Saturday, May 1, 2010

Your Birthday Is When?

You know how people are always suggesting "find something you love, then try to find a way to make money doing it" ?... well, unless napping or eating Wine Gums® (which I am STILL pissed I can't get in the states) becomes a paid occupation (or Olympic event- which I would soooo gold medal in btw)... I think that turning most enjoyable things into work would SUCK. Seriously.

See, I have been baking and creating the most retarded cakes for YEARS for friends and family. They have NEVER looked professional, but they do always taste good. Anyone that has ever received one of these insane creations has always loved it and understood exactly why they just got a cake that looked the way it did.

Sometimes it was an inside joke, other times it's just flat out obvious (even to strangers) ... but, again, NEVER will they look professional.

The problem (if you can even call it that) is that every single time I create one of these silly cakes someone inevitably says "you should do this for a living!" While I appreciate the vote of confidence as well as the compliment ... I often question why in the world they would think that a cake which probably looks like a very crafty 8 year old made it would ever be commissioned by a stranger. .... and while I am on the subject of "strangers"... I don't want to bake for people I don't know, where is the fun in that?

So, all that being said... here are some (I wish I actually did remember to take pictures all these years of some of the sillier ones...) of the bizarre creations that were born in my head and came to fruition in the kitchen.....

Drew's Buddha cake. Homemade strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting (his choice).. solid dark chocolate hand painted Buddha on top (which I had to special order from some fancy schmancy confectionery shop in California) and white & milk chocolate hand painted "Om's" all around...

Seniel's goofy B-day cake. She wanted rainbows and flying unicorns... so I made one out of marzipan... a scuplter I AM NOT!

Chris' (my brother) 30th b-day cake... this was in 2004....)

For Kristin's son Joseph's B-day. She said he loved skateboards, the colors blue and red... and dug skulls... this is what I created at 3am.

Claussen's "the surprise is on you!" surprise party.... not too many got the joke at first. We, well...I, told everyone there was a surprise birthday party for Claussen... only Claussen knew about it. We (Claussen & I) were planning this together. Then a few days before the party we decided to convince everyone it was a Disco/70's party. 
As expected everyone showed up in giant afro wigs, bell bottoms, sequins, and bad make up... then they all waited around to yell "surprise!"... only Claussen was in the guest bedroom the whole time cracking up as the crowd shouted "surprise" at a few pre-arranged late arrivals... then when no one was really looking in the direction of the room he was in he casually sauntered out into the room and just really mellow like said "hey, surprise."
Of course he and I thought this was hysterical... but that could also be the reason we lasted so long as housemates. We loved stupid stuff.

This one was for Christian, and had an army theme... 'cause he was a trooper for going out the night before in upstate NY, drinking to the point of puking, then driving the 5 hours + boat ride to get to Colin and I so WE could celebrate with him.

I wish I had a picture of the actual final stage of this cake. I was kinda proud of how it came out. Big globs of snow (butter cream frosting) on the trees & all. But I did make all the little South Park characters, and yes, that is Mr. Hanky writing "Happy Birthday Isaiah" in poo. :) (I refuse to grow up... plus that was funny.) That cake was also HUGE. 4 layers and like 12 lbs!

I will never forget the day I made this for Krista's birthday. My stove, oven, and microwave ALL stopped working within 5 minutes of each other and I had to do some serious improvisation that day!

This was (obviously) for my friend Jon's 40th birthday... and it was almost life sized.... but I'm going to have to show you a second picture of it... specifically the moment he took the first bite... in front of HIS MOTHER. (Who happens to be an amazing woman that laughed her ass off when it happened)
(pretty great eh?)

Different year, same birthday boy as above... the eyes lit up and wobbled all around too. :)
(Still wish I had a picture of the "stripper cake" I made for him a year or two before the Medusa cake. THAT was impressive, and very tall.)

For Aylish's (my friend's daughter) 3rd B-day... a princess cake.
*note to self... don't cut the rice crispy treats into bricks and glue them individually with butter cream frosting to make a castle if you A) want to get any sleep the night before or B) don't want to have a minor coronary trying to get it down the bumpy dirt road.

This was the year my friend Andrea & her husband John moved into a new place and didn't have more than 4 plates & forks... so I made cupcakes covered in homemade mocha butter cream frosting and fresh berries for Andrea's birthday.

Colin's drum kit cake... made to look like it does down in the basement where he & the band practice... surrounded by empty beer cans (which were made out of marzipan)

This would be one of my more infamous creations among my group of friends. Not only because it was an absolutely delicious cake made to look like kitty litter (and it really did, people were totally afraid to eat it at first)... but it was for my former business partner (the one I refer to as Capt. Douchebag now) back when we were best friends.... and he turned out to be a shit head... who woulda thunk a cake could predict the future? :)

For a different friend named John... who didn't want to broadcast his age... so instead I broadcasted how much he liked boobies :)

This was for my friend Andrea's baby shower. That tree took FOREVER to figure out how to make... but in the end it was sculpted with homemade rice crispy treats and then held together with melted dark chocolate... then wee meringue leaves made around 4am individually glued with frosting to the tree.

Gemma's pinup birthday cake ... the fact that she looked like a negative was not intentional, but we all thought it was funny. I did get help from a friend of mine that is a professional baker with the design of this one.

 This was for my friend Matt that used to do a lot of the landscaping on Main St. and was always having to deal with punk ass kids ripping plants out of their planters and/or tipping it over. It was a fun cake to make.

 This one was made to mimic the business card of the business he had just started.

 Colin's birthday cake last year. I had to google so many images of sushi to try to figure out how to make this ('cause I don't eat the stuff)... but I thought the cup of soy sauce (melted chocolate), scoop of wasabi (peeled kiwi), and the strips of ginger (shreaded fruit roll ups), rice (frosting soaked rice crispies cereal), and scoops of salmon (watermelon) were quite clever.
So... now maybe you might understand why I groan when someone mentions their birthday is coming up... it means I need to start stressing out about what kind of cake to make you!... just know I make 'um with love, and only for people I love. (Which is a good thing... 'cause I'd be like "WTF!! is this crap!" if someone gave me one of these cakes that a stranger made and they actually paid for!  The love I put into the cakes kinda blinds people to the fact that they are remedial as hell.

Oh... one last cake... 
My "brother from another Mother" got  married last year, & his mother and fiance asked me to make the grooms cake... I was all about it, right up until I realized that everone at the wedding would see it!
I tried SO SO SO hard to make something that was "him"... and what I ended up doing was fun, and I tried to create little sculptures of him & his bride ... but no mater how hard I tried to make one of her... it was just downright insulting... so the groom sat alone a top the baseball..... was yumy though... and like a zillion pounds! It had to feed 50 people!  (It was the "back up" for the wedding cake!)

I don't know about you... but I am craving a tall glass of milk right now. 


  1. Gillian, these are AMAZING!! I may have to recruit you to create a masterpiece for Isaac's first birthday!

  2. Hey, another baker! :-D I think your cakes are much better than you think they are. We're all super self-critical. And I personally would rather eat an ugly cake that tasted amazing than an amazing cake that tastes like a bum's button hole.