We decided to have one party for both girls this year, and the girls started calling it a "Share Birthday." They really latched onto the sharing idea in a way I hadn't anticipated. For all the effort of trying to teach them, beg them, force them to share... sometimes it just flows naturally - and isn't that beautiful? And maybe I should remember to stop lecturing and just spend more time baking with the kids, eh?
When we prepared the cakes, we baked the batter in tuna cans, making two very small, very tall cakes. I thought this was a lot of fun, but I was also worried - how exactly do you slice and share a very skinny cake? My mom, my trusty baking guru who is always on the other end of the phone, suggested cutting each layer in half, height wise - making the layers shorter and making more layers. Enough so that each guest could have their own little cake.
I told the kids about this idea, and explained that they could pick what color layers each guest received - so it would be a little gift they gave their guests. They pretty much thought that idea was AWESOME, and immediately had me call everyone to find out what their favorite color was.
[A couple of side notes about the cake:
1.) Making the layers shorter also meant that the birthday girl cake layers were a little neater and straighter and made the cakes tidier all together. Nice.
2.) One cake mix made about 14 tuna can size cakes, which I cut in half, so we had 28 layers. Each birthday girl had 6 layers, and each of the 5 guest cakes had 3, except for Daddy who got an extra 4th layer. You could also make nine 3-layer cakes.
3.) Even the small 3 layer cakes were really too much for a guest to eat in one sitting - it would have been super cool to have a little take-out boxes for the guests to take their extra cake home. Alas, we kept the leftovers.]
After choosing the colors and arranging the layers, I finished icing the cakes on my own. But the girls wanted to do more. They wanted to make more surprises for their guests! As I was icing the cakes, I realized I was going to have trouble telling them apart - so I had the idea that the girls could make cake toppers. I drew a set of circles on cardstock and had them draw a picture of each guest (and themselves) in a circle. There was probably a neater way of assembling them than what we did - but with a little scotch tape, blue paper and some grilling skewers we ended up with these cute cake toppers.
Our guests were also super gracious when I required each of them, one by one, to carefully cut their cake in half and pose for a picture with their cake and cake topper. It was exciting for me and the girls to see them opened as well, since they were pretty messy looking pre-icing, and so lovely when cut neatly open. Each cake got some oohs and aahs.
The cake toppers made nice party favors for grandparents and aunts. I think they would be cute in a potted plant. I love the set of our family that each girl made, and will probably do something with those soon...
I had a lot of fun doing all of these things with the kids - baking and scheming, color matching and drawing. It seems to be the best of parenting, the easiest and most fun part, and the part too easy to forget at times - the being together, sharing our days. This was so hard to grasp in the beginning, but its becoming clearer to me now. Here's to togetherness and the passing of time. Many years, my not-so-little ones!
Please, let me know if you have any cake questions. Although I wrote more about the cakes here and there are a million rainbow cake tutorials on the web. Much fun and great wow factor - I definitely recommend it!