To bake or not to bake: that has been the question for the last week or so. Claire’s birthday is coming up at the end of the week. We have somewhat miraculously managed to stick with my pledge not to have a big shindig. She’s having a friend over for a sleepover, and I told Max he could do the same for his birthday in the fall. I explained to both kids it was Mom and Dad’s turn for big birthday celebrations this year. Jason and I are both turning 40, and we are planning a little family getaway in the fall instead. We’re taking them with us, so in my book they should be appeased. To their credit, they haven’t complained.
Still, a birthday needs a cake. I had a vision for this year, the year Claire finally discovered dolls: a barbie cake. You know the ones with the top of a Barbie inserted into a round cake frosted to look like the doll’s skirt. I debated talking to a bakery about ordering a cake. Then I would have to decide dairy-free or not. Would Max even want to eat a Barbie cake? Did I want to have this discussion ahead of time? What if the cake didn’t work out? I didn’t want Claire to have too many expectations just in case. I have her carefully trained to be happy with a lopsided cupcake as long as it has a passable icing and sprinkles.
Plus how much would all this cost? This is how I’ve gotten sucked into planning bigger parties than I intended in the past. Claire’s elaborate pony party started with a vision of a small shindig with a pony theme. Then I decided to price out how much it would cost to add pony rides on a real pony. Then I discovered two ponies weren’t much more than one. If you’re going to have two ponies, you might as well invite the class and all your church friends. You can’t have a pony in your backyard and not invite the neighborhood kids (and grandkids) and well you see how this goes. (See Party for details as I could go on and on).
I finally decided to play it safe and to order the cake pan and make the cake myself. I have no confidence in my cake decorating skills, but I figured the girls could bake and decorate as part of their sleepover fun. The one thing Claire requested was chocolate cake. Happily Duncan Hines makes a great dairy-free chocolate mix. Max will have options.
With two little but imaginative girls in charge of decorating, it could end up looking great. It could be awful (leaning a little more this way). Either way it should taste good and hopefully will make a memory!