Cake Decorating 101
Fun fact: October 10 is Cake Decorating Day or so says the website Days of the Year. Growing up, my mom always baked and decorated our birthday cakes. She even attended a class on cake decorating and bought several different pans to bake with. Not only did we enjoy the fruits of her labor, but so did others. She would bake cakes for other people’s birthdays, baby showers and even a handful of wedding cakes.
It was only natural that when I had kids of my own that I would try to duplicate this talent. My skills are nowhere near that of Memaw’s, but for the first several birthday parties we hosted for our children, my wife and I came up with some killer cakes.
The Superman cake pan my mom bought in the early 80s to make my brother’s Superman and Incredible Hulk cakes with came in handy when I did it in 2005 to make our oldest son’s Mr. Incredible Cake. A year later I used that pan to create a Batman cake. For my designs, it was the Mr. Incredible one I’m most proud of.
My wife did an amazing job with our middle son’s dinosaur themed birthday party. She baked a volcano for the big day. In addition to the plastic dinosaurs, there was lava flowing made from fruit roll-ups. There was even a spot inside for a small chunk of dry ice that shot off smoke to complete the visual. That was without a doubt my favorite of our short stint as cake bakers.
But the common link to all of our cakes through the years was the icing recipe. My sons and I used it for the Fellers’ Cake Bake in Cub Scouts for several years too.
Memaw’s Cake Icing
She doubles this recipe, as it only ices one small cake typically.
1/2 cup Crisco
1 stick of softened margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 TBS milk
1 pound powdered sugar
Beat first four ingredients (Crisco, margarine, vanilla, and almond extract) well and slowly add the powdered sugar. When mix becomes dry, add the milk. Beat an additional two to three minutes.
Here are a few of the other cakes we came up with before opting for store-bought options or giant iced chocolate chip cookies.
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