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The Best Birthday Cake Ever, The Worst Birthday Cake Ever


hillvalley
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Everyone has one great birthday cake they remember from their childhood. And there are ones that just sucked. Spill 'em.

Best: 6th grade birthday party. I don't like cake that much but Love Hostess and Tasty Cake so we made a pyramid using a huge variety of different types of treats. I had a package of HoHo's and Pink Snowballs.

Can't remember a bad or disappointing one.

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Honestly, I can't remember any, though I'm sure I've had birthday cakes. Is this really weird?

I've never been a big cake person, so maybe that's why I don't have any recall. I usually just eat some frosting and leave the cake alone.

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We always went out to dinner for birthdays. No cake was ever involved for the most part. I did make an outstanding rice crispies treat castle for the boy 15 or so years ago. That was well received.

For a recent birthday, my daughter (the baker :):)) made a beautiful devil's food cake with yummy buttercream frosting & tiffany blue rolled fondant with pretty goldfish accents. Very nicely executed.

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My two favorite cakes were the homemade three layer German Chocolate cake that I requested often, and then the cake that was Barbie's dress around a real Barbie. I was really, really excited about the Barbie one, I was pretty obsessive about my Barbie stuff.

I can't remember any bad birthday cakes, well I do remember screwing up the chocolate meringue pie for my brother by accidentally adding 1T instead of 1t of salt. But Mom never generally used mixes or store bought. We had a couple cakes made by people (like Barbie) but they were generally people that were well regarded for their ability to bake (small, small town). I also screwed up a lavender cake I was making for my Hubby, it generally grew and went spilling all over the oven. I am sure there were doozies when making mine, Mom just probably hid it well, or chucked it and served ice cream or something.

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Because you've given me a chance to share- I just made the best birthday cake I've ever made for my sister's birthday- the recipe is the yellow cake with chocolate frosting from Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco. It is the first thing I've made from that book, but so far highly recommended. The frosting has egg whites- so is that an italian buttercream?

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As a child, all my birthday cakes came from now-defunct Leonard's, an old style German bakery on Lexington Avenue (I grew up in NYC). All the cakes from there were the best birthday cakes ever. One that stands out had an apricot filling with yellow cake - I think I was 6 - and a porcelain ballerina on top.

Worst birthday cake was my 30th birthday party when my "friend" (not anymore and not for this reason) waltzed in late with a chocolate cake. I don't like chocolate (please don't berate me - been this way since I was very young). And anyone who knows me knows that. So I had no birthday cake on my 30th birthday. Worst birthday cake ever.

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WORST:

My Mom would always make a "theme" cake for our bdays and full out decorate it; it was always tasty and fun, except for one time. And that one time was my worst cake ever. I had a childhood friend who's bday was 3 days before mine, so our Moms would do a combo party for us. When I was first diagnosed a T1 diabetic at the age of 9, it was summertime. 6 months later for my birthday my Mom was gun shy, and back then there were not many options for diabetics so she made me an angel food cake with frozen strawberries (bday is in December) and pink whipped cream frosting (all made with sugar substitute) Meanwhile my friend had a decadent chocolate cake from a bakery, because her Mom didn't bake like mine did. To make matters worse, we were having a bowling party, and I had to leave my own party and go home due to a major ear ache from an ear infection. Amazing how clear a memory I have of an event nearly 40 years ago!

BEST:

Anything my hubby has made for me. He used to experiment by baking cakes for my office and would outdo himself each time. We have walls of cookbooks and magazines (mostly baking) that unfortunately have not been used of late. Slowly but surely, he is taking baby steps getting back in to baking.* Hopefully he will continue to do so as his cakes are visually and taste-wise exceptional, and he really did enjoy the process as well as seeing the result. He never was much one for eating them but it's a long road back to confidence.

* A quintuple bypass will do that to you. :)

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My mother was an excellent baker, so it's hard for me to single out just one cake. Even after my brother and I left the house, she would cook whatever we wanted for a birthday dinner and dessert (later, for the grandkids, too). For the last twenty years or so mine was zuppa inglese, which she made with spongecake, rum, black raspberry jam, creme anglais, and whipped cream.

The worst? Any cake served with ice cream. For the life of me I'll never understand why anyone would want to ruin the texture of a perfectly good cake with ice cream. Or ruin the texture of a fine ice cream with cake. Disgusting. When a dear friend's first child turned one, I baked a very large chocolate sheet cake for his party. Damn fine cake. I almost died when she started scooping Breyer's onto the plates.

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My mother was an excellent baker, so it's hard for me to single out just one cake. Even after my brother and I left the house, she would cook whatever we wanted for a birthday dinner and dessert (later, for the grandkids, too). For the last twenty years or so mine was zuppa inglese, which she made with spongecake, rum, black raspberry jam, creme anglais, and whipped cream.

The worst? Any cake served with ice cream. For the life of me I'll never understand why anyone would want to ruin the texture of a perfectly good cake with ice cream. Or ruin the texture of a fine ice cream with cake. Disgusting. When a dear friend's first child turned one, I baked a very large chocolate sheet cake for his party. Damn fine cake. I almost died when she started scooping Breyer's onto the plates.

With some cakes I like ice cream- sorry. I also won't eat most cookies without a glass of milk. I really like the combo, and it really helps if someone makes a dry cake. But I grew up on beef/dairy farm so I generally really like most milk products.

I will also admit, my MIL made a funfetti cake with funfetti icing (the round beads, not the sprinkles kind very different) from a box, and I did really enjoy it, I don't know what it is about funfetti, but I liked it.

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With some cakes I like ice cream- sorry. I also won't eat most cookies without a glass of milk. I really like the combo, and it really helps if someone makes a dry cake.

I am happy for you, and wish you years of fine dining on cake and ice cream. Praise Jesus for the diversity of the world and all that. Just don't let it get near me.

Cookies and milk: entirely different. Damn. I was going to make ice cream [Joe H: with Lewes dairy cream!] for dessert tonight, but now I think chocolate chip cookies are in order. With a tall glass of really cold milk.

I am too suggestible.

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I will also admit, my MIL made a funfetti cake with funfetti icing (the round beads, not the sprinkles kind very different) from a box, and I did really enjoy it, I don't know what it is about funfetti, but I liked it.

I LOVE this frosting, especially on chocolate cupcakes. I will make them for kids' parties to have the excuse to eat them.

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I will also admit, my MIL made a funfetti cake with funfetti icing (the round beads, not the sprinkles kind very different) from a box, and I did really enjoy it, I don't know what it is about funfetti, but I liked it.

Funfetti, wow! This brings back memories. I made Funfetti cake (with the icing) for my son's birthday one year when he was in elementary school and from then on this was the only cake he wanted! I had to make it for him for years, even though by then I would have preferred to make something from scratch. He did eventually outgrow it. Yeah, he way outgrew it. Now he wants Komi or Palena for his birthday -- no Funfetti involved!

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I LOVE this frosting, especially on chocolate cupcakes. I will make them for kids' parties to have the excuse to eat them.

My Husband laughs at me because normally I am such a snob about most foods because I grew up eating homemade pretty much everything, not because I am special, but we lived in the country on a farm and the grocery store was crap and I also had an amish nanny so we canned and farmed and baked. So most boxed items to me just aren't very good, but every now and then I run across some packaged junk that I just adore. Funfetti definitely is really good, those little balls of sugar just are soo good. I had never had it until I was like 24-25 but really really liked it.

His favorite cake is a cinnamon bundt cake made with box mix and pudding mix- absolute favorite, he could have anything and that's what he likes. He would rather have that than anything I make from scratch. So I make it for him instead of trying to show him the light and that makes him happy. He has also been telling me that he always wanted a Carvel Fudgie the Whale when he was little, so I am thinking next year he just might get it!

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My favorite birthday cake was a blueberry pie with a sugared lattice crust, baked for me by my friend Tom. Tom makes the best pies I've ever had.

That sounds sooo good. And really good blueberries are months away, but now I am salivating, and only have odd stuff here at work- will be eating crappy applesauce instead.

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