Friday, June 24, 2011

Birthday Cake Transmogrification

Youngest Daughter turned 12 today.  We’ve had so many celebrations in this family in the past two months that by Monday little planning had occurred for this birthday.  She didn’t ask for much, mainly chocolate cake and books.  Last year the two older kids made her a DNA cake (the preferred cake for budding microbiologists), but this year the cake was up to me. I don’t have time to produce a spectacular cake, but it was expected.

Yesterday at theater day camp, the instructions were to dress as your favorite holiday.  So she wore her Belize t-shirt, gray shorts, carried a toy stuffed snake and a toy kangaroo.  Can’t guess it?  She went as Earth Day!  (The gray shorts represented pollution.)  So with 1 day to spare, I decided for an “earth” birthday cake – just a hemisphere, with continents and oceans painted on with icing. 

Then I remembered that she had asked for chocolate icing.  Hmmm.  Perhaps with the oceans brown (chocolate) and the continents blue or white, it could be a sort of reverse earth cake.  We could put Antarctica on top, with gummy penguins and such.

I baked three round layers, each one smaller than the next.  I assembled it with huge amounts of chocolate icing to round it off, but it looked more like the half an egg than half an earth. 

The grocery store hadn’t gotten the memo on my plans.  They had gummy butterflies, but no gummy penguins.  Somehow butterflies always make me think of Ron Weasley.  Knowing that the cake in progress was already more mountain-shaped than half-earth shaped, my husband suggested making a volcano.  He said, make a small hole in the top, and put strawberry topping in there for lava.  Suddenly my main hope became that the cake would not look like a giant boob when I was finished with it.  Cake Wrecks, here we come.

So this morning while she was at the last day of theater camp, my son and I decorated this earth-now-volcano cake.  But Son mutinied when he heard about the strawberry topping, and insisted on red icing.  I decided to use both.  Plus M&Ms for volcanic rock.  Cookie crumbs for pumice.  And a little green icing around the base of the volcano, for plants growing in rich volcanic dirt, of course. 

Here is what we ended up with.  Just kind of a mess.  But it is chocolate.  And maybe that’s what counts.  Happy birthday, sweetie!

This year's volcano cake

Last year's DNA cake


Angie said...

That's funny!

thesisterhoodofspiritualsinglemoms said...

Funny! I am sure it meant the most to her that you made it yourself. I also think kids like to see u "mess up" sometimes. I know mine do! Those are the things they remember years later.

Renee said...

I am impressed. At both the end result, and just that you would think of such a thing and attempt it. :-)

joanie said...

I always appreciate your intellect. and when it is applied to birthday cakes it is most impressive! such a creative thought process! and such ability to reverse direction when confronted with obstacles! i'm sorry that you mentioned it looking like a boob because i can't get that vision out of my mind . . . it's not a healthy boob with all of those orange m&m's and blood and pumice, you know. nevertheless, it's good that you had your hubby and son to help you with the follow through. my constant adoration to you!

Marcie said...

It's chocolate so I'd eat it!

Alan said...

I love Cake Wrecks! Yours was fine, but just in case you were really worried, they only comment on professional cakes.

P.S. I love your blog and read it whenever I get a chance. Say hi to Bob!

Maria Sondule said...

The DNA cake is infinitely better, in my opinion. ;)