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Story Time: Tales of a non-baker

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at 5:09 pm

By Lorry Myers

I did my homework, made a plan, and was confidently prepared a week in advance. My Texas niece was coming to town to spend time with her Missouri family. Hayley is a bundle of light and laughter and embraces the Austin weirdness where she lives. During her stay, we would celebrate her birthday, which created something of a dilemma.

Hayley is a vegetarian.

Which certainly isn’t an issue until I realized that this birthday girl deserved a cake, one she could actually eat. I was given the name of a bakery that makes five-star vegan cakes and ordered ahead, but then an email arrived a few days before Hayley’s birthday, saying the bakery was closing for an extended holiday and would not be making cakes.

I was in trouble.

Finally, I googled “vegan cake recipes” and picked a chocolate one I thought I could handle. Then, I went to my pantry to check how many of the ingredients I had on hand. I pulled out cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and flour.

Expired, expired, expired and not enough.

Story of my non-baker life.

If you didn’t already know, I am barely able to make a standard cake mix let alone a vegan cake from scratch. I am known to be a haphazard baker who seems to have more haps and hazards than hurrahs. Still, my niece is one that typically watches as others eat cakes and pies and other delicacies that are made with eggs or milk or sweet cheese that excludes it from being vegan. On Hayley’s special day, she deserved her own cake and by golly, I was going to make one!

Really, how hard could it be?

When the recipe said to “clabber” almond milk with vinegar, boil water, add applesauce and canola oil; I started to sweat. Still, I did it all, exactly the way the recipe said and surprisingly, the batter looked almost normal. When it was time to frost, I noticed the same slick, shine in the plant-based icing that appeared in the cake batter.

I must be doing something right.

I am a loyal cake lover and favor a cake with lots of icing so I decided to dump half of the frosting between the layers and the rest of it on top of the cake. I assured myself that the sides did not need to be iced because it’s the frosting in the middle and on top that matters most.

Everyone knows that.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard