Make the bake

I have always tended to be one of those flowery moms, opting for pretty over practical! However, since I had my second child my tune as changed somewhat to the tone of “practical is perfect”; EXCEPT when it comes to baking my girls’ birthday cakes! I cannot seem to shake the idea that I need to bake the birthday cake and come what may, so far so good….well, sort of!

Every year is the same – I surface post-party with an unashamed announcement that “next year I will order the cake”….and by the time I get to it, I have reverted to my old ways. My mom always did it for us and perhaps that is why it has stuck – from the bubblegum blue helicopters with finger biscuit propellers, to the red dragon’s head with rainbow coloured cellophane sweetie bon-bon tail…you name it, she made it and way past the “double numbers” too…

I cannot remember my last home-made birthday cake, but I do remember kissing Nicholas Nel behind a bush at my very first disco-in-the-garage party…which, is when I guess priorities change. So until then, my girls will get their home-made cakes complete with sink-holes disguised with extra icing and other defects…always beautifully decorated, and certainly made with all the love in the world – despite the mid-night cursing from the kitchen the day before the big P-A-R-T-Y!

So, it’s that time in our house at the moment, with my (newly) five year-olds excitement levels peaking at 11/10 and my credit card groaning under the strain of the cost of the party packs and I am about to begin my warm-ups for what is likely going to be the most difficult of cake feats yet! “My Little Pony” is the order of the day…and wait for it…a rainbow in the middle and on top is the small side serving of CHALLENGE! I have bought my first ever packet of fondant, complete with powdered colourant, I have the ponies for the top, I am loaded with food colourant for the centre, plenty of edible cake glitter and an extra two spring-form pans….and my trusty bottle of red stands at the ready. Certainly necessary for the amount of patience this task will require!

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Do not get me wrong – I adore my girls, and I enjoy my time in the kitchen (mostly), but I am no baker, will never profess to be one and do not intend taking any courses, so this inevitably turns into a boxing match of stress, some sweat and more than likely a few tears…but in the end I keep telling myself that if all else fails there is always Charley’s!

Step one: breathe…step two: pour a glass of wine…step three: have a sip/gulp…step four: unpack the essentials including the electric beater…step five: prop up the reference pic…step six:…..well – you will have to wait and see how this ends! Will it be pretty, or not so much?

See the final result same place, same time, next week…


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Written for by: Nancy Hoepner

Only slightly exhausted mother-of-two delicious girls, lover of food (fine and fast), purveyor of all things pretty and Jill of all things ‘creative’…Nancy has a background in the visual and performing arts. Having worked with the eat-art team before, she is thrilled, and slightly bewildered to have been asked to (take time out from juggling and) add some spice to the blog. Don’t get us wrong….it’s not that it needs it….it just wants more…and she is happy to oblige.


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