My friend Ron was turning 60 and having a big bash at a bar in downtown Toronto. I decided my gift to him would be the birthday cake. The cake had to feed about 75 people and it had to survive a five hour drive in the late summer heat.
I entrusted my friend Peter to secretly do research and nab photos of Ron to span his 60 years. Instead of a vertical cake, I went horizontal. I baked three 9″x13″ cakes and each one featured two decades of Ron’s life. The first was ages 10-20, then 30-40 and finally 50-60. Peter emailed the scanned imaged to me and I had them made into edible sheets which I put onto the cakes. I edged it with fondant sprockets to look like a film strip.
When we approached the Big Smoke (Toronto), my car’s thermometer read 36C. I was so happy that the three cakes were each in their own boxes, surrounded by freezer packs, towels and topped with a thermal blanket.
When we got to the bar, we removed the pre-cut edges of the cake boards and pushed the three cakes together to look like one extra long film strip. Ron was really surprised and he just loved it!
At the end of the evening, Peter and Ron had a few pieces of cake left over. Peter emailed me this photo which he entitled, “Remains of the cake.”
Liv’s favourite colour is purple, so her mum asked me to make a cake for Liv’s special birthday using that colour. A bouquet of purple posies seemed like the right way to celebrate.
These cupcakes were for Norbi the pilot’s second celebration of his 40th birthday. The first party was a surprise and I made a cake resembling a pilot’s shirt for that one. A week later, on his real birth date, his family celebrated with these cupcakes. Happy days!
Lovely Andi messaged me and asked if I could make a cake for a surprise 40th birthday for her husband Norbert, who is a pilot.
We had lots of backing and forthing. A plane? A globe? Finally we settled on a pilot’s shirt. This one, down to the last detail, included epaulettes, name tag, gold pins, ID tag and even a leaky pen in the left pocket.
I’m hoping that Norbi was on cloud nine celebrating his big four-oh!
My friend Terry is a blues musician who plays once a month at local hangout at an event called “Blues on Tuesday.” When he was turning 60, I was asked to make a cake for him. A guitar, his instrument of choice, seemed like an obvious choice for a cake.
Instead, I thought of all the numbers he cranked out at his monthly gig and my favourite is called “Pass the Peas.” And so the idea for the cake was born. Simplest way was to buy a can of peas, dump it out, scrub it really well, lie it down on the cake and make buttercream peas to seemingly pour out of the can.
Kind of a simple concept but it worked! He loved it!
All I can say to Terry is: Keep passing the peas!
I couldn’t find a recording of Terry performing Pass the Peas, but here’s a fun version of the J.B.’s doing it. Click here.
Carole and Ken both love carrot cake so their shared birthday cake was carrot with cream cheese frosting. A few buttercream roses are always nice too.
As it happens, February 3rd is National Carrot Cake Day. I guess it’s a consolation day after Feb. 2nd…whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow, we still have six more weeks of winter. At least there’s always carrot cake, right?
My friend asked me to make a seventh birthday cake for her son who loves creepy crawly things (as most seven-year-old boys do).
I thought a cake that looked like a cross-section of a piece of ground dug up, with grass (buttercream), dirt (chocolate cookie crumbs), rocks (candy rocks!) and bugs (gummy worms) would do the trick.
As creepy crawly as it was, it got gobbled up. I bet the worms were the first to go!