Monday, September 19, 2011

Let’s start with cake.

In case you’re new, or don’t remember everything you read on every blog, Sweet Daughter is rather fond of cats. She requested a “Hello Kitty” cake for her sixth birthday. So we poked around the interwebz and came up with our version of the Hello Kitty Cake. I am no artiste when it comes to cake decorating. I've always preferred a cake taste good over looking good, so a professional-looking cake has never been a priority. Here's what we did ...

Start with a two-layer cake mix/recipe. Bake one 9” circle and one 9” square.  Attempt to have the cakes come out of the oven at approximately the same height. If you are actually successful, go out and buy yourself a lottery ticket because your luck is just that good.

If you’re really “detail oriented”, cut a circle and square out of paper the same size as your cakes in order to make a pattern so you don’t mess up when it comes time to cut the actual the cake. Go ahead and cut your cake pieces and realize that they bear only a faint resemblance to the paper pieces.

Go ahead and dry fit the pieces together and notice that the parts from the center of the cake are MUCH higher than the parts from the edge. Take a serrated knife, and carefully saw off some of the high spots while shrugging your shoulders and assuring yourself that the frosting will hide a multitude of sins.

Slap some icing on the pieces of cake like mortar on bricks and stick them together. Recall something about a “crumb coat” from reading all those fancy cake-decorating sites, and carefully ice the sides of the cake, then the top. Calculate how much icing you have left and start filling in the low spots. Congratulate yourself when you realize you’re made just the right amount to frost the whole cake and have it look somewhat level even if it does look more like a mummy than a kitty.

Try to make a bow out of “Fruit by the Foot” and silently curse whoever thought it would be a good idea to run serpentine lines down the length of the thing, causing it to fall to pieces. End up shoving a couple of rows together to make a wider piece on top of a piece of waxed paper. Cut out a bow shape. Realize you can’t peel the waxed paper off because everything is too sticky and floppy. Stick the whole thing in the freezer and see if that helps. (It does.) Quickly peel the waxed paper off the rapidly thawing bow and slap it on the cake, thanking the stars above that your daughter thinks you just worked magic instead of fussing about a sub-par bow.

Add jelly-beans for the eyes and nose, black gel icing for the whiskers, and do not obsess about things you'd do differently. Instead, bask in the glow when the birthday girl tells you that you “rock” and gives you a hug of epic proportion, and vow to remember this in 10 years when you can do nothing right.


  1. That is outstanding! You've got a lot more skill and patience than I do.

  2. Now *THAT* is serious WIN right there...

  3. You are one smart cookie.

    My wife makes cakes. I suggested using paper sheets the same size as pans to her. That got me pretty much completely involved...

  4. Jay - this was one "Hello Kitty" she didn't mind seeing get run through with a knife. *grin*

  5. bluesun: Not cream cheese (although that makes a metric crap-tonne of icing). SD prefers simple buttercream to all others. Just powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.

  6. Years from now, after the trauma of the teen age years, she is going to remember this cake and award you the ultimate honor, "Best Mom Ever".

    Good work.