Home       About Us       Salsa Store       Referral       Lifebooks       Recipes       Videos       Blog Headers

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why no, I’ve never made a birthday cake, why do you ask?

Found a cute new book called Lin Yi’s Lantern just in time for the Moon Festival this week, and Ro and Ree immediately spotted the craft page at the end and decided to try their hands at paper-lantern making.DSC_7939-EditLRDSC_7943LRDSC_7942LR

Then they declared that this would be an excellent activity for the kids at their birthday party next month, and I’m thinking they’re right!

So anyhow, lantern-making is now on the party activity list. Which will be easy. For the not-so-easy part, my friend Maggie and I will be (fingers crossed) making a dragon cake for the party. We did a mini-dragon trial run today, and after the initial screwups and a cake-crisis trip to Target* to buy new bundt-cake pans and more cake stuff (argh), our baby dragon turned out pretty well!DSC_7989LR-3

The real dragon cake on party day will look basically like this (but way better because it will be the second cake we’ve ever made – haha can you hear my slightly maniacal laughter?). It will have eight curves and be four-and-a-half feet long (made with four bundt cakes instead of the one we used today). It will also have a thicker icing that doesn’t melt in our 80-degree kitchen. Gah!!! At least that’s the plan. We ate part of it tonight, and it was delicious, so at least we got that part right. Thanks to Dawn for the wonderful idea and the many detailed emailed instructions. If you change your mind and decide to fly in and help us make the cake, we sure would be excited. Heh.

If the dragon goes horribly wrong, TubaDad will be forced to make a crack-of-dawn run to procure emergency backup cake the morning of the party. Poor guy. I’d better check now to see which local bakery is open the earliest...

* Did anyone else take home one of those adorable crazy-patterned velvet Missoni coats for little girls today? It was just staring right at me as I walked to the kitchen aisle. Squeal.


  1. You go girl! I'm in between batches of mini cupcakes that will be butterflies for a friend's little girl turning one tomorrow.

  2. oh my goodness! I love it. I say if it tastes good then its a success. Can't wait to see the "real" one.

  3. That is so great looking. I am sure you will do a great job on the bigger one. What a great idea....I have never made a birthday cake either and my girl is 15!

  4. Anonymous9/14/2011


  5. Can't wait to see the real thing!

  6. Great job on the cake!

  7. Anonymous9/15/2011

    Oh WOW! It looks great! You really did a fantastic job with his face too. Can't wait to see the one for their birthday! :)

  8. Craft on list.. perfect.

    cake fun.. can't wait till girls' actual Birthday with to see pictures.

  9. Rock on! Those are great!

    My word of advice on cakes...crumb coat will help a lot!

    Keep smilin!

  10. that is an awesome looking cake!
    what did you make the feet/ridges on back out of???

    And if you don't already have this in the plans, make the cake the day before and refrigerate it for a good while BEFORE you frost it. it will making frosting a ton easier.

  11. 4D: Crumb coat?!! Oh man, must google to find out what the heck that is.

    Shannon: The ridges and feet are those sliced fruit candies that they sell in a multicolored bag.

  12. crumb coat = first coat of icing which will inevitably have crumbs in it, then refrigerate cake so crumb coat hardens. Take it out after a few hours and the final coat of icing goes on crumb-free and looks beautiful!

    Love the dragon idea. You could always just do a big trail of cupcakes to make the dragon tail, I've made a cupcake-cake before with the icing all blended in so on top it looks like a cake, but then each just just pulls away a cupcake and voila, easy cake for everyone.

    Love the lantern craft as well, looks like it will be a fun party!

    (I'm a long time lurker and only occasional poster but had to chime in since I've been doing my kids birthday cakes for 10 years now and have only gradually learned things like crumb coat after many years of practice!!)

  13. M3-- you got some directions for that cake? That might me a fun cake for our China playgroup or for Chinese New Year. Thnx. Very fun. You are always full of good ideas.

  14. Ok, coolest cake ever M3!

  15. Faye, I got the idea and detailed instructions from my sweet friend Dawn. She makes this very cake for FCC parties, and the style is so friendly for non-professional bakers. Just bake 4 bundt cakes, cut them in half to make the dragon curves, then ice, add ridges with fruit candy, and print out a dragon head, add gills, laminate it, add curly ribbon. Let's see what else, oh add sprinkles for taste and to make the cake look festive, and use some of the fruit candies to make legs and feet.

  16. Anonymous9/15/2011

    Please tell where to vote for your website as my favorite. Rumor has it that's it 'that time' again!

    Thanks, oh, and the cake is fabulous. Girls are darling, as always.


  17. You and Maggie are amazing my friend! Great cake and so festive! Can't wait to see the full version winding it's way down the table! What a fun party this is going to be!

  18. That cake is so cute, and I bet the coats are too, lucky you, I hear anything Missoni is impossible to get!

  19. to prevent the icing melting, try cream cheese frosting! it's super popular in the south because it holds up really well in high heat and doesn't get all runny. not to mention, tastes FAB

  20. Whao! Love, love the cake!!! NickJr. has a template for the lantern http://www.nickjr.com/printables/kai-lan-paper-lantern-templates.jhtml

  21. I hope you don't mind if I steal that cake idea. We do a Chinese New Year party some years (hoping to get our act together this year) and that would be perfect!!