Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

GratiTuesday - A DIY 'Landscape' Cake

They say that time flies when you're having fun.

In that case, I must be having a blast, because the past - dare I say it? - NINE years have just flown by.

Nine years ago today, our Big Helper was born - and it doesn't seem possible that it has been that long.

Since then, she's grown into a creative, talkative, artsy, entrepreneurial kid - with big ideas.

Every year I make a birthday cake for her of her choosing.  It's a tradition we started before she could even choose her cake.  Those early ones were of her goldfish tank and a princess castle.

This year, she chose something that shocked me.  What did she want?

"I want a landscape cake, Mommy," she calmly told me a few weeks ago.

How in the world do you make a landscape cake?  What is that, anyway??

To help me understand, I asked her to draw out her ideas.  She handed me this a few minutes later:

I had to look at it a while to get it.  Do you see the top and side views?  The key indicating icing color changes and topographical diversities?

Oh, boy.

So, the night before the party, my mom and I - I sure was glad she was there! - started baking and brainstorming.  We wanted to give her the cake she dreamed of, but we figured a few surprises wouldn't hurt, either.

So this is what we came up with.  It's a two-tiered chocolate cake with a blue-Jello river, complete with the fish that she asked for.  We 'planted' pumpkins in the garden and tucked a Gummy bear into a fruit-leather sleeping bag.  Icing covered waffle cones became pine trees and a combination of pretzel sticks and more fruit leather became a campfire.  We added a hammock and kayak, too, but might have been a bit loopy by that point.  (We tried to add a bear zipline, but the Gummy bear was too heavy and always ended up in the river.  Oops.) 

We made the boulders out of ganache-covered marshmallows and put Swedish fish and Goldfish in the river.  Graham cracker crumbs made the riverbank, and Oreo crumbs became the garden soil.

I think she liked it -at least, I hope so.

Before the candles even made it on the cake, she and her daddy put their heads together and started dreaming.  Before I knew it, another bear had been added - a fishing bear.

I'm rather scared to see what she'll dream up next year - but then, next year we'll be talking double digits, and I can't imagine that, either, so let's not go there.  In the meantime, I'm very happy to be taking the day off with my super-creative, artsy, imaginative daughter.

What are you thankful for today?


  1. Wow. What a cake! She is definitely your daughter....full of imagination and creativity! Is it possible this all started with the Egypt cake?

    1. I don't think so, Betsy! As crazy as it feels, apparently she remembers these cakes from year to year and they're a big deal to her. She remembers more of them than I expected, and she's been dreaming up this one for several months. Who knew that a cake would be such a big deal??

  2. It's Betsy, Amy. Didn't realize this was under our old blog name! :)