The first time I made a cake I did everything wrong.
I didn’t care what the directions said, I was going to do it my way, because that made way more sense. I was just going to add all the ingredients at once, because that saves time. And the greasing and flouring of the pans, I had no idea what this meant, and it sounded like a lot of work. So I skipped it. I didn’t check the oven temperate, I just turned it on. And then the frosting, I did the same thing. It ended up looking like cottage cheese. And the cake didn’t come out of the pan, and because the batter wasn’t mixed well, and the butter was still in lumps, it had crater like pock marks where the butter lumps had melted.
But I ate it anyway, with my lumpy frosting.
I’ve made a thousand cakes since then, but that’s the one that I learned the most from. That’s the one I remember. I learned that directions matter, that softened butter is an important thing, that steps count, as does oven temperate. I learned that if you’re going to all the work to make a cake from scratch, you should respect the process and enjoy the time. Or just go buy one.
Be all in or all out, but don’t half way make a cake. If you’re going to do it, make it count. And enjoy every minute.