Competing against my husband in the one-day housewarming gift challenge last week reminded me of another challenge that we completed last year. I thought I would throw it back and share with you all our Easter bunny cake Nailed It! inspired challenge.
We are big fans of the Netflix show Nailed it! It is a reality baking show where three ameatur bakers try to replicate very complicated cakes produced by professional bakers. They give the contestants very limited time and vague instructions. As you can imagine, it results in some hilarious creations.
Based on this idea, Brian and I decided to have our own Nailed It! challenge for Easter last year. We looked online to find an inspiration cake and decided to use this one from blog.hobbycraft.co.uk. Neither Brian nor I do much baking, but we thought it would be fun (and of course both of us were sure we would win).
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Before beginning, we agreed on some basic rules:
- We would each have the same tools and the same allotted time.
- Our goal was to follow the instructions and to attempt to produce a cake as similar to the inspiration photo as possible.
- In addition to the appearance of the cake, we also asked our family to judge which cake tasted the best.
- We were not allowed to use any outside resources (e.g. no internet searches and no calling mom).
I had to purchase a number of items for this challenge because I don’t have many baking supplies. We decided to make 6-inch cakes because there would be two cakes for six people. Based on the instructions provided on the HobbyCraft website, I purchased the following items:
- Fondant for the ears and face
- Piping tips (including the Wilton 233 grass tip)
- Icing colors
- 8-inch cake boards
- 6-inch cake pans
- Decorating bags
The finished cakes
Ultimately, we ended up with these two finished cakes:
At Easter dinner, our family voted on which cake looked and tasted the best. We didn’t tell them whose cake was whose. The yellow ribbon cake was unanimously voted best in the appearance category. The taste category, however, was much closer. The yellow ribbon cake won the taste category by one vote.
So who made the yellow cake? I did! So I actually won the Easter Bunny Cake Nailed It! inspired challenge. This is a big deal because Brian wins all the time.
What we learned
Since we rarely bake, we learned a lot when doing this challenge.
- We will never again make a cake that requires you to cover every inch by piping with a grass tip (or any other small tip for that matter). My hand was so tired that it was cramping.
- Fondant needs to dry out to retain its shape. After making the ears, we placed them in an air-tight container and they were still soft when we took them out the next day. This is why Brian’s ears flopped over.
- Maybe this is obvious to people who frequently bake, but I didn’t know that you always use unsalted butter unless the recipe calls for salted butter. I used salted butter in the buttercream and it almost cost me the competition.
We had a lot of fun with this challenge. Have you ever challenged your spouse (or friends or family members) to a Nailed It! inspired baking challenge? I would love to hear about it in the comments!