I made this cake for Isabella for her 23rd birthday, and the one below for Jessie for her 1st birthday.
It was a conscious continuation of a tradition that my parents started when my own kids were little – my mother baked the birthday cake and my father iced and decorated it. Some of their creations were funny, some ingenious, some bizarre – but all were remarkable. Here’s a little stroll down birthday-cake memory lane (with apologies for the quality of the photographs, most of which were taken with disposable cameras)…
Above: Daniel’s 1st birthday cake: a clown.
Above: Daniel’s 2nd birthday cake: a dog. Daniel’s first recognisable word (ie, one that wasn’t of his own creation) was “Bator”, which was the name of the dog that lived on the property next-door to my parents’ house in Camps Bay. It’s a little ironic, given this start, that today Daniel is not a dog person at all.
Above: Daniel’s 3rd birthday cake: a helicopter. It took me a while to work out that Daniel actually thought that I was the one obsessed with helicopters, because whenever one flew over our house in Observatory, I’d excitedly call him to come and look.
Above: Daniel’s 4th birthday cake: not Kaa the snake. My father went fishing that morning and left my mother and me to create Kaa the snake from The Jungle Book. We did what can safely be called an awful job.
Above: Daniel’s 8th birthday cake: an owl. He was absolutely crazy about birds.
Above: Isabella’s 1st birthday cake: an elephant.
Above: Isabella’s 2nd birthday cake: a dinosaur (eating the “I” of “Isabella”).
Above: Isabella’s 4th birthday cake: Sleeping Beauty. It’s such a pity this picture is overexposed, as the cake was a cracker: my father had laid a Barbie on a cake-bier to represent Sleeping Beauty, and had simulated her sleeping state with a drop of white icing on each wide-open eye. The cake caused quite a stir, and I only realised why on the Monday when I took Isabella to preschool and her teacher took me aside for a word: was it true (she asked) that Isabella had had a dead person for a birthday cake?
Above: Isabella’s 6th birthday cake: a flower.
Above: Isabella’s 7th birthday cake: Barbie. (A much more successful outing than Sleeping Beauty!)
Above: Isabella’s 8th birthday cake: a 3D treasure chest filled with treasure.
Above: Isabella’s 10th birthday cake: a 2D house. As sweet as this is, it’s not a patch on the cake my folks created for Daniel’s 8th birthday (of which, alas, there is no picture): a 3D house along the lines of our Observatory house, complete with a burglar with a full sack of loot climbing out of one of the windows! (Our house had been robbed several times by then.)
Above: Isabella’s 11th birthday cake: a Powerpuff girl.
My cake contribution to my kids’ birthdays was always a tray of cupcakes I sent with them to school to share with their friends:
Here are a few other interesting cakes from my photograph albums…
Above: The cake my parents made for my then husband, David, for completing the Argus in 1991. It reads “Wheel done, Dave!”
Above: My friend Fluff made these matching lasagnes for me for my 28th birthday dinner, and very cleverly “iced” them with the words “Hapi B’day Tracey” – in green pepper!
Above: My parents made this cake for me for my 34th birthday. It’s a “female” symbol, smoking a cigarette and drinking a martini. Hahahaha!