For this final cake of 2013, I found a recipe for vassilopita, a Greek New Year’s cake that includes a coin for good luck– whoever ends up with the piece containing the coin is supposed to have a lucrative year. My friend Erin dissuaded me from including an actual coin in the cake to eliminate the possibility of an unknowing stranger choking on it. This was wise; it would have been a terrible way to go out with an otherwise positive project.Read more →
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For someone who loves Nashville so blindly, I haven’t really lived here in eight years. I usually have no idea how to get anywhere and haven’t heard of anything. Salem Town? Riverside Village? What do you mean there’s a restaurant with a bowling alley inside? After spending a few more nights outside of the comfort of my parents’ home that’s currently doubling as a praline factory, I know this much to be true: Nashville is full of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, even if the city has slowly but surely been infiltrated by hipsters from other major American cities during my absence. I really don’t know what to do about it besides let them eat the cake. You know what I mean?Read more →
So I was driving to Santa’s Pub last Saturday with a caramel cake tucked safely in the back seat when tornado sirens started going off. (I didn’t even know Nashville had tornado sirens.) I pulled over and called my dad to ask whether he thought I should keep going; as important as it is that I hit 50 cakes before the end of the year, I also need to stay alive in order to finish them. We decided I should head over to my friend Iliza’s house and wait out the storm.Read more →
I didn’t know it at the time, but thanks to a nasty cold that wiped me out last week, these two rounds were my very last ones in LA for the year. (But don’t fret– I’ll hit 50 cakes before December 31st using the Nashville circuit.) These cakes were celebrating actual legitimate occasions, which was a nice way to wrap things up in a city where I’ve offered hundreds of people pretend leftovers from parties that did not happen. It was kind of nice not to have to fib.Read more →
Emma’s birthday party rapidly unfolding at Sassafras bar in Hollywood… Expect unusually chilly wind and a line outside the door… Bouncer warns that anyone entering with a cake carrier will only be allowed entry unless they “clean it all up,” not realizing girl he’s addressing cleans up cake in bars on a regular, unrelenting basis… Past the entrance of the bar, heightened volume of live music and density of the crowd present a threat to singing happy birthday over cake and serving it with ulterior motives… It is advised to wait out the storm… Take note of Emma the birthday girl crying happy tears… She’s enjoyed several drinks and has become overcome with emotion…Read more →
The Village Tavern is a restaurant/bar hybrid located on Glendale Blvd. run by an Atwater native named Marcel. At first glance, it appear familiar, cozy–A.S. is particularly drawn to the brick interior with its visible caulking, similar to that of a gingerbread house.Read more →
Even though I would call this cake slightly unseasonal (lemon = picnics = summer = sunscreen), in LA there are no seasons, so this felt like something I could get away with serving so close to the holidays. This recipe was also the only one I liked that would use up the ludicrously expensive can of poppy seed filling I purchased at a weak point during some kind of baking adrenaline high or nostalgic Prague pastry spiral awhile ago, and I had discovered it was very close to expiring. I know myself– I really had to use it up, or I was going to start eating spoonfuls straight out of the can.Read more →
Sitting In Bars With Cake, Episode 39. Starring Audrey, Katy, and their childhood friend Kathryn who hasn’t seen them in almost 10 years (except for that one time they ran into each other buying boots at the Century City Mall). A lot has changed in 10 years; Audrey can carry on full conversations with people she’s attracted to and no longer takes prescription medicine for her sweaty hands; Katy has become a senior television producer and lives in the coolest neighborhood in LA; Kathryn just came off working on movies like Iron Man 3 for Marvel Entertainment and her hair looks flipping amazing.Read more →
“We ahr not into ze pumpkin,” said the German exchange students I offered cake to last Thursday at the Wellesbourne bar near UCLA. “Aw, man. We just spent three hours at Soup Plantation. Wish we weren’t so full,” said the Asian crowd when I moved on to them. “Are you serious?” asked our barback, after bringing us a knife to cut a cake he couldn’t eat. “I’m allergic. Pumpkin and tomatoes.”Read more →
These are rather unusual rounds– not my typical cakebarring ventures– but sometimes I manage to remember that I make up the rules of this dating baking sugar-centric sport as I go, and offering cake up is still offering cake up. That being said, Round 35 occurred at a Halloween party full of strangers, and no outside party was offered cake during Round 36. Here we go:Read more →
Last weekend was the first time I ever cakebarred by myself for a little bit, which felt much braver than it probably was, thanks to two strangers who very quickly became my cohorts in cake lies. I started out at The Woods, a nice surprise tucked in a strip mall behind the El Pollo Loco on Sunset and La Brea. The place looks kind of like the Bigfoot bars, with its elk antler chandeliers and cedar blocks lining the walls. I forgot that I was coming on pre-Halloween weekend, and couldn’t figure out if all the girls wearing light-up devil horns were actually customers or employees.Read more →
Okay. So I BOUGHT a cake under the duress of time constraints for last week’s cakebarring. And even though yes, I feel like a total poser, I would feel more embarrassed about it if the cake hadn’t been so gosh darn good, giving me not 1 but 2 nights of cake eating success. This is what happened.Read more →
It is a hard hard thing to say good-bye to my parents at the Nashville airport. I’m starting to have fantasies about living in their finished basement and using their brand new oven, (which my mom is sure to point out was on super sale). My car insurance would be less than three million dollars a year, and I wouldn’t have to worry about street cleaning. It might even be possible for me to have a boyfriend.Read more →
I was playing the part of the scattered but compelling single friend last Saturday night when I brought a cake to my friend Sam’s birthday at Hemingway’s in Hollywood. Chrissy and I had been celebrating our dear friend John’s birthday at the Edendale beforehand with a flourless chocolate cake, and we had decided I should run Chrissy home before heading to the second party with cake number two. By the time I arrived, three hours late, having given up on parking and relinquished the car to handsome Jordanian valets charging a small fortune, I was feeling a little underdressed in my jean jacket and flats, worried that guests had started to mutiny because the promised cake hadn’t turned up yet. I held up my cake carrier to the guy with the guest list in a kind of desperate gesture, and he led me past the line of college girls wearing child-sized black dresses back into the lounge, pounding music in full force.Read more →
In spite of all the exciting cakebarring aftermath of my fun Rachael Ray segment last week, it felt like we seriously struck out these last two rounds. Are people growing tired of cake???! On Thursday night my work friends and I went to The Red Door in Toluca Lake, where a friendly RN named Glen picked up my cake and started offering it to people for me– even though everyone declined. On Saturday my friend Elizabeth went with me to Hinano Cafe in Venice, where a drunk man in a fedora licked her ankle after fake dropping some cake crumbs. It’s possible that I was off with my bar choices, or that I should have flipped the order– Venice on Thursday, Toluca Lake on Saturday– but what’s done is done. I usually console myself with leftover cake after this kind of failure.Read more →
YOU GUYS. You can actually witness some Audrey cakebarring on TELEVISION. If you want to skip to the end to find out when and disregard the entry in between, I won’t hold it against you.
I won’t say where we went last week, or why I don’t happen to have any pictures of the cake, (which turned out really lovely and won me some real enthusiasm). All I’ll say for now is that last weekend’s players included my dad, my sister, my dad’s best friend from high school, my sister’s boyfriend, my sister’s boyfriend’s friend, and my dearest Katy friend, who’s been in this with me since round one. We were quite a team at the bar, with my dad’s best friend really working the crowd by the end of the night, asking the people around us about their deepest emotional needs. My dad had woken up at 3:15AM that morning to run the Disneyland half marathon, and was alert enough by the end of our cake gallivanting to take everyone to Canter’s for a second dinner. Combined with my mom’s tendency to start elaborate craft projects in the middle of the night, I’m starting to see where I get my late night baking stamina.Read more →
I really should have tried harder to buy a lottery ticket on my birthday. I turned 27 on the 27th at 7:27AM. Despite my otherwise level-headedness, I’ve always had unreasonably high expectations for this year. As in, it will be like, the best year ever. Since I’ve always felt older than everyone else, (I believe another word for this is prude), I’ve grown up hoping that I would finally feel age appropriate by 27. It might be more realistic to have this feeling at say, 47, but for now, I’m just thrilled to have a golden year ahead of me, surrounded by so many sweet sweet friends and cakebarring sparks.Read more →
My sister and I were driving somewhere last Christmas, talking about our family friend getting married. “Who do you think your bridesmaids would be?” she asked me. “You know, I have so many wonderful friends, but I think I would just want you up there with me,” I told her. “Well,” she said, “I am really pretty.” And then she scream laughed, Audrey Shulman style. Maybe only half kidding. Of the two of us, I think she should be the writer.Read more →
One of the men I work with wished me and my friends good luck cakepopping this weekend. I don’t know what that is, but maybe we could work it into our approach. Because I’m crazy and trying to catch up to the 50 cake mark, I went cakebarring on Friday AND Saturday night this past weekend, armed with a Date Cake, a Sock It To Me Cake, and a radio producer from KPCC. I am still wrapping my head around how much footage Lauren the radio producer will have to go through from our big night out, and what a good sport she was to follow me around for 5 hours while I apologized for my cake sloppiness. “This is really poor presentation… good thing this is for the radio and no one will see a visual!” Except for you guys.Read more →
I most definitely have my sweet grandmother’s genes. Her kitchen functions as a dessert factory year round, and it’s not unheard of for her to start making a cake at 11:30 at night. In addition to all her phenomenal Cajun cooking, (a talent I can only hope to acquire), she makes world class oatmeal date cookies, Christmas pralines, and of course, a knock-your-socks-off coconut cake with chocolate frosting. She taught me how she makes it for this week’s cakebarring, a scheme that she and my gun-wielding, armadillo shooting grandfather are fully onto. (Please note they refer to all us grandkids as “sugar.”) I can’t speak for Nana and Papa, but I was kind of hoping I would catch a nice Oklahoman and stay put.Read more →
A couple of my friends from work were scanning the roof of the Standard Hotel in downtown LA last week helping me look for people to offer our (actual) leftover birthday cake to. “What’s your type?” they asked. “Like, who are we looking for?”
“Hm… Guys who look like they check in with their moms like, about once a week.”
They did not like this answer. This is a very difficult trait to spot appearance-wise.
This is probably why I’m still single.Read more →
Some comments seem to be floating around that I’m looking for a boyfriend in the wrong place. Who would want to meet someone in a bar? She must be like, super desperate. But after mixing things up this weekend– taking a show stopping candy-filled cake to an outdoor concert and a popular food truck– I maintain that bars are the best place to locate an excess of single young men.
Next week I will try a church potluck.Read more →
I am super thrilled to now be writing about this experiment for The Huffington Post and was recently mentioned on Jezebel, so it seems weirdly appropriate that on Saturday night I gave an impromptu presentation on the project to a large group celebrating a birthday at the HMS Bounty in Koreatown. We were having a hard time locating young men, (or really, anyone at all), and then an entire birthday party walked in… with no cake. No one had thought to bake something. It all worked out in a whimsical Amelie kind of way, as Chrissy pointed out we were meant to be there. Your friends forget to bring a cake? No problem– Audrey will be there waiting with one. I offered their table some cake to celebrate, and couldn’t help but be honest when the group asked what I was doing hanging out at a bar with an entire cake. I came clean. AND THEN THEY ATE THE CAKE AND APPLAUDED. I even got a Shirley Temple out of the deal. YESSS!Read more →
Chrissy and I went to the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday, where it is actually possible to have a one-of-a-kind poem written for you on the spot on ANY SUBJECT YOU WISH for ANY PRICE. I asked the poet responsible for this magic, Jacqueline Suskin, for a poem about cake. She wrote the perfect words above.Read more →
So Chrissy got a brain tumor for her birthday. It was a really lame present, but hopefully it can be returned.
Not to empty my purse out on y’all.
Her neuro-oncologist told us if she had to have a brain tumor, this would be the one she would want to have. She’ll start treatment on July 8th for a grade 2 diffuse astrocytoma that is contained to one side of her brain. All we can do is be grateful for the good news in the bad, and I’m keeping an eye out for silver linings. “Maybe you’ll meet someone great at the hospital. Maybe I’ll marry your sweet middle-aged Asian neurologist. Maybe we’ll become best friends with Lexi the nurse. It’s all totally possible.”Read more →
Even though I’m sure she’ll be outraged when she reads this, I have to mention Chrissy for just a hot minute here.
Not only did she make this week’s cake with zero help from me (and invent cakebarring/ spark this blog/ buy me a beautiful dress to wear for her birthday at the end of the month when we bring cakebarring full circle) but she is currently in the hospital after having surgery today. I spoonfed her some coffee a few hours ago after she groggily asked me how my day was and I couldn’t help but wonder why I would ever need a boyfriend when I already have such a stellar teammate.Read more →
I asked Chrissy what she wanted to do this weekend. She’s been not feeling well, and is waiting for more medical tests about her health, so I wanted to make sure we did something fun– whatever she wanted.
“I want to go cake barring. Because I hate Eddy so much.” Spoken like a true friend.
Eddy has disappeared because of what I can only guess is a conflict of religion: I’m not Jewish. He didn’t seem to be phased by the fact that I own bride pajamas or baited him with cake, (he seemed to genuinely love the blog, and want to take our single friends cake barring to keep up the project), but after a discussion last week about becoming my boyfriend he has pretty much run away. After crying for several days in the bathroom at work and trying to make sense of all of this, I have to come to the sad conclusion that it’s time to start baking again since I haven’t heard back from him in a week.Read more →
Five years ago, I went to study abroad in Prague knowing no Czech and no one. While now my Czech is supremely rusty, (I’m limited to “please”, “to your health!”, and “ice cream”), the friendships I made there are still very much an integral part of my life. These are my special girlfriends I got lost with a zillion times in Europe, drinking filthy eternal youth water or standing next to heroin addicts on the way to eat vegetarian food, and it was all still amazing because we were together. These are the kind of friends that maybe you also always wished for while watching movies at slumber parties when you were little and thought, “My life will totally be like that when I grow up.” Yep. It happened. Except I’m still waiting for the boyfriend part at 26. More about that next week.Read more →
There is no picture because this cake is being made tomorrow. (I left my wallet at home during yoga several hours ago, then stopped at the grocery store to buy whipping cream for no reason.)
THE GOOD NEWS, HOWEVER, is that this cake is being made for just one person– the boy who’s responsible for my throwing in the towel on future cake bar ventures for the time being.
HE DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT THE BLOG. HE FINDS OUT TOMORROW.Read more →
We have a real problem, people. There may not need to be any more cake barring. At least for the time being.
I’ve lost almost all my motivation to continue for a good reason. Hopefully I can elaborate in next week’s entry, when I have more of an idea of what’s going on. For now, I’m sorry for being vague (and so behind in my entries), and thank you for reading…Read more →
I somehow volunteered to be the prototype for a new makeover show at work. This means that all my hair has been chopped off and dyed much darker (ironically a “dark dark chocolate,” as instructed by our producer), and a yogi guru was recently sent to my house to give me an inner transformation. This involved him going through my refrigerator and assessing its contents.
“You’re a sugar monster,” he said. “Yep,” I admitted.” I am.” “So basically, you’re just looking for another sugar monster.”
Yep. I am.Read more →
Thanks to out-of-town teammates (my super cute sister and her super cute friend Kirsten) and the always amazing Katy and Chrissy, I gave out more cake than I ever have on Saturday night of what could be the worst cake I’ve ever made. Banana Cake had sounded like a good idea– we had all the ingredients and who doesn’t want banana bread with frosting?– but this one turned out bad bad bad. I had tried adding yogurt to the batter to make it more moist and putting chocolate chips into the frosting to make it more appealing (much like what I’m trying to do with my hair right now by embellishing with bobby pins), but it was still flavorless and dry and gloppy and my worst nightmare. It’s weird to value your self worth by how good your cake is in an experiment like this, where you’re hoping boys think the cake is amazing so they associate you with amazing. Most pieces came with an apology, which I’m sure made me look extra desirable. “Would you like some cake? Great… I have to tell you, it’s not the best one I’ve ever made… I tried adding yogurt, but you know… So sorry about that…”Read more →
We semi-struck out this weekend. We chose a date place.
1642 is a beautiful bar, easy to miss on Temple Street near Echo Park. There are several cozy tables and booths and a long bar very conducive to cake displaying, but best of all, there’s a piano in the back. If I was a different kind of person, I would have pulled the obnoxious card when things started to look grim by playing some fuzzily remembered Debussy, but that’s not my style.
What’s my style? Bringing southern charm to bars by force feeding cake.Read more →
“This is fascinating. I never meet dudes at bars.”
Said Savannah, who joined this week’s cake barring, one of my great friends who’s been amazingly gung ho about this endeavor from the beginning. (She happens to be a very talented writer, and also happens to have an adorable girlfriend. Hence the not meeting dudes at bars.) She was a perceptive and active teammate, helping carry the cake around, gingerly covering it up with foil, and matter-of-factly telling the bouncer at Bar Lubitsch after hearing we couldn’t come in with food, “Sorry, it’s part of our evening, so we’ll have to go.” We gave two bouncers some cake on our way out, one of them a former commercial fisherman from New Hampshire who offered to buy us a round of drinks next time we come. Apparently we can bring in a cake before 10:30pm, so consider this a cake bar forecast. We WILL be coming back for those drinks, polite fisherman. With (suspiciously) another cake.Read more →
Are you cringing because this cake looks kind of like a torso or a face? I know I am, and I ate it. A lot of it. And so did a lot of boys this week. This was the least attractive cake I’ve ever made but it got the best results.
And probably because it had alcohol in it.
I owe my friend Courtland a big thank you for suggesting I make a Harvey Wallbanger cake– I guess you really can’t go wrong with vodka, orange juice, and vanilla pudding mix. Even the glaze had vodka. While the cake looked funny because I (shocker) don’t own a bundt pan, it tasted absolutely incredible. People couldn’t get over how good it was, so maybe this is why the guys we invited over for cake stuck around.Read more →
My friend Marcella and I both got rejected this week, and I think it’s my fault– it’s karma for not baking the cake myself. We also went to a bar I’d already been to before, pre-cake barring experiment, so maybe I’m killing the magic since I should be choosing only new places full of new boys to try to talk into eating what I brought.
We ended up at the Surly Goat in West Hollywood, which is actually pretty conducive to sitting with a cake on display. There are several seating areas and picnic tables outside, (in addition to a tiny game room, where maybe we should have positioned ourselves for the entire night). Because the bar was so crowded, our strategy was for me to walk around and invite boys back to the table for a piece. Our made-up friend Michelle from college, (well, Marcella went to college with her, but I didn’t– she’s really more of a recent acquaintance), had just had a birthday party, but we left because no one wanted any cake and we don’t like her boyfriend anyway.
We actually used this story when people asked.Read more →
I had more success with a dog this week than I did with an unbelievably delicious cake. Should I stop all this baking nonsense, and just constantly walk George?
I don’t know if I should I have been more prepared for cake rejection. It was bound to happen sooner or later. (This week’s cake barring was right after Valentine’s Day, and I should have factored in that people might be sugared out. But young hungry male bargoers? SERIOUSLY?) The only 3 seemingly unattached, approachable looking, and in-the-right-age-demographic guys I offered cake to at Bar 107 downtown said thanks, but no thanks. One didn’t like sweets. (What?!) One had a weird chocolate thing. (I went so far as to volunteer to remove the chocolate layer in between the two s’more cake layers– the inner hostess in me was screaming, “ACCOMMODATE AT ANY COST!”– but he politely declined.) And our last guy, who owns a Tavern downtown, had just eaten what was apparently such a big dinner that he couldn’t possibly partake in any dessert… even though I offered to cut him a piece for later.
Why wouldn’t they just pose with the GD cake?!Read more →
This week’s caking barring took us to the spacious streets and faux German town homes of Agoura Hills, where we were visiting our lovely lovely friend Marcella post-wisdom tooth surgery. After apologizing for not being worse off when we arrived for what was supposed to be a soley stay-in Drew Barrymore movie night of recovery, Marcella eagerly signed on for venturing out with Chrissy and me– this time armed with a blueberry pie.Read more →
So last week, I totally copped out and made a coffee cake out of a box. It was easy, delicious, and I’m not ashamed.
Chrissy and I decided we should go to a themed bar (where I could dress accordingly), so we ended up at the Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater Village. We were there celebrating my work promotion, (which is half true), and I had already finished almost all of my Toasted Marshmallow drink when I realized that not only was I slurring my words, but we hadn’t met anyone yet, and I really wanted to eat some more of that coffee cake.Read more →
This week’s cake barring brought a welcome addition: my friend Dave, the first straight male to accompany us on the mission. Katy and I were quite taken with his resolve.
Dave’s most important contribution to the evening (although there were many) was to suggest decorating the cake. I’ve been staying away from cakes with icing (it takes longer to prepare, it’s too messy to serve, especially under our guise of, “oh, we just happened to arrive here with 80% of a cake– oh my gosh! you should totally take some! sorry we didn’t have the foresight to bring napkins!”) but Dave thought decoration would attract more attention. We decided our backstory was to have just come from a baby shower where all the overly weight-conscious guests had passed up our dessert. The cake says “OH BABY!” in jelly beans if you’re second guessing that picture.Read more →
Note to myself for all future cake barring: unless impossible to avoid, do not piggyback cake baring onto other events. You will lose all of your cake.
This last weekend, my friends were having a going away party at Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village, so I decided I should just take the cake there. I made an Almond Flour Chocolate Cake as a going away present for my friends, and I made a second one for me to hold. The problem was that I couldn’t stop offering the cake that I had made specifically to offer strangers to all the people I already knew at the bar.
It is a hard, hard thing for me to hold a baked good and not give pieces away. That’s just bad manners.Read more →