Birthday bundt cake

What started as a simple cooking adventure and led to a big, fat, disappointment


There was so much potential but I was left with a bigger, more dense, donut.

Claire Maloney, Web Editor

The day of my sister’s 19th birthday had rolled around, but she was not allowed to see her friends, for obvious reasons, so we decided to do something a little extra special. We usually buy a buttercream cake from Publix, but we decided that making her a cake would be exciting this year. What started out as a fun bonding activity with me and my mom turned into a massive disappointment and a trip to Publix. We picked a vanilla recipe from the Internet that claimed to be “the best vanilla cake ever” and got to baking. It was all going smoothly until we put that baby in the oven.


My sister was working, so my mom and I decided it was the perfect time to begin the cake. The recipe itself was straight forward with clear directions that made the preparation of the batter very easy; the only issue we encountered was that we didn’t have buttermilk, we only had regular milk, we didn’t think it would make a very big difference so we just used regular milk. However, after we finished the cake, the taste just wasn’t all there. After careful investigation we think the main culprit was not having buttermilk and being overcooked. Allow me to give a detailed explanation about every part of this recipe.


Ingredients: The ingredients in the cake were household items like flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. The only ingredients you might not have are buttermilk and vanilla extract. I’m no chef but I know that having vanilla extract is essential for any vanilla cake, but I wasn’t aware that having buttermilk or regular milk would make a difference. Upon further research I can confirm that not using buttermilk can leave your cake very dry and dense because it doesn’t have the same acids present as buttermilk, I can also confirm that the cake I baked was very dry and dense.


Directions: I’d give the directions an 9/10, they were very clear and straightforward, making the preparation of the batter very easy. It loses points due to the fact that there is no direction for multiple types of pans; they only say two 8” pans. I don’t even have one 8” pan let alone two. Other than that, the directions were very easy to follow.


Baking: I baked the cake at 350 degrees, like the recipe said, and that was fine, the only issue is cooking this cake to perfection is a very difficult task at hand. I knew bake times would be different because of the different pans so I started out cooking the cake for 25 minutes, careful not to overcook it, no surprise that I needed more time. So I put it in for another 5 minutes and it was still quite runny, as you could imagine, I put in for another 5 minutes, still needed more time, so I put it in for another 5 minutes and it was overbaked when I took it out. It went from raw in the middle to dense loaf in a matter of 5 minutes which was really disappointing.


Taste: Lastly, it was time to eat the cake, I don’t care for frosting all that much and I much prefer my cake warm so I let it sit out for a few minutes so it wouldn’t burn my mouth and cut myself a slice. The taste was dramatically underwhelming, you could barely taste the vanilla and was just too dense to thoroughly enjoy.


Overall, I would definitely like to try this recipe again using buttermilk as I think there is some real potential for me to bake the best vanilla cake, I might even invest in two 8” baking pans. The batter was delicious, and I think with enough time and effort I could craft a masterpiece that is “the best vanilla cake.”