Adventures in Baking: I Really Want the Cake

Allyson Barkan  //  May 11, 2020

Adventures in Baking: I Really Want the Cake

It’s no secret that I love to bake. It’s also no secret that I love a good baking challenge. From a haunted house, to a Harry Potter-themed menu, to baking a literal book, I’m always up for an opportunity to get crafty in the kitchen. And so, when I learned that Scholastic was publishing a brand-new picture book titled I Really Want the Cake, I knew I had met my literary match.

The little heroine of I Really Want the Cake is a girl after my own heart. Her mom bakes the most big, beautiful, delicious-looking cake, and then declares it off limits! Girl, I’ve been there. And it is NOT fun. How are cake-lovers like us supposed to resist digging into a great piece of fluffy, chocolaty, gooey, frosting-filled cake? It’s nearly impossible! So I don’t blame her when she throws caution to the wind and devours the entire thing. Honestly, it’s the only reasonable thing for someone with a sweet tooth to do. But once that cake is gone, she has no choice but to do the right thing and replace it with a layered concoction of her own. This is when the fun really begins.

And this is where I come in. To celebrate the launch of this book—a book that could easily be mistaken for my very own biography—I got to work building my take on a big, beautiful, crazy chocolate cake.

This couldn’t be just any old layer cake. This had to be something that our girl wouldn’t be able to resist. It had to be something that draws you to it, makes your mouth start to water, and makes you abandon all rational thinking before gobbling it all down in one sitting. I needed to bake a cake that would look great, and taste even better.

I searched around for the perfect recipe, and finally landed on a cake I think is deserving of our heroine’s affection. It’s vanilla. It’s chocolate. It’s everything in between. That’s right, I made an ombré cake, complete with four different cake flavors and three different frostings. Suffice it to say, this was no set-it-and-forget-it cake. But oh boy, was it well worth the time. And oh yea, there are sprinkles. All different kinds of sprinkles. Because honestly, is it even a celebration if sprinkles aren’t involved?

I’m proud of this cake, and I think our heroine would be too. There is one area, however, where I failed her. It is with great regret that I must admit I was not able to eat the whole cake in one sitting. It’s four layers! And I’m one small person! I’ve accepted that I’m a one (sometimes two) slice at a time kind of a gal, and while it may take me a while to finish the cake, I’m more than happy to dig into I Really Want the Cake and devour the story in one sitting. And the best part? No matter how many times I devour it, it never disappears! So if you’re looking for a big, beautiful, delicious story of a picture book that you can gobble up, I Really Want the Cake is for you.

Find a comfy spot, grab your favorite reading buddy, grab a fork, and dig in!