I like to cook but I’m a crappy baker. Baking is science: I got a D in first-year bio in college.  Precision (which baking requires) is just not my thing.

But today is Caleb’s birthday; I don’t know how or where to find a store-bought cake in Abu Dhabi and his instructions (chocolate in the middle, vanilla on the outside, marshmallows on the top) would’ve defied my procuring abilities even in more familiar territory.

So. I baked. In an electric oven with spanking new cake pans from Marks & Spencer. Cake pans, I’ll have you know, that promised to be NON STICK.

This morning there was much mixing and stirring and breaking of eggs and then the apartment filled with the lovely scent of…cake. Easy-peasy, who knew, maybe I am a baker at heart.

Um…no. Cake pan number one, after waiting the requisite 10 minutes before inverting cake onto a plate:

Dammit! Chunks of cake stuck to the bottom of the non-stick pan.  Okay, though, because we still have cake pan number 2:


(This is why I should never bake with children in the room).

Here is the bottom of my non-stick baking pan:

Non-stick my fat ass.

Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, although really the saying should be mothers are the inventors of necessity.

I wadded those pan-stuck pieces of cake into the cake bits that had made it onto the plate and hoped that in a few hours the whole thing would congeal into some more vaguely cake-shaped form.  Then I whipped up a rather marvelous frosting, if I do say so myself (amazing what 1 full cup of butter and 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar will do), and big brother executed the marshmallow/chocolate design on top, as per the birthday boy’s instructions.

Et voila!

And that’s when I realized it:

Slide enough frosting on something and you can hide any multitude of sins: Frosting, basically, is the Spanx of baking.