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Pony Princess Party: Cake

This post is part of FishMama's Birthday Cake Roundup at Life as Mom

This year, for the first time, Nora requested a "friends" birthday party. Since she is a very social child and I want to encourage her to develop (and sustain) friendships, we had one. The theme? "Pony princess."

Over the years, I've seen several suggestions for cakes decorated as castles, and when asked what kind of cake she wanted, Nora was pretty determined that it be "white cake." I used two boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix and baked them in a 9x13 rectangular cake pan and two round springform pans the weekend before the birthday party, putting them in the freezer when cool, because supposedly this makes it easier to spread a "crumb layer" of frosting -- you then put your "real layer" on top, and it looks all nice and stuff. Assuming your actual cake hasn't broken apart when you take it out of the pan and/or put it into the freezer. ("White cake" scraps mixed with strawberries and Cool Whip make a pretty nice trifle. Also, frosting can act both as a coverup and a glue.)

Anyway, I was nicely reminded (by this very helpful post from the Offering Hospitality blog) that the point of a cake for a four-year-old's birthday was not so much about the beauty of the cake, but about creating memories, which come from participating in the experience. So, after I had placed the round layers on top of the rectangular layer and done some initial frosting, Nora helped me finish the frosting. She also helped decorate. She decided that we would use the gumdrops (gigantic ones were all I could find) entire, rather than cutting them in half to make "castle windows." The circles of gumdrops on the different layers, particularly the purple circle on the top layer, were her idea and handiwork. (Well, she did let me put a couple of the lower tier ones on.)

We also placed our pink wafer cookies (theoretically, "drawbridges," "doors," etc.) wherever. It was my idea to put the empty ice cream cone on the very top as a castle tower/turret (although DH had to ask about that, since he wasn't sure).

She and her friends had fun with the cake -- although one of the four candles sure acted like a trick candle and refused to go out when she was blowing.

(And, since readers of Life As Mom will be interested in the frugality of this: 2 Duncan Hines classic white cake mixes, purchased in the weeks leading up to the birthday with sale/coupons: $1.43; 2 Betty Crocker vanilla frosting tubs, coupon/sales/cupboard item: $1.69; gumdrops: priced at $2.00 for a tub of large ones, free at Walgreen's with Register Rewards; strawberry wafer cookies: on sale at grocery for $2.00, free using $4 catalina from previous trip; ice cream cones: $1-something regular price, I think, purchased free with Extra Care Bucks at CVS, along with a Princess Aurora 4-year-old birthday card. Total cake cost= $3.12.)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
Love it!
You did a great job. I'm sure your daughter was thrilled.
Jun. 17th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Love it!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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