Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Cakes (Nascar and Jeep)

I was recently ogling over an adorable theme birthday party with everything very crafty and coordinating. I have longed to do that for my children but alas, that has only happened maybe once over the years. But in that post she reminded me that you don't have to have garland punched out of scrapbook paper sewn together. That was her "thing" but she didn't make all of the food or a special cake. So you take what you can do or what is important to you and make your child feel special and they will have memories because of that.

So it seems the highlight of our birthday parties are the cakes the children pick out for me to make. Pete and Re-Pete very often share one which is helpful and they agreed on what they wanted awhile ago -- a Nascar racetrack. Okay, no problem there since I've made race tracks before. Green frosting -- what's new? -- and a bit of dirt. They each have a different flavor they prefer but have been taking turns at which one to choose. Let me tell you, these two are the best at sharing (unfortunately only with each other). This year it was Re-Pete's choice of Pumpkin cake.

Yes, I know their real names appear here but need to for the full effect.
This didn't turn out as I had envisioned but that's what happens when you have a baby and life is not quite back to normal. I had major problems with my cream cheese frosting. I'm not really sure what happened since I've made it so many times before with never an issue. So, I wasn't able to pipe it on as it was too runny and had some lumps and lumps to NOT work with a grass tip.

This was one 11 X 15 cake trimmed to an oval and I plopped on the green frosting and then used some of the yellow frosting I had with Tank's cake and made it green to pipe on the grass. If I did this one again I would use chocolate frosting for the track rather than the crumbs. I didn't think chocolate frosting would taste as good as cream cheese frosting which is why I didn't. But that would have looked better and not been as messy. I piped on a ring of chocolate (very sloppy) to cover up some of the crumb edge.  My favorite part of this cake was the Nascar signs I made for their names. The checkered flag with number 10 was Re-Pete's idea.

It took Tank a bit longer to decide as he seems to take after me in his indecisiveness. For the longest time he would look longingly at a picture of a barn yard cake but then when it comes time to really choose he changes his mind. After seeing a picture of Jeep cakes I did years ago he decided he wanted that cake done in his favorite color -- yellow (Oh how I miss when he used to say "lello").

But again, being in a hurry with this I had a few mishaps. The first was that I forgot to put baking powder in the batter and ended up with a flat and rubbery cake which was very interesting. The second cake, also an 11X15, turned out beautifully and I cut off a portion to put on the top but forgot to put frosting between the layers (which I didn't notice until cutting into it). Then I ended up running out of chocolate so the top was just a thin layer of frosting rather than piping and the back and part of the side had more yellow. I was beginning to feel as if this was the first time I was decorating a cake! 

I usually make all of my own frosting but the chocolate was from a can. And in piping I used a small freezer bag (which I typically do) and it burst open on me spilling onto the counter. Oh well, Tank didn't mind all of this. He wanted to help and so he took a turn doing some of the piping too. He would have done more if I was doing it at a reasonable time of day. :) 

The chocolate donuts for the wheels were hard to find as I could not remember where I got them last time. I thought from the bakery but apparently not seeing as I went to three stores with no success. My Dad found the Entemann's boxed donuts for me and saved the day! My favorite part of this cake is the small picture of Tank in the window which is an idea I took from a cake my sister made years ago.

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