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‘Miscellaneous’ Category

  1. “You are a Baker”

    December 31, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    I’ve dreamed of this moment all year – when I would sit down to write a long reflection on the year in which I baked 52 cakes.

    The magnitude of this journey didn’t really come into focus until this past August when I discovered another hobby I fell in love with. I took up running. I started out of necessity. By June I had packed on a whopping 10 lb. Baking a cake a week will do that to you. Weight gain was my biggest fear and challenge when taking on the task of baking with such frequency. It was hazardous to my health! Faithful readers may recall when I hurt my knee a few days before Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t running when I hurt it. I was baking! (more…)

  2. Cake Rant

    August 5, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    One of this year’s low points – the flan disaster

    One question about my cake project I get asked frequently is, “Are you sick of it yet?” Back in January or February, I’d have said no. Now, seven months in, my honest answer is “Yes! Is 2013 here yet?” However, baking seven months worth of weekly cakes just doesn’t have the same ring to it as a year does, so I must press on.

    But not before having myself a little rant. (more…)

  3. Cake Deco Diaries

    April 5, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    Last week I attended a weeklong cake decorating class at the Institute of Culinary Education. It was a blast and I’m so excited to execute all the techniques I learned in this year’s cakes. There was too much to pack into one post, so for now here’s an overview for how the week went down. (more…)

  4. “Too Pretty To Eat”

    March 25, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    My mom has a theory that pretty cakes don’t taste good and ugly cakes taste the best. The theory holds true in some instances. For example, most wedding cakes I’ve ever tasted. I think most home bakers place more priority on taste than aesthetics. After all, you’re not trying to sell anything, you just want people to enjoy what you’ve made. But when I first started baking I didn’t care about taste. I wanted my cakes to look like the cakes I’d see in the bakery section of the grocery store. This was well before TV shows like Cake Boss and Amazing Wedding Cakes. I didn’t have that much to aspire to. (more…)

  5. How to Melt a Cutting Board in Your Oven… (And How to Remove the Evidence)

    February 23, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    Let me tell you about the time I melted a cutting board in my oven. I hope this experience provides you with a dash of humor wrapping up in an important safety lesson. Like most people who live in New York City, I’ve never been blessed with a large kitchen. And because of that, I used to store things in my oven. When you think about it, it makes complete sense. It’s a space that doesn’t get used frequently, so why not store kitchen-related items in it?

    My first New York apartment was very tiny. There wasn’t even counter space, so I bought burner covers for the stovetop to create extra surfaces. Naturally, I used the oven to store the few pots and pans I owned. Now that I think of it, I don’t believe the inside of the oven was ever used in the one and a half years I lived there with a roommate. And therefore there were never any mishaps with melting the contents of the oven. (more…)

  6. Love Muffin (A Cupcake Story)

    February 20, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    The following is a guest post by my boyfriend, Chris. You may recall he was the recipient of Week 2’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Cake. Enjoy!

    In honor of President’s Day, I thought it appropriate to post a tale about the founding of another great entity, Chrina. No, we really don’t call ourselves that, but since I think dated cultural references are funny, I’m going to address the Chris/Nina relationship as such for the duration of this article. Now where was I? Oh yes. Three years and thirty pounds ago, I had asked Weekly Cake founder, Nina, to be my girlfriend. She didn’t have a fancy blog at that time, but she did have a passion for the kitchen and a chubby chaser fetish that I would one day grow into.  (more…)

  7. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    February 14, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro


    This is the result of my attempt to bake a Valentine’s Day cake, a cake that has yet to come to fruition. Last Sunday night I was getting the ingredients together for a fabulously amazing heart-shaped Red Wine Chocolate Valentine’s Day cake. I stepped onto a chair to put the sugar and cake flour away when something happened to my left knee. I gingerly stepped down and realized it hurt to put weight on that leg… a lot. And this wasn’t the first time I injured this particular knee so I knew exactly what to do. I stopped everything I was doing, applied ice and elevated the leg.

    It’s feeling a little better and the doctor’s diagnosis is that I tore a muscle and should heal just fine. The downside is that it’s Valentine’s Day and there’s still no Valentine’s Day cake. However, Chris and I are celebrating our anniversary this Friday so Valentine’s Day cake just may become Anniversary cake.

  8. Unexpected Side Effects

    January 31, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    I essentially started this cake project in early October when I came up with the idea, purchased the URL, told a few friends, and started compiling recipes. I’m happy I took almost 3 months out to build a foundation and mentally prepare. I told a friend I had started posting content in order to work out the kinks of posting and she laughed, suggesting I ought to be tinkering in the kitchen rather than on my laptop. While baking my first cake, I understood what she meant. There are a few things that have already surprised me about this project. Here’s a list (so far).

    1. The dishes

    Oh my goodness! I have never been more grateful to have a dishwasher. I had not expected to have to run it 3 times on the day I baked my first cake. Between the measuring, the prep, baking, and then decorating, I had used up a good deal of dishes and had the chapped hands to prove it. (more…)

  9. The Layer Cake Is Rising!

    January 5, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    In case you missed it, James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur, appeared on the Today Show last week to reveal food trends for 2012. When asked what the dessert food of 2012 will be, he said (drumroll, please?)… LAYER CAKES! And I quote:

    No more are we going to have to deal with those little cupcakes. Cakes are gonna return to their beautiful, full, rightful size!

    When Matt Lauer asked if this meant the economy was going to recover since full-size cakes are so decadent, Oseland replied:

    I don’t care if the economy recovers, I just want to put my face in these cakes.

    Amen to that. Check out the clip below.

    See Cakes, pickles and the next great grub city: Top food trends for 2012 to read more about Oseland’s predictions.


    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    A special hat tip to my friend, Ann, for telling me about this.

  10. Cake, A Love Story

    January 1, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    That's me with my Easy Bake Oven on my 6th birthday.

    Once when I was a small child, I got to have cake before dinner. My parents and I were visiting relatives in Michigan. Since we didn’t make it out there more than once a year, there was always a year’s worth of birthdays to celebrate. There was too much cake to be eaten for dessert, so the grownups decided it should be served before dinner. I ate every triple chocolate morsel on my plate. Grandma secretly let me eat the sugar flowers on top of her slice. She remarked, “Now I probably shouldn’t be doing this,” just before handing me the floral confections. I remember this so vividly because cake before dinner had never happened before, and it hasn’t happened since. I couldn’t have been older than five.

    Then when I was in kindergarten, my mom won my school’s bake sale raffle. The prize was the cake contest winner’s creation, which looked like a pool table. It was topped with gumballs and used wafer crackers to line the edges. The next year, determined to win the $15 cash prize, she created a heart-shaped layer cake with the top layer cocked to look like an open box of chocolates. She even stuck Whitman’s Sampler chocolates in the exposed bottom layer to give it the full effect. That year she won. I was so proud.

    I was raised to be a cake fiend. I distinctly remember an incident when Halloween cupcakes were waiting to be consumed after lunch in a box on the kitchen countertop. I pulled up a stepstool when my mom wasn’t around and, in my young mind, very slickly skimmed some frosting off the tops, leaving the plastic skeleton decorations intact. Mom realized what I had done and punished me by withholding lunch, which was canned tomato soup. I hated tomato soup, so the tradeoff was worth it.

    I got an Easy Bake Oven for my 6th birthday. It emerged from the box cracked on one side so my mom and I drove to the toy store to have it replaced immediately. With my birthday falling just after New Year’s, the store was still inundated with holiday returns. The lines were long. They didn’t have a replacement. “But it’s her birthday!” my mom pleaded with the sales associate, pointing at me. They didn’t have a special stash of Easy Bake Ovens exclusively for birthday girls in the back, so we left without one and I had to wait another week.

    Imagine my disappointment when that first chemical-laden vanilla cake mix warmed, but didn’t bake under the glow of a 100-watt light bulb. I hear the modern Easy Bake Ovens contain a true heating element. Kids today will never understand how hard we had it. I tried making a pizza and some chocolate candies as well. They were all inedible. So is it any wonder that now, over twenty years later, I’m still working on improving my cake skills?

    Cake is a special thing. Its simple, four-letter name is like poetry. Just like family, it’s a staple at birthdays, weddings, and holidays. And when someone goes to the trouble of baking one for you, it is no small gesture. So that’s why I’m spending 2012 elbow-deep in cake flour, because cake is one of the great loves of my life.