Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Birthday! Creative Cakes through the Years

Thanks to my old roomies for this yummy classic!

Birthday cakes are a great tradition, especially the not so traditional kinds. You may have seen how I like to take my baked goods in creative and often nerdy directions with the Firefly inspired Jayne Hat Bundt Cake, the Psych Pineapple Upside Down Cake, the Final Fantasy 6 (FFVI) Ultros Cake, and the yummy and surprising Pinata Cake, but that's hardly the tip of the iceberg. To help celebrate my own recent birthday, here are some birthday cake throwbacks to whet your appetites!

Super Smash Bros., old school!

My first ever nerd cake was way back in my tween years (before I had a digital camera to properly document the occasion). Thanks to my brothers who came before me, I got an early start as a nerd and modeled my cake loosely after Link's level in the original Super Smash Bros. Please note that this is right out of the N64 version - clearly I was on to something with King Dedede and Zelda! 

The Zelda characters are lying down on the job!

When creating this cake, I proudly made a point to make all of the characters entirely edible - no toothpicks here! Marshmallows coated in sprinkles were the base for the Pokemon Pikachu and Jigglypuff, as well as Kirby's clan. Airheads, Whoppers, prtezels, jelly beans, and other fantastically adaptable candies accounted for the rest. Needless to say, they were delicious.

The Dessert-ed Island!

The next year I pulled out all the stops and made what I think to this day, is my crowning achievement in epic birthday cakes - a volcanic island scene complete with pirate shipwreck! The island itself was a giant, three part chocolate chip cookie with graham cracker crumb sand, and a cake Mount Doom graced the shores with a teddy graham pirate shipwreck just off the coast. 

You can see from the picture, we had a lot of fun with the details on this one. Add in a bit of friendly sea life with gummy sharks and octopi, goldfish crackers, and the elusive donut Nessie... Invite Ariel, Huck Finn and a wayward inner tuber... Kirby even came back for the party!

Sauron's eye was bigger than his stomach...

The Mount Doom cake came complete with a marshmallow Frodo climbing Necco wafer steps to drop the candy necklace ring into its fiery depths (a.k.a. red frosting). Ingeniously, we baked this one in two oven-safe bowls of different sizes and stacked them inverted to get that great volcano figure. But that's not all folks... the shipwreck was cake, too!

Pirate ship - pre-shipwreck
The funny thing was, I made this masterpiece the day before the party, and despite my skillful cake-itecture, the ship did not hold its own weight - literally. By day two, the pirate ship was a shipwreck! BUT, a shipwreck fits into a seascape just as well. Throw in a few gummy ring life preservers for the stranded teddy graham pirates and we are good to go. Speaking of boats...

The Battle of Chi Bi, a.k.a. the Table of Yu Mi

The chronicles of awesome cakes gone by would not be complete without mention of the mighty Dynasty Warriors Cake. I made this for my dear friend/fellow nerd's birthday back in college, and the cake layout was modeled after the Chi Bi level in Dynasty Warriors 3 (can we see a theme here?), each separate cake being a different boat platform from the game. 

A brutal M&M skirmish!
The different colors of M&Ms represented the good guys, bad guys, and bodyguards, just like in the game's map view. We even had mini-cupcakes as life-giving pork buns and gummy shark infested waters below. Unfortunately, we realized last minute that we had no graham crackers for the planks between ships, but luckily we had biscotti on hand to fill the bill.

Bob the Builder? Try Bob the Baker!

For my nephew's birthday a few years back, my cousin Sophie and I continued the creative cake tradition by crafting this glorious, edible tractor. For a little boy barely out of toddling, he sure did know his construction vehicles! Keebler elf cookies drove this creation, complete with donut wheels, a graham cracker back hoe, and a delicious yellow paint job!

For the Artist, the Frog Prince, & the Writer (me!)

My most recent clever birthday cake was more artsy than nerdy, but no less creative in my opinion. Here I used the super cool art of chocolate painting to make panels that lined the circumference of the cake, along with some fun doodles for the top.

For the Abstract, the Equestrian, & the Marathon Runner

For a bit of extra challenge, I designed each panel to represent one of the guests at the birthday party! It took a while to get each one perfect, but it was worth it in the end, and the guests certainly liked their personalized panels!

For the Geologist, the Geocacher, and the Mighty 'Mato!

Can you spot the pineapple...?

Thanks, Mary! ;)

Thanks so much to all the people who helped make these cakes, helped eat them, or even made them for me (Triforce cake!). Even Google changed their logo just for me! Here's to another sweet, nerdy, and awesomely creative year, everybody! 

Let's celebrate!!


  1. Nice post. Awesome birthday cakes and cake toppers. Thanks for sharing this great post globally.

    1. My pleasure, thank you for your kind comment! :)

  2. If you set out to make me think today; mission accomplished! I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Thank you. best wedding cakes in los angeles