Skip to content

Why I Will Never Own a Cake Shop. Or Be Invited to Another Birthday Party.

September 14, 2011

James’ friend Jean-Paul turned four last week. I offered to make a cake for his birthday party. His mum decided the day before that it would be a dinosaur themed party. She had a birthday party book which said that she should have started planning this party three months in advance. Well, Birthday Party Book, she was in labor with her third child three months in advance so the night before sounds pretty organized to me.

I was going to rent a dinosaur cake pan from my friend who has a party rentals business (and is probably horrified that I am endorsing such poor party planning practices) But then I agreed to make a carrot cake and I have a strict rule that I just made up and follow religiously: If I deviate from the cake-in-a-box level of baking difficulty, I am not allowed to try other fancy schmidt, like molded cake pans and icing that you need more than a spatula to apply.

So I made a round cake (I can handle the basic shapes. Circle, square, rectangle. Maybe not a triangle. I would say no to an oval as well) with avocado icing to accomodate some dairy-free requirements. Then I broke my rule and stenciled a fairly convincing dinosaur footprint on the top with icing sugar.

I was getting ready to throw a couple of extra tiers on top and whip up some fondant but then the foot print dissolved and the avocado icing went from a fun dino-green to a kind of dino-swamp color. Nothing a plastic volcano and some badly constructed dinosaurs made out of Bendaroos couldn’t fix.

As you can see, Jean-Paul was completely blown away by my cake save:

I also made some dinosaur party hats which were much nicer to look at than my cake. Obviously my talents abound where it counts.

For his present, James and I made Jean-Paul some story stones. This basically means we mod podged on some stickers and got away with giving the kid a bag of rocks for his birthday.

After we were done eating an ugly but totally edible cake and playing with rocks(which are decidedly an outside toy), we retired to the back yard to contemplate the party’s success.

Younger brother and reason the story stones are an outside toy, Dominic.

Younger sister and reason Jean-Paul’s mum didn’t start planning earlier, Genevieve.

(James had the option of playing a party game or digging for potatoes)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Colleen Grandy permalink
    September 15, 2011 7:27 am

    “dino-swamp” – lol. Hilarious. Nice save on the party hats!

  2. Jean permalink
    September 15, 2011 9:22 am

    I hate to tell you this, Claire, but cakeability is genetic. It’s like the ability to touch the tip of your nose with the tip of your tongue – you either got it or you don’t. It’s a good thing kids are pretty resilient when it comes to ‘interesting’ b-day cakes or else you and your sibs would be in therapy. And it never gets better. You may recall a Christmas cake I made at the Lilypad. I thought red icing dribbled on green would look festive. It looked like a Dracula’s Delight.

    Tip: You know it’s time to pull back and reconsider when you find yourself thinking, “How hard can it be? What could go wrong?” However, if cakes could be made from construction paper you’d leave cake decorators everywhere in the dust.

  3. MomC permalink
    September 15, 2011 9:44 am

    Love those dino hats, Claire! Cake . . .as long as it’s edible at that age, that’s all that matters.

    I see farming or gardening in James’ future . . . .

  4. October 6, 2011 10:44 am

    I love the story stones! What a creatively frugal idea!

    • Claire permalink*
      October 6, 2011 10:49 am

      Thanks Katherine. I’m a sucker for cheap and easy…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s