Cake Crazy

by Abby on February 29, 2012

When I was a kid, my mom was pretty creative when it came to birthdays. She made me a Smurf cake one year covered in blue coconut, and an Eiffel Tower cake one time, and I can vaguely remember a green T-rex cake for my brother’s birthday, complete with a red-licorice mouth. So I guess I come by my birthday cake-baking obsession honestly.

Some years, I’ll just do cupcakes, but other years I feel the need to step it up. The dump truck cake and the Thomas the Tank Engine cake go in my Baking Hall of Fame. For Riley’s third birthday this year, I blame Pinterest for filling my head with overly ambitious ideas.

Mickey Mouse CakeIn case you’re not familiar with it, Pinterest is the newest, hottest thing in social networking. It’s basically an interactive bulletin board, where you can “pin” images you come across in your web searches. So let’s say you did a search for “Mickey Mouse birthday cake.” Up pop all these creative confections that you can “pin” to create your own visual idea file. “That doesn’t look so hard,” you find yourself thinking. Fast-forward to you in a sugar-and-icing-splattered kitchen, cursing the disproportionate size of Mickey’s ears. Dammit! I never was any good at math.

Mickey Mouse CupcakesThat was for the family party. For the cupcakes for his preschool class, I thought these ones looked simple and cute. They were, except I had to separate and scrape the icing off a couple dozen Oreos first. It’s a wonder I didn’t give myself diabetes.

Sure, I could have gone the supermarket cake route. I have before. But where’s the fun in that? I won’t be putting Charm City Cakes out of business any time soon, but I like to think my homemade creations are the stuff that memories are made of. And also, cavities. Oh, well, birthdays come around only once a year, right?

LINKS O’ THE DAY: Today I have not one, but TWO guest posts/mentions, on the lovely Angie Mizzell’s blog and also at Aspiring Mama. Thanks, ladies, for helping me spread the word about my upcoming online writing class, Personal Essays that Get Published. Starts next Weds., register now!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali/Alessa February 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

I LOVE when cakes look so obviously homemade, even better when they’re a train wreck. I just picture the non-baker mom or dad slaving away in the kitchen for their kid, and it makes my heart melt.

I probably think this way because I DO NOT bake ever. But for my baby shower, I baked 60 cupcakes complete with icing and sprinkles. I knew they’d look awful and take up more time and energy than I could spare, but it was my special project and I was determined to do it myself. Kind of like a right of passage into motherhood, I guess. So now when I see homemade cakes and desserts, I appreciate what the mom must have put into it.


Abby March 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

60 cupcakes? Holy moly! Yep, that’s your rite of passage into motherhood. 🙂


Viv February 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

GURL Pinterest gets my juices flowing and frustrates me to madness all at once. Props upon props for your inspired, loving, handy work. I bet your kids licked their fingers. I could never pull it off – I lack the dexterity.


Lou Mello February 29, 2012 at 10:55 am

great pics of your goodies, your boys will remember how Mom made all those goodies herself when they are a little older. They will appreciate it even more then.


Frume Sarah February 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Impressive. Truly.

I am great at pulling all the ideas together and executing a great theme party, but the whole baking thing is just way beyond my skill set.

Your boys will definitely appreciate your efforts though probably not until they are parents themselves.


Malia Jacobson February 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm

“And also, cavities.” LOL. Nice job on the cake and cupcakes–very impressive. My 5yo’s last birthday was my first go-round with the “class” birthday party and man, it was a lot of work–in addition to the “family” party and the “friend” party. Definitely got my baking fix.


Abby March 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Thanks, all. They certainly appreciated *eating* it, whatever it looked like!


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