Before I had children, I was not much of a cake baker. As with most aspects of motherhood, I decided that by golly I was going to show my love for my kids by doing things the hard way if it killed me, and thus I began baking cakes for birthdays and other special occasions. My daughter’s first birthday cake was nothing special (not even a good picture to show!), and was made from a box mix and canned frosting. By her second birthday, however, I was well into the “hide healthy food in all possible nooks and crannies of your diet!” phase and so I made her birthday cake out of….
…wait for it…
For reals. She had a ballerina themed birthday and I made the cake out of beet puree and wheat flour and cocoa. It wasn’t as bad as you might imagine, but red velvet cake it was not.
Then Jack turned one a few months later and I made him a cake that looked like his favorite dump truck. His birthday was definitely first child quality, and in fact his cake far eclipsed Hannah’s first two cakes. Sometimes good things come to kids who wait.
When Jack turned two, he asked for a “Dog! Truck! Geese! Pants!” cake. I was at a bit of a loss on how to interpret “dog truck geese pants” into cake form, so I went with a dog. The cake was 3D, and I was proud.
When Sarah came along I pulled out all the stops and learned how to make marshmallow fondant. I love marshmallow fondant. It’s actually edible, easy to work with, and looks totally professional. Above is the cake I made when Sarah was baptized, and it was decorated with her monogram. I thought it came out really well.
For Sarah’s first birthday last month I made her a cake modeled on one of my favorite kids books, Pat the Bunny. The base layer was marshmallow fondant again.
This Christmas I made a Yule Log, complete with meringue mushrooms. It’s a lot of work, but gives a lot of visual bang for the buck and is utterly delicious.
Finally three weeks ago I made Hannah a nice red velvet cake. She asked for it to have flowers on it, so I did a marshmallow fondant layer and then alternated butterflies and flowers.
Next up is Jack’s third birthday in May. He has already requested a sea turtle birthday, so my plan is to make him a GREEN velvet cake shaped like a sea turtle covered in fondant. Stay tuned.
If you’re a cake maker, FishMama is hosting a cake photo party on her blog Life As Mom tomorrow (Thursday January 28). If you write a post about your cakes and link it to her list, you’ll be entered to win a set of Wilton UltraGold Bakeware. I’m not sure what that is, exactly, but I’m certain it would further enhance my cake baking efforts. Especially if one of the pans happens to be shaped like a sea turtle. Since I’m posting a day early, you still have time to submit an entry too!