Thursday, December 20, 2012


Today I have to bake a cake.

It's my son Fecklet's* birthday this weekend, and like the very popular and utterly spoilt rotten kid he is, he's having not one but two parties, which means he needs two cakes. Today I'm making a chocolate sheet cake with chocolate icing, and Saturday I'm making vanilla cupcakes with jam.

I have done a lot of cake baking since becoming a mum, and especially over the last two years since Fecklet has started school. It seems that cake is required for nearly every school occasion, and last summer I won second prize in the PTA Bake-Off with my Earl Grey cupcakes with lemon buttercream, which was to be honest one of the greatest achievements of my LIFE, so I now find that I have a bit of a reputation to uphold as a baker.

Even so, I'm beginning to think it's become an obsession. When I look back over my Twitter feed and my Facebook profile, I don't see photos of parties or shoes or my kid: I see pictures of cakes that I have made. Lots and lots of cakes.

only second prize. I was robbed

whoopie pies (Maine style)

my Extremely Pink birthday cake

I even coloured this sugar myself. such a nerd

cupcakes for girly weekend

obsessed! I am obsessed!!

(It's really no wonder that I've also had to take up running.)

Anyway at this point you are probably thinking I'm going to discuss how baking a cake is like writing a book. But you know what? Baking a cake is NOTHING like writing a book. When you bake a cake, you have a recipe. You follow it. And then you have something nice to eat. The whole process takes a couple of hours and is quite relaxing.

When you write a book, there is no recipe. You take horrendous chances and a lot of the time you are terrified. You spend a year of your life on it, pouring blood onto the page, and at the end, you may or may not have something that you ever want to show anyone. It's very hard work and is not relaxing in the slightest and you don't even have any cake to eat at the end. Instead you have to proofread it.

I'm pretty thankful I don't have to write two books for Fecklet's birthday. Cake baking is way easier.

*His real name isn't Fecklet. I'm not that weird.


  1. PS Another way that baking cake is different from writing a book: you can bake a cake when you're totally hungover from spending an evening with Brigid Coady in the pub, but you cannot write a book.

    *drags hungover self into kitchen*

  2. Ha. This is great. And I totally agree. Baking a cake is FAR easier in every way.

    But I tend to remember the books I write FAR longer. :)

  3. Yes, the books generally last longer, too. Around here, anyway.

  4. Oh, you've made me want cake now, I love baking! But instead I'm going to be good and make bread - that lasts marginally longer, but not by much :)

  5. I love baking but don't do it very often...especially now that I'm writing books. But it's Christmas time and every year I bake my great aunt Christmas fruit cake - not like the traditional one but a spicy moist one that you don't ice...must get started.

    happy birthday to Flecklet!


  6. Oi! It wasn't just me!

    I don't bake, being gluten-free and low carb it seems a waste of time. Also I probably am too busy being made to drink by Julie Cohen!


  7. I love baking too, but my cakes never look that good! I tell myself it's the taste that counts :o)