DIY cereal bowl cake


Intentionally or not, by now I've successfully misled several people with the name of my blog into thinking that I’m here to talk about the thrills and perils of baking...and given a handful of others very good fodder for a recurring joke ('where the hell are the cupcakes, Rachel?’). But I s'pose I’ll pay my dues for having chosen such a misnomer for a blog is that is about anything but

Today, though, seems a good day as any other to write my very first blog post on actual cake! Not quite cupcakes but hey, we'll get there some day.

If one must know, the name of my blog was inspired by the fact that at the tender age of 18 I went through a major phase where I compulsively baked cupcakes, and one of the only things my acquaintances had to show for our friendship were a bimonthly offering of things like pumpkin spice/peanut butter and chocolate/lemon/white chocolate raspberry cupcakes. Mind you, this was before the street cred of the humble cupcake gained any recognition, so cupcake bakeries weren’t as prolific as they are today. Anyone who wanted one either went to the only Twelve Cupcakes store in Novena or Plain Vanilla in Holland Village. Or they baked their own, which is the route I chose to take. Naturally I became the cupcake girl, specialised in plying friends with frosted treats and dishing out unsolicited baking advice.

See how rachelandcupcakes became a thing? You do? No? Okay, moving right on anyway.

Over the years these sweets have been making appearances in every corner of the country, so whatever baker’s urge I had slowly gave way to an appetite for convenience. I don’t even remember when I last made cupcakes, but it definitely hasn’t been any time in the last two years. Lately, thanks to my enthusiastic pinning of Pinterest things, I’ve been wanting to make everything from a mini piñata to mason jar planters to emoji balloons. I decided my sister’s upcoming birthday would be a prime opportunity to try out an idea for a cool cake I saw from Studio DIY.

The cake itself is easy enough to execute and is such a sweet party of colour and quirk for the eyes to behold! Plus the only barrier to entry is that you need some equipment that regular people may not be in current possession of, like an ovenproof bowl, offset spatula, something to prop your cake up on when you frost it and some elemental knowledge of how cake frosting works.

You can get the full recipe and instructions on Studio DIY, but if you want some post-mortem pointers from yours truly on how you can make your life a little easier when attempting this, they await below.

  • Get yourself an ovenproof bowl. Most ceramic and glass bowls aren’t made to withstand 180 degrees, so don’t go there unless you want cake batter and shard of glass all over your oven. Alternatively, you could bake your cake in regular cake tins and then carve half a globe out of it, which is entirely feasible if you have a bread knife and are a sucker for punishment…otherwise, invest in an ovenproof bowl.
  • Use a cake mix. Being a purist and proponent of the integrity of the baking process, I never use store-bought mixes as a matter of principle - I even make my own jams and lemon curd yada yada. *However* going into this project I knew I had to allow myself one shortcut in order to avoid the compromised sanity that being cooped up in the kitchen for too long can sometimes entail. Using a Betty Crocker mix and allocating my time primarily to frosting and decorating made everything 103.25% more manageable. I highly recommend that all other amateur Buddy Valastros do the same.
  • Frost your cake three times, and pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes between each iteration to let it set so that the layers of icing don’t mix into each other. This is a lesson in cultivating an endless reserve of patience because you can’t get it done in just one shot - you’ll end up with a sloppy exterior dotted with stray cake crumbs. 
  • As Ikea will proudly attest, bowls come in tons of colours and designs - but if you want your bowl to be a pristine white be sure to vegetable shortening instead of butter in your frosting! Butter will tint everything with its comforting pastel yellow hue, which spoils the fun if you’re going for the classic porcelain white look.
P.S! I stumbled upon an amazing cake gallery that almost makes me want to dedicate all my daylight hours to perfecting the art of cake decorating. Check it out. x

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