It has recently hit me that in less than two months my baby girl will be ONE YEAR OLD! Aaah!! All the recent birthday hoopla has gotten me thinking about that milestone for her, but Iâ€™ll be honest, Iâ€™ve mostly been
obsessing thinking about the birthday cake. I am one of those mothers who feels that I must personally make my childrenâ€™s birthday cakes or my Momâ€™s Club membership card will be revoked. Now, I donâ€™t feel that all mothers should do this, just me. Why? I canâ€™t answer that question! But Iâ€™ve already started to get b-day cake anxiety about Sophieâ€™s big day. First of all, I have no idea what kind of cake I should make. I mean, sheâ€™s gonna be one, so sheâ€™s not really into anything yet. For Joshuaâ€™s first birthday, I made him this sailboat cake, because his daddy races sailboats.
Not too shabby, huh? It was easy â€“ just a rectangle cake cut into pieces to form the sailboat. The hardest part was the icing. Although I do make a very tasty buttercream icing, Iâ€™m not much of a decorator. Still, it doesnâ€™t help me with what to make Sophie. I mean, the only thing Iâ€™m really into is reading and blogging, and I am not gonna make a book or laptop-shaped cake for a one-year-old-girl.
By Joshuaâ€™s second birthday, he was into Thomas the Tank Engine, so I borrowed a cake topper from my sister-in-law and copied a picture of one she had done before, which resulted in this cake:
Nothing too fancy, but again the icing was really good!
Then for his third birthday, even though I had a three-month-old baby as well, I for some reason attempted birthday cake suicide. Joshua was (and is) still really into trains, and my mom had gotten a train cake pan for Christmas from a friend. So, I decided to try the train cake. The problem with this is I had never actually seen the cake pan until the day before the party, and I was planning on making it that night. When I saw the pan and the accompanying picture, I nearly passed out. There were NINE train cars, decorated with all sorts of confections â€“ gumdrops, licorice, jelly beans, etc. And there was like zero icing, so I wouldnâ€™t be able to get away with my â€œmmm isnâ€™t the icing goodâ€ trick.
Crap! I had no backup plan so I ran off to the store to get candy to decorate with. I didnâ€™t know what to get so I got a little bit of everything. M&Mâ€™s, jelly beans, licorice, gummy life savers, mini Reese cups â€“ I practically bought out the whole aisle. Then I got home and sent my hubby and kids to a family movie night at my church so I could get to work on this monster. My hubby, sensing my anxiety, sent my friend Luanne, who was at the church movie night also, to come check on me.
What she found was a mess.
I had already made the cake in the pan, carefully filling each train car well according to the directions, but they all overflowed significantly. So I had a bunch of scraped-off train cake muffin-tops in a bowl on the oven, but unfortunately I had also spilled said bowl due to anxiety-induced clumsiness, so there were cake particles all over the floor. Of course I had started the icing while the cake was baking, but my previously mentioned clumsiness had come into play there as well, and I had spilled a bunch of the bag of powdered sugar on myself and the floor. There were dishes and measuring cups and ingredients everywhere â€“ and I hadnâ€™t even begun the decorating yet!
Luanne was a bit stunned by what she had walked into. â€œOh my gosh!â€ she said, â€œYouâ€™re that person.â€
â€œWhat do you mean?â€ I asked.
â€œYouâ€™re that person, like on tv and in the movies that makes a huge mess when they cook, only you really do.â€
She was cracking up. Apparently Iâ€™m a rather impressive mess-maker.
Thank God Luanne was there, â€˜cause she really calmed me down. I got the train cars out of the pan successfully and began intricately decorating, using the frosting to hold the candy on. Lu sat with me and talked with me and gave me suggestions the whole time. By the time I got to the third train car, however, I knew there was no way in hell I was making all nine. It was taking for-ev-er. So, I ended up doing five, and here is the final result:
I was pleased though exhausted, and Joshua really loved it. There is no way I am doing it again this year though, even though he is still really into trains.
So, now a poll â€“ I still have no idea what kind of cake to make for Sophie, and Iâ€™m already being neurotic about it. Emily maintains that I donâ€™t have to make the cake myself, but I say I must make it myself because I made Joshuaâ€™s and it just wouldnâ€™t be right not to make hers too. So, what do you think?
For those of you who think I should make her cake (because I am going to), Iâ€™d love to hear some ideas for a cute, easy to make and decorate design! After all, this little one keeps me busy enough, I am sure I will not have time for a three-hour cake-decorating session come November 16th!
Hello, this is Emily. I had to jump in on Jenny’s post, seeing as we have already discussed this dilemma in detail.
As she mentioned, my humble opinion is “buy the damn thing.” I certainly have my own list of issues, but feeling the pressure to make fancy birthday cakes is not one of them. In fact, all of Kate’s birthday cakes have come from the friendly bakery around the corner. They have been lovely and tasted far better than anything I could have made. I have offered to order one up for Sophie, but since Jenny thinks this wouldn’t suffice, I thought I would give her a few ideas.
Jen, here’s the first one I think you should consider, in honor of the Olan Mills picture of you and me in our Strawberry Shortcake outfits.
I think you could whip that up with no problem.
But, if that’s not fancy enough, you could go with this one.
I’m thinking you should be able to turn that out in about 30 minutes.
However, if you really love Sophie and you’re a really good mom, you could make this.
Sophie is quite the princess after all.
Or, you could always make a cake with Sophie’s likeness on it, similar to this.
That one freaks me out a little, to be honest. Can you imagine the discussion surrounding the cutting of that cake? “I want the nose! No, wait, I think the fist has more icing on it.”
Let’s see… by the time my birthday rolls around in May, you’ll have Bobby’s, Sophie’s and Joshua’s birthdays behind you, and much cake-making experience. Since you’ll be an expert by then, will you make me this one?