Un-birthday Cake

A very merry Un-Birthday to you!

A few weeks ago I was asked by a dear friend to make her Husband’s birthday cake. I was estatic! Until she told me she didn’t like fondant. For while I am a great baker, and fondant/gum paste decorator, I am not the best person to frost anything beyond a crumb crust. I decided I would make a few trial cakes beforehand – always to my family’s delight – with most of the cakes coming out frosted and pretty.

Unfortunately on the day of the party, we had more than a few hiccups, starting with frosting that did not want to cooporate, a fruit and whipped cream center, a husband that did not pay attention when grabbing for the cake to transport and took out one entire side of frosting. Then to top it off, the afternoon was unseasonably warm and the buttercream did not hold up as well as I would have liked on the drive out. Quite a bit of this is the overstated ramblings of a control freak and a perfectionist but it did seem like a disaster at the time. Mind you my friend was happy with the results, her husband even more so, and the kids were excited to have treats to eat later, and although I have taken pictures of every cake I’ve made so far, I was so frazzled that once we got it constructed all I wanted to do was run away and I forgot to take a few pics for my “brag” book.

Today was the first day I’ve had in a while to bake for myself, I decided I would make some cookies and a cake for the fam. There is an Italian market and bakery in Emeryville, CA that sells my favorite cake. They are usually 6 inch, double layer cakes, with crazy colors for frosting, like lime green with pink or electric blue and black. And of coursse they are the bests tasting cakes, chocolate, dark chocolate fudge, classic yellow. I am always inspired when I walk out of the store, cake box in one hand, burlap grocery bag in the other, filled with tasty items to make for dinner that would live up to the cake in the box. The baker for some reason calls all of them Un-birthday cakes, I think for the crazy “mad hatter” colors, but I really don’t know. Since I had the choice today I decided that would be what I tried to make.

I started with a basic yellow cake – I tried to add a few marbled blue swirls to it before it baked, while it looked really cool when I was putting them in the oven, the color stayed at the top of the cake and I ended cutting most of it out when trimming.


I let the family pick out the colors – blue and purple – not as crazy as the bakery but it would do 🙂


Frosted the center


Then the outside- shocking I know 🙂 – even without my small offset spatula I think I got the sides pretty smooth


And to finish it all off, a mixture of puple/blue stars for the top and bottom


All in all, I’m still in need of work with the frosting part, maybe a crumb crust then frosting over the top, but for today I’ll say it was a success


Happy Saturday and a very merry un-birtday to everyone!



    • I use Wilton Gel colors, they don’t make the frosting runny or the fondant sticky. Colors: violet and sky blue, you can find them at Michael’s craft store if you have one close to you or online at wilton.com or amazon.com


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