This is a totally off-the-cuff, unusual post from me since it has nothing to do with books or schooling. However, believe it or not, I do have other interests, even aside from scrapbooking and papercrafting.
I cook. I bake.
I even enjoy it.
My girls have celebrated a combined total of nine birthdays (!!!), and I have made cakes for seven of those. I do not claim to be an expert–far from it, in fact. However, when I read about the Birthday Cake Roundup at Life as Mom (hat-tip to A Spirited Mind for the tip-off), I immediately begin plotting this post. You see, I always mean to share my creations here, but I never get around to it at the time. So here goes–a belated look at my birthday creations from years past. Enjoy!
We’ll begin with the most recent. When Louise turned four last fall, I decided she would have a ladybug cake. With Louise, the power of suggestion is very powerful, so I was able to finagle it. (This wouldn’t work with first-born Lulu, I’m almost certain.) I went searching for inspiration on the ‘net and found these cupcakes to copy. Cute, huh? (Please note that when I planned to make these, I had no idea I’d be suffering the pangs of first trimester pregnancy nausea. Let the record show that I soldiered on. ) Here’s my rendition of the cute little insects:
The year before, I turned to Family Fun for my inspiration. As you’ll see momentarily, I used to be big on purchasing shaped pans and decorating them (mostly per the boxed instructions), but I’ve all but given that up. Covering a whole cake with frosting piped from a bag with a star tip is just too tedious for me. I like the Family Fun take on cakes–they can almost always be made with pans you already have! This cake was a big hit with everyone, and I was surprised at how easy it as to mold and cut the candy into the shapes I needed.
For Louise’s first birthday, I wanted to make a cake shaped like the number one (and gorgeously decorated, of course ), but I couldn’t find a pan. Now I don’t think that would deter me, but at the time (with a two year old and a one year old under foot), it did. I did find a perfect substitute, though–a Winnie-the-Pooh shaped pan just for a first birthday! It helped that Louise’s nursery was decorated in Classic Pooh. The fact that I love Winnie the Pooh is no secret here at Hope Is the Word.
This brings us back to 2006, so let’s just go back one more year to Lulu’s first birthday. This was my first effort at a homemade, home-decorated birthday cake, and I wanted it to be special. I picked out a butterfly shaped pan and went to work. I believe I got the whole idea out of the Wilton yearbook, but I can’t be sure this many years (and children) later. I was proud of it, especially considering the fact that I was about twelve weeks pregnant when I made it (and sick as a dog, as Gomer would say).
Lulu’s second birthday cake sent me searching for an easier alternative. (Those first few years of having two children eighteen months apart were rough. ) Lulu did request a cake with flowers on it, so I tried to oblige. I found this one at Family Fun, too, and I thought it was sweet for Lulu’s spring time birthday. It’s a little messy and busy, but so are two year olds, right?
Lulu’s third birthday cake was supposed to be this fabulous princess castle, but alas, it was not to be. I actually made and began decorating the cake, but I knew once I got the monstrosity stacked that it would fall. I made an effort at making it presentable and then placed it atop our washing machine to take a break. I was in the other room when I heard the crash. We ended up at Wal-Mart bakery the day before Lulu’s party, and since her birthday almost coincides with several springtime holidays and regional events, the bakery was almost bare. She ended up with a tie-dyed cake, and I don’t think she minded a bit. (Let me just say it made me reconsider all the time and effort I put into cakes.)
I did make Lulu’s fourth birthday cake, a tiara. However, since her name is emblazoned in huge letters across it, I figured I’d spare you the trouble of laughing at my attempts to cover it up (internet anonymity and security, don’t you know) with those goofy little stickers I’ve been using.
For her fifth birthday, we trekked to Sam’s and she picked out a lovely Disney Princess cake. Done.
What’s the future of my cake decorating career? Only time will tell. I enjoy the planning and the prospect of decorating the cakes, but when crunch time comes, I find it fairly stressful. I’m not saying I’m giving it up altogether, though. After all, I’ve set a precedent. With a third child coming along, I can’t let him feel left out, right? Right?
The Birthday Cake Round-up actually goes live tomorrow, but I wanted to post this today so as not to upstage Read Aloud Thursday. It’s my favorite bloggy event in the world, you know, and we book bloggers have our limits.