Friday, February 11, 2005

The Princess Cake

Leah became interested in princesses and all things girly at 2 1/2 years. When we were planning for her 3rd birthday party I was trying to find a great way to make her feel like a princess. We knew we wanted to have the party with my family in Ohio. My aunt Lisa and uncle JD put together a fabulous party. There was plenty of delicious food and wonderful company. JD is the king of BBQ. That man can cater. I can't forget aunt Lisa. She's a fantastic host picking out the best compliments for the BBQ meat. They make a dynamite duo of party planning.

My job was to plan some activities for the kids and make the cake. I spent hours looking for a cake design. Finally I found something close to what I wanted. I visited many candy shops to select the right decorations for the castle. Leah was more than willing to assist. I spent about 3 hours putting the cake together. Adding the candy was the fun part.

I didn't expect to be as busy as I was for the party. I had not planned enough time and needed to cut some corners. My plan was to use a cake mix and make buttercream icing. However I didn't have enough buttercream to cover the whole cake.

BIG mistake.

I had to use the canned icing and boy did I pay for that. The cake was too moist and fell apart too easily. I had to do extensive patch work on the cracks. And with not enough buttercream the mess became frustrating. Canned icing is a mistake. What was I thinking? It's too sloppy and runny for holding together a theme cake. By completion I was covered in icing and the cake was melting faster than I expected. OY!

Lessons learned with this cake:
don't use a cakemix
don't use canned icing
chill cake for a day
don't have a b-day party on a hot day
have lots of time not to be stressed
be sure to have a way to store such cake if not making it the day of party
drink heavily

I tried too hard to be the perfectionist Martha Stewart mom I tend to be. In my eyes the cake was a failure and I was not able to meet my standards. In the eyes of a 3 year old girl the cake was perfect. It was a pink and purple candy loaded castle cake. And that's all she wanted. I had to get over my feeling of failure which did not come until much later. Leah still talks about that cake.

No comments :