Own Cake Day with these cake basics for beginners

Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

Michelle Zhang’s 2016 Cake Day cake representing Daoism

Cake Day is happening this Monday! For those of you who aren’t familiar with this event, it is the Conant history department’s spin off of Pi Day. The purpose of Cake Day is for students to bake a history-themed cake for history class. This year, some psychology classes are also participating, so their students will be making psychology-themed cakes. However, some of the students involved in Cake Day have little to no experience with baking. For those of you who find yourself in this category, here are some basic baking tips:

Baking the cake

  • Just use a box mix and follow the directions on the back. It isn’t as hard as many people think, and it takes a lot of talent to mess up.
  • Don’t forget to oil the pan. But if you do end up forgetting, have fun trying to unstick the cake!

Decorations

  • If you buy frosting, don’t store it in the fridge. I’m speaking from personal experience here. The frosting becomes really dry and extremely hard to spread.
  • Wait until after the cake is completely cooled to apply the frosting, unless you want a puddle of frosting.
  • It’s okay if you don’t have piping bags or tips. Simply fill a Ziploc bag with frosting and cut the corner off. If you cut the corner in different ways, you can make different patterns.
  • Candy Melts are very useful when it comes to decorations. Microwave them in a piping bag (or Ziploc bag with cut corner), and once they are melted, pipe any shape you want onto parchment paper. They solidify quickly, and they don’t melt at room temperature. If you mess up, don’t fret! Just reheat the Candy Melts, and no one will ever know.
    • Avoid burning the Candy Melts by only microwaving for 20-30 seconds at a time and stirring in between.
    • Parchment paper is often used in baking to prevent things from sticking. Note: I am not talking about the parchment you write on. Parchment paper is specifically for baking.
    • Candy Melts can be found at Michaels.

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