It’s coming up to the twin’s fourth birthday which has got me thinking about birthday cake! In all the stress of the boy’s first year one of the things that made me cry in my kitchen in the early hours of the morning was their birthday cake.
My mum’s cool cakes
I remember when I was a kid looking through my mum’s book of fancy children’s cake designs and picking out which cake I wanted her to make. A cat cake that I had one year really stands out in my memory. It had butter cream fur and liquorish whiskers. I somehow got fixated on this idea of being the mum who could make really cool cakes. I’d never done this with Sofia’s birthday cakes – maybe tiredness had scrambled my brain a little.
Getting a bit carried away
Chatting with Sofia we decided to make Sam and Leo dinosaur cakes. In my effort to celebrate them as individuals I decided to make them a dinosaur cake each rather than making them share. Sofia and I looked on Pinterest for inspiration. My ambitions started to massively outstrip my baking ability!
Operation dinosaur cakes
The night before the boys’ birthday I got all of the kids to bed and began my cake making mission. Rolando was away at the time so I had an evening free to get creative. It all started to go wrong quite quickly. I realised that while I’d been busy with the design process I’d over looked how much cake I would need to construct two dinosaurs. Way more cake than the ingredients that I’d bought would make. I couldn’t head out for extra supplies as I was one my own with the kids. I ended up with two not very impressive sponge cakes. I tried to figure out how to cut them into dinosaur form but it just wasn’t going to work.
Dinosaurs evolve into fish
After a bit of a rethink I decided that I had enough cake to make two fish shaped cakes instead. I got started on trying to colour fondant icing to cover them. I got food dye everywhere including on my hands plus the colours came out really random. I couldn’t get the icing to roll out without getting hopelessly stuck to the table. The first cake I covered looked so bad I had to scrape the icing off and start again!
It got really late, I got really frustrated and tired and then upset. I called Rolando who thought I was insane to be stressing about cakes and to be up so late. Eventually I got my fishy cakes looking more or less like I wanted them to. The photos that are took are really bad quality too!
The boys first birthday was really lovely and they did enjoy their fishy cakes. I know that they wont remember them but they are imprinted on my memory!
We celebrated the boys second birthday by going to a safari park. I decided to try and make them animal theme cakes. You might think I’m crazy to even attempt cake decorating again but I had learnt my lesson. Lower your standards, don’t look on Pinterest and wherever possible cut corners! I think this could actually be my life moto these days! I kept the designs really simple so there was not too much to go wrong. I bought the cakes so I just had to ice them. I also bought lots of ready coloured fondant icing in all of the colours that I needed. Helpfully my mum explained that you need to dust your work surface with corn flour to stop the fondant sticking when you roll it out.
I was quite chuffed with how my tiger and zebra creations turned out – and how much less stress it was.
For the boys third birthday we did a super hero theme – I cheated even more by buying the cakes ready iced and just adding the cake toppers.
I did catch myself thinking yesterday that Pokemon theme cakes would be cool – I’m resisting all urges to look on Pinterest for ideas! Maybe I should just google for a shop bought version!