Monday, October 28, 2013

The birthday cake disaster of 2013

This post refers to the birthday cake disaster of 2013, not the birthday cake fiasco of mid-1990s in which my very long hair got caught in the mixer. This was far less painful and messy, but still disastrous nonetheless.

Today was Jackson's fifth birthday and boy was he as excited as ever. It was a super fun day and I can't wait to post about it. I forgot to do his annual birthday interview before he went to bed and by the time I checked on him ten minutes later, he was already fast asleep snuggled up with his new Optimus Prime.

For tonight, I just thought I'd share the story of Jackson's birthday cake.

I posted a photo on Facebook and Instagram and it got far more praise than I was expecting... especially the whole "coolest mom ever" comment! Looking at it now, it really is a pretty cute cake. But that's not how I was seeing it at the time.

 The Leonardo cake was FAR from what I had envisioned. The entire cake making process was a nightmare. Nothing went as planned and it seems like things were so much more complicated than they needed to be. I didn't plan my timeline well and so I was rushed at the end which didn't help things at all. 

I figured I'd go ahead and share my "inspiration" as what I was originally intending to make. 

I am not even kidding. Quit laughing.

I was going to use blueberries to make the fruit glaze. 

I picked the cake recipe out last night and I knew I'd need to go to the store to pick up all-purpose flour because that's not something I have at home anymore. I don't care for whipped cream, so I opted to make a different kind of icing using powdered sugar. I didn't want to have to buy an entire bag, so I figured I'd make my own with the pure cane sugar that I have at home using my blender. 

Jackson and I started making the cake and had everything in the bowl before I realized I was out of vanilla.... and Belle was already napping! Ah!!! Fortunately, my father-in-law saved the day and delivered some vanilla. Also, I wish I could've sifted the flour since the whole wheat flour makes a cake more dense.

I only had one circular cake pan, so I had to bake the cakes in two rounds, which wasn't a big deal other than taking more time. When it came time to make the powdered sugar, I didn't have enough pure cane sugar (ugh!) and so I used some coconut sugar, which is brown. By the time I mixed the butter with the sugar I had ugly brown icing. Oh, and I remembered that I needed vanilla for the icing too, but I already sent it back with my father-in-law. I was hoping to avoid food coloring, but I had no choice! If I was going to have icing that didn't taste good, I'd need it to be pretty. Green was the only "boy" color I had and I didn't have much. 

I ended up with an ugly shade of green, but it was going to have to work. I iced the first cake and when I put the second on top... the top one broke into several pieces! It was a mess (ugh!). I was so flustered! I decided to scrape the crumbling mess and just work with the bottom piece. Derek came home at this time and all I could see was a disaster from what I was really hoping to create from the beginning.. An ugly green circle. 

At this time, I happened to glance at the kitchen table to see a cup with four turtles the same ugly green as my cake. I dug through my sprinkles to find sprinkles to match any color of the turtles and behold I found some blue. The whole sprinkle process was frustrating because they were going EVERYWHERE and then the icing for the smile was runny. Right before I snapped the photo of the cake, I was huffing and puffing to Derek in the kitchen about the huge disaster of a cake I made. I was embarrassed to serve it to our family who were all here to celebrate Jackson. 

I cannot help but laugh at the whole ordeal. I mean, I ended up with a Ninja Turtle cake. A blue one. Jackson's favorite-- which would have been his choice had I ever known it to be an option!  I thought I failed big time! But when the first compliment came in-- I just couldn't believe it! I had to look at the cake from a different perspective to realize that it really did turn out pretty good! *

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. If life gives you an ugly cake, make Leonardo!

*By good, I mostly mean looked cool. I have tried making a cake from scratch twice now and haven't achieved major success either time. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't amazing either. But at least it was cute. :)


1 comment:

  1. My son's second birthday I tried making a Mickey Mouse cake. My BIL asked who had made the scary clown cake. So he had a scary clown birthday instead:) Things don't always work out how plan but kids really don't mind.


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