How to impress with a children's birthday cake

Last updated: 07/07/2015 17:01 by SheenaLambert to SheenaLambert's Blog
Filed under: MummyBloggers
Is it just me or is it becoming increasingly difficult to impress when it comes to kids’ birthday cakes?
 
I remember being in total awe of my mother when she produced a simple, round, chocolate ‘clock’ cake for me. The height of sophistication back in the late seventies, the cake had icing hands pointing to numbers iced onto chocolate buttons - with the added wow factor of them pointing to my actual birthday number.  Amazing.
 
One of my own earliest efforts was a Thomas the Tank Engine cake. Thankfully, my son was too young to notice that it looked nothing like Thomas the Tank Engine. Most people thought it was a blue boot, and I gave up explaining after awhile. I think it tasted ok…
 
There were some increasingly ambitious attempts at TV character-themed icing before I discovered my saving grace, and a little secret that I am now going to share with all you mums out there: Chocolate Biscuit Cake.
 
Forget spending the night before the big day up to your neck in icing sugar and with your fingers dyed every shade available of food colouring. All you need is melted chocolate, butter, syrup and a packet of digestives. Chocolate biscuit cake mix can be fashioned into any number and once you decorate with a few candles, not only will your birthday ‘cake’ look impressive, it will be edible. Everyone loves to eat chocolate biscuit cake. Granted I got some sniggering and ‘turd’ comments when I made a number ‘1’ for a tenth birthday, but hey, everyone’s a critic.
 
After a couple of birthdays of biscuit cake shaped numbers, I got ambitious and made a volcano cake out of the same mix. How difficult was it to mould biscuit cake mix into the shape of a mountain and pour red icing (lava) over the top? Not very. And a lot simpler than baking a cake and trying to ice the thing. And I’m pretty sure my sons were as impressed with the volcano as I was all those years ago with my mother’s clock cake.
 
So go on. Next time you are faced with the dreaded task of producing a birthday cake, give it a go. The worst that can happen is that it will look like a poo - and if anything is guaranteed to win you the admiration of a group of young boys, that is.
 
Sheena Lambert is the mum of two boys from Dublin. Her second novel The Lake is now available from HarperCollins Killer Reads.
 
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