I have never been much of a baker- I’m more of a cook. I can sort of follow a recipe for a meal, but I am known to spin or add or finagle things once I start cooking. Baking is an exact science- you need to be precise about how the ingredients are being mixed, and I’m just not a precision sort of gal.

This year I decided to give baking a spin- I figured why not see what the fuss is all about…

Ha ha ha…

So I decided, like every beginning baker should, to do a Martha Stewart recipe…

Yup….

Martha *&&%$^ Stewart…

Have you ever seen one of her cake recipes?

The one I chose to make had two different creams/frostings. They required double boilers and whisking to certain thicknesses, and chilling for hours…I was looking up terms and trying to figure out what the mixture was supposed to look like and trying to taste things without burning my tongue (unsuccessful was that). There was folding involved…and if you’ve ever watched Schitt’s Creek, you will understand just how funny this can be when you are trying to do it…

This cake took about six hours in total for me to make, and I don’t remember if that includes the chill this portion…

And in my infinite wisdom I chose to make the creams first, because they need to chill, and I forgot the cake has to completely cool before I could frost it-

I think I cursed this cake and Martha at least a dozen times…

I contemplated why exactly I thought baking would be a fun, relaxing hobby…when sitting on my bottom, reading a book and eating a store bought cake would be much more fun…

But finally the cake was cool, the creams were ready, the cake was dressed and adorned and put in a cake carrier to go up to our friends for dinner…

And you know what?

It was a ridiculously good cake.

It was better than most store bought cakes, and better than a lot of professional desserts that I’ve had. The chilling and the heating and the stirring and the folding were worth it…

Martha really does know what she is doing when it comes to baking a cake…

Is there a moral here? Hard work does pay off? The ends justify the means? I don’t quite know…

Would I ever spend six hours working on a cake again? Maybe

Will I ever make another Martha cake recipe? Yes- since this cake I’ve made two- both delicious and complicated

Will baking become my new hobby? Not a weekly thing, but perhaps a monthly thing

So here’s my questions for you:

  1. Are you a baker?
  2. Have you ever made a Martha Stewart recipe?
  3. Would you spend six hours baking a cake
  4. Is there a hobby you’ve been wanting to try? If so what, and what is stopping you from trying?

86 thoughts on “The Martha Stewart Cake

    1. It’s funny because there are actually very few cakes that I would ever order as a dessert. I have three cakes that I love in the city, the Mille crepe cake at Lady M, which is really thirty crepes and cream, the strawberry shortcake at Veneiros, which is a little sponge and a lot of cream and strawberries, and the Swiss roll cake at Empire, which is mainly cream…so really, I like whipped cream

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your cake sounds great. Congratulations on nailing it! I like to bake, and I bake quite regularly and reasonably well. Never baked an MS cake tho. I bake only eggless now so a large number of recipes are out. Earlier I did spend a lot of time baking, decorating. Baked all birthday cakes for my daughter, some quite fancy. So yeah, six hours, been there done that.
    These days I’m taking baby steps in embroidery, something I used to enjoy earlier.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. If I bake I eat. I stick to healthy almond flour breakfast muffins and the occasional savory galette in the winter with hearty veg. I would never spend six hours on a cake though and almost always rebel towards anything Martha anyway. Not a fan.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. You have way more dedication them me – I would have quit after reading the directions. Baking is a science, cooking is an art (per Johns & Wales), and no way would I spend 6 hours baking a cake. Not because I dont LOVE cake, it is the cost vs reward not to mention the whole time thingy. I’s sure it was GREAT

    Liked by 4 people

    1. If I’d really looked at the time required, I can’t guarantee that I’d have baked it…but I did make it on one of the coldest days of the year, so it was a well spent and warm Saturday…and I got to read while things cooled

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I’m a baker. Pies are my specialty. I’d never make a cake as involved as that one. I would love to learn to play the hammered dulcimer. The instrument is expensive, and I don’t know where to find a teacher. It will remain a dream.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I used to enjoy baking years ago. But like you, I like to improvise with my cooking. My kids took over baking and now in our empty nest, we buy cake or cookies. I’d like to try painting. I started with sketching on a daily basis but I misplaced my sketch pad! It happened when we had overnight guests in the casita. I don’t remember where I put it.

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  6. I’ve tried a few Martha Stewart recipes years ago. Cookies and apple pie I think. And a few of her savory recipes. I really liked the old school Martha Stewart show from years ago, especially the episodes with her mom.
    Used to be more of a baker years ago. With cookies my husband always wanted the same ones so I stopped trying anything new.
    Sounds like you picked a challenging recipe. My daughter likes to bake occasionally. She made whoopie pies a while ago with homemade filling—looked like a lot of fussing.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I like taking simple ingredients and turning them into something else..I’m guessing after I’ve done it more, the steps will get easier. Though I do like trying new things

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  7. Kudos for the attempt.
    Full disclosure – I am not a Martha Stewart fan, nor a baker.
    However, I have got a hobby that I am trying to try and do (note the double mention there), and that is my “Wee Internet Empire” thing. Will see how it works out if I can get, and maintain, my ass in gear. BTW, I just gave myself an idea for a blog or podcast… hmm.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Good for you! I’m definitely not a baker. And I can’t imagine spending so much time in the kitchen. But I have a sister who loves to bake. So to each her own. I went through a faze in my 20’s during my hippie days, when I grew my own veggies and fruits and baked really delicious pies. AND I even did that fancy criss cross topping. My Cherry and blueberry pies were out of this world. However, once I became a single working mom I also switched to becoming a drive through mom. Lol . Yep, I worked two jobs to support my son and didn’t have time to bake anymore. So I stopped and never missed it.

    I’m a pretty good cook but I don’t enjoy cooking or baking at all. At least “The thrill was gone” when I went back to work. I was too tired and spent my quality time with my child.

    I too throw a little bit of everything into my food creations when I cook, but baking is precise.
    I do enjoy eating home made things. I just don’t particularly enjoy making anything other than fancy salads. THAT I do like creating! Give red-leaf lettuce, and I will add a host of veggies, some sort of protein like fish or chicken, and other goodies and I’m a happy camper. (I have been known for inventing some interesting salad dressings too).
    But baking is no longer fun for me. However, I suppose if I spent 6 hours in the kitchen baking then I could justify eating the entire cake by myself since I’d have used up a lot of calories baking it. Haha.
    Glad you have fun baking. And Martha is good at what she does. Enjoy!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I don’t like the precision and exactness of baking….however….I love when something tastes good. I admit that learning different techniques, and figuring out the why and how was pretty cool, and kept my brain engaged!

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  9. Not a baker though kudos to you for giving it a go. I just read that the winning Queen’s Platinum Jubilee pudding is a six hour job: a swiss lemon roll with amaretti trifle. You could add that to your manifesto.

    I’m in dire need of a new hobby, a new project. The creative well in my brain is completely dry at the moment so hoping a week away resolves this issue.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Each one of your questions could be a blog post, but I’ll just address Martha Stewart. A great many years ago, my husband was just dipping his toes into cooking. Mainly recipes from Bon Appetit and they turned out well. I did the day to day cooking. One Thanksgiving he decided he was going to bake a duck and he used a Martha Stewart recipe. It was a total disaster–tough, overcooked, greasy, and lacking in flavor. Neither he nor I has ever looked at a Martha Stewart recipe since. I think your venturing out into this new hobby is wonderful, however, and I’m glad your cake turned out so well!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’ve had great success with duck, but I simply roasted it and let the fowl speak for itself. My first experience with duck was awful though, my sister made it and was under the impression you cooked it like chicken. She roasted it for nearly four hours

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love baking but not as much as I get older. Same for husband but we do lots of keto recipes. I would love to learn gemology. When I lived in NY years ago, I made friends with the daughter of a jeweler and I always thought her life and travels were very interesting. Or maybe learning to play my odds at the casino. Is that a hobby? Hmmmmm…..only if I make a few dollars.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. So glad it tasted delicious after all that work and I commend you. I wouldn’t have the dedication to spend 6hours baking. Now 6 hours reading yup, I will do that! 🙂 I bake, but easy things.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Wow! I’m impressed. I bake, but never cake. I’m a pie fan and homemade bread (the bread recipe is actually very forgiving on measurements and everything else). MS? Bah. I would not put that much effort into cooking anything. There are many yummy things that don’t require too much time and effort.

    A new hobby will have to wait a while, but I have been working on making some birdhouses out of gourds!

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  14. I bake, a lot. I make cakes and cookies and take them to neighbours and friends. I would spend 6 hours baking a creation but only for an occasion. more often than not I will make a simple sponge or a tea bread and the sense of achievement is wonderful

    Liked by 5 people

  15. I am not a baker, I have never followed a Martha Stewart recipe, I don’t have six hours to give to a cake or any other cooking. If time wasn’t in short measure, I’d love to learn how to make sourdough bread. My writing partner already does, and has offered me some of his starter, so I hope one day to do so. I am a fan of her domestic goddessing though 😉

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  16. I’m not much of a baker, but every once in awhile I’ll try a complicated recipe and am usually pleased with the result. (Usually, not always.) The effort is worth it if the result is truly tasty and special!

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  17. I enjoy baking and definitely spent hours and hours on a single cake, although I’ve never used a Martha Stewart recipe. Kudos to you on diving in to something complicated and sticking to it! It will only get easier! (And you’re so right, real cake from scratch is so much better than grocery store cake!)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You know what’s funny? I don’t like to cook/bake on holidays. I find that I’m too stressed out over the time of year, and that’s when I farm out things. The joy of the process goes out the window when I bake under pressure. We’ve been going out to dinner on the holidays and I’m much happier

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I honestly can make my favourite cake in like 10 minutes at Max. Or maybe 20… Though it’s not certainly something many people like, i just make the cakes without any toppings and creams. And I love making them, i always experiment with my cakes and it’s so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I’ve went on baking adventures like this before, not fully reading the recipe through all the way. I feel you. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe is definitely a keeper. (And much easier so long as you remember to take the butter out 😊)

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  20. I bake, but not Martha Stewart, Julia Child is more my speed. I did spend what felt like six hours, on her Queen of Sheba Cake, make it every Christmas.

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      1. I’ve found them in her cookbooks lol. In all seriousness, they’re straightforward, delicious recipes, with generally easy to find ingredients. The French Chef cookbook has some great menus for quick, elegant meals for family or entertaining.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I bake, a lot actually and make money from it sometimes so I guess I can say I’m a baker. I consider myself more like a cook though. I tried MS lemon drizzle cake recipe and it was such a delight. I doubt I’d dedicate six whole hours to baking though unless I want to bake a lot of cakes. I’m glad you enjoyed the results of your toiling

    Liked by 1 person

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