Smash Cake

What the holy hell? Well, vision and reality weren’t lining up, so I decided to shoot it as a “deconstructed” cake. Often times I so enjoy the photography, almost as much as the baking, but yesterday—not so much. The result is an expression of my frustration.

Smash Cake Bakers Royale1

Deconstructed Cake

Let’s get this out of the way, the cake is incredibly good. And yes, while it may seem like a waste to take a mallet to a cake. It wasn’t. I still have some broken blocks I’ll be snacking on for the next few days.

I don’t know if any other bloggers go through this, but damn the photography portion can be so frustrating. This was one of those moments, so instead of pushing through I decided to smash it up with a mallet and shoot it as self-expression. And who can be criticized or critiqued poorly for that, right?

Anyhow, since the recipe is solid, I’ll be posting it and the not-so-great pictures tomorrow. Forgive me, because for now, I’m just too tired to write a proper recipe post.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I’m just starting out with photography so my frustrations are partly through my own ignorance, but OMG Scotland in Winter with a South-facing kitchen window? I get light from 2:30-3pm, and that’s about it. And only if I put whatever I’ve made on the floor, in front of the French doors, and shout at my dog the entire time to stay away and please not eat this cake which is tantalisingly within her grasp.

    This is such a cool photo though, and the cake looks pretty great – dark chocolate Devil’s Food with a strawberry/raspberry Swiss Buttercream? I wouldn’t say no.

    Oh! My last blog post was very heavily inspired by you. I’ve linked your page to it etc. but just thought I should let you know :).

  2. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I LOVE THIS!!!! Girl. I know. Totally!!! how you feel! I have days where everything works and it’s glorious and great. And then I have days where nothing works and I literally want to chuck cookies or brussels sprouts across the room at the wall because nothing I do to them or the ‘scene’ is getting things to where they should be. I need to just do what you did!

  3. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Hahaha…you crack me up Naomi. But I totally understand. To be honest, photography is not a favorite part of food blogging for me. I think it has to do with my obsessive perfectionism. I know I don’t have a fancy camera and the best skills, so I know beforehand it won’t be as good as other blogger’s pictures. So I dread it before I even get started.
    But the more I learn about photography the better things get. It kind of encouraging for me to see an amazing photographer like you have those days too :)

  4. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Ah ah so lovely with you, i know how you feel it’s frustrating isn’t it? but you see… art comes only when there is a real expression of feelings behind it,like in this picture you can feel -see your disappointment which is much better than having a cold perfect pictr! This is art for me :)

  5. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I love this photo shoot!
    And I wouldn’t have any problem at all eating this deconstructed cake!
    Looking forward to the recipe as well!
    Have a great day!

  6. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Ohhhhh yes. I know this feeling allllll tooo well.
    Sometime I feel like throwing my camera and the food right out the window!

  7. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Understand this feeling all too well… but I will tell you that 1) that looks delicious and 2) that could make for a Very Fun Kids Party, letting them mallet the birthday cake! :)

  8. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Yes. We all go through this. I was nearly there yesterday but I don’ think smashing up my soup bowls and wine glasses would have ended well. Cake, however, is perfect all smashed up. It’s still beautiful!

  9. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I have so been there! I actually feel this way more often than not. It’s so frustrating to have an idea of what you want your photographs to look like, and to be unable to realize the vision. Maybe I should keep a mallet handy more often!

  10. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAla says

    Now you really need to send this to your local modern art museum, get paid a bundle, and use that money to buy yourself a well-deserved cruise to Hawaii. Love the boldness–as Christian Siriano would say…”fierce!”

  11. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I totally get the feeling Naomi! Sometimes, the cake/cupcake is great but come photoshoot time, it just isn’t working! I love how you deconstructed the cake by the way! Well done! :)

  12. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    This post made me appreciate this blog even more. It also made me feel better about my own caketastrophes and life in general. Thank you.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — January 14th, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

      Traci-I love that term caketastrophes! We all have them. :)

  13. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    HAHAHA this is funny Naomi! especially since i pretty much eat my screen with all your deliciousness you make. my latest post was the worst one i made in my opinion which is why this made me giggle, what i wrote is what i wanted to smash with a mallet too-it’s nice to know i’m not alone! :)

  14. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says


    this just shows, what a genius you are!
    How great must one be to shoot such a beautiful pic of a totally trashed cake?!?
    Thank you for sharing this! And besides- can´t wait for the recipe :-)
    Hugs from germany

  15. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Reminds me of the scene in Office Space where they take the old office printer out to a field and smash it to pieces with a baseball bat. Sometimes destruction can feel soooo satisfying. That said, if you served this to me, I would gladly dig in. Somehow seeing the insides of this cake make me want it even more!

  16. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Oh Naomi! I definitely can relate to this moment too. I recently made some awesome bars and wanted to share it on my blog. Low and behold, while I was adjusting the props while trying to photography my bars, I accidentally pushed the tray off the table and they were all gone :(. One big mess and left me having to clean off some choco stains. That is just one of many bad days I had. Well, here’s hoping that you will have a fantabulous week of baking! ♥ Jo

  17. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    other bloggers go through this. I find that some days, there just refuse to be any decent photos, and somehow the thing i made completely transforms itself into something lesser on screen. Full-size cakes, pies, and any sort of white or pale food is the worst for me.

    I would love to smash the hell out of a cake. It looks gorgeous anyway, and it caught my attention, especially because I always want to do this.

  18. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonKaren Runnels says

    Naomi, a few years ago I got the idea to create a fun children’s birthday cake called “Smash Cake.” I never actually got beyond visualizing the idea, but it looked exactly like your deconstructed cake. I see that one of your commenters even saw the potential for your Smash Cake to be a fun children’s birthday cake idea! Like minds, eh?! I think this is a winning concept for kids parties! Children would love smashing the cake!

  19. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonStef says

    That’s the down side of cakes. If it were cupcakes, you could have smashed one to get out your frustration and still had the rest to photograph another time. It’s crazy isn’t it how some days a shoot just doesn’t seem to work and other times it takes one shot and it’s perfect. Gotta tell you though.. I’d eat that smash cake in a second!

  20. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAli says

    I am new to your blog, and I can’t wait to get started with your recipes! I just wanted to tell you how much I love your food photography. Especially this shot. Genius. :)

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — January 21st, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

      Ali-Welcome and thank you for the kind compliment.

  21. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    This is by far my favorite post of any food blog in a while. It’s perfect. Just the way it is. :)

    I made foccacia the other day. Naomi, I wish you could have seen what it did in the oven. It poofed up ten inches high in the middle. Like a volcano. Like effing Mt. Vesuvius. Needless to say, it did not make the blog cut. Like soooo many other things, right?! Oy.

  22. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    This is beautiful!! I think every food blogger out there can empathize with your frustration, yet this totally still looks appetizing. I’d hang it on a wall. But grab one of those spoons first.

  23. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    You are SO not alone in the photography frustration department! If I could only have back those countless hours I spent trying to make a photo work, I’d have an entire extra lifetime to live! :-) The cake looks smashing by the way! Yum. Deconstructed or not, it looks tasty!

  24. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Well, you even make a frustrating photo shoot look great! I sometimes dread doing the photography…some days because the lighting just won’t cooperate, but mostly I just think everything is much more delicious than it looks through a camera lens…