Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Birthday Cake Fail 2012

Last year, I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will never make a living as a cake artisan. Not only did LO's very first birthday cake look like this:
it also made the child vomit. (Actually, he had a little stomach bug, but who's going to quibble with details when the child took one bite of delicious cakey goodness and then decided to throw it back up again.)

Despite the fact that I am not now, nor have I ever been either Martha Stewart or Duff Goldman (or even Betty Crocker), I found myself once again dreaming of magical cake creations as we drew closer to LO's second birthday. Specifically, I wanted to make a dinosaur cake, since LO's birthday party invitation had a dinosaur on it. A quick search online led me to this work of art, which I fooled myself into thinking was within my cake decorating abilities:

Photo courtesy of dinopit.com

Either because I'm more self-aware of my crafting shortcomings than I think I am, or because I wanted multiple opportunities to eat cake, I decided to make a practice dinosaur cake this past weekend so that I would not feel stressed about the real cake for the party. And so this is the story of a delicious cake fail:
 So far, so good.

All right. So it looks more like a cake version of a Volkswagen Beetle. At this point I convinced myself that icing could cover a multitude of sins.

Like these.

I think this was the moment when I realized I was not going to be able to create anything remotely resembling the original cake. This was also when I realized I probably didn't have enough icing and I definitely didn't have enough blue food coloring. You'll notice the tail is a lighter blue than the rest of the cake.

Thankfully, adding candy stegosaurus ridges infinitely improved the look of the cake. Because it otherwise looked like an over-frosted pile of cakes.

If I knew how to leave well enough alone, I would have stopped here. Because I don't, I decided to add a smile:
Which is how we ended up with Dino McMurderousButDelicious, who is still quite bloodthirsty after the stroke left half his face paralyzed. (You'll also notice that the tail is only partially iced, because apparently two entire tubs of icing are not nearly enough.)

And of course, the only way to serve up a sinister blue dino cake is with a meat cleaver. Luckily, our guests who came to help us consume the cake and wish LO a happy early birthday didn't seem to mind.

Most importantly, this guy kept it down:
Next year, when I start talking about making a pirate ship cake with working cannons, please knock some sense into me.


  1. I kind of love it! I don't think it looks as bad as you think it does and a second pass will probably look even better. It looks like a real person made it with love, which is really the important part.

    BTW, I also have delusions of cake decorating ability, right up until I stand there with the icing in my hand and realize I have no idea what I'm doing and no real graphic arts talent.

    I'm glad LO liked it!

  2. This year we're offering a 'decorate your own cake' activity at Lil's birthday. I hypothesize that kids will love making their own frosting and candy messes and no one will have to endure mine.

  3. Didn't look bad at all.
    Well, except for the smile, but I'm sure you'll get that right second time round.

  4. Oh, that's funny, Emily. I stink at cake-making too. Hey, as long as the ingredients are good though...

  5. I stumbled across this post randomly and maybe it's because I'm a little sleep and sugar deprived right now, but I was literally laughing out loud at your descriptions. Thanks!

  6. The cleaver to the neck and the dripping smile are my favorite...but did it TASTE good?

  7. Ha ha, thank you. It is so nice to know there are others who also see a cake & think “that looks easy I can do that” Last year after attempting a pirate on a desert island with a treasure chest I said this year I would happily pay someone £60 to do it for me. I now find myself looking online at Dino cakes. Thank you for warning me in advance that this is a bad move. 

  8. This post made me laugh so hard I cried, each time I read it..

  9. I stumbled upon this post while looking for a Dino cake to make for my son's upcoming Birthday and it absolutely made me howl with laughter, I'm sat at my desk and worse with tears running down my face.
    I actually think you did a wonderful job and he looks great but your commentary had me in stiches, thanks so much :)

  10. This is brilliant, guess what I'm searching for a dino cake recipe/instructions!! I'm going to give this one a try I think Zac's birthday is first and then Nathan's a month later so I might even get two goes but I don't think I'll be able to stop laughing especially when it comes to adding the smile :) x x x

  11. This is amazing.