Fun Size: A Sticky Mess


Photo by Meaaloha McCabe

Mirror cakes may seem easy to do but, they are quite difficult to make.

Mirror cakes look pretty simple to make. You pour the glaze on, and you’re all done. At least that’s what I thought would happen.

It seemed so simple when Rosanna Pansino, a baker and the creator of  Nerdy Nummies on YouTube, began to assemble her cake while a little fruit fly began to nibble on it.

But no, as a new member to the baking club, this was not simple, painless, or super easy to do. Rather, it is a test of patience as I found out when I tried to make one of my own. I started by baking the cakes.

The first cake caused no trouble and popped out of the pan quickly and easily. However, the second cake decided to be the ugly step-sister by crumbling out of the pan.

I used homemade vanilla buttercream as glue to put my crumbling cake back together and to paste the two cakes onto each other. Although the cake was falling apart, the frosting was the icing on the cake, figuratively and literally.

Because my top cake was crumbling, it resembled a turtle shell after it was covered in frosting. I let the shell cake cool down in the fridge overnight, and the real mess began the next day.

I gathered my ingredients, measured them, and began to put it all together. I had three different colors of gelatin-based glaze: teal, purple, and red. I started by pouring the teal glaze onto the sides of the cake, followed by the purple glaze (following the directions of Pansino), at least thatʻs what I tried to do. It didn’t look right, but I pushed forward and poured on the red glaze, which made it look worse.

After I finished putting on all the glaze, my cake ended up looking like the crime scene of a hippie. The glaze began melting off, which then left spots of frosting exposed and made the cake resemble a melting American flag. Was this some kind of message about Mr. Trump becoming president?

When I finally came to terms with how the cake looked, I put it in the fridge and came back to the crime scene; it was a mess. I looked around and noticed my teal dye had decided that it wanted to lie down and bleed onto my table cover. Faster than a hippie running from the police, I quickly got everything off my table and ran outside to rinse off the dye. Luckily everything came off.

I threw the tablecloth in the washer and went back into the kitchen. The glaze recipe that I used from Rosanna Pansino was too large for my cake, so the drip-catching plate was covered in a thick layer of glaze that I didntʻt know what to do with. I had to waste it. I watched it swirl around into the drain as I ran boiling water with it, so it wouldn’t clog the sink. I decided to wash the mountain of galaxy colored dishes and began to reflect on this baking experience.

No,  this was not easy to do, but it was a good learning experience. The making of this mirror cake taught me to be more patient. Maybe the second cake would have turned out fine if I had left it in the pan a little longer, maybe the glaze colors would have looked better if I had added fewer drops of dye.

When I shared it with my family, they were less than impressed, but how did it taste? The glaze had formed into a jello shell which reminded me of Fruit Roll-Ups and reminded my brother of the movie Flubber, but it was all cake and giggles under the light of the super moon and the praise of my buttercream frosting.

Click here to see what a mirror cake is really supposed to look like!

And click here to see the YouTube video of the cake I was actually trying to make. 

You aren't always what you eat.
Photo by Meaaloha McCabe
You aren’t always what you eat.