This is not the cake I made for Tiny's birthday. Just in case you were wondering. This is a cupcake that Martha Stewart's team of cake stylists, food consultants and photographers created.
In the absence of these (I did try whistling out the back to see if there was a stray cake stylist behind the shed), these are the cakes I made for Tiny's birthday.
Cake number one.
This is the chocolate cake from my childhood, complete with chocolate icing and 100s and 1000s on the top. It's an old fashioned, simple cake that my mother baked for quite a few birthdays for my brothers and I. As such, despite of (or because of) its complete and utter humbleness, it now inhabits a kind of Pinnacle Of All Cakes status in my childhood mind and no fancy adult Death-By-Chocolate Mud Cake can rival it. I can still see a perfectly round one, iced and bejewelled, sitting pretty on our white painted dining room table.
As a 10-year-old fledgling cook, it was simple enough for me to cook on my own (with Mum's shouted guidance from the laundry below) and I loved the old, tattered recipe book it came from with my grandmother's orange-penned cross indicating which recipe was best out of the available options. So, when it came time to begin a little cake baking tradition for my own little family, it came as no surprise that I turned to this one. Not hedgehog cupcakes, I know, but something sweeter and more story filled.
Cake number two.
Yet, here could be the start of another tradition: very terrible birthday cakes with inedible decorations. Tiny is one lucky little boy, if you ask me. I'll remind him of this next year when I pull out the blue food dye for a dolphin-themed birthday cake that could go equally wrong.
For the record: Tiny thought both cakes were terrible and swallowed about a teaspoonful of each. He particularly thought the icing was an affront to his person. Others gobbled them up well enough, though, so I'm thinking this is just his little one-year-old idiosyncrasy.