Cake Wars Drop-Out

Buddy had a birthday this week.

This is the kid who is known for his over-the-top birthday cakes. (Who could forget his infamous M & M shooting catapult cake or his royal pika family surrounded by torches cake!) But this year he left the whole thing in my hands. He had no ideas, no requests, it was all up to me.

But don’t worry – I was ready! After all, I have watched every episode of Cake Wars. I’ve seen every mistakes ever made on cakes and besides, I had an idea.

I was going to make him an electric guitar cake!

Isn’t that an epic idea?! Mind-blowingly amazing!

This cake was going to be so awesome it would probably break Pinterest!

I started by mixing up my cake mix (yes – I cheated and used a cake mix!) but to bump up the flavor and keep it moist, I added sour cream. That was my first mistake.

There will be more.

While the cake baked, I measured Buddy’s guitar, sketched out my design so that everything would be proportional, and cut out a template. This was an amazing template – seriously – I even did fractions to make sure my sides were correct!

I actually thought to myself that I really should mass produce these things and sell them – because honestly – doesn’t every one need to make an electric guitar cake at some point in their life!

When the cake was cooled, I laid my template on top – anxious to get started on my masterpiece!

But the template was too big. What!! Wait, how could that have happened?! I even did the math!

My cake must have shrunk! In a panic I started to whittle sides off, then the top and the bottom. Cake was flying! Forget the proportions of neck to guitar – I barely had enough cake to make a neck!img_0251

Not only that – it was such a moist cake that it kept breaking when I tried to move it from the cooling rack to the serving tray.

I finally had it positioned – a guitar with a neck – and started spreading my buttercream as a crumb coat.

Crumb coat is right. I just kept pulling up cake with each swipe of frosting. This guitar was getting smaller and more messy with each knife stroke. I used up my entire batch of buttercream.

What a disaster! There were cake crumbs and frosting and powdered sugar all over my kitchen and myself.

img_0253I had to mix up another batch of buttercream to hide all the crumbs. More powdered sugar everywhere. My kitchen looked like a winter storm.

So did I.

At this point his amazing electric guitar cake looked more like a fuzzy dwarf electric ukulele.

This did not look Cake Wars worthy. Then I remembered that all the cakes on Cake Wars look so smooth because they are covered with fondant. Yeah – that wasn’t happening.

I considered briefly going with the fuzzy theme and just throwing coconut all over it and calling it a day – but Buddy doesn’t like coconut. So I kept working until my frosting was somewhat smooth – abandoning all thoughts of a piping bag and details.

Instead I turned to an old birthday cake stand-by, a friend that has never failed me, my go-to birthday cake rescue – M & M’s!

img_0255We now had a rainbow dwarf electric ukulele.

And Buddy loved it!

We put 16 re-lighting candles on it, sang Happy Birthday, and watched him try to blow them out over and over again!

It was awesome!

Another birthday cake done.

I’m hanging up my apron now. My dreams of ever winning Cake Wars completely destroyed.

Trust me people – they make it look easy on TV.

But boy was that cake moist!

 

Teenager In the House

Buddy turned thirteen last week.

Thirteen!

I can’t believe my baby is a teenager!

A teen with his own box drum and Old Spice fragrance.

buddy's box drum

Who eats as much as Pedro.

And has no clothes that fit because he’s growing faster than I can buy them.

Definitely another teenager in the house.

This was the first year in several he didn’t concoct an elaborate Lego and Pika display for the top of his birthday cake.

Instead – he and Nana Shirley created a Minecraft cake.

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You don’t get it?

Don’t feel bad. Neither did I. Or Jan. Or any of the four grandparents present. I guess it’s a part of a computer game they love to play.

While it didn’t have the drama of burning pika’s or flying M & M’s of his previous cakes – he was very proud of it.

And it did look remarkably like the photo on Pinterest – thanks to my amazing mom and her cake decorating skills.

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Just in case you ever need to make one and my mom isn’t available to save the day – we baked 2 – 9 x 13 cakes and cut them down to 9 inch squares. She didn’t use fondant – instead she just smoothed the butter cream with a spatula. Buddy cut the squares out of red fruit roll-ups.

Yep. That birthday cake made it official.

Changes are coming.

We’ve got another teenager in the house.

Buddy’s Birthday: 12th Edition

We did it again.

Child’s birthday party number 79 is now history.

This one was Buddy’s – his 12th.

Some of you may remember his last year’s cake – a masterpiece of Lego engineering complete with a M & M cannon and his favorite Pika.

This year was just as spectacular!

He had not one – but two royal Pika’s – complete with crowns, guards, a court jester, and a royal food tester – all made out of Lego’s and designed by Buddy himself.

It was truly a site to behold – especially when all the candles were lit and started to lean dangerously over.

We have never sung “Happy Birthday” so quickly.

I have never been so glad to see 12 candles blown out!

And I still can’t believe that 12 years could go by so quickly!

Happy birthday Buddy! We love you!