Friday, November 16, 2012

Let them Eat Cake!

When I was 19 and found out that I was pregnant, I knew that I would be criticized as a young Mom. I decided before my son was born that I would be the best Mom I could be and that I would start many traditions that I could keep with him and my future children.

The one thing I was adamant about , was birthdays. I wanted to make sure that my children’s birthdays were going to be remembered. Naturally, I decided I would accomplish that by baking them birthday cakes, from scratch, every year. So far, I must say it has been a success. I am by no means Martha Stewart, but I pride myself in being able to get creative and do something fun.


For his first birthday I did the Little Einstein’s caterpillar cake. Everything was homemade, the cake batter and the icing. It took me a total of 12 hours to complete (it was my first try). And I gave my son his own personal circle from the caterpillar. He might not remember this one, but my family will and he recognizes the pictures as being his first cake, so I consider it a success.



His second birthday was the year the Cars movie came out, and even though he was just a toddler, he loved it, so went with it. I cheated a little on this one and used a cake pan instead of trying to bake a regular cake and form it, but the batter and icing are again, homemade, and of course, iced by hand. (that takes a lot of patience and time and is a total pain, but completely worth it!) This one only took me 6 hours!



His third birthday is by far, one of my favorite creations. I made this cake to imitate the Little Einstein’s Rocket, I used a Wilton Egg cake pan and Twinkies and graham crackers for the rockets. Again, the batter is homemade as is the icing and I did all the piping by hand. This one took me three days, a total of probably 15 hours, but I have to say, I was so proud of it, that all the time I spent was totally worth it.



Birthday number four was not as successful as I had hoped, but that year I was working two jobs and was hard pressed to find the time to make it. It is supposed to Wubzy from the toddler show Wow Wow Wubzy. Apparently I forgot legs, but it is a pretty strong likeness to have completed in just 6 hours. By this year, I had gotten into the routine of making the batter and icing from scratch and it was probably the best tasting cake yet.

Birthday 5 does not have a photo…not sure why…Mommy brain, I guess. But it was a Buzz Lightyear theme. I started asking my son what he wanted for birthday number 4 and he really enjoys being able to pick the kind of cake. It gets him very excited. Cake number 5 was a simple round cake, as I (again) ran out of time to do anything more complicated and I did not want to spend the money on a buzz cake pan. We ended up using cake toppers and it was by far the most basic cake. I was very disappointed.

So, I made up for it with cake number 6. My son could not decide on a theme, he told me to surprise him. So I did. With this:



It looks like your run of the mill cake, plain white icing just garnished with gumballs, but it’s still pretty cute. Beside, it wasn’t what was on the outside that counted. It was what I put INSIDE. Check it out!




This is a bonafide rainbow cake. I found the recipe on Pintrest, but I modified it a little because I couldn’t find it when I was baking. It was seriously, so much easier than it looks and it was such a hit with EVERYONE.



I used a basic WHITE cake recipe, you use egg whites instead of the whole egg. All you have to do is separate the batter into different bowls and then dye the batter in each bowl to match the rainbow…or any other color theme, I considered using all different shades of red, my son’s favorite color, but I wanted to try the rainbow. The key is to use gel food coloring because it doesn’t alter the consistency of the batter and results in a darker color. If you try baking this, remember that the colors darken when you bake them, so if your red doesn’t look as dark as you want, it will get darker.

I am pregnant with a girl right now and I am so excited for all the cake ideas that I will be able to do with her too, to keep the tradition. My son is not a huge fan of cake, but every year he gets more and more excited for his birthday and his special cake. It is a simple tradition, and in the early years they might not appreciate it, but later in life, when my kids are grown and learn how to bake, they will realize the time and dedication that I spent making their birthday’s special and it will be one more reminder to them how much I love them.

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