Thursday, September 23, 2010

Amazing birthday cakes ANYONE can make

We've had some questions from our dear readers about creative birthday cakes. Here are two darling, yet simple ideas from my husband--our resident cake boss.

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake
This is simply a line of cupcakes (whatever flavor you want) in the shape of a caterpillar, frosted with dyed buttercream using a flat pastry tip. (Don't have a pastry bag? Use a ziploc and snip a hole in the corner.)

{Now listen here! This is the best buttercream ratio (in my humble opinion): 1 stick of butter to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar to 1 T milk (plus vanilla to taste). It never fails! Memorize that ratio!}

For the face, Taylor used starbursts (flattened with a rolling pin), tootsie rolls, and Mike-n-Ikes. The feet are tootsie rolls as well.

This is probably the fastest, simplest cake Taylor has ever done, and one of the most favorite for sure.

2. Train Cake

I bought a Nordic Ware train cake pan for $30 three years ago, and it has been more than worth the investment. (Think of how much a bakery would charge for a cake like this!)

The cake pan comes with filling instructions. You actually only use about half a recipe of batter (a white or vanilla cake is best), but you can use the rest to make cupcakes, etc. Also, we always place the train cars on a sheet cake, so there is enough cake to go around.

You can lay it out like this:

or this:

The most fun part is how creative you can get with the decor. We've done dyed coconut for grass, licorice for railroad tracks, rock candy, and M&Ms and peppermints for wheels and decor (dark brown M&Ms are great for the coal car!) It can all be applied to the cake with icing. Obviously the possibilities are endless--get creative, have fun! The one must, I think, is the rock candy for the steam/smoke. So darling!

Pretty sure choosing which train car you want to eat is the most fun ever.

Let me know if you have any questions!

p.s. If you're interested in the train cake pan, see here:


Christina said...

Love the cakes! Wish you were closer so I could snag a cupcake or two!

Brenna said...

Fantastic! THanks so much for posting the cakes! Now I can't wait for some birthdays to roll around!

Kate said...

great (easy) ideas anne! I actually think I'll make the train cake for Charlie's upcoming birthday. he loves trains.

Girls Birthday parties said...

I love the Hungry Caterpillar Cake. That was my favourite book when growing up. I think I will have to make on e for my Daughter's next birthday.