Cake: Expectations And Reality


For ages now Ryan has been asking to make a Minecraft cake. And I’ve been on board with the idea, but let’s be honest – doing a really good Minecraft cake would definitely take some serious prep work. I was picturing one sheet cake laid on a piece of tinfoil, with blue frosting on the tinfoil for water, green on the cake for grass, and then blocks of another sheet cake piled up to create the landscape. Then we’d need to figure out trees and grass and flowers and maybe a crafting table…

I don’t think that Ryan was imagining anything so complex. It was hard to tell, because while he’s extremely voluble, he’s still working on the life skill of clear communication. In any case, I gradually downgraded my ideas for the project, and was ready to try something much simpler last Monday.

First step: bake a cake. No problem. Second step: make frosting. Done.

At this point Ryan told me he’d changed his mind. He wanted a Portal 2 cake instead. He began looking up designs that he wanted on the cake, and it became clear to me that what he was imagining was the sort of cake he’s seen in bakeries, with a photorealistic image on top. He saw no reason that I shouldn’t be able to reproduce the Aperture Science logo on the top of the cake.

This led to a semi-long conversation about the limits of my technical skill with sprinkles, and that in turn led to him downgrading his desires to a face from Geometry Dash, which I executed inexpertly. It also led to him admitting that mostly what he wanted was cake; the decoration was more of a nice-to-have.

Finally we understood each other. And he was happy.



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