6 Ways to Save a Ruined Birthday Cake

6 tricks to sve a ruined birthday cakeIt happens to everyone except baking superheroes. You're baking a birthday cake for your child. The stakes are high. This is the cake friends and family will gather 'round and sing your child into their next year of life on Earth. NO PRESSURE. And then: Disaster. Your cake falls. Half of it burns. It comes out weird tasting. Can this cake be saved? Most of the time it can!

Check out the photo of this cake here created by a CafeMom member. Some may see it and think, yum, that looks like a lot of candy. Me, I saw this cake and thought wow -- that would be a brilliant way to save a cake fail! Not that this is what actually happened here -- I think this is fun cake decorating idea regardless. It's just that I'll take my inspiration wherever I can find it. So worry not -- here are six cake fails and how to fix them.


1. Your cake is partly burned. Cut off the most indelibly burned sections. Leave the merely brown and crunchy. Hopefully you only had to saw off an inch or so deep. Fill in any cavities with extra frosting. Should look the same! If you only burned a little bit, you can sand off the burned top layer with a fine mesh strainer.

2. Your cake is lop-sided. If you have a great deal of confidence you can trim the other side so they match. Personally, I think that's a slippery slope. You trim one side too much, then you have to trim the other side to match, but then you trim too much there, too... See what I mean? Just use the above technique for dealing with burned cake: Fill in with extra frosting.

3. Your cake fell in the center. Cut out the middle. Fill with whipped cream, pudding, or ice cream. Or, serve the cake as a ring cake like that was your plan all along.

4. Your cake stuck to the pan. Now you've got a crumbly, uneven surface. It's not like you can fill in the surface with extra frosting this time. Instead, make a chocolate ganache and pour over the whole thing. Maybe add some slivered almonds. Or, cover completely with whipped cream.

5. Your cake is too dry. Pierce the cake here and there with fork tines. Drizzle with just about a quarter cup of juice and cover with plastic wrap for an hour. Should be... kind of better. Hopefully. I hear this works, but I should be honest with you, I've never tried it. But it makes sense to me.

6. Your cake decorating job is butt ugly. Maybe you had some grand vision of a Spider-Man cake. Or a Belle cake. Whatever you've got now, it's not aligning with that grand vision. You could scrape off all the frosting and just frost anew with a solid color. If you're feeling like that's not exciting enough for the kids, just cover completely with candies like M&M's. People won't mind because oh look! So much candy!

Have you ever ruined a cake and found a last-minute save?


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