Anatomy of a Birthday Cake II 9

November 10, 2013


A year ago I wrote about Little e’s first birthday cake and the (mis)adventure of making it. I thought I’d continue the tradition by posting this year’s creation. I was torn between a chocolate fudge cake and a carrot cake, the strength of the former being its ability to be moulded and shaped, and the benefit of the latter being its promise of wholesomeness. In the end I went with the carrot cake because 1. I have a really great recipe and 2. I couldn’t get past the health part. I think this could be the last year I am able to make the executive decision on my daughter’s birthday cake, and I wanted to get some carrots and walnuts into her. Can you blame me?

So next I had to decide what shape to make out of a not-very-mouldable carrot cake. I have been dreaming of the castle and piano and octopus cakes of internet legend, but I had to settle for something simpler. I thought of the bunny from the classic Australian Women’s Weekly birthday cakes book, but the ears posed a problem. The cake couldn’t handle being cut on the curve, I feared. I also didn’t want to enrobe the cake in a thick layer of heavily-tinted icing (which is why last year’s whale was Caribbean blue and not realistic whale blue). So what has cupcake-shaped ears and a white coat? A polar bear, of course. And don’t polar bears and carrot cake go paw-in-paw? I thought so too.







Liquorice eyes, nose and claws, a furring of coconut and he was complete. And delicious too.



What’s your best birthday cake of childhood?




1 Hannah Tunnicliffe { 11.10.13 at 7:10 am }

Okay, that is genius! Cute and delicious; you have outdone yourself. I have just finished eating birthday cake for dinner. Choc-caramel and not healthy one single little smidge. Go the Australian Women’s Weekly cakes – they are defining more than one generation 🙂

2 Ria Voros { 11.11.13 at 9:31 pm }

Ah, birthday cake for dinner…the perfect non-meal. And chocolate caramel sounds delicious. I’m imagining this was your own *private* dinner, and not one you served up for the whole family??

3 Hannah { 11.12.13 at 6:50 am }

Ahhhh, I’d rather not say…. 😉

4 Anne Rodrigues { 11.11.13 at 8:10 pm }

Very cute and creative. My mother always made her own birthday cakes for each of our birthdays and I do the same for my kids. You don’t realize how much your kids like those birthday cakes until you ask them what kind of a cake they want for their birthday, thinking they will ask for an ice cream cake from Baskin Robins or a decorated cake from the bakery, but instead they ask you to make a homemade cake. That’s when you realize how much they appreciate those homemade cakes. Yours looks beautiful!

5 Ria Voros { 11.11.13 at 9:34 pm }

Thanks, Anne! It does make a difference when the cake is homemade, doesn’t it? My mother made beautiful birthday cakes for me and my sister growing up, and the memories and photos of them are such a cherished part of my childhood. I’m excited to see what Little e requests next year. So glad to hear you do the same for your kids!

6 Aimee { 11.12.13 at 3:11 am }

Awesome cake, Ria! I loved choosing my birthday cakes out of the Australian Women’s Weekly book when I was a kid:) I think my favorite was the butterfly-the one where you cut a round cake into three pieces to make the body and wings. They were always liberally decorated with jellybeans!

7 Ria Voros { 11.12.13 at 4:26 am }

Oh yes, jellybeans…and for me, smarties. I’ll hope that Little e asks for a butterfly cake in the future because I didn’t get that one as a kid, but it sounds good! Definitely easier than the swimming pool one…which, I have to say, always kind of creeped me out (on the page).

8 Kirsti { 11.16.13 at 2:45 pm }

we never had shaped cakes like that as a kid. I was always so jealous of other kids and their coloured frosting. But even having cake at all was a big treat so we were pretty happy. We usually had an angel food cake or chiffon cake with homemade ice cream and fruit. When we got older, my mum found a recipe for homemade peanut buster bar parfait cake (like the treat from Dairy Queen) with caramel and fudge and peanuts. That was a perennial favourite for a LONG time!

9 Anatomy of a Birthday Cake IV — fork and fiction { 05.04.16 at 3:41 am }

[…] have learned from a few past cakes to enlist the help of my brilliant, artistic husband and to set aside much more time than I think […]

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