You're busy, I get it. You're stressed, I get it. Not sleeping? Get it. Overwhelmed?
Here's a little cake hack that's going to make your life easier, especially now that everyone's asking you to bring something to a potluck, a party, a cocktail thing, a gift swap, a bake sale, an elf-decorating, gingerbread-eating, tree-trimming, ice-sculpting, eggnog-whisking shindig. You're popular, I GET IT.
So, this is what you do. You take a cake recipe. Maybe it's for a round cake or a square cake. Maybe it's for a bundt cake or one of those cakes made in specialized pans that have so many weird, angular crevices that you can never get the cake out in one piece or clean out the stuck on, dried out, gnarly bits of old cake that have taken up residence in there for eternity. I think we all know I'm talking about this.
So, you basically take the cake recipe for any of those cakes and you double it. Then you line a 12" x 18" x 1" baking sheet with parchment, you grease the corners and edges, and you spread the batter on in a nice, even layer with the help of an offset spatula. Then you bake it at the temperature the recipe calls for but you start checking the cake maybe 20 minutes before the original bake time to begin gauging doneness. Remember: you're making a flat cake so it's going to bake up in less time.
When a skewer comes out clean, the cake's done.
NOW, you cool the cake completely. Then you dust it with powdered sugar (so pretty!) or glaze it with some frosting (so fancy!) and you proceed to cut it into a million (roughly) bite-size squares to feed the universe, leaving a 1/2" border behind for you to nibble yourself. Then you use your small offset spatula to transfer your little cakes (call them cake bites if you want, or minicakes, or cakelettes, or... it really doesn't matter what you call them) and put each one on a slightly flattened out mini cupcake liner so each person can hold their own little piece without caking their palms, literally.
I have done this a million times. Above is the pumpkin gingerbread from Ripe I brought to a book signing. I snapped the photo midway into the process so you can't see how cute each individual bite looked when plopped on its own cupcake liner, but you get the idea.
I'd give you a recipe, but that defeats the purpose of this hack, which is that it really does work with most cake batters written for round or square cakes. It also works for tarts. (Remember this? It follows the same principle.)
Now take a few deep breaths and get yourself invited someplace fun.