Taking the Cake: The Exquisite Pain and Joy of Eating an Entire Birthday Cake

Have you ever eaten an entire birthday cake? Have you ever wanted to?

If you have, as one site says, it's probably for one of two reasons: A) You want to keep others from your birthday cake, or B) You're trying to impress a girl.

But sometimes, it just happens.

Picture the scene: evening, your kitchen, the night before someone's birthday for which you've made the cake.  You are putting it in the fridge, to sit, covered. And it looks so...pretty. Surely nobody would begrudge you just a bite? There are so many frosting flowers. Too many flowers. And since your equipment is still out, you use a spatula and you gently extract a single, entire, rose. And eat it.

And it tastes so, so good. Too good. Like butter and sugar, a vague whisp of birthday memory.

You fetch the cake top (the one you'd cut off to level the cake) which is resting nearby. Or maybe it's not. Maybe you rescue it from the trash (nobody can see you). You scrape the frosting left over from the bowl right on to it. And as good as that finished rose was, this is. Even. Better. The butter seems as if it was invented solely for this moment, to melt on your tongue. Maybe your eyes close a little, for a moment.

Then, maybe without realizing it, you take a fork to a teeny tiny corner of the cake. One that you can easily replace with frosting. and you eat it. Yup: it's even better than the scrap.

And then you cut a slice. There is a moment, here, when  you could smooth over the frosting. But no.

You eat that slice.

You never cut out a second slice, because suddenly, the remainder of the cake is slice #2 (it's a very big slice).

Now, eating an entire cake is not a quick process. You have the luxury of time to reflect while you're eating on various subtleties of the flavor. Too dry? To oily? Should more vanilla have been added? You can think about these things as you take bite after bite. Really, it's making you better able to examine the cake.

Then, about 3/4 of theway in, something unexpected happens: you feel like you can't do any more. Too. Much. Cake. Maybe you lay down. Maybe you sit. Maybe you even walk away. But then you rally.

When the cake is gone, you don't need to lick the last of the frosting or clean up the last crumbs with the tines of your fork, those things that you do when you don't want a dessert to end. Because you've had your fill.

Alternately you feel euphoric, numb, and incredibly uncomfortable. You burp birthday cake for hours, which is more pleasant than burping, say, spicy Indian food, but not exactly comfortable. Your tummy feels taut. Your head feels fuzzy.

But still, you fall asleep quickly. Is this sugar crash, or a rush to sweet dreams? Maybe a little of both. One thing's for sure, though: you'll bake another cake--a better cake--in the morning.

So there you have it. Ready to experience this sweet nirvana (or fresh hell) for yourself? Pick up some professional eating tips here.