Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Birthday Cake Thoughts...






So here are a couple things you should know about me...

1. I refuse to shell out $20+ for a grocery store bakery cake that tastes like it's frosted with Crisco and is often airbrushed with psychadelic colors.

2. I have nothing against boxed caked mixes.

3. I love making my kids' cakes, but I'm not one of those super-mommies who manages to create those amazing scenes on their cakes either. I'm somewhere in the middle.

My kids are little yet-- just turned 3, almost 4, and not-yet-born, so I haven't had the most experience making birthday cakes. But I do enjoy it! Usually...

Here are a couple cakes from past birthday celebrations...


My son's zebra cake for his 2nd birthday.




When our little girl was 2, her favorite food in the world was grapes. So there you go.


This year, as C's third birthday loomed before me just as I was recovering from my energy-sucking illness, the thought of coming up with a creative cake idea almost drove me to tears. I kept meaning to get online and find some wondrous design I could try to replicate. But it didn't happen. In the end, I bought two Funfetti cake mixes, baked about thirty cupcakes with Tinkerbell liners, whipped up some buttercream icing, tinted it pink, and topped them with pastel sprinkles...


Honestly? I think they were even more popular than the cakes I usually make. Fact is... kids love cupcakes.

So I guess my advice is... think about your audience. Decide what really matters. Is it more important that my neighbor thinks I'm a pastry genius or that my children have huge, cake-crumby grins?

Long live the cupcake.
Even on her first birthday, C. was a fan of the cupcake!

For more kitchen advice and ideas, check out Tammy's Recipes!

Update 1/29: Be sure to check out all the wonderful cakes at the Birthday Cake Round Up, hosted by Life As MOM!

11 comments:

Amy @ Finer Things said...

I am so with you on this one. Joy had a great idea... do cupcakes and shape them into the number that you are celebrating that year. Fun!

FishMama said...

You are a super mommy! Great idea. I'm doing a cake round up next month. Hope you'll link this up!

Sandra said...

When my first child turned 1 and the cake I made was terrible, I took a cake decorating class, because I too am not paying the deli for a cake. It has been 20 years since then and my kids all pick simple cakes even though I could make the hard ones. Kids are easy to please. It is us moms that make things difficult! Good job on the cakes.

Alva said...

I dont know what you are talking about I love them! Its those that end up being the memorable ones...not to mention even though you make a mess and go crazy while doing it...its worth it when they arent leaving any crumbs for anyone. :-D

GinnyBerry said...

Great cake ideas! I agree that grocery store cakes can taste like they were frosted with crisco! I use boxed cake mixes too, but sometimes I spice them up by adding things.

Heather Benza said...

kids like all manner f cake and the cupcake provides instant portion control for the rest of us piggies!

Morgan said...

I love making cakes! I used to do them by scratch, but now go the boxed route as well. I also have switched to picking up buttercream frosting from the bakery in the grocery store. The colors there are ultra bright!

Cute cakes!

Ryann said...

Very cute cakes! I'm wondering if I'll create the same extra large cupcake type cake I did for Addy's first birthday when her second rolls around this April.

JessieLeigh said...

Amy- LOVE that idea! We have a 4-year bday in January and may have to use it!

FishMama- You know I'll be there. ;)

Sandra- Totally agree! My kids aren't critical at all!

Alva- I agree the process is fun and worth it and I, the mommy, love it! I was just happy my little girl didn't mind the simple route this year... :)

GinnyBerry- "souping up" a cake mix is always a brilliant way to go... pudding works wonders!!

Heather- That portion control only works when everyone doesn't reach for seconds! :O

Morgan- Smart idea on a fun frosting shortcut- thanks for sharing!

Ryann- Addy's first birthday cake was adorable... I'd definitely try to get more use out of that cool pan if I were you!

Thanks for all the comments, ladies. I love reading them!

Jeanette "Frogster" said...

GReat cakes! The grape one is so cute! (and it's so funny that that's what she wanted - my little girl wanted a school bus for her second birthday!) LOL

FishMama said...

The grapes are so clever.