Last week, I took a lemon loaf cake to a bring-and-share lunch. I was impressed with myself for putting in that little bit of extra effort to provide a homemade offering. Saying that, I didn’t actually get time to ice it, like I had planned, but thought that if it was cut up attractively and put on a colourful plate, people would still have a try.
I tentatively placed my cake next to the brightly coloured, far more beautiful puddings that my friends had bought, before helping myself to the savoury bits and sitting down to have a good chat.
It was about half-way through the lunch, when people had been up for seconds and some were starting on their pudding, that I realised that my cake stood there… untouched. I could almost hear its sigh of ‘I’m not good enough’ as it lay there in between chocolate coated marshmallows, biscuits and small iced cakes, all of which were already half demolished.
Many of my hilarious friends tried to cheer me (and the cake) up by having a slice and exclaiming to the room, in very loud voices, how simply delicious the lemon cake was, in an attempt to draw a crowd of plate-wielders.
The main fact is… that my loaf cake is yummy. I know it is… but I now know that a little more effort is needed to jazz it up and entice people to try it. So here are my 4 ways to transform an ordinary-looking (but tasty) loaf cake:
1. Make it cute… Lots of people seem completely bamboozled by the sight of a large (normal) slice of cake. It terrifies them into thinking that they will be under pressure to finish the whole thing. What if it tastes like marzipan and I don’t like it? and other such questions spill through their heads! My solution is to cut up the cake into cutesy squares, before securing small towers of them with adorned cocktail sticks. Words like eat me should help relieve any fear and encourage people to do just that.
2. Appeal to the inner child… If you’re anything like me, I love to choose cakes that would have been seriously rationed by my parents when I was little. Anything dripping with icing and looking like it belongs in a 6-year old’s birthday party is the cake for me.
3. Throw the kitchen sink at it… Everyone appreciates a good effort in the cake making department. So if in doubt… go a little bit crazy with the sprinkles and sweets. It shows a sense of fun and opulence and generally goes down well.
4. Do the drizzle…For something a little more elegant you can’t beat a traditional drizzle. The cake above called out for a lemon glaze, which provided moisture, a little extra sweetness and finished off the cake in an understated, classic manner.
I hope that you never have to experience this mortifying situation like I did. You can rest assured that I will be bringing the most spangly, outrageous-looking cake to the next bring-and-share lunch.
…and then we’ll see…!
Have a great day! x