Sunday 17 October 2010

Having your cake

As Lil-lil's fourth birthday approaches, I've been thinking about cakes. I'm a not a cake decorator by any stretch of the imagination, but one of the things I always wanted to do as a mum was make my kids cakes for their birthday.

Growing up I used to pour over the Women's Weekly Cake Book every time I visited my best friend's house. We'd sit and pick which cakes we'd like to have. I think this inspired me and I decided I wanted to pour my love into making a special cake for my children on their birthdays. A handmade way to celebrate their special day.

As I said, I'm not a cake decorator. Actually I'm not much of a baker, it's all a bit too precise for me. I'm a bit more rough and ready when it comes to the kitchen. I can whip up a banana bread when there are rotting bananas in the fruit bowl or a batch of choc-chip cookies when need be, but I have a bit of an Italian view when it comes to cakes and pastries – leave it to an expert.

When it comes to a child's birthday cake all that changes. I'm happy to get elbow-deep in garish food colouring and hundreds'n'thousands. I guess I'm hoping my kids will remember these wonky homemade creations with fondness and know that I went to an effort because of how much I adore them. It would be easier to get an expert to make them – and they would certainly look a lot better, but it just wouldn't be the same.

This week, I'm attempting a butterfly/fairy cake. It will probably look a bit rough around the edges, it will most certainly look a bit homemade and sad (just like every other cake I've made). Her whole party will be old school – fairy bread, chocolate crackles, homemade sausage rolls, crepe paper and balloons. There won't be fancy decorations and not every child will win in pass-the-parcel. It won't break the bank. It will be like the parties I went to as a kid and it will be filled with fun and most of all love. I hope Lil-lil will have a smile on her face that will last until she falls asleep that night.

Here is a sample of my past cake efforts. I think you'll agree that Lil-lil has done a bit better than poor old Goosey.

Lil-lil's first birthday – my first attempt.
Lil-lil's second birthday, was supposed to be a Winnie the Pooh cake but disaster struck and it had to be changed about 5 minutes before the party using dolls from a present, an old tea towel and some fairy bread scraps.

Goosey's first birthday – a strange attempt at a fairy castle.
Goosey's second birthday – she wanted a Buzz Lightyear cake and I had no idea what to do, as you can see.

So now you'll understand just what I mean by looking handmade. Can you call a cake rustic??

You may be wondering, what happened to Lil-lil's third birthday cake? Well, I did in fact opt out that year, busy throwing myself into arduous fairy bread and choc crackle making, my good friend and Lil-lil's godmother took on the task of making the cake and fabulous it was. Look, see below. I did make Lil-lil a chocolate cake on her actual birthday decorated with hundreds'n'thousands.

A mermaid in the sea. T'was delish!

Tune in next Sunday to see what Lil-lil's fourth birthday cake looks like!


  1. I LOVE this post .... all of your cakes are wonderful, really! The picnic one is fantastic, looks like it belongs in the Woman Weekly. I've had similar experiences with Max's cakes - he's nine soon. What?

    Might see you later today ...


  2. I think they all look absolutely beautiful and just as a 'cake made with love by mum' should look like!

  3. I think they are great. I love that you make them, as I make our girls ones too. I't easy to throw money at someone and have something fantastic, but it means much more that my mum made all mine and we now do it for our kids. It's special. Well done, can't wait to see the next installment.

  4. Kids don't care what the cake looks like as long as there is one!!

  5. I actually like the second one best, looks like a lovely picnic.

  6. I'm 100% with you on this!
    The price some people pay for the play centre's, heck even macca's! It's a rip off.
    Our kids party's will be the at home in the backyard, or at the local park type, and each year i have made my kids cakes. Party or not i've made them, because i feel like the love a mother pours into a homemade cake makes it taste that much better. They don't have to look super nice, in the end the kid only wants to get it in their gob!

  7. I forgot to add, your cakes look wonderful. They really do! I bet they were proud to show them off!

  8. They are all so beautiful you are very clever. I bet they tasted just as good as they look.

  9. I love this Corinne, the fact you make them all yourself with such effort and creativity will etch into their memories forever I am sure! I love the old-school kids party, it is very refreshing to hear you going that way!

  10. Well you know how we roll around here...cakes off's against Rob. I am TOTALLY into the kids's cakes and yet any other kind of baking? Meh. Good luck! I have Harper's 1st coming up in a few weeks and am still not sure what to go with. It's my Father in law's b'day this weekend and I am attempting a John Deere tractor. Will be sure to post all the this space!

  11. Thanks for all your lovely comments, all too too kind.

    Beth - I've seen your cakes, I'm not in your (nor Rob's) league!! Can't wait to see the tractor.

  12. they all look good Corinne... looking forward to the new one.. all the best

  13. I think they're all gorgeous myself!

    My Mum always made fab b'day cakes for me (my fave was a maypole with about 6 dolls circling it, all with different pastel coloured icing cake skirts). I thought I would make my kids' cakes too, but....ah, no. I'm both equally lazy and unimaginative. I usually create something on the computer that I stick on top!

    I'll look fwd to seeing the next one. :)

  14. ah lovely...going through these cakes was like a stroll through memory lane! and it was a happy stroll...x


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