If I knew you were comin’ I’d have bought a cake…because I hate baking….

That song has been in my head pretty much all week. First it was Boob Cake for husband (which he worked his way through all week and finished last night), and now it’s 2 coworker’s birthdays this week. So last night I made this gluten-free, dairy-free (I did make it with eggs, you don’t have to though) chocolate strawberry cake.

Now… I know I’m not the best baker. In fact, I really, REALLY suck at following directions. And baking is all directions. So it’s a real challenge for me to actually pull a baked good together, even if it’s from a mix. And even then, there’s the challenge of decorating.

Which is why all of my cakes end up with spastic, 5-year-old-on-a-sugar-high icing, which I then pass off as humor or “cute”.

The mix I used can be gotten from Whole Foods and it’s about $3.99. (There are ones at whole foods that LOOK easier, because they’re $3 more and the have a fancy photo of a fancy cake on the front, but when you read it, you need like 4 eggs, SUGAR, vanilla, milk, water, butter… it’s like what did you even do for me, box of mix? Oh, you mixed chocolate flavor with rice flour? F@#$ off. )

I almost completely messed this one up anyway, since it calls for soy milk AND water, and I almost forgot the water…. and I skipped the random 2 tsp lemon juice (???) because I’m a rebel. See? Can’t follow directions.

  • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Dairy – Free Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Stuff the mix says to use (1/3 c dairy-free butter substitute, or real butter; a cup of soy milk; 2 eggs; 2 tsp vanilla; 2 tsp LEMON JUICE FOR SOME REASON)
  • Sliced strawberries, about a cup of them.
  • Frosting (dairy-free), in whatever colors/flavors you have around. For some reason I have green and yellow and brown. (Ew??)
  • Random festive things you can pass off as Cake Decorations. For me, it’s tiki drink garnishes from our bar.
Mix everything together but the strawberries. Layer half the batter in a well-greased but wrong-sized pan (shallow casserole dish), spend 10 minutes meticulously laying out the sliced strawberries on top of the first layer, then pour the second half of the batter over the first. Then curse a blue streak because you realize you forgot the
  • 2/3 c hot Water
and dump all the mix and the strawberries back in the bowl. Add water.
Mix furiously and then dump everything back into the pan (shallow casserole dish) and wonder why it’s so damn runny.

Bake at 350 for supposedly 30-35 minutes if you use the correct size pan. But if you’re like me and never have the correct size pan, bake for an hour, wondering if it will ever get done, checking on it repeatedly until it’s 11 pm and you’re as tired as a dog and want to just crash out with your glass of wine and your DVR’ed Mad Men episode. But the cake is STILL NOT DONE. So take it out anyway and watch as it falls and turns into a lumpy pan full of Fail.

Let cool. Watch Mad Men.

So you have a flat surface to decorate, turn pan upside down onto a cutting board, and pound on the bottom of the pan (shallow casserole dish) so the cake comes out. Marvel that it HOLY SHIT IT ACTUALLY CAME OUT IN ONE PIECE.

Ice while drunk.

Realize you should have kept it in the pan, because now you have no cake box and no container large enough to hold the cake without messing it up, except the original pan (shallow casserole dish) which is now in the dishwasher.

Stick with toothpicks and cover with several tented sheets of tin foil, making none of them large enough to cover the entire cake, and end up taping the foil together with duct tape.

Wish someone would get you this for your birthday:

(Even though you hate baking.)

CAKEWATCH!! UPDATE 2012: 11:00 AM

Both co-workers whose birthdays the cake celebrated enjoyed the cake. Male birthday co-worker has had 4 slices. Female birthday had one.

CAKEWATCH 2012: 12:30 PM

I had a slice. Where the eff did the strawberries go? Maybe my piece didn’t have one. It is pretty moist and delicious.

CAKEWATCH 2012      1:30 PM

Male birthday co-worker  is on his “Lucky #7” seventh  slice.

CAKEWATCH 2012  1:45 PM

My boss who doesn’t eat cake ate cake. He said it’s delicious and he usually doesn’t eat this stuff, but it was very moist. And delicious.

CAKEWATCH 2012: 2:30 PM

Everyone in my office is raving about the cake. It’s by general consensus very moist and delicious. But for some reason all the strawberries disintegrated. Maybe that’s why it’s so moist.

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