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Three Cake Birthday

Tori had her eighth birthday over the weekend which means several things happened at our house.  For one thing the entire immediate family, from both sides of our marriage, came over for super.  That also means the house got an extra good cleaning only a month after its last extra good cleaning, Gabby's birthday was in January.  For another thing it meant that we once again had to come up with the “perfect” cake.  Gabby let me off easy this year and requested a simple LaLa Loopsy sheet cake, much easier to create than last year’s infamous Edward Scissor Hands and Rapunzel wedding cake (no she didn’t quite get the comical nature of this union, she just knew she liked them both).  Tori on the other hand was having nothing to do with simple.

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In retrospect I really caused my own drama in the birthday cake department.  I made the mistake of introducing Tori to the wonderful world of pinterest and she spent much of an afternoon perusing pinned cakes and thus her dream of a three tiered University of Kentucky themed cake with a blue ombr’e interior and white exterior with blue piping was inspired. 

In theory and as in all good pipe dreams I was well equipped to carry out such a feat.  What I didn’t foresee was ending up with a sore throat, congestion and being weighed down by a mixture of allergy medication and decongestants.  That paired with trying to clean up the house, make the world’s largest lasagna, ergo cutting way down on my counter space all the while icing the cake meant that the three tiered cake was condensed to a one tiered four layer cake.

In my defense I did manage to complete the ombr’e internal portion of the cake.  In case you don’t know ombr’e means that the layers start light and get darker and darker with each layer.  I told you, nothing plain for this cake.  I also managed to use up six eggs in the cake and another six in the lasagna, a good thing with the way the girls are laying right now. 

Needless to say Tori wasn’t all too happy about it.  Upon viewing the cake in its crumb coat stage (first layer of frosting that allows you to decorate without the crumbs peeking through) she felt certain that all hope was lost.  Her cake was going to be a disaster and she simply had to have another cake.  So Dennis being the good daddy that he is made a last run to the store for a birthday cake.

So there I was with a four layer blue ombr’e cake that had already been crumb coated and a double batch of decorators frosting.  The initial thought was to stick it in the fridge and have it for later; after all we were celebrating Tori’s “fake” birthday.  Gabby called it that for we had the party on a Saturday and her “real” birthday was on Sunday. 

I seem to have some inane need to do everything the hard way though.  That and my baking pride got the better of me.  I needed to decorate that cake and prove my loving daughter wrong.  I never said I was rational or even mature.  So decorate I did.  It didn’t end up white with blue piping but by golly it was UK themed and definitely blue.  Consequently if you haven’t had the opportunity to work with food coloring paste I highly recommend it.  A little warning though, be careful with it, I still have a slight blue tint to my cuticles.

After seeing the cake in its more decorated stage Tori then decided that the world wasn’t coming to an end and this cake would suffice.  I made a call to Dennis to see if he’d already gotten the cake and learned that he had not one but two personalized cakes.  You see Tori and Carolyn, Dennis’s mom, have birthdays just a few days apart so Dennis wanted to make sure we’d celebrate Carolyn too.  So Tori didn’t get a three tiered cake but she did get three cakes…well two at least and a third for her Maw Maw Carolyn. 

I suppose in the end it wasn’t too bad.  The cake turned out decently despite all the drama and everyone ended up going home with cake leftovers and at least a piece or two of the world’s largest lasagna.  I’d like to say that I’ve learned my lesson and next year we’re just going to stick with the store bought version from the get go but I know I’d be lying.  I enjoy the decorating despite all the conflict.  I think I’ll just need to bar Tori from the internet.

Amy Morgeson

Covert Chickens