Small, But Not Insignificant

Making cakes is pretty much the best job ever.  You get to play with your food and create something that will make people happy.  For the most part, the occasions that we get to be involved with are cheery ones.  From weddings and birthdays to baby showers and graduations.  These are festive events where people are surrounded by those who matter most and we are thrilled to get to be a small part of those occasions.

When you do hundreds of cakes each year, it’s hard to pick a favorite or select one that meant the most.  But anytime you get to create a for your mom, it’s extra special.  And this year’s cake for my mom was just that.

My mom’s birthday falls on Christmas, so I work hard to help her have a good birthday that is separate from the hoopla of stockings and presents and anything red and green.  My mom is very creative and expresses her creativity through different forms of art including drawing and knitting.  One of my favorite forms of her drawing is zentangle.

Zentangle is a form of doodling that creates really cool works of art through drawing different patterns and my mom is really good at it.  So for her birthday cake this year I took her love of zentangle and combined it with her favorite color and a few of her favorite things.

I started by baking her favorite cake flavor: LEMON.  I layered the lemon cake with a lemon curd filing and crumb coated the cake to lock in the crumbs and let it chill.  While the cake firmed up, I mixed up some buttercream in four different shades of her favorite color: YELLOW.  Once the cake was chilled, I piped each of the four colors onto her cake in bands or rings starting with the darkest at the bottom and ending with the lightest on top.  Then I smoothed the cake, which created an ombre look.  Once smooth, I put the cake back in the fridge to chill some more.

For the decoration on the cake, I found zentangle images of her favorite things: her dog, her cat, her chickens and her favorite hobby – knitting.  I also found a “Happy Birthday” zentangle image for the topper.  I printed each of the images on edible paper and mounted them on fondant.  I set them aside to dry and I cut her grandmother name, Yaya, out of fondant.  To assemble the cake, I put her name on the board and the images around the sides of the cake attached with buttercream or piping gel.  I then added skewers to the topper and inserted in on top of the cake.

This cake was small, but the amount of love it was created with was definitely not.  Happy Birthday, Yaya!!