12 Cakes in 2012 Review

To write up this review, I read all of my posts thus far. When I introduced this challenge along with my birthday cake, I said I wanted to be able to turn out a layer perfect layer cake. “Perfect” may be a bit generous, but I feel pretty good about how far my skills have come.



Of course, I’ve learned a few things along the way:


Without further adieu, here’s how I ranked the cakes (from favorite to meh). I judged them based on memory, reviewing my initial blog posts, quality of finished product and how much the finished product met my expectations. It was, clearly, very scientific.


Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate (Oct)
Cookie Dough Layer Cake
Carrot Layer Cake
Strawberry Cream Layer Cake
Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
Cookies and Cream Cake
Key Lime Cake
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake
Double Caramel Turtle Layer Cake
Banana Cake with Butterscotch Filling and Cream Cheese Icing


So let’s get down to the details with a few superlatives:

Best in Show
Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate (Oct)
Simple, chocolate and winning every day of the week. This cake stole my heart and ran away with it. If you’re going to try one cake from my blog and want it to come out perfect, make this.


Best icing
Snickerdoodle (Apr)
Hubster still raves about this cake, but it was really the icing that saved it from a lower overall rank. The buttercream was so perfectly spiced that you would swear you were eating a melted snickerdoodle.


Double Caramel Turtle Layer Cake (Jan)
This recipe made it very clear that “healthy” and “layer cake” don’t mix. Dry cakes and an underwhelming amount of icing are just sad. Thankfully I learned this lesson early in the year and fully embraced butter for the rest of the cakes


Best concept that didn’t quite work
Strawberry Cream Layer Cake (May)
I really wanted this to be great, but my icing making skills were not up to par. The result was a gritty, sweet concoction that didn’t have any body. Happily, when combined with the cake and jam, this still produced one of my favorite bites.


Least likely to attend the party
June’s missing cake
My oven was out of commission for the entire month of June, leaving me one cake shy of my goal. Do I care? Nah.


Apparent crowd favorite based on immediate feedback/My least favorite
Banana Cake with Butterscotch Filling and Cream Cheese Icing (Sept)
The banana cake got rave reviews at work but I probably ate fewer than 4 bites. I still maintain that it was way too sweet and the butterscotch was gritty, but maybe you shouldn’t take my word for it.


Crowd favorite by votes
I took an impromptu poll of a few coworkers who have sampled multiple cakes. Cookies and Cream Cake (Dec) tied Cookie Dough Layer Cake (Mar) for the most #1 votes, but the Cookies and Cream ended up in the top 3 the most. What does this prove? 1. I probably shouldn’t poll anyone about cake immediately after they sample one of the contenders. 2. You probably can’t go wrong with any cake that’s derived from a cookie.

So the year in cakes is done and I have all of… well a few hours to decide next year’s challenge. Wish me luck! In return, I’ll wish you a safe, happy and cake filled 2013.

Michelle L. - December 31, 2012 - 10:08 am

Each cake was delicious in their own way and we were happy to help you complete your personal challenge, whilst also hating you for making us eat all the extra calories on Monday. Damn you Banana Butterscotch cake for forcing me to eat you on Tuesday too!!!

Can’t wait to see what next year’s challenge has in store for us ;)

ModernMealsForTwo - December 31, 2012 - 10:57 am

Thanks Michelle! It was a lot of fun… and probably too many calories. I’ll work on a healthier 2013 challenge :)

Elizabeth - January 3, 2013 - 6:02 pm

These are absolutely beautiful! I’m not the best cake decorator, and I really struggle with layer cakes. I’m going to try to work on that in the new year!

Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - January 3, 2013 - 9:43 pm

I am way too chicken to attempt a layer cake…but I suspect my daughter will want to try that soon, too. Such a little baker! But if you want to mail me cake samples, I’m in! ;)

ModernMealsForTwo - January 10, 2013 - 4:17 pm

Thanks Elizabeth! Good luck! I can’t wait to see your creations.

ModernMealsForTwo - January 10, 2013 - 4:18 pm

I highly doubt the cake (particularly the frosting) would survive a trip through the postal service. But remind me next holiday season and I’ll drop some cookies your way :)

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