Last Minute Birthday Party
My two children celebrated their birthdays over the weekend. It was a last minute party with the invites distributed a week before. We decided to hold a combined party since my son's birthday is in July when his friends are out of town for the summer. Surprisingly, my kids didn't mind the idea at all.
We booked a party room at a local "bounce house" where the kids can jump and play on inflatable slides. Since the venue supplied the pizza, drinks, and ice cream, we only had to order the cakes.
"I don't want Hello Kitty!"
After school, our search for the perfect birthday cake began with a trip to the local grocery store. Flipping through the books, I quickly found a Hello Kitty cake and pointed it out to my daughter. She immediately protested, "I don't want Hello Kitty!" She also didn't like Barbie, Disney, or any other cake there. My son took a peek at the book and said all the themes were to "babyish" for him. He wanted a Tardis, the time-machine-police-box, from the BBC TV show, Dr. Who.
The cast of the show, Dr. Who, with the Tardis in the background
The original Dr. Who show was produced way back in 1963 and ran an amazing 26 years until 1989. The show was relaunched in 2005 and is still in production today. My son was introduced to Dr. Who this year and it has become his favorite show. I myself find the show incredibly silly.
I considered ordering custom cakes from a local bakery, but the two cakes together would cost almost $100!
I thought about it for another day and decided to try creating the cakes myself. I have never seriously decorated a cake before, but I have all the tools that I had purchased over the years. If I fail miserably, my kids will forgive me eventually. :)
Giant Cupcake Cake
I rummaged through my pantry and found a giant cupcake cake mold that I had never used before.
My daughter saw the mold and immediately grew excited about the prospect of making her own cake. To save time (and my sanity), I used a box cake mix and pre-made cake frosting. I followed the directions on the box but instead of using a mixer, I just used my whisk and manually stirred the batter. It took about 15 minutes to prepare and 1/2 hour in the oven.
The cake just fell out of the mold since I sprayed it with non-stick. I should have asked my husband to catch the cakes in oven mitts. When the cake fell out of the pans, they were so soft that became dented after hitting the racks.
I cut the tops off the cake so that both halves fit square.
Once cooled, I wrapped each half in Saran wrap and placed them into the freezer to harden.
After 20 minutes, I took the cake out of the freezer, and "glued" the halves together with a bit of white icing. Then I started applying the hot pink frosting. My daughter was watching me the whole time but did not want to actually participate.
For the bottom half, I used "Wilton's Edible Sugar Sheets" that come in all sorts of colors and designs.
One side of the decorating paper is lined with plastic. Here I used a ruler and an ink pen to draw out the shape I need for the bottom of the cake.
I applied white icing at the bottom and stuck the Edible Decorating Paper on the icing. My daughter called it "band-aid decorating".
I filled a squeezable cake decorating tool with white icing to write a message on the cake.
Dr. Who Tardis Cake
For my son's cake, I decided not to risk baking and decorating the cake since that would take quite a bit of skill. However, I decided to make the Tardis decoration that would be placed on top of the cake. In my opinion, the best store-bought cake is found at Sam's Club. It's also the cheapest at $20 for a large cake that can feed an army.
I chose the "Transformer" themed cake and asked the bakers to leave out the all the decorations. We just wanted the icing design.
I bought marshmallows, dark blue glitter icing, and cake pop sticks
I also bought an inexpensive LED flashlight that had a "blink" function.
I cut the sticks in half and skewered the marshmallows.
I took apart the flashlight by loosening the tiny screws and wrapped the longer top portion with foil.
The bulb portion of the flashlight.
I also wrapped this in foil, but just to keep it clean and safe while transporting to the party. The light unit inside the plastic tube actually falls out readily, so you need to be careful not to drop and break it.
I glued the marshmallow forms together with the flashlight tube with some white frosting. I wrapped with Saran wrap and placed in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
It's easier to spread the frosting when the marshmallow is solid.
My surgeon husband volunteered to decorate the Tardis. We used leftover Edible Sheets to make the windows. I saw that he was struggling with placing the pieces, so I pulled out a plastic tweezer from my cupboard.
The Final Result
Once we removed the plastic flashlight tube, we placed the flashlight unit into the aluminum lined space.
The bounce house did not have a refrigerator so the blue color from the icing was starting to run into the white windows of the Tardis by the time we cut the cake. The giant cupcake was slightly lopsided and my attempt at writing was quite messy but legible.
Despite these issues, the kids loved the look and taste of the cakes from the smiles on their faces. Happy Birthday, my lovely children!