Remember my great revelation, when it came to children’s birthday cakes? A two-fold realization: that children have terrible taste (thanks Nigella); and, to just keep it simple.
What I’m saying is: you need to forget all your Pinterest-induced-grand-plans.
That said, if you do have particularly grand plans for your cake, you could always make the sensible decision and find an extremely talented artistic friend who can produce this kind of triumph on your behalf:
5 years ago and pre iPhone photography what kind of world did I live in (apart from a world with those cheeks and an excellent line in hipster shirts) (cake by my super-talented friend Meera at Mmm Bake)
However: if you are forgoing the dream-cake made by professionals, then what you should be aiming for is a mum-cake (of the smug and lazy variety).
Smug because yes! You bake your own birthday cakes! And lazy, well lazy because they are just plain vanilla or chocolate sheet cakes – maybe shaped into the appropriate number if you’re feeling fancy. They are plain sheet cakes, ideally covered with a suitably gaudy coloured icing, and topped with some themed props.
Not Pinterest-worthy but made with love – and loved by the recipient(s). The Mum cake dream! Will post the recipe for my go-to cake soon – but am otherwise occupied, sat on the floor painting my nails with the ultimate shade of nude (Essie Ballet Slippers) and pressing refresh on live flight stats to see whether mr tMatM is going to make it home tonight after his work jaunt to Chicago. I paced myself to this imagined end-point of solo parenting and the prospect of another 12 hours is, well, not quite what I had in mind.
Looking back: the Mum-cake realisation