Have you ever felt so passionately about something that every time you thought about it you could hardly breathe, your passion so all-consuming that every waking moment was spent finding new ways to incorporate this love in your life?
But Spawn #1 feels this way about dinosaurs. I know, so cliche, a 3-year-old boy who loves dinosaurs. But honestly, spend five minutes with this kid and your jaw will drop at the number of 6-syllable dinosaur names that roll off his tongue (yet he has trouble saying “Louie”), and his ability to group them into “frightening predators” and “herbivores”. Spend five more minutes with him and he’ll give you your very own dinosaur name. (Mine is “Mommy Alvin” for Alvin the Allosaurus, Spawn #2 is Vinnie the Velociraptor).
So, even though I sometimes cringe at feeding his obsession, how could I deny him a dinosaur cake for his third birthday? I could not. Not even I am that lazy or mean. And I *could* have bought the cutesy dinosaur cake pan from Bulk Barn and called it a day. But my little Dino Dude isn’t into cutesy. He’s into real dinosaur predators ripping the arms off of poor unsuspecting sauropods.
Let the bloody baking begin!
I found this cake and figured it would be way easier than trying to make an actual dinosaur. Using my nan’s recipe, I made a double-layer chocolate cake with raspberry jam in the centre. Yuuuummmm…
I was loathe to ruin it by putting a bunch of dinosaurs on it, but I had to remind myself that wasn’t about me (THIS TIME)…
So I called in my reinforcements (my husband), and had him make some rice krispie squares in the shape of a volcano. Then it was time to put the icing on the cake. And this is where things started to go terribly wrong.
I had planned on making the volcano gray with lava running down the sides and the cake would have plain chocolate icing with trees and a pond.
Two things happened.
#1. In the pre-party flurry of activity, and being flustered by the runniness of my cream cheese icing, I had forgotten my plan and told my husband to put the brown icing on the volcano and the gray icing on the cake.
#2. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make gray icing?
We ended up with a mauve cake and some sort of mottled brown volcano (I told myself that the curdled chocolate actually made the volcano look more realistic). With the damage being done, and the party starting in an hour, there was no turning back.
But the pond looks great, right?!
When we brought out the cake, I thought Spawn #1’s head was going to explode. He was so darned excited about the dinos and the volcano, that it didn’t matter that it was, quite possibly, the most unappetizing birthday cake in the history of birthday cakes. I mean, this is Cake Wreck worthy. Fortunately, I’m not a professional cake decorator (shocking, I know), so I’d be disqualified from a place on their Wall of Shame, but I think this deserves an honourable mention at the very least.
Though, the kid didn’t seem to mind…
Please tell me I’m not the only one with visions of dino-cake grandeur, buoyed by my love for this amazing little dude, mustering up whatever creativity I have and vowing to make him a cake he’ll never forget, only to end up with something that doesn’t look quite how I had imagined it. Please tell me you do this too. Anyone? Bueller?
Oh, and Spawn #2’s first birthday is fast approaching. I know it will be hard to top a masterpiece like the dino cake — but I’m open to suggestions!