A Piece of Cake

Pinterest cake decorating ideas, made in a real mom's kitchen

Pinterest is both blessing and curse for parents planning a kid’s birthday party. Inspiration strikes the eye on every board, yet pictorial perfection isn’t always simple to replicate. Cakes that look easy and breezy onscreen may not translate in a real family kitchen.

For my kids’ parties over the years, I’ve both spent tons of money on the “ideal” store-bought photo cake (superimposing my older son’s likeness over Daniel Radcliffe’s, for a barely edible Hogwarts decal stuck atop too-sweet icing) and last-minute slapped red and white icing on a mix base (for a confectionary Pokéball that was such a hit, my younger son asked me to make it again the next year). 

The fact that the rough, homemade cake trumped the gorgeous bakery version with the person who mattered most — my birthday kid — inspired me to try my hand at some themed Pinterest cakes for this, our annual Party Issue. I spent a recent Sunday afternoon cooking up the four cakes on this page (Castle, Fish, Popcorn and Lego), chosen because they were cute, required few ingredients and seemed fairly straightforward to assemble. 

Click here to see the Pinterest originals, an ingredient list and a basic tutorial. You can judge for yourself whether these attempts are truly social media–worthy. But once again, my kids — who at 15 and 13 have sadly aged out of Pokémon — genuinely got a kick out of the results. They especially loved the real kettle corn on the popcorn cake (it looked better than marshmallows) and ran the castle cake around the corner to share with their friends at a neighborhood b-ball game. 

I’m not sure if there’s a lesson here, other than when it comes to throwing a party, maybe we should listen more to what our kids like than stress over a picture-perfect plan we think will look impressive on a Pinterest board. 

Party on and email us pics of your favorite real-mom's cake, so we can share them with the rest of our readers.


Categories: Food & Nutrition, MK Memo, Party Features, Your Home