Why My Daughter’s Birthday Cake Will Always Be Homemade

 

 

As a nutritionist, cooking at home is an important part of my life. I want to provide my children with the healthiest, most nutrient dense foods available…most of the time. While I do believe in a nutritious and balanced diet, that is not why my daughter’s birthday cake will always be homemade. 

           

                     

My daughter just had her third birthday. I threw her a “Teddy Bear Picnic” themed party complete with bear ears, balloons & a picnic outside. I also baked her a totally adorable and delicious chocolate cake made to look like a bear! 

              

              

It wasn’t perfect, but she loved it and so did all of her friends. Everyone enjoyed their share, and got a kick out of the textured frosting on his ears.

Two weeks later, my son had his first birthday and once again my Mixer was in full force as I whipped up a completely different cake creation for him! His was a blue ombre cake with sprinkles! (Tutorial on how to make this cake coming soon.)

   
           
Would it have been easier to pick something up from Costco? Of course. Will I ever buy a birthday cake for my kids? No. My daughter’s (and son’s) birthday cake will always be homemade. And here’s why.
 
Birthday cake is more than just food. It is a symbol, a celebration, a token of love. It might be the best part of having a birthday, period. Sure, the presents are pretty great, but is it a birthday without cake? I’m happy to outsource the decorations and the entertainment, but there is one thing my husband and I have chosen to make with our own hands every year for each of our kids, and that’s the cake. 
            
                       
It’s not just me who gets in on the fun. My husband stepped up to the plate when I was 9+ months pregnant with my son and baked a trampoline cake for my daughter’s second birthday last year! He had so much fun working on the design and perfecting the colors and accessories.
Do we choose to bake at home because we want to make a gluten-free, dye-free, refined-sugar-free, concoction that is oh-so-healthy and packed full of hidden veggies? Nope! In fact, I don’t believe birthday cake needs to be “healthy” at all! I am a firm believer of all things in moderation, and what’s more moderate than having some cake once a year?  

Birthday cake = butter + sugar + flour = deliciousness. 

 
Right now, making a cake at home is a labor of love. It takes time (which is scarce for me as a stay at home mom of two kids under 3) but it will become a tradition. It will become something we look forward to every year, something that my children and I can enjoy together. For now I’m choosing the theme and the flavor, but as soon as next year my daughter will tell me what she wants and help mix the batter. She will find a sense of pride when the cake comes out just right. When her friends oooh and ahhh at the beautiful creation she will beam with happiness. It will be something she can do with her children when she becomes a mother, and she’ll think of her mom and dad. 
 

 

Isn’t food amazing that way? I remember the taste of my grandfather’s lasagna as much as I remember his laugh. One bite of my mother’s Sunday gravy and I’m transported to a dinner table in suburban New Jersey. People live on through food. Food is a way to celebrate life, and isn’t that the whole point of a birthday?

 

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