How I made a nana cake and almost burned down the house…

So this is it.

The infamous cake that caused me to set my kitchen on fire.

It is – by the way – the very same infamous cake I had promised to tell you about before but never got around to do so, because when I tried to make it the first time everything just went horribly wrong (and yet the cake had been eaten before I was able to take a picture – because if I had taken a pic, I still would have been able to tell you about the disaster at least.)

Anyway, disaster is the key word when speaking of this cake.

I have strictly followed the recipe, though.

The recipe is from my nana’s favourite cook book, one of her most treasured posessions (not the nana with the hand-written recipes, this time it’s the other one who passed away when I was very little, but I still remember her delicious cakes!)

I mixed 250 g butter, 250 g sugar, 1 sachet vanilla sugar/a few drops of vanilla essence, 2 eggs, 4 egg yolks and 2 tablespoons rum.

I added 150 g plain flour, 100 g corn flour and 3 teaspoons baking powder.

I beat 4 egg whites until stiff and folded them in.

When I had all of this done, there was no fire in sight.

Everything was fine, so I continued.

I greased a loaf pan and lined it with greased baking parchment (again – everything according to the instructions in the recipe book).

I put two tablespoons of the dough into the pan, put it in the oven and turned on the grill.

According to the recipe, you’re supposed to bake the cake under the grill for about two minutes, then spread over another layer of dough, bake it again for another two minutes and so on until all the dough is gone.

So after two minutes, I took the cake out of the oven and although the baking parchment was slightly darker than usual, the cake looked fine:

So I put two more spoons of dough into the pan, put everything back into the oven – and at some stage between that moment and 120 seconds later, the baking parchment must have caught fire, because when I opened the oven two minutes later, my cake was ablaze.

Although my cake was on fire, I was one lucky girl for two reasons:

a) After the baking parchment was burned down and all was left was ashes, the fire burned out so that I could grab the pan, throw it into the sink and distinguish each and every possible remaining trouble spot with water.

b) The cake caught fire at the beginning. This means, I had a lot of dough left over, so I quickly greased another loaf pan and continued making my cake.

Except, this time, I didn’t act according to the recipe.

I just didn’t want to use baking parchment again.

I cut the cake in smaller pieces and covered them with chocolate icing. Also according to recipe, by the way.

Ironically, the first thing that came to my mind was “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen – and then I spent the whole day thinking of other songs relating to fire in one way or another… 

“The Fire Inside” by Bon Jovi

“Light My Fire” by The Doors

“Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple

“Fight Fire With Fire” by Kansas

“Wheel In The Sky” by Journey

“Ring Of Fire” by Johnny Cash

“We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel

“London’s Burning” by The Clash 

“Hearts On Fire” by Bryan Adams


6 thoughts on “How I made a nana cake and almost burned down the house…

  1. Thanks for the compliments, ladies!
    I don’t mind people knowing about my mistakes (neither about me strictly following the rules like in this example) because I think everyone should learn from their mistakes and sharing the experience could help someone who makes the same kind of cake. Technically, it could even prevent some people from actually setting the house on fire…

  2. Haha oh my goodness! It better be as delicious as it looks for almost burning your house down. It seriously looks amazing though.

  3. The cake is beautiful and I’m sure well worth everything you had to go through. I love your honesty about what went wrong, and why, which is very refreshing. So the process wasn’t perfect! You figured it out and went on to make a stellar cake. And had a good story to tell in the process. Thank you, I enjoyed this post very much. Stopping by from LBS!

  4. Sabrina, if it’s any consolation, the cake looks fantastic! I’m with Brandy, I don’t know if I would have that much patience. That said, this cake reminds me of the Indonesian thousand layer cakes I love which are called “spek-koek.” They have many layers and are extremely rich, so a thin slice will do. They can be ridiculously expensive because of all the work that goes into them.

  5. Well, NOW I can also laugh about it, but to be honest, I was quite shocked when I opened the door of the oven and saw the flames…
    But if you miss out on the “burning the kitchen”-bit, the cake is actually no big deal at all. As long as you don’t use baking parchment you should be fine…

  6. That cake looks way too ambitious for me. I’m laughing at your experience but I would have burned down my entire apartment for sure. Loving that playlist too that is too perfect.

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