Kiddo Birthday Cakes... Made with Love
After posting about Coco’s birthday, I got a lot of comments and questions about her party and birthday cake, and so I hope this answers a lot of those questions…. and also inspires you to create a cake of your own… but with a little twist!
When it comes to my kids’ birthdays, I don’t mess around. I am that crazy mom that always has to throw a party for them, no matter how tired I am, no matter how much other stuff I have going on, no matter what…. I put everything on hold to create the perfect day for my kiddos.
For my son Levi’s first birthday I went a little bit bonkers and created an entire train themed extravaganza with streamers and homemade pie pops and candy and activities… the works. It was my first kid’s first ever birthday party, it would have been a sin not to! And for this party, I had a cake made for me based on a design I had drawn out for them and paid an exuberant amount of money for, but it was worth it… and pretty tasty too!
For his second birthday, I went to a different cake maker and had a cake made with the party’s theme, Mickey Mouse… sorry, I can’t find the photos from this party to show you.
And after that birthday, I decided that this was the year I was done with the ready-made cakes… how fun it would be to bake something together, get creative, decorate it anyway we wanted… and kind of hope for the best!
And so, for Levi’s 4th birthday party, because of his love for cooking and baking, we rented out an entire Mexican restaurant and had the chef teach all the kiddos how to cook a few authentic Mexican dishes. The kids had a blast, and the adults could chill, eat some yummy Mexican food and sip on sangria and margaritas.
So for the cake, we decided to bake a piñata cake (obviously had to be in theme), which was a 3-tier cake with tons of candy in the middle… and when you cut into the cake, all the candy spilled out. These cakes have become super popular recently, and they’re actually very easy to make!
For my other son Max’s 1st birthday, we baked a cake that went with his fun hot air balloon theme… a simple chocolate cake with clouds… and I think that was actually my first experience using fondant… so much fun!
And for the years since, we’ve built this tradition of baking with family members each and every birthday cake for the kiddos. It gets them involved in the baking process, it gets their creative juices flowing, their imagination going, and it teaches them to bake! Levi and Max both give me a drawing of what they want their cake to look like and then we go from there. They pick the colors, they pick the flavors they want and then the baking begins!
For Coco’s birthday cake this year I knew I wanted a lemon themed cake and luckily I had just the perfect lemon yogurt cake recipe that I have been making for years! I changed the frosting recipe a bit and added some red food coloring, just enough to make it that perfect pink color. A pink cake for a little girl’s birthday? Wow! Groundbreaking! But for this design, plain white just wouldn’t have done it justice… it had to be that pale pink. I dusted some lemon zest on top which is the exact look I was going for… that perfect pale yellow with the dreamy pale pink. Ugh! Just so pretty! And for the decoration, it had to be flowers… I mean, is there anything that I do without flowers? Plus, I wanted the floral to match with the floral in the bouquets on the table setting. It took me quite some time to pick out the right flowers not only for their color to complement the cake and zest, but also for the way the flower could be finessed onto the soft frosting and actually stay in place. I carefully arranged two pink garden roses and a few lisianthum flowers with their stems on the cake and I couldn’t have been happier with the final design!
So here’s a thought… I realize that not everyone loves to bake… it is a science after all. And I also realize that not everyone has the time to do it. So don’t bake. A homemade cake doesn’t have to be home baked, but it can still be created and imagined by you and your kiddo just by the way you decorate it! Buy an already baked cake, a simple one with nothing on it, and you do the rest. Have your kiddo draw out what he/she wants it to look like and then imagine how that can be translated onto a cake.
For instance the train cake that I had made for Levi’s 1st birthday. I didn’t want just a train and trees and whatever else painted flat onto the cake. I wanted the cake to pop! I wanted the objects to be 3-D. I bought a wooden train at a craft store, I had the bakers draw a train track going around the perimeter of the cake, I had them make clouds, the sun and the number 1 as cookies on sticks that were then stuck into the top of the cake, and they used frosting to create the evergreen trees coming up off the cake.
So try a craft store and see what fun objects you can find there to stick on your cake, perhaps your baker could make cookies into the theme of what you want and you can stick them on the cake yourself. You can look up different recipes for frosting and make the frosting yourself, add a little food coloring to create a fun color (the kids looooove adding food coloring and watching it transform), and then try your hand at writing on the cake with icing.
No matter what the cake looks like, no one cares… They know you and your kiddos aren’t professional bakers, even if the frosting doesn’t taste amazing, no one will care… believe me, if there’s sugar in it (which there is), no kid will turn it down. And who cares if a baker made the actual cake… you designed it! At the end of the day, it’s about the time you spent together, a project you worked on together as a family from start to finish, a piece of art that was made for one of the most special days of the year!
To help you with the baking, here are a few bakers in the Massachusetts area that would love to be a part of your kiddo’s special day! All the names are linked… Let me know what you guys think of them!
Happy baking…or not!