Remember when I last made a birthday cake (the Tinkerbell number here) I talked about how I frustrate myself leaving everything to the last minute? I stayed up til the early hours of the morning finishing the Tinkerbell cake and vowed that next time would be different.
It wasn't. I excelled myself this time (grrrr, not in a good way) and didn't start it until 7pm on Friday evening. (The party was at lunchtime on Saturday.) I beat my personal best and stayed up until 3am on Saturday, this time making monkey faces. (Snorted with laughter to myself as I wrote that last line. Sounds like I was up until three in the morning pulling faces.)
Want to see?
This cake was for my niece. It was her birthday last week and she had her party yesterday. My sister asked for a jungle-themed birthday cake and 20 cupcakes to match.
I was like a one-woman production line. Leaving everything to the [very] last minute meant I had to be uber-organised. My beloved KitchenAid mixer was pushed to its limits too: making an 8" sponge a 5" sponge and two dozen cupcakes requires a lot of batter. At one point it had a nine-egg mix in it but didn't make grumble once and happily got on with the job of mixing whilst I perched on my kitchen stool fashioning jungle animals from sugarpaste.
I was listening to ClassicFM the whole time (my radio station of choice when I want to listen to music but need to concentrate) but in my head I was singing a number of jungly songs. Obviously I was singing The Lion Sleeps Tonight as I made this little chap.
Hey Hey, We're the Monkeys!
Off she went with a trumpety trump. Trump! Trump! Trump!
|Spot the lovely birthday bunting from Jooles?|
And here are the cupcakes, all boxed up at the party, ready for the children to take home as party favours. My sister made the decision to eschew the traditional 'loot bag' party favour thing and simply gave the children one of my monkey face cupcakes and a monkey-shaped balloon, which they all loved.
(And off they all went, swinging their cupcakes around by the pretty ribbons... deep breath, Nicki...)
My mum had a brief 'moment' at the party where she almost ran out to the shops for party bags (and plastic tat) after chatting to one of the mums who said to her "...and of course, you have to get the party bags just right, they're the most important thing of all...". She came rushing into the kitchen (where I was making tea for the parents/gossiping with dad) all breathless and slightly panicky. Poor mum; it was very funny though. She had another 'moment' when one or two of the monkey-shaped balloons started to deflate prematurely. 'What are the children going to go home with?!' she hissed.
You know, there is so much pressure to do 'the right thing' and the children at my niece's party just had a bouncy castle and a few toys to run around playing with. They all had a fab time and went home with rosy cheeks and droopy eyes.
There was only one casualty of the day. Poor old Nelly:
The cake was displayed on a low table so that the children could see it. Every single child immediately reached out for one of the animals but, as we all know, parents have lightening-fast reactions and managed to swipe little hands away. One little boy's parents weren't quite quick enough... Ha!
I'm recuperating today with an afternoon in front of the fire with the Downton Abbey boxset and an easy chilli for dinner this evening.
Have a fab week!
PS. The cake was all made by me with the help of a great 'sleepy lion' tutorial by Lorraine McKay. Lorraine also helped with the monkey faces. Check out her website and her brilliant tutorials on youtube. She rules (and has a lovely voice, too).