My daughter’s birthday is coming up this Thursday – the big 17. (We’ll pause here for a moment of reflection on how the F–k she got to be that old this fast!) Because our weeks right now are filled with craziness, between school, work, drivers ed, civic orchestra, homework and getting everyone fed, clothed and transported as needed, I was getting a bit worried about having a chance to either make a cake or consume said cake with the birthday girl. Add to this the following weekend has my husband out of town and my daughter performing Solo & Ensemble (a yearly
torture thing where the kids have the opportunity to play a solo that is rated by a judge.) and beginning an ACT prep course and you’ll see our dilemma.
As it turned out, my daughter had a driving session (on actual roads! with other drivers/cars present! OMG!) and a rehearsal with her S&E accompanist so she’d be out of the house for several hours. This gave me the opportunity to pull together a quick party. Less you, dear reader, think I am any sort of Martha Stewart type who did so effortlessly planned a sophisticated soiree with homemade favors and tasteful decor, go ahead and wipe that thought right on out of your head. We’re talking delivered pizza, paper plates, bottles of pop or beer (for the grownups, silly). One thing that I decided wouldn’t be store-bought, delivered or, hopefully, made of cardboard, was the cake. Time to pull out the trusty KitchenAid and try my hand at a cake.
Okay, since I had just a short time (I also had to squeeze in catch-up work, oversight of my son’s work and assorted Sunday duties), and it had to work right the first time, I decided to skip a step or two by using a box cake mix. Two boxes of yellow cake mix later, I was pouring batter into pans and popping them into the oven. The frosting I did decide to tackle from scratch and nothing was going to do but good old fashioned buttercream. I found a recipe on the Food Network site that looked easy enough and set about making it. Butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream went into the bowl in the appropriate order. The final touch was several drops of red food coloring. My girl likes color – her hair is a lovely shade of blue at the moment – so nothing would do but a tasteful pink icing.
Frost, frost, layer, frost, frost and all looked lovely. Sadly, I neglected to take a photo before we all dug in so you’ll just have to imagine the magnificence of the whole from the remaining bits. I’m pleased to say it was a big success – the birthday girl was tickled and everyone was quite complimentary. I’ll call this one a success.