What we do for our children!
Somehow, we've set a precedent for our children's birthdays. A day of fun, a scavenger hunt to find their birthday gifts (with all clues in verse), and a cake of their request. Believe me, I have no special cake decorating abilities, as you'll see if you look close enough. I have a couple of decorating tips, but only the ones that attach to the little tubes of colored frosting that you can buy at any grocery store. I rarely even use those. So you don't need any special equipment. Now if you want to make a simply beautifully decorated cake, go get some real decorator tips, take a cake decorating class...or go buy one. Those decadent bakery cakes are what I go for (better yet, just give me a big gooey and very chocolatey brownie), but for our children...they just want a cake that they've requested and looks cool to them. Here are some of their past requests for cakes that I've made.
"Mommy, can you make me a sleep-over cake this year?" was Mary Kate's request the other day. This sleep-over cake is made from a 9 x 13-inch cake with Twinkies for bodies, Reese's peanut butter cups for the heads, smashed large marshmallow for the pillows, and candies to embellish. I found this idea in Cooking for Kids Bible.
"Can you make a fun and yummy cheesecake?" was the request from Kathleen and Mikey. A tie-died cheesecake was the answer--red velvet cake on the bottom and swirled colored cheesecake mixture on top. I used the recipe from this site, but I'd strongly suggest that you only use about 1/3 of the red velvet cake batter and increase all the ingredients for the cheesecake proportionately to use 24 oz. of cream cheese instead of 16 oz. I made these changes, and was relieved I did. Otherwise it would have been like eating cake with a little cream cheese frosting.
Flower and bugs cake--made from one cake mix in a bundt pan, a small round cake pan, and a few cupcakes...and lots of colored frosting.
Soccer ball for our soccer super star--baked in a Pyrex bowl.
I used this recipe for the Mom Cat and Kitten Cakes--made from a couple of frozen pound cakes.
A monster truck made from a 9 x 13-inch cake, a couple of small round cakes, and candy for embellishments.
A cheetah cake made from a 9 x 13-inch cake and a small round cake with jelly beans as the spots.
A rainbow cake made from a bundt cake.
Flip-flop cake made with two frozen pound cakes, ice cream, whipped topping, and candy embellishments. Check out this site for the recipe. It can also be made with a regular cake and frosting. Get this recipe here.
Mike just HAD to have an Army helmet cake. I made one round cake layer and baked the rest in a Pyrex bowl. Check here for directions.
A lion cake--made from two regular cake layers and a small amount of batter baked in a small Pyrex bowl.
This cake was a big hit, especially since Mary Kate had a life-sized Raggedy Ann doll and had dressed up as Raggedy Ann for Halloween! I got the recipe here.
"A monster jeep riding up a mountain." That's what Mikey requested! It was made from a 9 x 13-inch cake and a couple of cup cakes. I sure could have done more with the "mountain" but when I need to make two cakes at a time for my twins, somethin's gotta give!
What will they ask for next?
(Here's what we've made since the original post.)
Mary Kate wanted a "volcano cake with tropical flowers." This is what she got.
The cake idea was from here, and the tropical flower idea from here.
Another "monster truck riding up a mountain" was in order. This time it was 3D, and I just winged it with various-sized cake layers topped with a cupcake for the mountain, the truck was made with a frozen pound cake, the boulders were krispie rice balls, and the rest was candy decorations and frosting.
This was an interesting order: a "tree with fall-colored leaves." My daughter ended up with this.
I formed stiff cocoa krispie treat mix around a drinking glass and added roots at the bottom. The "tree" was green-frosted angel food cake (I used a cardboard base to rest atop of the "tree trunk"), and the colored leaves were cupcake tops that were frosted green and rolled in fruity pebbles.
What have I started with these 3D cakes? I'm scared for the future!