For about a year now, I have been wanting to try a recipe I saw on Southern Living’s website for an 18-layer cake. 18 layers of homemade goodness in the form of yellow cake, but layered with plenty of delectable chocolate icing. But the kick is, there aren’t too many occasions for making an 18-layer cake – it’s a lot of work and you need to be feeding a lot of people who really like sweets, Finally, this Easter, presented the perfect opportunity with most of the folks from my mom’s side of the family gathering to celebrate.
As I dove into this baking adventure I enlisted the help from my “little” from the Big Brother’s Big Sister’s program. She eagerly joined in on the endeavor, but I don’t think she realized what she was in for helping me make 18-layers of scratch yellow cake especially since she has barely baked any cake before much less a from scratch cake! So for several hours, we measured, sifted, mixed, weighed and baked pans … as soon as we got some out of the oven, we were on to the next round of weighing and baking. It was an involved and complicated process!
I have made numerous home-made cakes in the past and really enjoy the process, but this was a new sort of task. I am not kidding that we were moving through a very fast pace of weigh – bake – rotate in oven – bake – cool. It was a rapid fire process! It is definitely a cake that took up every inch of open counter space in my kitchen. Every inch. Pans and flour were EVERYWHERE!
But after hours of work, the layers were all baked, the icing cooked and the layers were in the process of being assembled. 18-layers, while it may not look like it in the video, are a lot of layers. What are a lot of layers prone to do? go a little lopsided, especially when they are resting on warm and shifting layers of smooth and delicious chocolate icing. After about layer 8, the cake started to look like the leaning tower of Pisa! And that’s when it hit me – how on earth was I going to get this cake from my house to my mom’s house … an important detail that I had not previously considered!
A work in progress…
After learning that my cake carrier maxed out at about 10 of these tiny layers, I decided that I would have to layer on the remaining icing and layers at my mom’s house. But even at 10 layers, the cake didn’t feel too structurally stable .. a problem I solved with wooden grill skewers not the prettiest solution, but it did seem to do the job!
Tips I have for those who want to try and make this case:
- Cut your parchment carefully and evenly – its importnat to ensuring the layers come out evenly and easily
- Weigh the layers carefully
- Have plenty of open space in your kitchen
- Make the cake when you will be sevring it at your house (the transport was stressful!)
- Serve to a huge crowd! I found that the cake served more than the recipe indicated.
- Enlist a helper 🙂
At my family’s easter – a family of folks with the sweet tooth of a toddler – we put a massice dent into the cake, but we still have a couple pieces frozen n the freezer that I am looking forward to cutting into soon!
So how did the cake taste? I know I may be biased, but it was insaenly delicious! An awesome belnd of yellow cake and chocolate icing, but due to the thin cake layers, you really picked up on the chocolate (which was defiitely okay by me!). But as you can tell from my photos – it didnt turn out too pretty!
Will I make the cake again? I am not sure, it was a lot of work but also really delicious. I guess, if the occasion calls for it, I will give it another go, but maybe I would reduce to like 10 layers – I still think you would get the full effect!
If you try it – make sure you are patient, but you wont regert it.