I’m having some major Olympic withdrawals. It’s no secret that I LOVE the Olympics and for the last couple, I have hosted Olympic watch parties.
For 2012, we watched the Fierce Five win team gold in the gymnastics team all-around, complete with patriotic outfits and a gymnastics cake.
I can’t actually take credit for the gymnastics cake idea. I copied the cake my mom made for my 8th birthday.
Gymnastics cake, circa 1994.
For 2014, we watched downhill skiing and enjoyed an Olympic torch appetizer along with a winter Olympics theme cake.
Can you tell I didn’t have something to copy for this one? Let me tell you, building frosting mountains deserves its own Olympic medal.
For 2016, I wasn’t going to let being in Barcelona ruin the tradition. And thankfully, NBC streamed everything online. We had a few connection issues, but we were still able to enjoy quite a bit of Olympic coverage. Enter, the Olympics cake: 2016 edition.
While the cake might not look like much, it was an all day affair. It took me a ridiculous amount of time at the grocery store, using the Google Translator app, to figure out what cake mix was going to be the easiest to work with and what ingredients I was going to need. It then took me even longer to try and find canned frosting, or ingredients to make my own frosting, before deciding whipped cream would make a fine alternative. Next up, finding a cake pan, which thankfully, wasn’t too difficult. Finally, I stopped by the market to figure out what I could use to make Olympic rings. We’re still not sure what the yellow ring is: they were the size of cherries, looked like tomatoes on the inside and had an indistinguishable sweet taste. Whatever they are, they are really good.
After purchasing all of my ingredients, I went home, took a look at our oven, and realized I had a bigger problem; I had no idea how to use it.
Luckily, my life-long-friend, Jennifer, had lived in Spain for 5+ years and I sent her the above picture, asking if she had any idea what any of the symbols meant on the left dial. She came to my rescue and I successfully heated up the oven.
Mixing the cake was interesting considering I only had a fork, but I survived. I then had to do some major estimations to figure out the cooking time for the disposable pan I purchased, which was an odd shaped rectangle, while the cake mix called for a 22cm round pan. (note: I didn’t realize how bad I was at estimating things until the first snow storm Patrick lived in Denver. I texted my Dad saying we had gotten 8+ inches!! He said Patrick had texted him 5 minutes earlier and said there was 3, maybe 4 inches on the ground. Whoops) I opted to simply check on the cake every 5 minutes.
I’m happy to report that the cake turned out well! Onto the decorating. Which shouldn’t have been hard, except Barcelona in August is hot. And no air reaches our kitchen. And I had been using the oven for most of the afternoon. So the whipped cream frosting kept melting, which was making my Olympic rings made of fruit pieces slide all over the place. I finally had to just start over, scraping the melted whipped cream and fruit pieces off. I reapplied the frosting, froze the cake, quickly reassembled the rings, and kept it in the freezer until people came over.
Thankfully, the Final Five again won team gold in the gymnastics all-around final, we had a great potluck and the Olympic cake was delicious. So despite the all-day, cross-continent effort of baking a “simple” box cake, the Barcelona Olympics Potluck was a success!