I LOVE BIRTHDAYS! One way that my family makes birthdays EXTRA special is with a homemade birthday cake. This is a tradition my mom started over thirty years ago and I have now carried it on with my children as well. Whether you're a novice or an expert with homemade cakes here are some fun and easy tips that might help with your cake preparations...
The first thing I do is decide on what type of cake I should make. Ideas can come from your child if they are old enough to have an opinion. Or if your kids are young like mine I like to think back through the year and come up with an idea that reminds me of them. For example, my daughter was practically born with a smile on her face so her 1 year old birthday cake was a big smiley person. Her 2 year old birthday cake was a turtle because she loved the Tiny Tim turtle song, "I have a baby turtle, his name is Tiny Time..." and sang it every day that year! I have a friend who made a bear cake because their little guy's nickname is Krew-Bear. This is a fun way for you and your child to remember cute characteristics about them that you might have otherwise forgotten. If you are thinking about cake ideas for adults, unfortunately our family is a little more boring with them. They simply get to choose their favorite type of cake; ie. Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting, Chocolate Caramel Cake, Lemon Cake, Black Forest Cake or German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting are some of our favorites.
Second, once you've decided on what you are going to make you need to decide on how you are going to make it. Of course you can buy the cake molds buy it is more cost effective to use oven-safe bowls, cake rounds, muffin tins, cookie sheets, or 9x13's to come up with the shape you need. It is helpful to freeze the cake for an hour or so before you start placing, cutting and frosting. This allows for less mess and makes each cut more precise. You'll find that making a cake at home is much cheaper than buying a cake at the grocery store. You will be using your cake mixes and powdered sugar out of your food storage.
Third, get the birthday kid involved! What a better way to make your child's birthday special than by including them in decorating their cake. It is a great way to create memories and to express to your child how much they mean to you. If everyone in the family is helping this is a great time to focus ALL attention on the birthday boy/girl. Spend the decorating time recalling memories, funny stories or special moments that you've had with them.
Fourth, now it is time to enjoy and EAT UP! Anything homemade always tastes better so don't be too concerned if the cake doesn't look exactly like you had pictured in your mind. At times you might find that the process of making the cake is more enjoyable than the final product!
Below are some cakes that our family has enjoyed...