Blogaversary Day 13 - 100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen - Guest Post + Giveaway


Before I go on about cakes and convince you that today is International Cake Day or something (in my opinion, though, EVERYDAY should be Cake Day) what I actually mean to say is today I'm hosting an author who wrote a book on CAKES! (And Depression, and anxiety and death) but, come on, cakes are the most important, right?

So please welcome the LOVELY Shari Goldhagen, with her new YA Novel, 100 Days of Cake, who has SUPER graciously written about cakes in the book that gave me foodgasms, and her inspiration/ backstory in using these cakes!


I must confess, I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth. If I were following some sort of cooking challenge like Molly’s mom does in the book, it would probably be 100 Days of Pizza.

 When I started researching cakes—I mean googling/looking in bakery windows—I was amazed by all the different ones out there. Some of the cakes I chose were industry standards like red velvet and some were things that don’t actually seem to exist but I think probably should—Carmel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake, anyone. My thoughts on a few:

1. Crazy Coffee Crumb Cake
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a huge fan of crumb cake—well at least the crumb part. But it’s always struck me as one of the most sensible of cakes. It’s very utilitarian; we have it at office breakfast meetings next to a bowl of fruit. I started to wonder just what could make a coffee crumb cake crazy. I’m pretty sure it would be just the crumbs. . .stuck together. . .with none of the cake. My husband is shaking his head at me saying that would never work because you need balance. Balance schmalnce!

2. Red, White and Blueberry Cake
For U.S. Independence Day, it’s pretty much required by backyard cookout law that someone frost a sheet cake white and then fashion the American flag with strawberries and blueberries. I tried this once and ran out of room with my strawberry stripes—I ended up with nine original colonies instead of thirteen, but they were still pretty tasty.

3. S'mores Explosion Cake
For someone who hates camping and generally finds marshmallows off-putting, I have an odd love of S’mores and am a huge sucker for any sort of choco-mellow-graham dessert. I have yet to encounter one that’s an actual explosion, but, if we can dream it, we can do it, right?

4. Flowerpot Cake (with frosting flowers)
            When I was a kid this was a big thing other people’s mom’s would do (much like Molly’s mom pre-cake challenge, my own mother was more of a order take out kind of cook). You crumble up chocolate cake in a flowerpot so it looks like dirt, and have gummy worms “crawling” around. This always seemed a little gross, but I so totally wanted one.

5. Wakey Wakey Eggs & Bac-y Cake:
            An ex-boyfriend’s mom made this for Christmas; it may have extended our relationship a few months.
6. Everyday Wedding Cake (with faux fondant frosting):
            The cake is so often the visual showstopper at a wedding. People gather around it to ohh and awe and debate what flavor it is inside. But by the time the happy couple is smushing cake into each other’s faces, I’ve usually already eaten my weight in passed hors d’oeuvres, my heels are long gone, and I kind of want to go home. Like, can they cut the darn thing already??!!!  

Wouldn't it be great if you could have that sort of monumental cake on some random Tuesday instead?

Shari Goldhagen is the author of the novels IN SOME OTHER WORLD, MAYBE (St. Martin’s Press, 2015) and FAMILY AND OTHER ACCIDENTS (Doubleday, 2006), and the YA novel 100 DAYS OF CAKE (Atheneum, 2016). A fellow at both Yaddo and MacDowell, Shari writes about pop culture, travel and relationships for publications including Salon, Cosmopolitan, Us Weekly, Life & Style Weekly, and DaySpa. She lives in NYC with her husband and daughter.

Blurb Description: Get well soon isn’t going to cut it in this quirky and poignant debut novel about a girl, her depression, an aggressive amount of baked goods, and the struggle to simply stay afloat in an unpredictable, bittersweet life.
There are only three things that can get seventeen-year-old Molly Byrne out of bed these days: her job at FishTopia, the promise of endless episodes of Golden Girls, and some delicious lo mien. You see, for the past two years, Molly’s been struggling with something more than your usual teenage angst. Her shrink, Dr. Brooks isn’t helping much, and neither is her mom who is convinced that baking the perfect cake will cure Molly of her depression—as if cake can magically make her rejoin the swim team, get along with her promiscuous sister, or care about the SATs.
Um, no. Never going to happen.
But Molly plays along, stomaching her mother’s failed culinary experiments, because, whatever—as long as it makes someone happy, right? Besides, as far as Molly’s concerned, hanging out with Alex at the rundown exotic fish store makes life tolerable enough. Even if he does ask her out every…single…day. But—sarcastic drum roll, please—nothing can stay the same forever. When Molly finds out FishTopia is turning into a bleak country diner, her whole life seems to fall apart at once. Soon she has to figure out what—if anything—is worth fighting for.

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