Now that I have made this cake three times in two days I think that next time it could be a piece of cake! This has been a frustrating experience for me to say the very least. I was using The Smith’s Family 12 layer cake recipe. The first attempt resulted in little rubber disks that resembled frisbees. I thought after the batter was ready to put in the pans that it was really runny, but why would it be the wrong proportions after all it is found at Oprah.com. I blamed the mess on my ineptness at measuring correctly and threw the frisbees in the trash before icing them. So I start all over again this time being careful to measure all the ingredients before mixing even one granule of sugar with a bit of butter.
The second attempt seemed to be better. Icing completed and the Athlete and GI Joe both cut themselves huge pieces. As I am busy cleaning the fudge icing from my kitchen and my body the Athlete yells out , “Mom, I think there is something wrong with this cake. The layers are like rubber!” You do not know how good that made me feel. I did not make the mistake. There is a big mistake in the recipe. The proportion of milk to flour is too large. A second cake goes into the trash.
The next day I am up early getting my pans ready. I am trying this again. I cannot give up. I will not let this cake beat me. By the way this cake is for my husband for Valentine’s Day.
For this labor of love the first step is to prepare the pans. I used disposable cake pans not knowing that I would have to wash all fourteen of them not once , but twice. First I cut out parchment paper circles to fit each pan. Here are the leftovers. Before placing the parchment paper in the pans lightly grease and flour each one.
After failing with the Smith Family recipe twice I chose to use an old reliable from Swan’s Down Cake flour their 1-2-3-4 Cake. I did use 11/2 recipes. If I ever
never make this again I will only make the original recipe and not more. There is not enough of the filling because the cake layers are thicker. Or you could make more filling whichever suits you.
Here is how thick the batter should be.
I baked three layers at the time. The layers take about 12 minutes to bake and will lightly brown. Let them cool about 5 minutes in the pan. Remove and place on a cooling rack. Some of the recipes that I read placed the layers on damp towel to keep them from drying out. I did not do this. As they cooled I stacked them on top of each other placing the parchment paper in between them. I didn’t stack more than 5 layers. I am certainly open to suggestions as to how to cool this many layers. When the last three layers hit the oven the icing was put on to cook.
Here is how it should look with thinner layers than my last cake.
Here is how my last cake looked with thicker layers.
After reading Bakerella’s post on this cake I also covered the ugly duckling with some butter cream frosting.
This really is a labor of love that is totally worth it! I just had a piece and my goodness it is so good! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Here is the original recipe for the cake. Note that I made 1 1/2 recipes for the cake layers. You could probably make 1 recipe and get about 10 layers.
Here is the link for the filling and dripping icing.
Here is Bakerella’s Buttercream icing and the inspiration for this whole ordeal.