Funny how decades have more than one life. When I was in high school, we were all abuzz for the 60s and the “hippy” lifestyle. Or at least, the bowdlerized version we imagined it was. For my oldest, it’s the 80s. So when she was deciding what to do for her birthday this year, she asked if she could throw herself a “Fifteen Candles” party. Hard to refuse.
I am a long way from being a perfect parent–I’m impatient, I’m demanding, and I often say the wrong thing. I’ve hurt my child’s feelings plenty of times, and dropped the ball on promises. One thing I do that makes her immensely happy, though, is to always make her an on-demand birthday cake. One year, it was a massive crab–all out of frosting (note: do not do this–the red food coloring, despite all its re-formulation, tastes super icky in large concentrations). Another year, it was a beach-and-shark scene, complete with gummi sharks and a little graham cracker beach hut.
It took three cake pans–two square and one rectangle that I cut down–to build the tower, which was glued together with chocolate frosting (she decided it should be chocolate since the exterior frosting was cream cheese, and she didn’t want to overwhelm anyone with one flavor–she thinks about these things).
Keep in mind, I don’t work super-duper hard on this. I sure as crap don’t make my own cake. This bad boy is Pillsbury Funfetti, two boxes. My child wanted the “explosion” on the inside to mirror the 80s theme. Not a stinker.
Rather than make each tiny square a different color, we opted for a “completed cube.” Each side was frosted with a different color of frosting (all cream cheese). The tower-o-cake wasn’t quite as tall as I expected three cakes to be, so I got a little worried at this point.
The black between each tiny cube was piped in with chocolate frosting. I never use a piping bag–just a plastic sandwich bag with a corner cut off, so I don’t have to worry about washing it out. I really hate doing dishes.
Toward the end we realized there was no way to make the tiles on the sides proportionate with the ones on the top. Brilliant save: “It’s a Rubik’s Cube rising out of the space-y foil!” That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
You’ll be pleased to know the Vest of Contention made its debut today, as well.
Black linen front, silky cotton lining and back for that Annie Hall menswear feel. Not too shabby.
Happy 80s flashbacks to all of you!