My Life in Birthday Cakes

See that cute birthday girl in the photo above?  That’s me!  At least it was me in 1983.

 The photo is me celebrating my 5th birthday at preschool, with a birthday cake made by my mom.  This was one of the many “clown cakes” my mom made over the years.  The cake is decorated with cute plastic clown heads placed on bodies made of frosting.  I remember standing in the kitchen watching my mom make these cakes (she made several over the years).  We (kids) would pose in the position we wanted the clowns to be in, and my mom did a pretty great job matching our request.

My mom is a wonderful cook and baker and almost always made our (me and my two sisters) birthday cakes.  I think this is one of the reasons it’s important to me to make the cakes for my two girls.  I remember how special it was to get to watch my mom make our cakes, and get to add our input.  I recently dug through old photos looking for some of the cakes my mom made for me.  My mom is not a professional chef, but the cakes she made were so special and beautiful to us.

(Above) Here is my 8th birthday cake.  I’ve always loved rainbows.  Oh, and look… more clowns!

(Above)  My mom bringing me a homemade birthday cake.  I think I was turning 10.

(Above)  Me and another special cake made by my mom (I think I’m turning 11 here).  I think it’s clowns again… my mom actually made several other designs (I remember a 3D panda, a barbie doll dress, and several others) it just happened that the photos I found were mostly the clown ones!

So fast forward a few years… I’m married and have two daughter’s of my own.  My oldest daughter’s 4th birthday was her first “big” party, and the first time I attempted cake decorating.  My daughter had requested a “Princess castle cake”.  I spent several months searching for ideas and watching cake decorating videos on You-Tube.  Then I spent the better part of a day and a half doing my best to fulfill her request.

Here is Grace with her “Princess castle cake”.

By Grace’s next birthday, I had a little more decorating experience and wanted to try covering a cake with fondant.  So I made my first fondant cake in the requested theme, Hello Kitty.

That same year, I made a Strawberry Shortcake themed cake for my youngest daughter, Joy’s 2nd birthday.

Along with matching strawberry cupcakes…

Last year, it was Grace’s turn for a “big” party again (we do big parties for our girls every other year), and I made a cake and cupcakes to accompany her candy themed birthday (blogged here).

(Photo by Nathan Chilton)

(Photo by Nathan Chilton)

Last month we had a fun ladybug themed party (blogged here) for my “baby” Joy (now 4).  Here is the ladybug cake I made (decorated with sugar cookies made by Sweet Sugar Belle).

I look forward to many more years of making birthday cakes for my daughters.  And I hope they will remember them as fondly as I remember the ones my mom made for me.

As a side note…

I think homemade birthday cakes are very special, but that in no means equates to saying that there is anything wrong with the vast majority of moms/families who buy store bought cakes.  If you enjoy making homemade cakes, great… if not, feel no guilt from me!

Happy Celebrating!


  1. Cute! I would love to know how you make your strawberries on top of your cupcakes. Fondant, I'm assuming, but that's where my knowledge ends! I've never worked with fondant but I want to!

  2. Wow! You (and your mum!) are so talented! xx

  3. Beautiful! You are so talented!

  4. This is such a wonderful post! You have two very lucky little girls. I remember my mum had one childrens birthday cake cookbook, between my brother and I we had most of the cakes in the book.

  5. Loved this post Glory! You are very talented indeed & a great inspiration. My passion for parties comes from my Mum too. Great memories, great parties. I'm sure our kids will feel the same.

  6. It is my daughter's 12th birthday this Friday and I have outsourced making the cake to a friend. I am hopeless in that area and so decided that I don't need the stress of making the cake as well as preparing for 8 girls to sleep over too.
    Mind you if I was as focused as you and as talented I would definitely be making my cake. In the meantime my friends cake will do.

  7. This is a fun post. I looked back at your posts about your girl's birthday party's and I am so blown away by your creativity and talent!

  8. what a wonderful post.

    Your own cakes get better and better. I've got a long way ahead of me to gain skills anything like that.

    Cute little girls you have there too 🙂

  9. Love this post! I always made my girls birthday cakes and my talents back then were pretty limited. They are still happy memories for them and they can tell me what each theme was even now and they are 19. Now that I have become so consumed with cupcakes my daughter has been telling me all year that she wants circus themed cupcakes for her this year(huh? going to be 20?) So I keep pretending I'm not paying attention telling her that she's too old and what not but you know she's going to get her circus themed cupcakes because no matter what she's still my baby. LOL

  10. Wow!!!! So beautiful! I can only imagine what's next!

  11. I love seeing the pictures of you and you're birthday cakes! I love that you actually remember the cake and the age you were turning! I really need to have the girls help me with baking more. I sometimes feel like they're in the way, but I need to include them more. Thanks for sharing the memories! Love you!

  12. Beautiful post, as was your last one. You have a way of showing us that the simple things are so very important and meaningful 🙂

  13. Many years of found memories. A very fun tradition to carry on.

  14. I loved seeing the photos from your younger years! It's so very true. I remeber ever single cake mom made me also =) Made me smile!

  15. Love the marking of a passage of time!
    I have those wavy white cake pedestals, too!

  16. Lovely cakes & it's wonderful to see how your skills have developed with each birthday!

  17. I can't believe that beautiful Hello Kitty cake was your first attempt at a fondant cake. It's incredible! My first attempt with fondant was my last attempt 😉 Great job!

  18. Wow. So many fab cakes throughout the years. What a talent!! My kids not quite so lucky. lol.

  19. Adorable little girls, their expressions are so sweet! Your cakes are so gorgeous! I've done cakes for many years and now am pretty much not. However, one day need to get my hands messy and try out fondant! May get attacked again to doing cakes! Lori

  20. I love this post! I remember all the cakes (well almost) that mom always made for us and I continue the tradition of making them for my sons. I try to make a cake that represents their year. Now, there are many times that I curse myself for feeling that this is so important (those late nights!). But am always rewarded with the joy on their faces and relieved that they recognize what I attempted to make!

  21. These cakes are so cute! you're sooo talented!

  22. You do beautiful work!

  23. Your daughters are beautiful! And my, your cakes are awesome!

  24. I'm glad you shared some of your past. It just goes to show that those of us who lack your talent can still impress wonderful memories on our children's hearts with our attempts at beautiful things for them.

    My mom too made all of our cakes and they were SO SPECIAL to me!

  25. Aw, what a sweet post. I love that you have all the photos of your cakes as a kid… I wish I h ad those. Your girls are adorable 🙂

  26. your are so talented Glory.. you are my inspiration 🙂
    your daughters are so lucky to have a mom like you 🙂

  27. Is there a link for the strawberry cupcakes?

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