Sometimes a recipe just doesn't turn out. When I'm baking something new this is always a possibility, but mostly the results are still sweet and delicious, even when they aren't quite what I expected. When they don't work out it, the question is "Do I want to make this work?" And if the answer is yes, then "how can I make this work?" I know there are some things I can do differently with the following cake, but I'm not sure I will try this style of cake again anytime soon. It was a worthwhile experiment though.

The recipe I tried was a surprise inside cake, made in a loaf pan. There are many beautiful and amazing surprise inside cakes, but I wanted to try an easy one (ha!) to start. A basic idea I found was to bake a loaf cake using half a cake mix, cut shapes out of it, and bake those shapes inside the other half of the cake mix. Sounded easy enough. I impulse bought a cat cookie cutter for this experiment.

I had bought some yellow decorating sugar earlier in the week, so I decided to make my cake cats bright yellow to match how I wanted to decorate it. So I dyed half my cake mix yellow and baked it.

Unfortunately, the loaf cake didn't rise very high (and it took almost 50 minutes to bake). At this point I started to think this experiment wasn't going to work out, but proceeded forth anyway.

I cut out the cats, but could only cut out one per slice because the slices were so short, and even then I had to cut off the cat's tails. But they looked like cats, so that was promising.

There were so many cake scraps from the cut outs (I made sure to snack on some of them so that it didn't seem so wasteful).

I lined the bottom of loaf pan with some of the other half of the cake batter, put my cats in, and covered them with the rest of the batter. The cut outs were put in upside down so that the flat bottom of the cake would be the top. As you'll soon see, the second loaf didn't rise very high either, so both the top and bottom were equally flat.

The cake had to bake for 60 minutes for it to be cooked through. Making this cake involved a lot of waiting. Once it cooled, I iced it and cut it open to see what happened.

There was a shape it in, but it was kinda Rorschach. The cake itself was dense, but tasted fine. Nothing to write home about.

So here is what I would do differently if I made this cake again:
  • choose a less complex shape
  • choose a more dramatic colour (blue, red, green)
  • bake the shapes cake in a square pan, so I could more easily cut them out, and with less waste

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, April 08, 2014 4 comments


  1. How about a cake bread pudding kind of thing with the leftovers. Or smoosh them into cake balls and stick 'em on a pop?

    1. I definitely made cake balls with the leftovers. Posting about it tomorrow! :) Great thinking!

    2. There's a cake that has a surprise in the middle. Saw it in a cookery magazine. Turned out it was a stamped image. A heart I think, stamped on each piece.

      Have you seen the checkered cakes? Those look neat. No waste either.

    3. Checkered cakes look fun and I saw one recently called Zebra cake where you layer chocolate and white cake batter and apparently looks neat when cut into. I like that kind of stuff. Wow on the outside and the inside. And also be super yummy.


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