So, I had really good intentions with this birthday cake.

I didn’t have two round cake pans, so I used one 9×13 pan. Completely fine. And then I was totally paranoid about the cake sticking to the pan so I buttered it to high heaven. Seriously. I’m surprised it didn’t jump out of the pan when I pulled it from the oven.

I turned it out of the pan onto a wire cooling rack and it was perfectly cooked and all in one piece. Great so far.

Then I thought, “Hey, wouldn’t this look better if it wasn’t long and thin but smaller and two-layered?” (I also remembered I didn’t actually have a plate big enough for a 9×13 cake)

So I cut it in half and stacked the halves on top of each other. It was kind of lopsided, so I just sorta squished it down with my hands to make it a tad more even.

Oh, and a chunk of it fell off.

Eh, no big deal, right? Frosting fixes everything. So I frosted that sucker up. Problem was, by cutting it in half I created crumbs. Lots and LOTS of crumbs…which then swirled around in the frosting over the entire cake.

Once it was sufficiently covered in crumb frosting I decided a GREAT way to conceal the crumbs would be to sprinkle it with cocoa powder.

Then halfway through sprinkling I thought it would be awesome to make a heart shape on top by putting a paper heart on the cake and sprinkling around it to leave it white (or white-ish) underneath. Only there was already cocoa powder everywhere, so I had to go a little crazy putting even MORE on to make the heart shape stand out.

But it didn’t work. It was only sort of heart shaped, so I used a knife to try to fix it. This succeeded in creating a semi heart-shaped cocoa-smeared gray spot in the center of the cake..

And how do we fix that? Why MORE cocoa of course! I wanted to even get some on the sides but figured the only way that could happen is if I actually threw it at the cake, which, thankfully, I realized was a really bad idea before I followed through.

So, it kind of looks like I let kindergarteners finger paint the frosting on and then I blackened the top with a blow torch, BUT, it comes from the heart. Cocoa smeared crumb frosting and all.

P.S. I would like to add that my one big success with this cake was remembering Ina Garten’s trick to place pieces of parchment paper on the plate under the cake so that after it’s frosted, you simply pull the sheets out and you have a nice clean frosting-free plate. Ta-da!