When it comes to birthday cakes, I’m not sure I know what I’m doing. And I surely shouldn’t have volunteered to bake such an important cake as this one, considering ….”In 3 days (holds up 3 fingers)... I'll be 4 (holds up 4 fingers)!!!And yet, I told this little guy I’d bake him a cake and his momma seemed happy about that too. It didn’t hurt that the Birthday Boy is as cute as they come. He and his mom used to drop in and visit with me about once a month. I’d make popcorn and help set-up dominoes and he’d crunch on snacks and knock down row after row of tiles. It was a win/win.
"What's the theme?" "Superman, Batman, etc." "Ok. I like Superman." It was easy to find some popular designs on Google images; this helped point me in a good direction. I knew I didn’t want 9x13 still in the pan or a round cake. Square was it. Ugh. I do this to myself…squares and rectangles are difficult to frost with buttercream; I can’t seem to get the corners smooth.
That aside, I printed the iconic "S" and played with size. I decided a step-down cake on two sides would be interesting with the top of the "S" flush with the cut-off corner (yeah, that doesn’t sound very clear).
I started with a two-layer square chocolate cake (my favorite go-to chocolate cake recipe) with a chocolate buttercream filling.
The third layer was the Superman logo. I debated on whether I should frost the bottom two layers (base tier) and then place the third layer on top…or place the top tier first, then frost. I’m still learning about cakes…next time, I’ll frost the bottom tier completely, then add a fully frosted second tier. Still learning.I used the printed logo for sizing the top tier. Then I cut out the 'empty-space' of the logo to make a stencil that I later traced (using a toothpick on the crumb coat, an exterior coating of vanilla buttercream) in order to most accurately recreate the logo.
Color matching for the Superman component had to be just right. I tossed out my first attempt at yellow - it looked more like goldenrod/orange. This looked good enough to me.
|And yeah, the tiers didn't exactly match up on angles or run parallel.|
It's a wee bit wonky.
Here’s what I learned…when it comes to kids, I can’t say “No” – especially when the under-5 crowd looks me in the eyes and say something close to, “Hi” or “Thank you” or…sing songs about me, or even songs about anything else.
I also learned I have to be ok with my cakes and cupcakes looking a bit ... amateurish. I don't like that; I want professional looking products. That's my ego talking. I haven't been to any type of cake decorating class so why would I think I could do something other people have studied and practiced for years? Reminding myself of these simple truths are important. I need that.
|I dare you to say "No" to this guy! |
I love that he looks so happy in his... my-shirt-and-my-cake-match smile.
Cake is the great equalizer…it’s something most folks, young and old, can agree on.