birthday cake

I think that probably the foundation of cake baking for most bakers starts with the making of birthday cakes — it certainly is mine. The cost of home baked cakes versus store-bought or bakery cakes was probably the impetus for whatever cake I was making early on. I’m not so sure it really ever crossed my mind to go and buy a cake for a birthday (maybe bcz I didn’t have the money to consider it, I don’t know).

So I started regularly making cakes after I was married. However, I do recall a birthday cake I made for my mother when I was in grade-school. I had seen her bake a beautiful cake in a ‘tube pan’ and so I was set to do that for her for her birthday. So I got a mix from the cupboard and saw that we had blue food-colouring. Perfect! I prepared the batter, added copious amounts of the colouring, baked the cake in that beautiful tube pan. I set the timer and when the buzzer went off, I took the cake out of the oven and placed it on a bottle. You know, just like how I’d seen my mother do it. Problem was, it was not an angel-food cake. All I remember about that experience was that I mounded the cake on a plate and frosted the mound. She said she liked it. Looking back, I’m sure glad she she said that (even if she really and truly didn’t like it).

I don’t know if I’d be eagerly baking cakes today had she not been encouraging to me way back then. But I sure had no idea what was in store for me in those days!

This cake is one I’m pretty amazed to have made! No, not the cake itself or that it was a birthday cake… but that it was a 40th Birthday cake for my firstborn son–it’s amazing to me that I’ve made him 40 cakes–cakes that ranged from chocolate, to rainbows, to strawberry-shortcake, to German Chocolate cake… and there was the CareBears cake, the “8 cake” (that I ended up repeating for each of our eleven children on their 8th birthdays), many more German Chocolate cakes and this year’s: a coconut cake.

birthday cake
Thomas Keller’s Coconut Cake
yes, all the candles were eventually lit and blown out! 🙂

I’m so glad to be able to make all these birthday cakes… to mark or commermorate all these tremendous milestones. All these birthdays fill my journals!