Saturday, May 4, 2013

Have your cake, and eat it, too!

Let them eat cake!

I have been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now, and tonight I am finally getting around to it. 

Earlier this month, I turned the big 3-0. Partly because I am vain and partly because I think that it is a legitimate milestone, I was determined to do something to mark the occasion. Although I fussed over many different ideas and party themes from roughly November to March, I finally decided to keep it simple: close family and friends, pizza, salad and dessert. 

Of course, I ordered a gluten-free pizza for myself, but I was still indecisive about dessert. How could I possibly get away with serving people gluten-free birthday cake? At the same time, how could I deny myself such a quintessential part of the birthday-girl experience? Like I said, I'm vain. In the end, I decided I would have my gluten-free birthday cake, just like I wanted, but I would supply root beer floats and a more traditional dessert baked by my gracious and talented friend Stephanie for my guests. It seemed like a good plan and an easy way to appease everyone.

Was I wrong? Not exactly.

The thing is, everybody loves birthday cake--gluten-free or not. Although I warned all of my guests that the cake was gluten-free, everyone had a piece, and no one complained. In fact, I think they actually liked it, although it was different in texture and consistency than they are accustomed to. Cake is cake, right? On top of that, no one even took me up on the offer of root beer floats, and Stephanie took home her dessert untouched (she has a large extended family, so she didn't mind). Maybe they ate the cake because they were curious. Maybe they ate it because they were being polite. Or maybe Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix doesn't really taste so far different from the original version I remember from my youth. Bottom line--A cake I thought might turn out to be a disaster for me was actually as much of a success among my guests as any gluten-containing store-bought concoction would have been. 

At some point during the day--probably around the time I was looking at three or four untouched gallons of vanilla ice cream in my freezer--I realized that it was time for me to stop doing what I thought would make other people happy and start doing what makes me happy. In the end, they often work out to be the same thing--at least when you are dealing with people who love you.

It's my party, and I'll {have a double-layer gluten-free birthday cake with sprinkles on top} if I want to

Once I knew I was going to have my own Lisa-friendly, gluten-free, birthday cake, I also knew I needed to pull out all of the stops to make it as cute as possible. For me, that meant a double-layer cake with lots of frosting and cute embellishments displayed on one of my three sparkling cake stands. Although I was a little nervous about taking on a double-layer, gluten-free cake, I did it anyway.

The end result? I am very glad I did.

Initially, I was convinced the gluten-free cake would fall apart or be too crumbly to layer effectively. In fact, it was the exact opposite. The cake held together beautifully, and Stephanie said it was easier to frost than a gluten-containing cake because there were so few crumbs. At one point, we even picked up one of the two cake layers by hand and set it aside (I forgot to spread frosting between the layers). Can you even imagine doing that with a traditional cake? It would fall apart as soon as look at you.

Although I don't plan on baking another cake soon, I would definitely try the gluten-free, double-layer option again.


If you're curious, I used two boxes of Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix (just follow the directions on the box), one container of Betty Crocker's Whipped Vanilla Frosting (next time I would buy two--all of their frosting is labeled gluten-free), and two 9x9 square backing pans to bake this cake. The sprinkles were not labeled gluten-free, but they seemed safe as they had no gluten-containing ingredients.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! I will try to reply to your comment prior to my next post. Happy blogging!