Youngest Nephew turned three yesterday and no matter how many times I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, all he told me was “a cake”. First it was a white cake,
then it was a green cake.
I have this theory about kids, give them what they want now (if they’re not your kids) because you can’t afford what they want in just a few years. For now, Youngest Nephew is happy with a Chinese-made, battery operated helicopter with lights, moving rotors, and sounds. Cheap. His older brother is happy with a real flashlight, “like a security guard’s” and a step trashcan – I got him both for his birthday last September. He was happy.
Back to the cakes. The first cake is a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s a very basic recipe, very simply iced so I put these sugar decors I got from Goldilocks bakeshop previously. It’s not perfect but when you light the candles on that cake, any 3-year old will be so happy, the imperfections won’t matter.
The second cake is a Mr. Bean car cake. It’s supposed to be a Austin mini, complete with the padlock (badlock as my nephews call it, “to keep the bad men out”). Youngest Nephew and his older brother aren’t the only ones in our family crazy about Mr. Bean, so is Spouse and Eldest Brother-in-Law. This car cake was a big hit I have to say.
When the nephew told me about the green cake wish, I immediately thought of making this. That was a couple of weeks before the birthday so I made plans, none of which I did. I settled for a butter cake recipe, never tested but easy enough. Then a couple of days before the birthday, I had the cakes sitting in my refrigerator and I didn’t start on it. I was stressing over it. All I thought then was thank goodness I didn’t let on with the nephew about my plans because he was going to be soooo disappointed. Spouse eventually told me it didn’t matter if the cake was not perfect. He said so long as it vaguely resembled a car, any 3 and 4-year old will be happy…unlike their 40-something OC aunt I might add. That made it easier for me to do the task. It took time but it got done. I started decorating the cake the morning of the birthday, at 1:00 am. I crawled out of bed wide awake with images of ways and tricks for decorating the cake. So I worked like those little elves working for the shoemaker and was done in a couple of hours.
It’s not perfect. But for a very non-artistic person’s efforts, it’s not half-bad. My talents are not artistic at all, they lay somewhere else. I’ll tell you where when I find out.
So I got a huge surprise when we opened our car door to show the kids what was in there, and they both screamed, “Mr. Bean car!!” – I have to say, it was all worth it. Even when they were disappointed that the cookie wheels came off because they were trying to make it move, I was delighted. They didn’t even think the car was a cake!
When it finally sank in that it was a cake, they very gingerly put their little fingers to that buttercream frosting and made a happy mess of it.
Recipes to follow…