Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Graham!

Those of you who have been with me for over a year may remember my last real attempt at cake decorating.  Graham, knee-deep in his Mickey Mouse phase (which hasn't really ended) had requested a Mickey cake, and I did what I could to deliver. 

At that time I wasn't very confident with the fondant, so I iced the whole sucker with regular frosting and slapped on Mickey's face and some strategically placed stars.  He was turning two, after all, and I'm no Cake Boss.

But a few things have changed in the last year.  First, Graham's interests have expanded to include Toy Story 3, and second, I got a little braver.  Since his Mickey cake and my acceleration of his age to 22, I've made Cael's 4th birthday cake, a Hunger Games-themed cake for my nephew Keaton, and successfully tackled the mini-cake atop Amy's wedding cupcake tree, covering it with fondant and stretching it to fit.  So you can't blame me for thinking I was qualified to construct a scale model of the Taj Mahal from flour, eggs and water.

Fortunately for me, Graham wasn't interested in iconic tourist attractions.  First he asked for a purple cake with flowers.  And considering that there are clearly no baby girls in my future, I was tempted to give in.  But I knew that when he saw the cake, he'd think it looked "girly", so I urged him to make another choice.  When he mentioned a Toy Story 3 theme, I jumped at the opportunity and began drawing up plans in my mind.

I knew I wanted to incorporate Woody's cow print vest into the design, and when I saw another cake that had coupled the cow print with the fluffy clouds on the title screen, I knew I had my main backdrop.  Those basic patterns were really pretty simple and shouldn't have taken too long, but because I was still borderline-comatose from the wedding and the all-nighters I'd been pulling, I was only capable of 4-5 minutes of solid work before my eyes began to drift to a small cobweb in the corner of the kitchen.  It was only when my "Sex and the City" marathon would cut to commercial that I would come to and start working again.  Within three episodes' time, the second tier was covered and in position.

Though I was tired, I was NOT going to make a mistake like last time and age my son beyond his years.  This cake would be accurate.  This cake would be impressive.

This cake was sinking.

So much for not making mistakes, huh?  I was so busy stewing over how to decorate the cake that I overlooked how to support the cake.  As I rushed to complete the last details, the top tier began crushing the bottom at an alarming pace, so I quickly snapped some photos so I could show my family what I'd tried to accomplish, should they find themselves eating only ice cream while singing "Happy Birthday".

After a brief birthday photo shoot because, well, you know me, it was time to eat, open presents and feast on the cake I had so marginally assembled.

And you know what?  Graham didn't care that his cake was slowly crushing itself.  He was flitting around from one gift to another, pretending to be Batman and just as quickly abandoning his cape to scoop up toys with a bulldozer and race his remote-controlled car around the wrapping paper debris.

We ate the cake, and it tasted just fine.  What matters most is that my sweet little Bubba had a happy birthday filled with family, food and fun.

But don't you think for one second that I won't pull an all-nighter to make sure Cael's cake is the best yet.  When is "Sex and the City" on again?...


  1. Awww....he is adorable!! And your cake is awesome!!!!

    1. Thanks, Lori! I was pretty proud of it... now on to Cael's cake!

  2. I laugh every time I see that "22" cake! LOL

    1. Me too. But it's more like throwing my hands up in the air in defeat!

  3. I think the cake looks amazing in the pictures... and years down the road, nobody will remember that it crashed into itself -- besides, it's a learning experience! I haven't braved the idea of trying fondant yet, I'm not a fan of the taste and I'm hugely addicted to the completely healthy buttercream frostings... but someday I'm sure I'll get there, just because the cakes look so, so nice in comparison!!

    1. I'm not a huge fondant fan myself. I've heard that if you make it from scratch it tastes much better, so I might have to test that theory for Cael's cake. We'll see. I just make sure to put a nice THICK layer of buttercream (or whatever frosting you like) under the fondant so that guests can peel it off if they want.


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.