And so it begins. Fully exhausted from several months of holiday celebrations– from Halloween to Thanksgiving on the road, to Christmas and New Year’s hosting our family from out of town – I wake with the realization that it is the twins’ 6th birthday. I need a cake, and I need it now.
It doesn’t matter that I am exhausted with baking for the holiday season, and I cringe at the thought of more wrapping paper in the house, but I have to put on my game face and get in the kitchen to make a celebratory cake.
But it won’t end here. This won’t be the last cake of the season. Today, we celebrate the twins’ birthday with family. Given that the girls’ birthday is between Christmas and New Year’s, most of their friends are out of town during the holidays. Which means, we’ll need to plan a separate celebration with a few of their friends on another date. Of course this requires another cake.
Wait, I’m not done yet. In 10 days I’ll be gearing up for baking yet another birthday cake, as Nicole will be turning 8. And, yes, that will come with a family celebration cake along with a separate cake to enjoy with friends.
I guess it is time to haul out the cake flour, stand mixer, creativity, and patience.
You might be saying, “Just buy a cake and don’t worry about it.” What you don’t realize is that rarely is this an option in our house. Maybe it is my mom’s fault for setting the precedent. Through the years she has made my birthday cake from scratch, created three-dimensional castles and fire trucks for my cousins, and has even sent me a birthday cake through the mail.
I don’t think I have known my mother to buy a birthday cake. So, to me, buying a cake is truly the last resort. (although, I have resorted to that in the past). Mom’s homemade birthday cakes have delighted us for years, and we still talk about them. With this precedent, how could I do anything otherwise.
For the kids, I try to decorate the cake in something they like. There have been fish, spiders, a squid, butterfly, a mermaid, and just regular round cakes decorated in flowers. Years down the road, I hope my children will remember the love I put into their cakes, just as I do with the ones my mother made for us.
Right now, I’m in the kitchen whipping up a chocolate cake for tomorrow’s birthday. I am just beginning this cake-baking season, but know that after the middle of January, I can take a cake respite until I need to gear up my cake-baking skills again in May, when both Grayson and I will be celebrating birthdays just days apart. Luckily Greg is in charge of baking my cake.
Here is a collection of cakes I have created for the family through the years – along with a couple of Greg’s who pitched in when I had keys in hand ready to drive to the store and pick up a cake.