Recipes / Desserts

My Crash Course in Baking a Birthday Cake

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This week was Livingston’s 5th birthday, and we had initially decided to celebrate it later, and just keep his actual birthday low-key. Then, on Christmas night, the whole family was sleeping in the same room together, and as we were trying to fall asleep, I heard Livingston and my daughter Vida talking. Livingston was talking about his dream birthday cake …. He got into all sorts of details about this cake, explaining how it would be half chocolate and half vanilla — But most importantly, it had to have an orca whale on top. I couldn’t help but laugh listening to him go on and on about this dream cake of his.

So, I knew I had to try and re-create this cake of his for his actual birthday, and that it couldn’t wait until our belated celebration. The problem was that we were traveling, and there was no time to prep everything and make this cake happen in a relaxing manner!

The morning we arrived home, I had to head out to a meeting and then had less than one hour to get all the supplies because I didn’t have any help with the kids! It crossed my mind… Who do I know that can tell me of a specialty cake supply store where I could get everything all in one place instead of going to different Michael’s to try find everything I needed..?!?

And then, Bingo!! Duff Goldman came to mind! I reached out to Duff, the master of cakes, to see if he could offer me a little help on where I could go buy everything I needed. Duff did me one better, and told me to stop by his Los Angeles bakery and studio, Duff’s Cake Mix.  Duff set me up with all the materials I needed to create this dream cake for Livingston, including an inspiration photo to work from. He saved me on that day!!! He’s such a kind man!!

That night, Vida and I came up with a plan — We would pretend to go to sleep early with Livingston, and then get up and spend the rest of the night baking. Then came the big problem … Vida and I felt a sleep with him!!!! (I am sure if you are a parent, you can relate to this one )

When I opened my eyes it was midnight!!!! I decided it was better to go back to bed, and just get up really, really early to bake instead. Then at 1am, Vida pops out of bed to inform me that we have slept through our plan (she was also very upset that her little brother may not get his surprise dream cake). I calmed her down, and we agreed to go back to bed, and get up before the sun came up so that we would have enough time to make it happen!

We were in the kitchen and baking away before the sun came out! Check out my birthday cake chronicles below to see how we managed to pull off this half chocolate, half vanilla, blue ocean with an orca whale on top surprise birthday cake for Livingston!

Now the cake didn’t turn out exactly like the inspiration picture that Duff sent me, as the design got pretty challenging — But it made Livingston really happy!! And I have decided to take some fondant classes!

Let me know if you have any similar stories like this!

Beijos xx

This was the inspiration photo for the cake that Duff sent me!

I headed to Duff’s Cakemix, where Duff was awesome enough to leave me all the supplies I needed to make this cake.

After Vida and I slept through our plan, we got up before it was light out and got to work in the kitchen!

Baking and taste testing

I made the whale out of rice cereal!

Then, Vida and I covered it in chocolate.

And finally, we covered it in black and white fondant.

The final result! He was so proud of the cake he wanted to cut the cake and serve it to everyone and he said…mamma why you didn’t make the other Finn…! Mamma ran out of time my love !

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