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    The Humpty Dumpty Cake

    January 15, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]W[/dropcap]e threw a birthday bash for our New Year’s Eve baby on Saturday, January 3rd. I really love to throw birthday parties as it is an excuse to get all the family in one place and spend some time together. This particular party was a bit smaller than usual, but there was fun to be had, and have it we did.

    In honor of the economy I decided to go with Humpty Dumpty as this year’s theme. Even Henry Paulson couldn’t put this guy back together once we ate him.

    Actually, I have been saving this cake idea since I saw it in Parents Magazine in 2003. There was always something else to make, and so I’ve kept it quietly filed away until I knew someone would appreciate it. Q. loves little rhymes and affectionately called her cake “Humpy.”

    This birthday was significant in a number of ways. First and foremost, this was our first birthday since the food allergies fled the premises. It was so nice to not have to work on my GFCF cake recipe. I did a cake from a box and sighed with relief. Second, this was our first birthday in the new house. One of the things I had to figure out was where to put the cake table as our new place doesn’t have a kitchen island. I decided to just put a card table covered with a neutral-colored bed sheet near the entry. Here is Humpty Dumpty on his table:

    Cake Table

    Grace came over and helped me make the cake. It felt like old times. I have wonderful memories of her helping me make E.’s first birthday cake, which was also my first “mommy” cake. And then there was the time she and I made cupcakes for Si’s birthday {was it his 25th?} and decorated them to look like baseballs, soccer balls, and basketballs. We had fun. Here is a close-up of our masterpiece:

    Humpty Dumpty Closeup

    If you want to know how to make Humpty Dumpty, I will give you the quick version. Make two 8-inch round cakes. Ours were chocolate. Make 1 dome-shaped cake. I used Wilton’s specialty mold, but some people say the right type of glass bowl would work just fine.

    Those people haven’t met me and my cake disasters.

    But I digress.

    Make two batches of homemade white frosting. This means that there will be approximately two pounds of sugar in the icing alone, which is to say that all the guests will think it is the best ever — unless someones asks the fatal question, “So how do you make your frosting?”

    Glue your cakes together with frosting. Frost Humpty’s head. Tint icing as you like. Have fun with it. It really helped that Si gave me cake tools for Christmas. The right tools certainly make jobs easier, though Grace and I have done well in the past with plastic baggies and determination.

    As far as the rest of the party food goes, I was trying to go for cheap, tasty and warm, not necessarily in that order. We served homemade chili and a baked potato bar. That hit the spot on a frosty day. Also, I have never been good about party favors and I refuse to send children home with bags of candy, however, when my sister-in-law sent us number cookie cutters, I couldn’t resist. We made a whole plate of number-2 cookies that I placed on a platter on the cake table with a little note telling our guests to take one home with them. The cookies had a baked-on frosting so that they weren’t messy when stacked:

    2 Cookies

    I was going to give my girls a cookie once guests arrived. I knew they were having a hard time waiting. After I had set the cake table up, Si noticed Q. beginning to steal a cookie. When she saw him see her, she grabbed it and ran away as fast as she could. Apparently she and A. had been stealing cookies for a short while as we discovered that between the two of them they had eaten at least four cookies.

    My girls are 22 months apart and this was the youngest’s second birthday. My own sister and I are 22 months apart and I am the older. On my younger sister’s second birthday, we got in trouble for sticking our fingers in the cake. It seems that history repeats itself in a way.


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  • Reply Kristie January 19, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I think this is my favorite thus far. Bravo!

  • Reply Jennifer January 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I love that cake! Great job!

  • Reply Ellen January 16, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks, Brandy! You really did some homework for me, and I appreciate it!

  • Reply Brandy January 16, 2009 at 6:51 pm is a good place to search for cake ideas. I found one that MIGHT work. It’s a rubbery ducky bathtub cake:

    It could probably be modified with chocolate and green frosting to look like a pond.

    I looked around on Google a bit and it looks like most duck birthday cakes use the rubber-ducky approach. Here is a site that has three pages of ideas:

    You might have to search for “ducky cake” to make it work, but there are over ten separate photos of rubber ducky types of cakes.

  • Reply Kansas Mom January 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I think your cake was very ambitious! I love to bake, but haven’t done much in the way of cakes. Mainly because my two older kids don’t actually like cake that much. They’re much bigger on ice cream so I’ve just stuck with cupcakes and store-bought frosting (though I learned at First Son’s party that a good many kids prefer unfrosted cupcakes).

  • Reply Ellen January 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    That is an adorable cake! Now, if you have any ideas on how to make a duck cake. Seth’s big day is coming up soon…

  • Reply Dana January 16, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Nice job!!

  • Reply Rahime January 16, 2009 at 5:44 am

    So cute!!!

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