Today, I was tasked with baking a cake for my Grandpa’s birthday despite my inability to bake, well, anything.

“Use that new mixer your Grandma gave us and make something sweet,” were the exact instructions my mom gave me. Keep in mind that the only thing I’ve ever made from scratch were chocolate chip cookies mixed by hand. The electric mixer was going to be quite the challenge. Thankfully, it came with a recipe book.

I decided to make chocolate cake with buttercream icing. I figured I should start off simple. Here’s the recipe from the mixer’s cookbook:

I started with the cake, and the process went pretty smoothly. Start by mixing the dry ingredients by hand in the mixing bowl. Then, add the wet ingredients apart from the eggs and unsweet chocolate.

After mixing that, add two eggs and two ounces of unsweet chocolate. Pro tip that everyone probably already knows: don’t eat unsweet chocolate by itself. I learned that the hard way today.

Up to this point, everything in the bowl has been mixed on speed setting 2. Once everything is mixed together, it should look something like this: IMG_2625.jpg

Now it’s time to get it in the oven. I used two round, 8 inch greased and floured baking pans. Set them in the oven on 350 degrees for about 32 minutes.

After that, I started on the buttercream frosting. This is where everything went a little haywire.

First step for the buttercream is mixing the butter. I kept the mixer on speed setting 4 for the most part. It was then that something on the mixer made a loud POP sound, and I started regretting that I ever made the decision to make this.

That hole is where the label was supposed to be. It’s now in the dishwasher, covered in butter.

I eventually figured out that the small label on the top of the mixer, above the attachment area, flew off and landed in the bowl, making a terrible screeching sound as the beater flung it back and forth.

Despite my fear of another metal object flying across my parents’ kitchen, I trudged on.

I added all the other ingredients to the bowl with the butter, but left out the powdered sugar. This was a mistake, I later realized when I ended up with a clumpy mixture of butter and liquid.

To avoid this mess, add a cup of powdered sugar before mixing.

After I fixed it by putting in a cup of powdered sugar, everything went pretty smoothly. Just add the remaining three cups gradually until you have buttercream!

By this time, the cakes were done (I know, it took me over 30 minuted to make buttercream) so I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool for about another half hour. After that, it was time to assemble:

Just flip the first cake onto a plate and cover the top with frosting, then put the second cake on top an smother everything in more buttercream than anyone should ever put into their body. It doesn’t look pretty, I will admit, but it tastes great.

There you have it! Chocolate cake an buttercream icing as made by Lauren: pastry chef in training.