Dominic Stroud rounds up a selection of some of the most impressive celebration cakes around…
Cake is an essential part of everybody’s birthday. Here are three reasons why:
1. It’s magical. You can make a wish when you blow out the candles on it, and again when you make the first cut. Happy birthday – you just got two wishes and you get to eat something ridiculously tasty.
2. It’s recognised the world over. ‘Happy birthday’ is a different phrase and song in each language, but the offering of cake remains the same. So much so, in fact, that mega site reddit has taken to titling user birthdays as a cake day.
3. Nobody judges you. Some people might think a present you’ve asked for is weird, but nobody bats an eyelid when you request a triple chocolate cake in the shape of a car. Why wouldn’t you want something that awesome?
And that, dear reader, is what makes up the basis of this here blog post.
The Playable Cake
Everyone will have always told you to not play with your food, and, actually, even that practice is frowned upon on your birthday. No, even though it is hilarious, you should not pretend to smoke a breadstick or shove a couple up your nose and make a walrus noise.
However, all that changes if you receive an Angry Birds cake. In this instance etiquette rules can be, quite literally, flung out of the window. Instead hurl fondant birds at fondant pigs and then feast upon their remains. The awesome dad who made this cake also later made an equally fun Jaws-inspired bake. Both are superb examples of interactivity. Confident bakers take heed, if you can pull something like off, enduring popularity will be your reward.
The Store-Bought Cake
Sometimes, people likes what they like, and you don’t need to go all fancy. In those instances supersizing your favourite snack is always a great shout. The massive McVitie’s Jaffa Cake, Big French Fancy and the Jammie Dodger Cake are timeless. Each is a giant version of its little brethren, thereby awakening, and then immediately satisfying, the glutton in all of us.
The Super Sugary Cake
A relatively new craze to the baking world is the invention of the piñata cake: a typically two-tier invention that is hollowed out in the middle of the bottom half of the cake and filled full of sweeties. Then, when you cut your first slice, all of the goodies inside spill out to be eagerly consumed.
Piñata cakes make for great celebration bakes as their theatricality is quite simple to reproduce. If you’re planning on making multiple layers anyway, then cutting out a neat hole, gorging on the removed rubble yourself, and then filling it full of something else fun – I suggest Smarties, M&Ms or Lindt balls – will make it seem like you’ve done loads more work than you actually have. Alternatively, you could again turn to the supermarket for help, and get this psychedelic sugar trip from Asda.
The Inevitable Latest Kids’ Craze Cake
I’ve heard it said that there’s some popular film called Freezer, Icy, something like that? A Disney thing. Ah, Frozen, yes. Anyway, the movie’s cyan and snowy white (note the ‘y’; let’s not cross the streams) colour scheme is something that’s easily replicated, so, with a little bit of blue colour dye added into a base sheet of fondant icing and then a white sheet artfully cut and arranged over it, you’ve got the makings of a homemade themed cake with an authentic wintery look. Buy some cake toppers and cut out patterns with a snowflake cookie cutter, and you’re pretty much done. This cake, from Jo Jo’s Cakes, pretty much nails it I think.
Simple often works best with these kinds of cake, so whatever kids craze comes next, it’s best to look at it from a theming angle rather than thinking “what stuff can I put on this?”
The Luxury Adult Cake
Unless you’re a master baker, you might find you need to turn to outside help for your grand vision. The likes of Choccywoccydoodah would be happy to oblige. Their designer cakes, although very pricey, would more than fit the bill. My favourite is the rosebuds and roses cake, as it looks like it was sculpted rather than merely baked and built.
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