The Birthday Approaches

I’m getting a little bit stressed out.  We’ve got M’s birthday coming up on Friday, which means making a treat for school on Thursday and hosting a slew of kids at our (not terribly exciting) house on Saturday.  Frankly, the weather’s got me scared.  Also, we tend to be overly ambitious with the birthday cakes:  we’re snobby about baking from scratch instead of ordering a sheet cake at the grocery store like reasonable people do.  So there will be some labor involved.   Plus, the following week is the last week of school, complete with half-days and miscellaneous fanfare, and then we’ll be heading off for a week’s vacation with family.   So I am making all sorts of lists and then losing them and making new lists.  And generally fretting.

So I thought that I’d take a moment to remind myself that we are very good at birthdays around here.   And here’s proof, with some of our Birthday Cake Greatest Hits (if you’ve been around long enough, you might recall that it doesn’t always go so well).

Doggie Cake for J's 5th Birthday

J requested a dog.  I was particularly pleased with his tongue: the strip of fruit leather was wonderfully realistic.  I hated the fruit leather/frosting/rainbow sprinkle collar, but J had an Artistic Vision and so we had to go with it.  The dog bone candy was a lucky break.

Elmo Cupcake for M's 2nd

The Elmo cupcakes were adorable & not too difficult:  food-colored coconut, Oreo cookie mouth, frosting/chocolate chip eyes, and the unbelievably perfect Circus Peanut Candy for a nose.  We left a bunch plain for the fussy kids.

Mini Cakes for M's 5th Birthday

M wanted each child to have a mini cake.  This seemed like it would be easy, but it was surprisingly challenging.  They’re just cupcakes frosted all over, but it was a freakin’ pain in the neck.  My mom was visiting for this one and you could tell that she thought that I was crazy.  One of the worst parts is that we’re always working with real buttercream, and it’s always too hot, and so it’s a horrifyingly greasy, sweaty ordeal to frost.  But, if you didn’t know that, you’d just think that they were lovely.  So I will keep trying to forget.

Ponies in the Snow for J's 3rd Birthday

Again with J’s Artistic Vision.  Her birthday’s in early October, but she desperately wanted her ponies to be prancing in the snow.

Princess Cake for M's 4th Birthday

Honestly, I should just print a copy of this photo and pin it up somewhere.  Then, on days when I feel like a crappy mom, I can just take a deep breath and look at this fabulous vision.  I mean, seriously:  I should still be coasting on this brilliant success, right?  The turrets are upside-down ice cream cones.

All of which begs the question, what’s up next?  Well, M wants to go with a pool party ice cream cake based on this little number. No:  we don’t actually have a pool.  This is an inconsequential detail.   Of course J had to plan for herself as well, and her current vision is a Fairy Cake inspired by this little number, except that she would like to include ponies, a stream, and at least one pony drinking from the stream.    Phew!  We’ll see how it goes.  Part of me is grateful that we have more than three months for the Artistic Vision to evolve.  On the other hand, maybe she’ll just think of additional details.


  1. check this out – there are many nice ones – we made the one with the teddy grahams and slide (upside down cupcake cone) and extreme sours candy for the slide – it was a hit, and fun to decorate the little teddy grahams!!! The polly pocket one is great too!!

  2. We just did a beach cake that was surprisingly easy, also from family fun but with own twist. The problem lies in copying it…it’s so hard to find generic little people. I simplified mine with Price Chopper found flip flop candles and our own figurines from the toy box. Have fun, good luck with the cake!
    I love your collection of cakes!

  3. Ken–that’s the thing about True Art–it’s open to very personal interpretation by the viewer.
    Rebecca–that Jello looks so water-like. We’ve already got a Polly Pocket lined up for the top.
    Juliet–Oh, jeepers, now I’m going to have to go look at PC for flip flop candles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *