Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Birthday Cake

Today is my 2nd Blogoversary and I thought a cake was in order. This is no ordinary cake though. This cake was made in memory of my son Sam's 3rd birthday in addition to Tin Roof Ice Cream I made in August.

I chose a stunning checkerboard cake from Sky High Cakes. You need a special cake pan to make this cake. I got mine off of Craigslist and it's made by Pampered Chef, but you can get your from Amazon. Anyway, the set includes 3 9-inch nonstick pans and a plastic insert that looks like a bulls eye. This allows you to color the different layers so that when you stack and cut into the cake it looks like a checkerboard pattern.

I decorated the pure white cake by adding another layer of thickened chocolate ganache. I also made a couple butterflies and a dragonfly to place on the cake. Dragonflies and butterflies have always reminded me of my boys because when we went to the cemetery to pick the perfect spot to lay him to rest, there were TONS of dragonflies and butterflies fluttering around. Now when I think of one, I think of the other. You can learn how to make them by picking up a copy of Hello Cupcake!

I only had one issue with this cake and it was completely my fault- I forgot to grease the pans! And I didn't realize it until after I filled them- doh! Believe me, many prayers were said throughout the process and thankfully they came out just fine. This cake has to be my all time favorite as far as looks go. I just thought it was so pretty and simple, yet the interior was a whole other dramatic surprise. It was a lot of work, but my son is so worth it. I hope I made him proud.

Black & White Checkerboard Cake

from Sky High

Makes 1 8 or 9-inch 3 layer cake

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 oz. white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • Semisweet Ganache (recipe follows)
  • White Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 3 checkerboard cake pans, 8 or 9 inches in diameter. Line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and 1 cup of the buttermilk and beat just until combined and evenly moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only until incorporated after each addition; do not overmix.

To make the dark chocolate batter, whisk 1 cup of the vanilla batter into the melted unsweetened chocolate, then gently whisk in another 3 cups batter.

For the white batter, whisk 1 cup of the vanilla batter into the melted white chocolate and whisk back into the remaining vanilla batter in the bowl as gently as possible. Using the dividers provided in the set and 2 14-inch pastry bags fitted with plain 3/8-inch tips (I used Ziploc bags for this), fill the pans about half full. The cakes will rise to the top when done. You'll need 2 layers with dark chocolate rings each and 1 layer with 2 vanilla rings.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks. Peel off the paper and let cool completely.

Semisweet Ganache

Makes 1 cup

  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

White Chocolate Buttercream

Makes about 5 cups

  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 oz. good quality white chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 sticks (12 oz.) unsalted butter, room temp.

Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and set the mixer up for use. Melt the white chocolate about halfway in a double boiler over simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth, and set aside to cool.

Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan. Set over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage; 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Immediately start beating the egg whites on medium-low speed. Slowly add the syrup in a thin stream, taking care not to hit the beaters. Continue to whip until the mixture is body temperature and a stiff meringue has formed.

Reduce the speed to low and add the butter 2-3 tablespoons at a time. When all of the butter is incorporated, beat on medium speed until the frosting appears to curdle. Continue to whip, and it will suddenly come together. At this point, add the melted white chocolate and mix well.

To Assemble the Cake:

Place one of the layers with 2 chocolate rings on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spoon half of the semisweet ganache onto the cake and spread it evenly over the layer, leaving a generous 1/4-inch margin around the edges. Place the only layer with 2 vanilla rings onto the cake (this is the middle layer). Spread the remaining ganache over this layer, again leaving a 1/4-inch margin. Top with the final cake layer, aligning the sides carefully so that the pattern will be successful. To make frosting easier, you may want to refrigerate the cake briefly to allow the ganache to set up first.

Frost the sides and top with the white chocolate buttercream, carefully smoothing out the frosting.

NOTE: I added another layer of thickened ganache to the top of the cake. This is not part of the recipe.


And because gifts are nice to receive on birthdays, I'm going to be giving away 2 of the items below to get your holiday baking off to a good start.

2 winners will receive a Holiday Baking Pack from McCormick. The pack includes a full size bottle of vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and 2 smaller containers of ground nutmeg and ginger, as well as a recipe booklet. And because they seem to be difficult to find on some areas I'm also including a bag of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips.

You have until Tuesday, November 10th to leave me a comment on this post telling me about your most memorable birthday. I want details people! Tell me about the cake, the atmosphere, how old you were, what made it so special.

One comment per person please. Giveaway open to the USA and Canada. Extraneous comments will be deleted. Winners will be chosen by Random Number Generator and anncounced next Wednesday. Good luck.


Rylan said...

CONGRATS! Love the cake--so pretty and sounds delish as well.

Elissa said...

What a gorgeous, gorgeous cake! I especially like those butterflies :)

My most memorable birthday had to be my sweet 16. I didn't throw an extravagant party with hundreds of people and formal dresses... I just invited my 2 best friends over and we made four kinds of pasta from scratch. They'd never even seen a pasta machine before and it was so much fun. To this day, my friend A- tells me it was the best meal he's had in his whole life!

edmontonjb said...

My most memorable birthday was my 25th. It was just me, my husband and my two sons but what made it so memorable was that I was sick so my husband and oldest son baked me a cake from scratch. It turned out great and my son was so proud to have helped with the cake.

Memória said...

First of all, this cake is AMAZING! It is beautiful. Happy bday to your blog :)

I have never had a memorable birthday, well, not in the positive sense. My birthdays are usually depressing, so I don't think I should go into details. Even as a child, they were pretty unfortunate. I don't know why... Now, I don't celebrate my birthday, and I don't tell many people when the day is. My mother, on the other hand, celebrates the whole month of June for her birthday haha.


What an absolutely beautiful cake!! Elegant on the outside and complicated on the inside...a beautiful analogy to life;I have no doubt Sam is very proud of his mommy.

My most memorable birthday was my 10th. My birthday is in early May which is MUD season here in Alaska. Our homestead was (literally) ankle deep in mud, but all of my Girl Scout troop came over for an outdoor hotdog roast. I went from first through 12th grade with all of those girls.We had a blast playing in the mud all day. Mom caught it all on the old Super 8 movie camera.A very special day.

Denise said...

Congrats on your anniversary. That cake is stunning to look at and too intimidating for me to even think of making. My most memeorable birthday was a pretty recent one, 8 years ago I got married and my birthday was the day we came back from our honeymoon and my husband got me a cake that said Happy Birthday Mr. O'Connor. It was so sweet and the first time I actually saw my new name in writing...Corny, right...oh well.

Amy said...

I stop by your blog often to drool over the delicious treats your making. I am in fact making the chocolate covered peanut butter crackers this afternoon for my daughter to pass out tomorrow for her Bday treat.


Debbie said...

Monica, that is one gorgeous cake. So perfect and beautiful! My most memorable birthday would be my 40th. I was just recently divorced at the time and life was tough. My mom threw me a great surprise party with all my friends and my sons there. It was terrific!

Julie said...

Your creations are always so awesome, but this one is over the top! The butterflies are just beautiful.
Can't say I do anything super special on my b-day. My most memorable one was about 9 or so years ago. We were out of state visiting my in-laws, and I got a stomach bug. Barfed all day. Whee!

Natalie said...

Beautiful cake!! A memorable birthday for me was my 21st. My dad played "Let's make a deal" for my present, and I almost ended-up with a can of goats milk! No cake--just pie.

Melissa in NC said...

I found your blog recently and I LOVE it! The checkerboard cake is awesome!

My favorite birthday was my 6th, my cake was the same design as the party napkin, which was a princess in front of a castle. The design was airbrushed. I remember I got a ZOOM tv show record album and I still have it, 30+ some years later!

Jeanine said...

OH wow, I know I never had any cakes that looked as good as this one! I've always wondered how they did the checkerboard cakes, thanks for the pics of the unassembled layers. :)
My most memorable? Hmmm...I can't really say that any stand out. I know when I was 13, my Mom ordered a barbie cake for me. Yeah, I thought i was too old for it too, but it was the only time she ordered me a cake. :)

Nicole said...

On my 21st birthday I spent the entire day flying. I started out in Singapore and ended up in Chicago. My birthday was something like 32 hours long that day. My friends that weren't with me had send cards and what not for me to open on the plane. All of my other birthdays have been great, but that one was definitely memorable!!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Congratulations! Hope I win; I've never had cinnamon chips!

My 50th was the most memorable. I was determined not to be negative about aging. So, as a celebration of having reached 1/2 a century, I hired the local firehall and had a birthday. I send invites to everyone I wanted there -- near & far, even though I knew some wouldn't be able to make-it (as they were thousands of miles away), but I wanted them to know that they were wanted. We had potluck and keroake; children were invited; & all were invited to roast me. It was a blast! Two friends showed up unexpectedly; & there were about 50-60 people there. I got some embarassing remembrances, funny songs & sweet poems. We danced the night away. And I didn't notice that my silly 18 yr old keroake "Dancing Queen" daughter had been filling her glass with white wine! I'm planning another big one for 65!

Misc Momma said...

Happy Blogoversary to you! I'm struggling to come up with a memorable birthday. It has always been a lowkey thing with my family. My favorite birthday party was probably my 5th (6th??). It was at McDonald's. I had tons of fun. How easily kids are amused...

The Duchess of Wessex said...

My goodness, Monica!

That's the most beautiful cake I have EVER seen! Seeing your success gives me confidence that I might actually be able to have the same success with my own checkerboard cake pans.

I've avoided using the insert for my set because I never thought it would actually work. But I'm giving them a try now! :)

Thank you for taking the plunge. Your decorating is out-of-this-world!

Happy, Happy Blog-anniversary!

I began my own blog in November 2007... Although I cannot be sure of the exact date since I accidently deleted a bunch of my first posts (because I didn't know what the heck I was doing!)

Love the cake, love you! LOVE your blog!!

Raoulysgirl said...

What a beautiful cake!!!

My most memorable birthday was certainly last year's (my 29th...gulp!). My sister helped my daughters (7 and 2 at the time) make my birthday dinner (fried chicken with all of the trimmings because I can't fry chicken to save my life) and my cake. It was probably the best meal of my life!!!

Rachel (rachescakes) said...

Monica, that is gorgeous! You need to become a chef in a serious way. If I ever open a bakery, you are going to have to move up here and help me.

Tiff said...

My most memorable birthday was my 16th birthday. No cake, sorry! I'm a pie girl! And my Great Grandma made one of my favorites, pumpkin pie! Yes, pumpkin pie in April! It was a rite of passage to be 16 and as my Great Grandma is no longer with me, it makes it all the more special that she came to celebrate!

Ingrid said...

Sam's cake is gorgeous! Of course your sweet boy is proud of you and the wonderful, thoughtful, creative, and generous person you are!

Best birthday? I don't remember how old I turned but Joe who is very unromantic planned me a surprise birthday party. So sweet!

Michel-lee said...

My birthday is during the summer (July 30th)so when it came to inviting friends everyone was just too busy to make it to my parties. I remember one year (don't know my age at the time)I wanted more than just my parents and brother to celebrate my birthday. They let me get a baskin robbins ice cream cake just to lift my spirits but it wasn't enough. My mother told my brother to ask some of our neighbors to come over and sing Happy Birthday to me. It was a bit embarrasing but in the end it showed me how much my parents cared.

Jennifer said...

I love,love,love,love this cake. It is sooo beautiful and then you top it off with the butterflies!!! It is my favorite!!!

I don't have a favorite birthday. I think they are all memorable to me. My birthday is so close to Christmas and my parents have always made a point to keep it separate so that in itself is special and memorable.

Susan said...

As a former Pampered Chef consultant, I can happily say that I have this cake pan :O)

What a lovely job you did on this cake. And how wonderful that you still choose to celebrate your son's 3rd birthday. I think this is so healing and special.

I wish I were there to share in the tasting and birthday singing.

My favorite birthday memory is of my father's 40th birthday. My grandma - even though she was very sick - replicated a very elaborate truck cake she had made for my dad and his twin brother when they turned four years old. I remember seeing her face watching and smiling at them, now at age 40, but looking at them as though they were still four years old.

Now that I have children of my own, I can truly appreciate this moment. One of my sons is already nine years old, one is three, and my daughter is one. Time passes by so quickly and youth is so hard to hang onto. I try so hard to appreciate each moment. But, someday, I hope that I will be looking at each of them on their fortieth birthdays and smiling down on them with such pride in the amazing adults they've become :O)

elaine1954@suddenlink.net said...

Definitely my 40th - I wrote all my close friends and family thank you notes for being in my life, they in turn treated me to a day at the spa, drinks on the town, while my girls were home making a special BBQ party for all the special friends we have! They truly surprised me and carried it all off! Even to getting my picture in the paper for my birthday!

Lee @ foodieplus4 said...

My most memorable birthday was my daughter's 8th birthday. My kids get a big party on their 8th birthday and we had a science theme. The cake was a volcano with red fluff oozing out of it with a little help from chunks of dry ice. The kids loved it, and it was fun to make with them.

Christy said...

Stunningly gorgeous cake!! Wow! And those beautiful butterflies are just perfect sitting on top!

All off my children's birthdays are memorable for me. I thank God for their precious lives every year and am so thankful for the privilege of being their mother.

kelgirl105@yahoo.com said...

My most memorable birthday was my 21st-- my parents flew my twin sister and I to Las Vegas for the weekend. I had to fly out separately from my family because my mean professor would not let me take my final exam early, and I just remember feeling so proud that I was 21 years old AND flying by myself.

Natalie said...

happy 2 yrs! that cake looks AMAZING!

i think my most memorable birthday was my 16th--i was one of the last to get my driver's license and i was SO excited. lo and behold, i got a flat tire my first time out driving alone :)

oneordinaryday said...

Many happy wishes on your blog bday, Monica. Happy 2 years!
And, with this cake, you'd no doubt make your boy proud. It's gorgeous. Every detail is nothing less than perfection. Very beautiful.
My most memorable bday isn't memorable in a good way. : ( Wish it was, but my grandpa died visiting us on my 21st birthday. He was an amazing man. Miss him still.

Sherry G said...

Gorgeous cake!! I had always wanted to try a checkerboard cake but I lack the equipment=(

One of my favorites was when I was turning seven years old and my aunt threw me a princess party. She created a scavenger hunt around her house with clues for me to follow. All the guests followed me as I went from clue to clue receiving pieces of jewelery with each new clue. I was eventually led to the guest bedroom and was surprised to see a brand new princess Barbie bed set! It was for me and was very girlie yet elegant. It has always been a great memory.

Jean Badgley said...

Your cake is just beautiful.

I loved my 40th birthday...it was just a family party, but my two children who were 10 and 6 planned the whole day and make a very very "beautiful to mom" cake. It was from a box and most of it stuck to the pans, but I loved it.

Nicole said...

Hi - First off, your cake is BEAUTIFUL!! My brother has asked me to bake his wedding cake and I've only made one cake in my life. This should be interesting...

Regarding my most memorable birthday - It's the one I get the most grief for. I turned 4 and apparently was overwhelmed by all of the attention from my mom, dad, brother and aunt singing happy birthday to me. So I started bawling; at the same moment my Aunt took a photo. We had the picture in our family room for years. Like seriously, my mom might have just taken it down... and I'm 28. [BTW - The cake was some sort of chocolate deal covered w/ chocolate chips... pretty fancy, really] :) Thanks for the fun giveaway and happy blogiversary!

Hennifer said...

That cake is gorgeous, it totally looks store-made. I can honestly say I don't think I'll ever put that much work into anything. Your boys have one special mommy.

Regarding the cinnamon chips, YUM!

Most memorable birthday huh?

there was the birthday my friend spent the night and we were playing Barbies in a too adult manner and my mother could hear us through a heater vent and spanked me the next day after walking my friend home, or the year she kicked me out of the house due to her mental illness, or the year I thought no one was going to do anything for my birthday because they got me with a surprise party, or 4 years ago when I spent it in full blown labor... I guess I'm just lame when it comes to details because I remember these but not specifics and I feel like I've had some pretty good birthdays moving into adulthood.

Teena in Toronto said...


Happy blogoversary!

Morgan said...

What a beautiful cake.

For my 12th birthday my dad rented the local swimming pool. I still think that was pretty cool =]

Meghan said...

My 13th birthday (I'm now 26). I had an ice cream cake. The bottom layer was coffee ice cream and the top layer was vanilla. Between the two layers was crushed oreo. The cake was "iced" with whipped cream and a pink pig.

mbc said...

Congratulations! Love the blog, love your photos, love the recipes. Thank you! I'd love a slice of this right now...or even priviliges to lick the bowl!

Darcy said...

My 19th birthday. My dorm mates woke me up at 3 am and dressed me in ridiculous clothes and painted my face and we all went to Dennys (thats the only place open in Provo UT at 3 am). The cake came later that day and was just a normal cake out of a box but it was special still because my friends had to find someone that lived in an apartment so they could use their oven (we lived in the dorms, hence no oven)

Yael said...

Monica, your work is just beautiful- all of it! I love reading your blog. I have had many memorable birthdays, but I like to think the most memorable is still yet to come!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Monica, you are so right. This is one of the most beautiful cakes I've ever seen you post. It is so obvious that you poured so much love in each detail. It's a masterpiece and, yes, your son is so proud of his beautiful mama.
My best birthday... I've had many (and I'm not kidding). I'd have to say my 50th birthday party. Craig took me to one of the most beautiful-- and most expensive-- places where we live. It's the Pacific's Edge at the world famous Highland's Inn. A good friend of mine arranged for me to have the best corner table, overlooking the ocean... expensive champagne, a gorgeous flower arrangement. I was treated like a princess. It was a magical evening, and I knew it was a very extravagant for his wallet.
It was romantic and perfect. I will always remember that night. A few months later, we were married.
The end.
Did I win? LOL! I never win anything, but I keep trying!

disilluzional88 said...

It was my 18th birthday, and turning 18 is a big deal in the Filipino tradition. My parents planned a cotillion for me; it's somewhat like a quincinera except Filipino style. We had it at a banquet decorated with flowers and tables and center pieces. A lot of my friends and family came so it was really special. I danced with 9 of my closest male friends/family and listened to memories I had with 9 of my female friends/family. The cake was only one tier but it was a really big rectangular shaped cake that had strawberries in the middle along with creme filling. It was delicious. =)

Selba said...

Happy 2nd Bloganniversary!

What a wonderful cake! I wish I could bake and decorate wonderful cakes and cookies like you :)

Donna-FFW said...

Beautiful cake Monica. themeaning behind it so special too. Congrats on your 2 year.

My mosts memorable birthday.. cant provide details here..

Myla said...

My most memorable birthday...wasn't memorable in a good way. It was quite sad. I was 6 and insisted on carrying the cake that my older cousin spent the whole day baking and decorating. It was in the shape of a horse and had beautiful yellow and pink icing. On the way in to the house I tripped and the cake fell on the ground! :( Our farm cats had a wonderful dessert that night and my family had strawberries and ice cream b/c that's what we had on hand. I still get made fun of for that birthday goof.

queenofpeanuts said...

I just had to pop in and say that that cake is so beautiful!
My favourite birthday was my 6th one. My parents bought me a Barbie horse trailer which took my father 4 hours to assemble :D I had a tasty chocolate cake that my mom decorated with fairies, and then my friends and I went sledding!

narges said...

I've never had a birthday party. I just remember that when I was 9 or 10 I had a birthday party with my other 3 friend together.There was one cake for all of us.

Kerstin said...

Happy Blogiversary!! That is seriously the most gorgeous cake I have ever seen on a blog - when are you opening your bakery again? :) And of course your little guy is proud of you, you're amazing!

I attempted to eat 21 donuts on my 21 bday, so that one will always be memorable. My friends got me the donuts instead of a cake, but I still ate all my other meals and managed to eat 17! I was quite proud of myself - lol.

Mya said...

CUUUUTE CAKE! I have the same set of cakepans.

Man, why have I never heard of cinnamon chips!! How cool is that!

Let's see my most memorable bday was this year. My dh threw me a surprise party. Here's how he did it. We had already made plans to have his brother and his parents over for a bbq..in honor of his brother joining the military and he would be leaving a few days after the bbq date. My dh told me to invite my family too, so I did.

My birthday came and went. Two days later was the day of the party, I'm bustin' my butt in the kitchen baking buttermilk pies, making vegetarian kabobs, preparing the meats for the grill, greeting guests who came (my family and dh's family). My father in law decides to call everyone to come outside to 'make an announcement.' I told him I had to hurry because I had the 'stuffing' for the bell peppers on the stove and it couldn't just sit there. LOL I was just about to walk out with the crowd of guest then I turned back around to grab my camera. As I was walking out I started to sing "Fooooor he's a jolly good fellow" Singing to see who would join in..then my fil inturrupts me. He says before we sing..I have something to say. I have my camera zoomed in at my brother in law sitting at the table by himself with a huge cheesecake in front of him. I was waiting for a good moment to click..that moment wasn't there yet. I was waiting for my fil to say what he wanted to say but before he did my husband jumps out of the garage and says "I got ya" I looked at him like he was crazy because he didn't say anything else..he ran back into the garage and came out with two candles on these long sticks..one was a 2 the other was a 9. This all happened so fast I was still like 'huh!' Then a moment later I see my friends walk out of the garage behind him!!!! My first thought was "What are they doing here" then I was like "OOOOOOOOH." Instant tears!! I'm tearing up thinking about it now. I was too in shock to click any pictures of those moments. I hugged everyone hello then ran back in the house to save my stuffing from being ruined and partially because I was embarrassed. LOL

He got me, and he got me good. After I came in he ran around the kitchen and living room hanging Strawberry Shortcake decorations. Cute. And all my guest told me they've known about the party for a month and yada yada. The reason this was such a huge deal is not only because I fell for it but because my husband is so reserved LOL he doesn't just go around doing things like this..talking to my friends and family and so on.


Oh and I forgot to say Happy Bloggyversary

sarahe said...

so cool! I need to get one of these pans...

My most memorable birthday was (I think) my 7th. My parents got me a swingset which I had been wanting and I remember waking up that morning and peeking into the back yard and seeing my daddy put it together. My mom made a strawberry cake and I had a birthday party with my friends...who all happened to be boys at the time. It was rainy so we didn't play on the swingset that day, but I got many years of joy on it!

vibi said...

Absolutely charming!

Alicia (The Red Deer) said...

I am in Australia so can't enter the giveaway - but just wanted to say that it is a gorgeous cake and I'm thinking of you at this difficult time.

Katie said...

Happy 2nd blog-anniversary! The cake looks fantastic! I have made one myself once and they are a real wow factor. The giveaway sounds fun, shame I'm the wrong side of the world to enter :)

Keep up the yummy blogging!

tamilyn said...

That cake is gorgeous! Holy cow, I could never make anything that beautiful!
Hmm, favorite birthday was probably my 40th. We had about 20 friends over, had pot luck, listened to music, listened to stories, had a bon fire and just had fun. It was a great night-hope to do it again in 7 years!

Molly said...

I just found your blog via the 5 year plan cakes blog and I LOVE it! I love to bake, too, and always enjoy seeing other people's creations and getting new ideas! This cake is gorgeous.

My most memorable birthday was when I turned 9. We were visiting my grandma in MO and drove from her house to another town to visit my uncle. It had started to snow before leaving, but on the way it turned into a blizzard. We got stranded and I remember crying in the back of our blazer thinking there was no way we were going to be able to celebrate my birthday. Everyone kept me distracted by asking questions about what would have to eat if I could choose anything, etc., and telling stories. What should've been about an hour trip turned into a half-day adventure. We got their late and I was very sad. Without my knowing, my uncle had already talked to my mom ahead of time and had my favorite meal fixed...pork chops! He had even made a cake. It was just a simple 13x9 cake with frosting slapped on top, but it was so special to me that he would go to all of that for me. And after the way we had spent the afternoon stuck in the snow with me thinking there would be NO recognition of my birthday at all, it made that simple celebration seem like a special banquet!

zurin said...

what a beautiful cake...saw it on food with style. birthdays are special n need special cakes to with..this is exceptional esp with teh dragon flies. beautiful...:)

Amanda from Faith, Food and Family said...

Happy Blogoversary! That cake is absolutely beautiful!

I think my most memorable birthday is my 30th (last year). My sister had a party for me at Logan's restaurant and invited a bunch of my friends. We didn't have cake (though Logan's gave me a dessert for my birthday). But it was just so fun. One of the most memorable moments was when the server had me stand up and yelled to everyone in the restaurant (on a very busy night) that it was my 16th birthday and I just got my driver's license so everyone stay off the road. Then asked everyone to give me a big yee haw. It was just so funny.

God bless,

LifeoftheCecifamily said...

Wish I was as talented as you. My favorite birthday was when I was 22 yrs old. I went out to Utah to live and on my birthday I was checking the mail for a card and gift from my parents. There was nothing, no ups even. Well that night my sister said she wanted to take me out to dinner to Salt Lake, as I walked into the resturant my parents were sitting at the table. They had flown in from Minnesotta to surprise me for my birthday! That was the best.

girlichef said...

You know I think you're the bestest cake maker in the whole wide world...this is just gorgeous. Happy 2nd blogoversary(wow!) and much love and happy thoughts for your Sam's 3rd :D

My most memorable birthday was actually my 21st. Um, at midnight I promptly entered legally into a bar for the first time in my life...drank until I threw up in the bushes back at my friends house (still in college, here)...then drove home the next morning ridiculously hung over to my parents house 2 1/2 hours away so that the fam could take me out to eat for my birthday. Neighboring tables wanted to send me shots of course, so I forced them down and ate, not a cake, but a delicious Fried Ice Cream with honey (my fave way). Great giveaway, Monica :D

Anna said...

Oh Monica. This cake is absolutely gorgeous. You are a completely baking marvel. Wow. Of course your son is proud. With a cake like that...

Okay--most memorable birthday?

It is probably my 18th birthday. Interestingly enough, I was in a place where nobody knew it was my birthday--I was on at a youth conference in Ottawa, and too shy to tell anyone that it was my birthday. The whole day went by in a bit of a fog--very surreal, because it was a special day to me, but nobody knew it.

I remember waking up in my bunkbed, hearing the wake-up call, the Beatles song, "Good Morning" blasting, lying under the sheets and thinking: "Hey, I'm 18!"

It was definintely my loneliest birthday, so it funny that it is my most memorable one. I guess that's how it goes.

Grace said...

what an impressive cake!! and really, one should always add more ganache. :)

my most memorable birthday...that's a toughie. the memories change with age because as a kid, it was all about the presents and now it's more about who's there to spend the day with me. one birthday that stands out right now in my memory was #12. i had a big party planned with lots of outdoor events, and then it snowed. two feet of snow in april in virginia is ridiculous. :)
thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

My most memorable cake was made by my mother for my 6th birthday. My older sister had gotten married that year and the only cake I wanted was a wedding cake! So mom went to work and put together the prettiest 3 tiered cake this little 6 year old girl had ever seen. It had white frosting swirled around it with piped pink flowers on each layer. She iced my name in mint green on the very top amid the 6 white candles. I was in awe and didn't want to cut it.


ahalya said...

This cake is gorgeous. The butterflies really complete it. :]

My most memorable birthday was my sixteenth. I was in inner-city Chicago with other teenagers from my church on a servant trip. I started out the morning feeding and playing with cats at an animal shelter, went on to packaging food for Meals on Wheels in the afternoon, and finished off a perfect day with 60 high schoolers singing happy birthday to me. I doubt anything's gonna top that for a long time.

cakescraps said...

The cake is beautiful, and delicious too, I'm sure!

My most memorable birthday would be a couple years ago. I had a thriving Cake Decorating business at the time and since I was "the cake lady", I never got a birthday cake (as an adult anyway). Well, one year, my husband secretly asked his mom to make me a cake so that I could finally get a birthday cake too! When we went to their house for dinner that Sunday, there was my birthday cake...I almost cried I was so excited to FINALLY get a birthday cake!

meganfrommaui said...

Wow! Your cake is gorgeous and I love reading your blog! Everything looks so yummy :) My most memorable birthday had to be my 19th birthday. My boyfriend at the time baked me a red velvet cake by himself and also decorated it with Wall-E themed candies and candles. It was such a sweet gift and I couldn't think of a better birthday :)

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