I’m not even kidding, I started this cake at 9:30 am and didn’t finish until about 9:30 pm. I wasn’t working on it the entire time… I went to have lunch with a friend and then later I had my taxes done.

The cake I made today is a vertical layer cake and you can find a great tutorial here. I’m a little worried that mine won’t turn out to be nearly as lovely as hers when we cut into it tomorrow because I skipped the simple syrup step. Chalk it up to laziness.

I used two Duncan Hines cake mixes, one white and one dark chocolate. There may have been a slight mishap involving forgotten water with the white mix…That’s right, I attempted to bake before drinking my coffee and almost screwed it up by trying to mix everything before adding the water. Lucky for me, it was totally fixable.

You’ll end up with two cakes using this method. This is the one I chose for my parents:

Naked cake

I know, at this point it’s not very pretty. You’ll notice some cracks in the outside layer…I think next time I’ll definitely make the center smaller so the outside can be thicker. When Stef saw the cracks, she made a good point. Nothing that can’t be fixed with icing!  Speaking of which…


You’ll need to make sure to do a crumb coat for this cake. I like to put it in the fridge after this step so the first coat of icing doesn’t smear around when I’m trying to get the second coat just right. While it was in the fridge, I piped some letters with melted dark chocolate chips. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it pretty if I tried to do it freehand, so I printed the phrase I wanted and put it under wax paper.

I taped the printed words to the underside of the wax paper so they wouldn’t slide around. Don’t mind the Advil bottle, I needed it to keep the paper from curling up.

Once the letters were finished I put them in the fridge to harden and finished icing the cake.

I'm more proud of the letters than I am of the cake...

Since the letters are just made of chocolate, I had to work pretty quickly to get them on the cake. I had to redo a few of them because they melted and broke in my fingers. I found that it worked best to leave any letters I wasn’t working with in the fridge until I was ready for them.

The finished product:

I made that.

I’ll admit right now that I suck at getting icing smooth. It was extra hard with this cake because the top was kind of bumpy from the layers…Still, I think I did ok. I decided at the last minute that the words looked a little lonely so I added the two hearts.

Obviously I can’t show you a pic of the inside just yet…but as soon as we cut into it I’ll make sure to snap a picture!

I really, really can’t wait for my mom and dad to see this tomorrow…

What do you guys think? Feel free to give me your honest opinions in the comments!