The Cake

I grew up in a home where the cake was a key part of each child’s birthday celebration. Almost every year, on the night before our birthday parties, my mom (who is amazing in the kitchen) would bake a 1/2 sheet cake and coat it with a white layer of Betty Crocker buttercream frosting. She would also mix up the remaining frosting in a variety of vibrant colors. My dad (who is an amazing artist) would then go to town decorating the cake to fit whatever the theme of the birthday party was, decorating almost entirely with a star-shaped frosting tip. They would literally stay up almost half the night creating these cakes! I wish I had a photo of one of those cakes to share with you; they were true works of art (though, at the time, I didn’t realize how much work they took)!

So, as you can imagine, as we start to celebrate my own kids’ birthdays, the cake is key for me. For W’s birthday this year, I borrowed my mom’s 1/2 sheet cake pan, cake platter, and frosting decorating tips/bags. I also got the skinny from her on the cake mix she uses (3 boxes of Duncan Hines baked for 1 hr at 325) as well as the exact frosting recipe. She told me she felt like she was “passing the torch”, which is kind of fun. 🙂

As I mentioned in an earlier post, W decided that he wanted his cake to have his favorite things on it, and he even provided a handy list:

  • Crayons
  • Toy Story
  • Cars
  • Farm Animals
  • Star Wars
  • Legos
  • Waffles
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Chips
  • Apple Juice
  • Mater (*made out of chocolate)
  • Fire Engine

I saw it as a challenge. I baked and frosted the cake, and then (after a few trips to Walmart and the Dollar Tree :)) did my best to decorate it according to his wishes. Here is what I came up with:

  • Crayons
  • Toy Story
  • Cars
  • Farm Animals
  • Star Wars
  • Legos
  • Waffles
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Chips
  • Apple Juice
  • Mater (*made out of chocolate)
  • Fire Engine

As you can see, I got most of them checked off the list, though apple juice, Thomas, napkins, waffles and Mater-made-out-of-chocolate just didn’t happen (I mean really, where would one find a Mater-made-out-of-chocolate?!). I’ve forbidden myself for kicking myself over these omissions, however, and am choosing to focus on what did end up on the cake. 🙂

Yeah…not the most amazing work of art (do you like the way the brown frosting border is sliding off the edge of the cake in that one spot? :)), but it was fun to make.

And…we have LOTS left over. Lots. Turns out a 1/2 sheet cake is a lot of cake for 13 people. A LOT. LOTS. In retrospect, I probably should have invited you all over for a cake party earlier this week.

We could have dined on cake and Spumoni ice cream and discussed our favorite things.

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3 responses to “The Cake

  1. I loved everything about this cake! It was creative, beautiful, and delicious and made totally with the birthday boy in mind. Just perfect. Plus, reading this post reminds me of your very first words, “Duncan Hines.” Love you.

  2. I loved how you made the colored lines coming from the crayons. You did a great job! And your first words were really, Duncan Hines”?? How funny is that?? Love u

  3. Nikki, you are a great mommy and the cake is delightfully perfect!

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