Anyone Can Cook: Cake Off

Hey Friends! Like you, I’ve been watching Jennifer produce amazing and delicious creations for a while. I wanted in on the fun. We decided to each craft an “extravagant” cake based on a book. Jennifer selected J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Hobbit while I chose a current favorite of mine Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold.

I crafted my cake first and, let me tell you, I made a series of mistakes that Jennifer certainly did not make. It seems our friendly baking challenge turned into an example of Nailed It or Failed It. With me certainly fulfilling the latter with my white-on-white monstrosity and Jennifer nailing that Hobbit Hole cake. I even attempted new-to-me techniques, including candying lemons and carving cake. The important thing is that we both had a blast and, even better, we both had cake!

Here are our fabulous creations:

Jennifer’s Tips for Extravagant Cakes

  1. Bake your cakes the day before you decorate. This gives them ample time to cool, which will greatly help your decorating.
  2. Don’t frost them before they cool completely- your frosting will melt!
  3. Use color, candy, cookie cutters and other baking tools to decorate with.
  4. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, which you can find online or in the cookbooks below.
  5. Check out one- or more- of our cake pans to add some whimsy to your cake!
  6. Most importantly, remember to have fun and not take it too seriously.

We would love for you to also craft extravagant cakes based on books and share them with us – or at least pictures of them! Don’t be afraid of failure. As that apt old adage by Norman Vincent Peale says, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Or, in our case, you’ll land among cake and frosting, which is delicious!

Check out some of these crafty cake cookbooks to pick up some new techniques for your masterpieces!

View complete list

We’d love to see your sweetest successes and funniest failures!

Angie Reed

As the teen librarian, Angie organizes amazing events and online activities. She also reads a lot of YA and is eager to suggest a book you can't put down.