I don’t come from a super traditional family, but there are some things that are written on my heart like stone. And, when it comes to birthday cake rules, as far as I’m concerned, there are a few hard and fast rules:
- You must never buy a birthday cake. Birthday cakes must be homemade (Duncan Hines is fine) and hand decorated.
- Decorating kits and custom pans are cheating.
- It’s not really about the final product being perfect, as much as it is about the time, creativity, and love put into the decorating.
- Decorating supplies are not bought, so much as they are rummaged around for in pantries and forgotten cabinets. There isn’t a lot you can’t do without toothpicks and food coloring. And Nerds.
- Bonus points for repurposing unexpected items. Minus points for anything bought in the cake decorating section of the store.
- If the kitchen counter isn’t a formidable mess when you’re finished, you’re not finished. Get back to work.
- First birthdays need to be celebrated with a clown cake and must have a cupcake for its nose. The entire cake must then be presented to the baby for demolishing.
Clown cakes are tricky. As far as clowns go, there is a very fine line between cute and creepy. I immersed myself in icing, licorice ropes, strawberry whoppers, and enough food coloring to dye 6 dozen eggs. I found a medicine syringe that worked out perfectly in place of a piping bag, and most importantly, my little brother was there to convince me to stop while I was ahead and not to use the can of pink icing I found at the last minute.
Thanks to my Dad for teaching me ALL of the important things in life.