Monday, November 05, 2012

Another Awesome Tutorial

So, we had our first ever "friend" birthday party for Heather a few weeks ago.  I'm planning to write a report on that soon, including some of my thoughts on friend parties, some of my expectations on how this party would go, and then what actually ended up happening (Hint:  It was great fun, but nothing like I had planned.  Also, my respect for nursery leaders, which was already great, has now grown ten-fold.)

Today however, is not that day.  Today is the day where I brag about my newly discovered cake-assembling prowess.  Today is the day where I teach you the tricks of the trade so that you too, can make an amazing Dog Party Cake of your very own.  

You lucky lucky ducks.  

Here's what we're aiming for:  

Reach for the stars, friends.  REACH FOR THE STARS!

Step One:  Make a batch of cupcakes, and another cake in a standard rectangle cake pan.

Step Two:  Find some kind of big thick piece of cardboard or something else (I used a piece of particle board shelving that used to be in our entertainment center, but that was removed when we got a television that was too big to have it there) and cover it with aluminum foil.

Step Three:  Arrange the cupcakes and standard rectangle cake like so:
You'll need to cut the rectangle cake in half, using 1/2 for the main part of the trunk, and the other half you'll cut into pieces and use as branches and additional trunk.

Step Four:  Make or buy your frosting.  I like to use Spiff-E-Whip, because I'm not a big fan of buttercream frosting.  The recipe for the frosting is right on the can.  I used lime gelatin to flavor the frosting for the cupcake leaf part of the tree (and green food coloring as well), and chocolate milk to flavor the frosting for the trunk.

Step Five:  Frost the cupcakes and the trunk cake.  This was my first time doing a cupcake "pull-apart" cake, and I found this video pretty helpful when it came to frosting the cupcakes.

Step Six:  Stand back and admire your work, being amazed at what you've created.  Take note that your trunk is a rather anemic brown, and get your subconscious mind working on how you might fix that.

Step Seven:  Let the pajama-clad birthday girl sprinkle as many sprinkles as she wants on the branch/leaf part of the tree.

Step Eight:  Get out two "toobs" of plastic dog figurines that you have purchased at the craft store (using 40% off coupons) earlier in the month.  (One toob could be plenty, unless of course you are going to be having a lot of people at your party.)

Step Nine:  Arrange the dogs in the tree.

Special Note:  If you push the dogs far into the frosting, you can make them feel like they are really Alaskan Huskies, pushing their way through green snow, instead of dogs going to a dog party.  Kind of a nice little addition, don't you think?

Step Ten:  Sprinkle the trunk with cocoa powder (thanks subconscious!) to give your trunk a deeper brown color.  

Step Eleven:  Take a picture of your creation, and immediately e-mail it to your mother, who made different cut-up cakes each year for you and your five siblings while you were growing up because that's the kind of mom she is.  Know that she will be proud of you, and revel in that fact, even though you really shouldn't need this kind of validation, being in your forties and all.  

Step Twelve:  Put the cake up somewhere out of the reach of little hands until the party guests arrive and it's showtime!

And now for a little bonus!  

Wanna see the book my mom used to make our birthday cakes?  

That's a classic right there folks.  The makings of an ideal childhood all rolled up in 7-minute frosting batches and tinted coconut.  Who knew that this one little book could be the secret to childhood birthday success?  

My mom knew, that's who!


Aubrey said...

I still think about how awesome that cake was sometimes. Genius.

Mom C said...

I don't know if I ever gave you the validation you wanted. I thought it was an awesome cake! Even more so now that I see the dogs and learn what the frosting was! And I didn't start out knowing what I was doing either. It was all trial and error, especially since no one wanted a cake more than once.

kates said...

All the females in the Weston household are big fans, my dear! Go Dogs, Go! is a personal childhood favorite of mine. How ultra clever are your for thinking to make a Go Dogs, Go! cake?! It makes me giddy!

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