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Volume II
July 31, 2006

Fantastic Birthday Cakes

Birthday cakes don't always have to be just square or round. You can design your own shapes to go with the theme of the party or your child's favorite animal. But before you go butchering cake and jamming the pieces together make sure you know what you're doing. If you cut and frost different cake pieces together, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure the cake has cooled completely before cutting.

  • Use toothpicks to mark any measured cuts you need to make.

  • If your cake plate isn't large enough for the finished birthday cake design, cover a large piece of cardboard with foil.

  • To cut up gumdrops and other candies, use a knife or pair of scissors dipped in warm water to get smooth edges.

    You can use stainless steel bowls to bake a cake in. This will get you a nice rounded cake, perfect for turtles, ladybugs, and other round animals. Use some of the batter to make cupcakes in addition to the large round cake. Cupcakes can be used for heads and feet, depending on the animal you're trying to create. Deeper cakes will take a bit longer to cook through. Stick a toothpick down into the center of the cake and pull it out when you think the cake is done. If it comes out clean, it's done. If it comes out with some gooey cake batter, put the cake back in the oven for a bit and keep an eye on it.

    Try making a butterfly out of a 9x13 cake. It's simple. Once the cake has cooled.

    1. Cut a 1" strip from the narrow side for the body of the butterfly.

    2. Cut an X in the rest of the cake to make four equal-sized triangles. These become the wings.

    3. Lay the wings against the body, frost and decorate.

    4. Tint some coconut yellow or make yellow frosting (or both).

    5. Use gumdrops cut into various pieces to make the design on the butterfly's wings. Thin black licorice strips make the antennas.

     * DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

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