New Heights – Meditations on a 3-Layer Cake

This week I made a 3-layer cake for the first time in my life.

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Oh I’ve made cakes before. Plenty. Too many? No such thing. And I’ve made 2-layer cakes before. But 3 layers is a new level – approximately 2 inches – higher than I’ve ever been.

It got me to thinking. Sometimes we do things just to say we’ve done them. We hike Mt. Everest or run a marathon or add extra weight to the barbell or extra layers to the cake just to say we’ve done that.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the doing of these things. I loved my first marathon and can’t wait to run another! The problem comes in the attitude. Doing something just to do it robs the thing you do of fullness. You stop enjoying the thing, because you’re not appreciating the thing itself. You’re appreciating the way you can check it off your bucket list or the way you can post about it on social media. You’re appreciating the DONE nature of the thing, but not the DOING nature of the thing. You’re cheating yourself and robbing yourself of so much fuller experience in the present.

Let’s get back to doing things because we WANT to do them. It’s a simple concept, and yet so hard sometimes. Sometimes I find it hard to even know what I want, because there are so many voices out there telling us what we should want and what we should do.

Maybe the best way to tell if we really want to do something is to ask: would I still do this if no one knew about it? or would I still do this if everyone knew about it?

For me, I definitely WANTED to bake this cake. I actually didn’t set out to make a 3-layer cake…. it was just a product of having too much batter for the pans I had. That actually made the new accomplishment nicer. It was a surprise that I wasn’t trying for and wasn’t expecting. I was just living.

Without further ado, the cake!

I followed this Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake recipe and boy is it good! This girl knows what she’s doing when she crafts a recipe, let me tell you!IMG_2311

You start by getting your eggs, butter, and cream cheese to room temperature. 3 sticks of butter. Yep, it’s gonna be a good cake.

Next, you do all the classic cake-making-steps like adding in flour and sugar and all that goodness.

But here’s something I learned. Before folding in the blueberries, you toss them with a tablespoon of flour. The flour coats the berries and prevents them from all falling to the bottom of the pan. Don’t ask me why…. as far as I know it’s magic. But I do know I’ll be using this trick from now on, in muffins or cakes or anything.

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After filling up the tins and popping these in the oven, it’s time to make the icing. Excuse me, the CREAM CHEESE icing. Life doesn’t get much better.IMG_2322     IMG_2327

Then, you have just enough icing to coat the cake. The recipe says that it doesn’t make a bunch of frosting, and that’s true. You get enough for each layer and the sides to be coated, but you’re not swimming in it. I thought it was the perfect amount. You do have to be carefully conservative when icing the bottom layers though, just to make sure you end up with enough.

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Dig in!

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