Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Birthday Week

August means birthday season at our house. My daughter wanted a Barbie cake -- the real deal with a doll she could pull out at the end. My husband said it was feminism hell. A tank-top clad Barbie leaping out of a cake. Perfect. What I didn't realize is that most cakes apparently assume you're using a Barbie topper. The cake dissection photo I'm including (be forewarned, it ain't pretty) shows my 3-tiered attempt to make this thing tall enough to accommodate Barbie legs. They are LONG.

The recipe called for the bottom two layers (seen here in chocolate). Ok. They reached maybe up to Barbie's kneecaps. At this point, my mom said, "I remember making about 5 little cakes to make it come out." Me thinking, "Hm."

The second layer, in yellow, was salvaged from part of her brother's cake. He was going to have 2 turtles. Now there is only one. Cake now reaches Barbie's thighs. Hm indeed.

The final layer is the fattest muffin I could find at Target. I essentially glued it together with frosting after carving a hole and jamming Barbie into it. It was touch-and-go for a time, but came out ok. It meant that I had to frost the whole thing w/my fingers be/c it's the only way I could get a consistent look AND keep the cupcake pieces together. Happy for you readers, you probably didn't eat it. I kind of like the streamlined (as in 1930's Art Deco) design of the dress. And the slugs I put on for icing to decorate it. They DO look like slugs, don't they? Or Medieval holy spirit flames. I guess my mom used to put little dots all over. That would have been pretty. Anyway, it was truly fun to make and the birthday girl loved it.

The turtle cake was a simple operation. Bake cake in bowl. Frost. Insert Snickers bar legs/head. Decorate "shell" as you wish. I made cupcakes to supplement since the other cake went into Barbie's dress. Result: a happy birthday boy.


  1. Wow! I'm thoroughly impressed! Tres chic!! And the turtle is cute, too! ;)

  2. Amazing what frosting will hide, eh?

  3. Okay, you are truly amazing. I love the Barbie cake! Too friggin adorable, and so sweet that you actually got a whole Barbie into it! :)

    I agree, the purple streaks look kind of like slugs - or leeches. There's some sort of brilliant feminist critique in there, but I'm too tired to go there.

    All hail super-mom Nicole! :)

  4. Do you foresee cake decorating for little Simon in your future? Tricked out race cars or Incredible Hulk cakes? Better yet--a big slab of Sam's Club cupcakes! My kids covet those plastic-topped trays every time we shop there. For my part, long live the slugs/leeches! I'm going to make my kids cakes as long as they'll have me.

  5. I've recently taken up baking, so yes, I think some cakes will appear for Simon's future birthdays. I have my mother's recipe box, which has these great kids cake ideas from the 80s. They're a hoot, and I'll probably tackle some of the recipes. :)

    I love your Barbie - and your baking - and your blogging. What a treat to see into this part of your life. I'm so glad you share! :)