Here's a Happy Easter cake for you, isn't she pretty?!
This is really a sweet little cake born from the wreckage of a massive cake fail. I fixed it with a little glue...
My glue of choice happened to be lemon curd and a hefty lathering of icing. One might wonder how on earth you can screw up a boxed cake mix so badly. Then again, if you're me there's really no confusion. It begins with my child-like impatience to get the cake out of the pan as quickly as I can; cooling times are for schmoes. But then I end up with a few big chunks of cake (and several smaller chunks that are set aside for taste testing). No worries though, I still have a second layer - once I throw that on top, everything will look smooth and normal, I even let this one cool for a while. Then when that one slowly rips apart, crumbling on top of the instability of the bottom layer...well choices have to be made.
These types of decisions take a while (three days of sitting in the fridge to be exact), but recovery is a process not to be rushed. Here are some steps to make an ugly pile of cake look like a pile of fun!
1. decide if it's worth saving (if it tastes like junk, it's not worth the effort)
2. choose your surgery tools wisely - you'll need several edible adhesives (lemon curd and icing in my case)
3. candy - you need lots of candy. pick some stick-like candy (kit-kats work well) to support the sides of the cake and some small, multi-colored candies for the top (mine are sixlets, but m&m's are fab too)
4. a ribbon to tie around your vertical supports if it's that bad
5. make sure the surface the cake is on is the one it's going to stay on - there won't be any moving it in one piece once you get it laying flat
With my 2 layer cake, I pieced all of the broken bits back together like a tasty little puzzle. I slathered a healthy layer of lemon curd on the top of the non-broken cake layer (before it was a second layer of broken cake) and flipped it upside down on top of the puzzle pieces.
I popped a tub of store-bought icing (minus the foil cover) in the microwave for about 10 seconds or so to soften it. I generously spread the softened icing all over the cake, top and sides - don't worry about crumbs and bits, just tuck them back in. Put the cake in the fridge for this layer to harden. Now you'll have a solid surface to spread the (cooled) icing over without it tearing the cake to bits.
You only need a thin layer - just enough to stick the candy to. Cut your vertical candy pieces to a length just the height of the cake. Once you stick all of these pieces around the circumference of the cake you can cover the top of the cake with your small candy pieces, or even sprinkles will work. Whatever you choose, the point here is to cover every bit of the cake. Now it has a layer of armor to hold it together until it's butchered and served to unsuspecting cake lovers! Enjoy.