I have a confession to make: I can’t bake.
Ella’s birthday party is this weekend, and every year a friend of ours (a dad! he’s a man!!) bakes her birthday cake because I fail spectacularly. Oh, sure, I can do a simple smiley face cake like the one I did for Fi’s birthday this year:
It’s gluten free, and I’m proud of how bright the yellow is – but that’s about the extent of my baking skills (as you can see, Betty, the smile is crooked because I was nervous!).
But Ella’s cakes are more complicated. Last year she wanted an elephant cake, for Pete’s sake! Betty, what was I to do? I knew I couldn’t make an elephant so our friend (the dad) baked it:
The year before that she wanted a doll cake, and our dad friend made that one, too:
He is a fantastic baker, even though he is a man and you probably think the whole world has gone to shit when a mom can’t bake and has to ask a friend’s dad who is a man to bake for her.
But this year, Betty, he’s out of town so he can’t bake Ella’s cake. What am I going to do??
She wants a volcano cake. With lava coming out of it. I thought about trying to make one myself (how hard could it be??) but that’s when my husband reminded me what happened when I made Granda’s cake for his 84th birthday, which turned out to be his 83rd birthday:
Or last year when I tried to make the Frankenmonster cake like this for Fi’s birthday:
It didn’t look difficult – just a few layers of cake with some green and purple frosting dumped on it. What could go wrong? I gave it a try.
Well for starters I didn’t plan for leaning, Betty. The recipe didn’t say anything helpful like Beware of the leaning Tower of Pizza effect. I had so many layers of cake that they – well, they leaned and then they began to slide. Chunks began to fall off it like ice floe off a glacier. So my husband – who had once seen an episode of Cake Boss – tried to fix it.
Note: You may find the following video disturbing, Betty. You can hear our daughter, Ella, (poor child!) screaming in the background, which makes me wonder if my baking exploits have traumatized her.
After that I had to send my husband to the supermarket to get a last-minute cake – and he made me promise to never again try to bake a themed birthday cake.
So this year, I ordered Ella’s volcano cake from a real bakery, in advance. And I’m not going to feel guilty about not being able to bake it for her myself, Betty. I hope you understand. It’s just…not the 1950′s anymore. And even if it was, I’m pretty sure I would still not be a very good baker.