bake me a cake...

as fast as you can ;)  last week was my daughter's birthday and last weekend we celebrated with a party, including (of course!!) cake.  because i have been soooo busy lately, and I'm still discombobulated from moving, the day before the party i realized i hadn't asked her what kind of cake she wanted!  one of the things that is very important to me as a mommy, and is now tradition, is that i make my kids' cakes.  i love doing this and especially after last week's depression-inducing election, i really needed to release my inner pastry chef!!  (if you are an actual pastry chef and you're reading this, please, please, please, you have my upmost respect and i am, in no way whatsoever, truly comparing myself with you :)  i usually bake the cake the day before, but have all the decoration stuff planned out at least a week ahead, cause there's usually "stuff" involved...

so i get her on the phone (she was at her dad's) and she tells me she wants a multi-level, multi-flavor cake, with trees, like a jungle, and texture, and toys...  so, forget the inner pastry chef.  this is where my aries personality comes out.  oh, you wanna throw out that kinda last minute challenge little girl??  it's on!!

let's start simple.  hats off to betty crocker, she did it again!  and just to up the challenge a tad, this is the first time baking in my new apartment, so just a little extra stress with the oven.

so my plan is to go with the jungle theme and work in a volcano for the multi-level, as well as a jello "water" feature for a lower level and more texture!!  oh yeah.  i'll use the toy trees from the dinosaur set i bought her a few years ago for the dinosaur themed bday!  the jungle floor will be vanilla cake covered in green coconut flakes, and the volcano will be chocolate.  boom!!  multi-flavors coming atcha!!


well, my goal with the chocolate volcano was, well, not quite this.  in my head, it's a smooth mountain, that's easy to frost and actually looks like a volcano.  what i started with was this above...

what then happened looked like a giant turd sitting on vanilla cake :(  i'm getting a little nervous at this point, thinking, omg, this looks like a giant turd, i'm screwed.  the frosting is not going on nicely and again, the visual... :(

it was really too early in the day to start drinking so i did a brief prayer summoning the spirit of betty crocker with a side of comstock cherry pie filling and pushed ahead...

transforming ingredients (and by transforming ingredients, i mean add food color and change the color ;) is a creative release, so now i'm feeling a bit more confident!!  look a that green!!  if that doesn't say jungle ground cover, i don't know what does??!!

at this point, i've just kept piling on the chocolate frosting to help smooth the volcano out and it's definitely helped!!  i move on to digging out my water feature and pull the blue jello out of the fridge to find that it has indeed congealed!!  it's nasty though and i apologize to any of the parents who's kids ate this...

my daughter wants texture... ok sista, i'm bringing the texture!!!  we've got jello water, coconut ground cover, and a smoothed-out volcano turd!!  ha!!

things are getting real serious now.  i've opened the cherry pie filling and am thoroughly enjoying the process of placing the filling atop the volcano and watching it meander down the side (just like real lava!!!!!  just like it!!!)  so you could experience this captivating time along with me, i took a video!!  but, alas, i suck at audiovisual, so the video is not uploading.  envision, if you will, cherry pie filling slowly cascading toward the jello pool!  and me standing there, like the complete dork i am, whispering, "genius"!!!

the biggest challenge was getting the cake, in one piece, with nothing toppling, to the party!  as you can see above, i managed to do that, too :)  and my little jungle monkey loved her cake!!!!!

after standing at the entrance welcoming party guests, while holding the cake with one hand, for 15 minutes, I asked the "party supervisor" where our room was, so i could put the cake down, cause all i need is to trip and drop the damn thing!!  we don't have the room for another 1-1/2 hours, but they will put it in the refrigerator until we're ready. ummmmm, ok.  but, seriously, heads will roll if anything happens to the cake.  just saying.

here we are about to sing happy birthday!!  you may notice the cake seemed to suffer a bit of climate change??  they put it in the freezer instead of the fridge, so everything was frozen!!  nice.

these kids apparently could care less about the temperature differences and just enjoyed eating it!!  and i couldn't be happier! :)  happy birthday to my beautiful daughter!