake, I'd definitely try it even without instructions too haha.

  2. Part of the problem might have been that red velvet is much heavier than what the cake in the picture looks like. It ALMOST looks like it's sponge cake. Oh well, you really can't go wrong with eating red velvet though :)

  3. I think the problem is the type of cake. I found this vertical swiss roll recipe that uses a sponge cake. It doesn't have the top and bottom layers, but I think it would work.

  4. LOL'ing! Poor cardboard box, haha.

    I don't know. I kind of like the "pinstrosity" on the inside! Kind of makes it look like a swirl cake. Looks to die for!!

  5. It still looks great and definitely two thumbs up for your continued perserverance! I didn't even know you could roll cake without it breaking/splitting. I think you did a great job, esp. for a first try, no real instructions and based on that photo!!!

  6. I really don't think this was that big a Pinstrosity, especially considering her larger cake pan wouldn't fit in the oven. I would have baked it in batches for thinner layers, and used a recipe that would produce a more cohesive, less crumbly, cake.

    But if it tasted good, it kind of doesn't matter.

  7. I think the first cake is photoshopped! LOL just look at the slices, there are no marks from the knife on either side. No crumbs or anything. I really like the not so pintrosity cake. Looks yummo!

    1. I'd guess that cake was frozen to get the neat slice. Then with a serrated knife (and a brush to get rid of the crumbs) you could do it.

  8. There is a magazine called Good Food here in the UK and they have done a great step by guide to making a cake like this.

  9. The first one is definitely a sponge cake which looks very pretty in pictures but I'd much rather eat the "pinstrosity". Velvet cake with cream cheese wins over jelly roll any time, no matter how it looks.

  10. Hi everyone, thanks for your comments.

    My parents recently came to stay and Mum decided that she would try to make this cake using vanilla and chocolate cakes with chocolate ganash. Hers was SOOOO much more succesful. Well, from the outside it looked hilariously bad, but cutting into it got those wonderful vertical layers. We all had a good laugh over our attempted cake fails (and delicious successes)

  11. It looks like it comes from this website: http://www.azlitamasammanis.com/2011/12/chocolate-bluberry-roulade-torte.html (you might need to translate the page)


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