There was a birthday in our family this weekend (my husband's), and for it I planned to make chocolate cake, the recipe for which a friend had sent along with promises of foolproofness and deliciousness.
In general, I've been working on my cakes for several reasons:
1) My kids love them.
2) You just mix the batter and pour, no batches to worry about.
3) It'd be cool to be able to make a really good cake.
Truth be told, I make a pretty good cake, nowhere near as good as my chocolate chip cookies, but still pretty good. And I was excited to try this recipe. But my kids? They just wanted a cake from "the stupid market" (aka the supermarket). They see those supermarket cakes all the time and they always ask for them and we always say "No," and if they knew anything about Daddy's birthday, it was that cake was coming. I have to say, they saw opportunity on the horizon, they grabbed it by the neck, and they did not let go.
My son Elliot had a full-blown tantrum over wanting the stupid-market cake and not wanting to bake. And I was like, "Sweetheart, we're going to make the cake, won't that be fun?" And he was all, "Sob, sob, snot, sob, NO! STUPID MARKET CAKE! sob sob more snot sob." Until finally I realized I was being completely insane. David and I are not cake fanatics. My kids are. They've wanted that super market cake for what must seem like EVER to them. Would I bake just to improve my own skills and prove to them that homemade is better? When to them it's not? I mean, whose cake is it anyway?
In the end, David took the kids to the market, they picked out an "Oreo" cake (that turned out to be a cheesecake), they sang happy birthday in a darkened kitchen lit up by birthday candles, they helped David blow out the candles, had some cake and Helen pronounced the party "Fantastic!" And it was.